The kiddo has a focus problem. When it’s something he doesn’t like doing he easily gets distracted and finds something else to do. Put a book in front of him and he’ll read the whole thing. Put the alphabet in front of him and he goes a bit spacey and it could take over 20 minutes to write the letters.
Mrs S, the Kiddo’s teacher, has commented numerous times on his inability to focus in class. She has requested that we work with him on getting things done in a set amount of time. She said we should put a clock in front of him and tell him when the little hands gets to such and so number your time is up. I understand why she wants us to use a clock (because there’s one on the wall of every classroom he’s ever going to be in) but I’m not sure that’s an active enough countdown to motivate him.
My mom suggested using a kitchen timer. The kind you wind up and it ticks down the seconds till brrrrring you’re times up!
Today we tried it, we did three mini exercises to see how he'd handle it.
He traced the alphabet, time limit was 5 min. He had it done in 3. Reward*: one Hershey's kiss.
He wrote the alphabet, time limit was 5 min. He had it done in 2! Reward: another kiss.
He wrote his numbers 1-30. Time limit was again 5 min. It took the entire 5 minutes to do but he made it (barely). Reward, a great big hug from me and happy dances around the living room.
In less then 15 minutes he had finished his at home work that usually takes him more then an hour. He says he loves his new timer, and he loves using it to work.
We will continue to use this type of motivation and time awareness for different types of activities over the next week and see if it helps any in school. I’m hopeful.
*I thought I'd start with a physical reward that was immediate and easy for him to understand. As we go on with this we'll transform the reward into him earning tv or computer time. I'll make a chart and every time he "wins a game" (beats the timer) he'll get to add a bit more time to the chart. I haven't decided if it will work better for him to be earning time for the day he's on or for the next day.