Hey, I’ve got a happy thought for you, Internets! Today in grammar the older boys were asked to recite a list of prepositions that we’d all memorized a while back. Since none of us had looked at it in weeks, I suggested taking some time to review individually.
TechnoBoy got a little upset by the challenge and when The Mercenary started practicing out loud he got a little snippy so I recommended practicing elsewhere. He retired to the bedroom for a brief time.
When he came out to recite the list, the interruptions started. He’d get about 4 words into the list and a small boy would make a noise. TechnoBoy would stop, get frustrated, sigh deeply, and then start over. After a few tries he stomped back to the bedroom to practice. Rinse. Repeat.
Poor guy. He started to get really frustrated, and I could see that things were only going to get worse.
I got his attention and convinced him to come sit at the table with me for a minute. Then I reminded him of the time I was driving my car at the tender age of 17 and didn’t know that the oil had run out of the engine. The pistons overheated and the whole engine just seized up and quit. I explained that the frustration he was feeling at that moment was “heating up” his brain, and that anger interrupts learning. By getting upset and letting that interfere, he was training his brain to think that he couldn’t do it. We’d already learned the list a while back and he knew it cold. It just was a matter of pulling it out of memory, and if he’d relax a bit and just trust that he could do it the whole process would be easier.
Well whatdoyouknow? He actually listened to me! And (most importantly), BELIEVED me!!!!! Some deep breaths were taken, he went back and looked over the list for a bit, then walked out and recited it with just a few hints here and there. Success! Woohoo!
The best part is, this gives me an example to refer to if he gets frustrated again. I love it when we start getting momentum towards success. Hooray for my maturing boy!
Earnest Parenting: tips for creating a successful homeschool.
Image courtesy of al via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.