Thursday, 4 October 2012

Motivational Issues

I took no photos today! That's a shame - but it was just more of the same. It would have been shots of the children sitting round the dining table. Jigsaws would have featured, as would have maths work.

We started with violin as usual. Francesca is MUCH better at getting on with it, on her own, this week. She even shuts the door to keep out the little ones. However, there was a long period of inactivity before we heard the first notes of the scale. Goodness knows what she was doing but it threw her whole morning off schedule.

I had told her she could have my phone to watch something on YouTube as a treat, if she got her violin, maths and English done before lunch. Alas, she was only part way through maths by the time my tummy was rumbling and Sebastian was crying for his dinner.

Francesca had a cry about not getting her treat but at least she has experienced the real consequences of her inaction. I really need her to see for herself that procrastination doesn't pay off. I should know - I'm great at procrastination myself(!)

Elizabeth got loads done. Apart from the usual selection of jigsaws, she also opted to do another phonics sheet - phonemes o and c/k - and the corresponding page in her phonics workbook. Then she read a new reading book and I was pleased to see her really sounding out some of the words. Progress!!

Francesca continued with adding and subtracting 10 to the point where she can just about do it in her head, given sufficient peace and quiet. When Seymour tested her later, she got stuck on 90+10. We've not practised crossing the '100' border - only working with two- or three-digit numbers, separately. She's confident at reading three-digit numbers now, which is great. She's definitely come on this week and we know that we have to take the lesson a bit further to discover what happens at ninety-something plus ten. I'm thinking a number line might be useful, with a bit of card ten numbers long, to place on the line - where are the bottom and top edges of the 'ten'?

For English, at Francesca's request (mentioned over breakfast) she made a page of homophones. After I had mentioned homophones a while back but not succeeded in doing a formal lesson on them, she has been spotting many homophones in daily life. At breakfast she said she would like a special bit of lined paper to write down all the homophones she thinks of. And so, she made one in her English book. She's only added four homophone pairs so far, but more will be added later.

Francesca was excited to do more of her typing tutorial but didn't get much time on that, since the other tasks had taken so long. I pointed out to her that if she had finished her violin, maths and English in the morning, as requested, she would have had time in the afternoon to check her mould experiment, paint her Russian doll (another unfulfilled wish of today) and do more typing. I hope this is all sinking in, albeit slowly.

I feel ok about the amount of 'work' covered today and I feel great about the progress I can see over the whole week. At this stage, there's a lot of 'testing' going on between her and I. What can she cope with? What can she get away with? Once we work out a balance, things will move faster, perhaps.


  1. Make Francesca clock watch. Give a time YOU state an activity has to be done by - not whatever lengthy time F chooses for herself!
    Maybe use a kitchen timer?
    I like the idea of the number line with the piece of card. Very visual and a means of checking if your attempt at an addition is correct!

  2. Well I knew you'd say that, TES, but then what? Many a task can be sat through without progress if she knows the timer's going to go off in half an hour. She's happy to sit and 'fail' if it winds me up/we get to move on/postpones the task that is daunting her.
    At least this way, there's no ill-feeling. It's all very calm, the stuff gets done eventually and Francesca notices that she misses out later on in the day when she wishes she could have done whatever.
    Interested to hear what you'd do when the timer goes off and the task's not even started...???

    1. The task HAS to be finished - if the treat is to be fitted in. The timer was more of an idea to help her use her time wisely - not as any great millstone round the neck.