Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Homeschooling the anxious child

 If you walked into my home on any given weekday morning, chances are you would find my younger kids playing in our playroom/classroom, and older on the computer in their Online Yeshiva classes. 

One of my kids though, do not fit into either of those groups.

She is 7, extremely bright and capable, but gets herself really worked up very easily.

It is often a struggle to get her to do her school work, but once she does it, she does a beautiful job. Buthere have been days when we will argue back and forth and make 25 different deals for 15 minutes when all she needed to do was write 2 sentences.

It goto a point where I started getting really frustrated and needed to figure out a different plan.

I sat down and wrote down the main subjects that we needed to accomplish each day.

then assigned 5 minutes to each subject.

We sat down this morning and I went over it with her.

I showed her the 5 minute clock in the middle of each subject and told her that for each subject before she starts her work, we will put on a timer for 5 minutes.

She got really excited abouthis, as 5 minutes is really not a long time, right?

We got all her supplies ready and in front of her, and she goto pick which subjects she wanted to do first.

She chose math. We have 2 great math apps on the iPad as well as a workbook. We did one of the apps and as the buzzer went off, she was ready to pick the next subject.

I gave her stickers with different expressions on each face and she goto put a sticker nexto each subject as she completed it showing how she felt doing it.

this really worked so well. It gave her some sort of control over her work which I realized alleviates a lot of her anxiety. 

She has everything she needs, and knows that each subject will only take 5 minutes- which was funny as for some things she asked for some more time to finish her work, to which I told her no problem.

She took a few breaks between subjects and the morning went really smoothly. 

If you have a little munchkin like mine, try outhe 5 minute time frame. You don't realize how much can get done in these little pockets of time. And when she is enjoying something, we keep going, and when she is not, she knows 'its just 5 minutes!'

I hope this was helpful to you,
Wishing you a fabulous week,


  1. Please let me know how this will work down the road. My anxious child will make a deal like this one day, and then, three days down the road, the deal is off.
    I really would like to hear whether she is sticking with it and it is going smoothly a week from now, and more importantly, a month from now.
    I really like your idea of a buzzer and limited time per activity.

  2. Absolutely! this is just our first week doing this, so I will definitely do a follow up post... Wish me luck :)

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