Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Try this Tuesday- Timer and Homework

Try This Tuesday
I have found the timer useful in doing homework. On one side, Ricki wanted, as a teen, more independence. Sitting beside her only led to her turning her back and trying to hide her work. But since she is included, she does need help at times with her homework. So I now explain a task, set the timer for 5 minutes, telling her that she should work alone for 5 minutes. Then I go and do some housework in a different room, and when the timer rings, I come to check her work, give help if needed, etc.. This way I get more done during the day, and she works more independently.
Obviously, positive reinforcement for effort and good work can be added in.

Also, it is important, VERY important, to praise the child’s efforts to work independently. On returning to check the work, avoid critical comments about the results. Any corrections that need to be made should be sandwhiched between positive points. For example:
“Ricki, I can see that you sat for the full five minutes and worked very hard. You wrote in the line. Very nice! By the way, “their” is spelled “ei”. I’ll write that here on this note, and you can copy from there. I see that you crossed your t’s very nicely.”

10 comments:

lonestar818 said...

Timers have worked well for us during homework time too, good advice. fwiw, just want to add that the one time I don't like using the timer (at least not where they can see it) is when they practice for timed tests. One of my sons in particular gets really worked up about constantly checking to see how much time he has left and it really slows him down.

Excellent point about giving them praise and constructive feedback because they work so hard and yeah, we have to let them know when something needs to be fixed but can do it in a nice way while recognizing what they got right too. It goes a long way in encouraging them to be willing to try next time, because we've found that if they get frustrated and decide they "can't" do something they kind of shut down and then it's hard to get them moving forward again.

Julie said...

Fantastic tip! Thank you for sharing!

lilmomthatcould.com said...

I love this tip- My DS starts school I will use this one. Thanks!

Bitsy said...

Good tips! I like that you remind us to put the corrections between positive points - it makes all the difference :)

happycfam said...

This is a great reminder this time of year. My seven year old does very well with positive feedback, but she needs corrected sometimes. Your suggestion are just what I needed to hear! Thanks

Terri said...

I even like timers for me!

Jenny said...

Thanks for this tip! I just ordered a timer (don't ask me why I haven't done it sooner), and I'm anxious to put it to use for a number of activities!

The Babysitter said...

Ricki's Mom: wow, you sound like a great mother, I like your blog already, I'm going to add you to my blogroll. I can't wait to read more, and maybe I'll get inspired to change my opinion just a bit, about special children.

Frogs' mom said...

Another great use for the timer. My little guy is only 6 so we use much shorter periods - mostly to work on delayed gratification. Glad to see it is a tool that we can continue to get some use out of. Love that she is wanting and getting to exercise her independence!!!

Trish said...

This is great - thanks for sharing how the timer has helped with independence. I am realizing that I need to help my son be more independent as he is starting school.