Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How far is too far...

...I've become my step-daughter's designated homework helper, at her request. And so, after her brothers are in bed, we camp out at her desk and do what must be done.

Generally, she needs the most help with her math assignments, and of course, third grade was the first of many years of math nightmares for me. I'm a better tutor than I thought I would be though...

One evening last week she tells me "I figured something out. If I do something with my hands while I'm working, it's easier for me to think.". I told her this was great, that I often have to do the same thing, and that she could pick something to "do" with her hands while we worked on homework. She chose the squishing of Squinkies. If you don't know what a Squinkie is, all you need to know is that they are tiny and rubbery and satisfying to pull and squish with your fingers.

It seemed that her theory was, indeed, correct, HOWEVER...she is 8 and she is discovering this for the first time...so drawing the line between productive fidgeting and just plain messing around was not yet clear.

I tried being instructive with my reminders, letting her know that "you have to remember, when you pick a thing to do with your hands, and other people are around, you have to pick something that will not bother other people". Or "you need to pick something to do, it needs to be something that is not distracting to you". And of course "you really need to pick ONE thing to do, NOT FIVE", after she began SPINNING in her chair.

Finally it came down to "doing something to help you think better, and just plain messing around are NOT the same thing".

Line drawn. Homework was completed...eventually...

No comments:

Post a Comment