My husband is helping our son with writing and with the more complex math problems that come home. I'm the helper for everything else. (My son has learned how to tackle the first round of homework independently, so he only needs me for checking and when he gets stuck.) So, we're both sitting down to help him with a thinking challenge and finding...
he's looking at a hang nail
he's toppling off the stool
he's repeating what we say without understanding
he's taking every action to avoid thinking possible.
Naturally, this fills his parents with patience and warm fuzzies as they try to help him learn and spend 3/4 of their time in focus-assistance.
My husband and I faced the same challenge, we wanted to help him learn but we didn't want to waste our time. Our son heard our problem and shared his need to move but also not be distracted. We both presented the issues as problems for us to fix together without name calling or accusatory tones. We came up with different ideas for each of us. I was willing to allow one minute breaks per ten minutes, because that wouldn't take too much of my time. However, my kiddo's work with his dad requires at least a half hour of focus. So, we came up with our plan.
Before my husband starts teaching, our son will use the bathroom, eat, and make sure that he's ready to focus for 30-40 minutes.
Before my kiddo calls me for help, he'll make sure he's ready to focus. I'll wait for one minute while he takes a break every ten minutes and he'll take longer breaks after finishing any given task.
We've been at it for a week and there's a definite improvement. He's still been known to wander over to a couch or roll off a shelf, but he responds to a quick reminder and we knew this would be a process!
|Our family during a recent family vacation... notice my kiddo's foot sticking out, but there was no way he'd bring his face forward into the light! Oh well, we pick our battles :)|