First of all, I would rather teach all year than have 12 weeks off in the summer. Sure- it’s great for the first 3 or 4 weeks and then . . . I’m done! This is when I start noticing all the things that should be cleaned. You know – the baseboards, the light bulbs, the ceilings, the window sills, the “Monica” closet (see Friends reference here). Not only do I see projects everywhere, but I see the messes my son walks away from everywhere! Towel on the floor, milk on the counter, socks all over! Poor kid is eight and really does try to pick things up, but he still doesn’t “see” what he leaves behind. Teacher mode activated.
We have tried job charts and check sheets, but as soon as we forget to keep up on them, they lose all credibility. I have tried apps and reminders, but as soon as I open my phone to update, I check Facebook, Twitter, email and . . . . there was something I was supposed to check. . . Oh well!
I need something physical. Something that is visible to us all but not creating more clutter.
A jar of glass rocks. We are starting it half full that way there is room to move both directions. Rocks will be added as a visual to note increased awareness and removed for lack of awareness. I’m not really wanting to attach rewards or consequences, so I am working on how to make it relevant and meaningful.
So how do you build focus in eight year-old boys? Building stamina for difficult projects and perseverance is critical for all aspects of life. Granted, I am typing this as I have a hallway full of clothes, sheets and dishes from cleaning out cupboards yesterday that I have yet to box up and donate.
Starting with 15 minutes, we each will focus on one task. No distractions or breaks. Then 15 minutes of choice time. Twenty minutes task. Twenty minutes free.
How is he using his free time after 15 minutes of weed pulling? He’s visiting my grandparents across the street. Yeah. Maybe I cut him some slack.