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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How To Help Your Kids Do Well In School

This morning, my friend Sue spoke on How to Help Your Kids Do Well In School on the radio station Star 105.7 with Tommy and Brook.  She talks on a different subject every week in her radio spot of The Real Moms of West Michigan.  You can catch her on Tuesday mornings around 7am...right about the time that things are crazy in your house, I know.  But still, try to catch her if you can.

She and I had talked about this subject and I heard what she had to say and I thought she had some great points.  You can read her post she wrote on the subject HERE.

I have been going through this a lot lately with the boys.

S1 has had an overload of homework this year.  Seriously tough stuff, hours worth of homework.  As you are all well aware, we live in a small farmhouse with lots of "oddities" in it.  You know, that stuff that makes an old house unique but no way would you ever do it that way in a new house because WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!

Yah, that.

Well, the boys rooms are just plain weird.  You walk into S3 and S4's room to get into S1 and S2's room.

S1 would shut the door to his room and then he would get cold because the wood heat vent wouldn't reach him.  He would come downstairs and get distracted at the dining room table - the hub of our family everythings - so we were sorta at a loss.

Then I thought of our landing upstairs.

S1 helped me and together we put together a little study for him.  Is the landing ideal?  Not really.  Does it work?  Oh yah!  It's his own little space that he can sit at and do his homework.  When his brothers go to sleep, they always keep the landing light on to see on their way down the steps so when S1 is sitting there working on homework, it doesn't bother them a bit.

He feels rather grown up of his little space that is all his own.  He's decorated it a bit and takes pride in the landing study.  It's never stayed so clean!

The other issue we have had in school this year is S3.

S3 keeps forgetting.

He forgets his glasses and then he can't see.  He forgets his homework, over and over and over again.  He forgets to bring home his reading.  He does his reading and forgets to take it to school.  He forgets his lunch.  He brings home a milk carton in his lunch on Friday and forgets it till Monday.  He remembers his lunch box and forgets he didn't pack anything in it.

I could keep going.

It literally makes me pull my hair out some mornings.  Okay, lots of mornings.  And evenings.

We took away tv.  We took away his leapster.  And when we did, he had no motivation to do well so believe it or not, he forgot even more!

I didn't think that was possible.

So, in order for us to keep our sanity - and get him out of the second grade - I bribed him.

Yes, I did.

I told him if he remembered his full lunch, his glasses, his homework, his book, etc, for FOUR weeks, he would get a new game for his leapster.

I have never seen a more motivated kid.  In fact, after agreeing to this arrangement, he immediately put on his glasses to make sure he didn't forget them for school the next day. With something to focus on and work for, the child is shining.  He scored five out of five on his reading test.  I literally did a dance of joy.

It's not perfect.  It's not the same for each boy.  I have just boys and they all learn so differently.  Where S1 needs silence and to be left alone to study, S3 can be in total chaos and stay on task.

I think that's the key.

Teaching each kid the way they are meant to be taught.

Is that easy?  No. Way.

It's time consuming and makes you go a little insane.

Especially if you have a S4 who asks allllllllllllllllllllll day long, "How do you spell 'hi'?  What is 1-1?  What is 7 times 20? Did I make this right? Are you sure you know the answer?"


All.  Day.  Long.

But if you find something that works for your kids, work it!  Keep in mind, however, that you need to be willing to change it.

And that is my two cents worth for the day.

Now, be sure to read Sue's blog on this.  And don't forget to tune in and hear her!  iHeart radio is a handy little link that keeps us all on the same page here.  Can't beat that!

2 comments:

Irish Carter of Dedicated 2 LIFE said...

I so have experienced the very same with my children. They are so different and it just took trial and error in figuring out what worked for each one. D3, my youngest seems to be the most unorganized but has been told she's an A and B girl...so we are working HARD on that. God Bless.

Irish

Becca @ Our Crazy Boys said...

Ohhhh.... S3 is Jack. usually S4 is Jack, but today it's S3. He has been losing EVERYTHING. And then? Then he blames it on me.
*crying dramatically* "But Mooooom..... I GAVE it to you, and you LOST it!!!"