Friday, January 29, 2010

Finding the Solution to a Problem

Matthew, 7, is typical of many young boys in that he is very active and easily distracted.  Despite being enthusiastic, bright and eager, he has found learning to read a difficult mountain to climb. 

I've discovered that he is frequently distracted and derailed by anything that enters his mind or his environment.  As anyone who has a large family knows, a full house is hardly quiet and distraction-free!  I can't control the thoughts that swirl through Matt's little mind, but I can attempt to control his environment to help him better focus on the task at hand.

After much contemplation, I recently purchased Matt his own portable DVD player and a set of headphones to use when watching his classes.  (We use the wonderful BJ HomeSat curriculum, which is now only available by leasing the content from BJU, but during the past six years, when it was available through live satellite, I kept busy recording many grade levels onto hundreds of DVDs, which I store in my school room and continue to use with my younger children.) 

Matthew previously sat on the couch in the family room and watched his classes on the main TV.  However, that room is like Grand Central Station in our house, with people walking through, using the computer, asking me questions, etc.  I am hoping that by having his class just inches from his face and by being tethered to the DVD player by the headphone cord, that he will have fewer distractions and be able to better focus on the instruction.

So far, so good!  I think he has been more attentive this week to his classes, and when I can keep his focus on his reader, he seems to be making progress on his reading!

Bethany is also using a portable DVD player to watch her kindergarten classes.  Previously, I tried having them take turns with the one portable player, but this made our school day drag out unbearably.  This new arrangement is working out really well.  I put them both at the kitchen table with their portable DVD players, and I can sit between them with my laptop, doing my "computer work" while being available to help them as needed!

Don't you love it when you finally find a solution to a problem??


Noel said...

that's one of the best things about homeschooling - you can adjust to meet each student's needs. That's great!

Rebecca's Refining said...

Since you are on a roll....I have a list of problems you can find solutions for!! :)
Great job on finding the right adjustment needed!

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