As a homeschooling mom with a distractable child, I have had to learn to let certain things go. For instance, I will probably never be able to get my child to sit still during a lesson. Most of the school day is spent with my child moving from chair to chair at the dining table where we do school. That or shuffling from one foot to the other as she writes, which makes for pretty messy handwriting.
I have tried in the past to remove all distractions, but I have come to learn that doing so actually makes the situation worse. This is why I didn’t argue when Danger Girl wanted to bring a couple of her barbies to school with her to “learn” as well. She takes the time to arrange each of them around the table and has me check their work as I am checking hers.
This may seem like a complete time waster to some people, but allowing her to do this has actually helped keep her attention during school. In fact this has actually made her more excited during the school day. Yes, things take a little longer, but school is less of a struggle, particularly when it comes to reading. For whatever reason, having her barbies there with us makes Danger Girl more willing to read instead of automatically telling me she can’t.
As a result, her reading is improving tremendously. There is less sounding out of words and more actual reading of them. She is also now more able to answer questions about what she just read. It is amazing to me that something I would think would be too big of a distraction is actually improving our school time. I can’t explain it, and see no reason to try. As long as she is learning I will just go with it.
It would be interesting to see what strange things have helped other parents of distractable children.