Keeping Your Child On Task: Why going slow helps us go faster
When a child is enjoying learning about a topic, it seems easy to keep them on task. Honestly, there’s very little in those situations that you need to do. A child’s natural curiosity and interest will keep them on task.
But there are some subjects or tasks that children simply don’t like. It’s normal. As children, we all experienced it and now we’re reaping the frustration that comes with homeschooling our children as they experience it.
There are several things that you can do to help your child persevere through those tough or non-preferred subjects and tasks. And it may sound strange at first. It's counterintuitive, but purposely slowing down your work pace can save you time in the long run. This is because children tend to perform better when they slow down, minimizing the meltdowns, procrastination, and having to go back and redo things.
There are several simple strategies you can use to help your child slow down. Some take planning, but others can be spur of the moment.
The most important thing to teach your child about this is that they will do better work, with fewer mistakes, and do it faster, when they take their time to do things right the first time.
HELPING YOUR CHILD TO SLOW DOWN:
Notice how long your child tends to stay on task before stopping. Then, you stop him/her just before that time period for a quick interjection. This can be praise for how well they’re working or a funny meme you wanted to show them. The idea is to quickly do something positive.
Take a Brain Break between subjects or when you see your child getting frustrated. Brain Breaks are short (3 minutes or less), fun, silly, or physical tasks that can help to break up the monotony of a non-preferred or difficult task.
Demonstrate the logic. Challenge your child do a task without any input from you and time how long it takes them. Then challenge them to do it again slowly without any breaks or off-task behavior. They will do it quicker and with fewer mistakes when they go slow.