Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Motivation for Reluctant Readers, Part 2

Last week I wrote about motivation in Motivation for Reluctant Readers Part 1. I suggested

If your child absolutely doesn't want to read, even 
if you've tried all sorts of fun
enticement, consider forgetting the reading. Yes, forgetting it, 
at least for now. Try finding out your child's passions 
and/or sparking some new ones.

This week, I want to suggest that you use this summer to work on skills that will lead to good work habits. Habits that I hope will carry  into  fall when the homework woes begin. These skills are easy to learn and always get results.
As with last week’s post, I’m not talking about reading. Reading is a joy, at least once we start seeing the possibilities it offers. I’m talking about building in a sense of power and accomplishment around tasks other than reading.
I need to make a confession before I go any further. The skills I  am about to present are ones I learned the hard way. Are you familiar with  Marla Cilley, better known as the Fly  Lady? She offers hope and tools for those of up living in CHAOS (Can’t Have  Anyone Over Syndrome). I was definitely living in CHAOS.

Fly Lady taught me some skills that changed my life. Although I don’t use her skills all the time, I do often enough to stay out of CHAOS for  large chunks of time. (Still not crazy about drop-in guests, though.

Anyway, the Fly Lady taught me a lot. Here are just 3 of her skills  that can get you through all kinds of tasks. IMPORTANT: These will work for you. They’ll also work for your child. However, they’ll only work if your child wants to use them.

I suggest you model using them  yourself. Choose something you have been putting off/hate/stink at. Your success will be the best way to make these skills look attractive. You can do anything for 15 minutes.
  • Choose one thing you can do every day that doesn’t take very long but makes you feel good just because you’ve done it. Examples: make your bed, draw a picture, clean a closet. Choose something that you don’t already do every day, but wish you did. Or something you wish were already done but haven't gotten around to yet.
  • That’s it!
  • Lots of times, though, one BabyStep leads to another. A made bed might make you also want a clean floor. But just the BabyStep is good.
15 Minutes
  • This is my Fly Lady favorite. Get a timer. Set it for 15 minutes. Do something that needs doing. Do it until the timer dings.
  • Stop.
  • That’s it! Do something else as a reward for your 15 minutes.
  • Do another 15 minutes if the spirit moves you.
Jump in where you are
  • Think you're so far behind, nothing will help? Not so! Just start and whatever you get done is good.
  • Messed up on your BabyStep? No problem, just start in again.
  • Have a job that will take way more than 15 minutes? No problem. If you only do 15 minutes, you’re still in better shape than you were before you started. If you decide to do another 15 minutes – great! That’s good too!
NOTE: I’ve taken a lot of liberty with my presentation of Fly Lady’s ideas. Please check out her website, and her
book, Sink Reflections. You’ll be glad you did.
I really want to hear about your 15 minutes. Please write about them in the Comments box. 15 minutes Rule!

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