Here’s the plan:
- Monday I will print out the homework assignments from the 4 teacher’s web sites (nothing for Drama or PE).
- We will look at them together and rank them in numerical order of due date/amount of time needed for completion. I know he already is warming up to this idea and understands it as he had to correct me in my ranking today
- I will check off each one as he shows it to me and watch him put it in his notebook.
- He has a three hole punch with him in his backpack so he can put handouts in his three ring notebook when they are given to him.
- I’ve implemented, and he has agreed to, a penalty for every loose sheet I find in his backpack each night. I found a carrot! His brother has been showing more interest in hanging out with him ever since the two of them found themselves in the dog house with me at the same time one night awhile ago. They bonded over being shlubs! When he is with me, he wants to head into his brother’s room and play video games with he and his friends (he loves beating the older guys at their own game of course). So every loose sheet costs him 10 mins of play time after homework is done. Given that tonight after his baseball practice, then dinner, then the 90 mins it took him to complete work and then organize his papers – he only had 15 mins to play before bedtime and even one 10 min penalty would have wiped it out. So he is motivated to keep those papers in their place!
- His dad has promised him a new computer if he carries a B avg and no D’s. Considering that over there is computer is a true dinosaur so that even doing school work on it is a challenge, he is motivated at least at the moment by that carrot too (and I like it because it doesn’t cost ME any money ;-))
My goal was to set up a system that gave him some clarity of expectations which I hope helps him feel in control of balancing his wants/needs. With the full week’s assingments planned out, keeping sports events in mind, he can see a path to completing the work and also getting some play time in. The loose paper penalty traings him towards better organization habits so that when work IS complete, it is not lost and can be turned in. With me checking everything off, he has back up. As I told him tonight, you re-trained yourself with practice to learn to love reading (he’s now 1/2 done with HP #7 – wow!), so you can easily re-train yourself to be organized with practice and I will be there to keep you on track. Tonight anywa, he seemed 100% on board and confident that this will help. Fingers crossed! We all know how easy it can be to show enthusiasm early on, the trick is to stick it out.