2013/05/21 10:59 am

Study Time

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The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Being a mother has taught me so many things and one of them is that the best way to be a better mother tomorrow is to do my best today. By this I mean that I don’t always have the best answer for my kids, I try, but it’s not always the best. I try my best to be patient, but when the three are talking at the same time, at times is impossible.

The best about living according Brown Jr’s quote, is that every day is a gift to do things slightly better, to listen to our children a little better, to be ready so when the opportunity arise be able to teach our kids the proper lesson and when it’s time to sleep we do not have any energy left to do or say anything else.

If I could have a magic wand to instantly improve something that I do with my children, I would ask an easy going study time, with all my kids. Since I already grew up and there is no magic wand to help me with this, I try not to get upset with my second son (third grade), who is always distracted when studying.

 Ideas to enhance the study time with our kids

When my oldest son began to study we made a contract, ie we made a long list where he gave his suggestions of what we should do during the study time, and I told mine (I remember to have written every single idea), this idea came from the book “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk “by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. After we made ​​the list, together we decided the following:

  • Fridays and Sundays wouldn’t be a study day,
  • On study days, my son should study a subject, take a break (5 minutes or a little more), then study other stuff, take another break, and so on,
  • We decided that studies should not last longer than a hour and half on weekdays and on Saturdays we will do the best effort to study only in the morning
  • In order to fulfill all this, we write also that NO complaints or fights are allowed
  • We talked we would try the contract and if something was not working, we could talk to change it together.

Having made ​​and signed the contract, whenever we sat to study, I used to read the contract so that we both knew what we had to do and what we should expect. I remember that at first I had a clock carrying the breaks.

My oldest son is on fourth grade now and study almost alone, at times I help him with English (our first language is Spanish). The preparation and signing this contract worked so well with my first son, that when my second son started studying I thought about doing the same thing but each child is different. After having signed two contracts with my second son I realized that it would not be that easy. He kept getting distracted for too long and did not want to follow his own rules.

To start improving the study time, you can start preparing your own contract with your child, you kid may suggest the idea of not study at all, all ideas should be written, but when you are going to do the contract you can say something like ‘With this idea I don’t feel very happy, we could agree on not study on Friday afternoon or Sunday.”

In the next article we’ll talk about how I made ​​my second son study a little bit more and fight less.

 

If you liked it, share this article with your friends and please leave your comments. See you in the comments.

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