Its All a Matter of Motivation

So Thing 1 has been meeting with an educational therapist (ET) twice a week to work on her reading and letter recognition. Most days when I say its time to do our exercises she whines. When I tell her ET is coming she whines. During her meetings she whines. I've been trying all sorts of motivation with her and the closest that worked was telling her I would let her read a Pride and Prejudice fanfic where Mr. Darcy is a werewolf. It was better than most incentives but only got her halfway though a session.

Not any more.

Wednesday her violin teacher was out-of-town and it was either reschedule the lesson or take a lesson on another instrument to "see what its about". She chose to try out drums with Thing 3's piano teacher. His first love is percussion and he was amazed at how quickly Thing 1 picked up what he showed her and how she naturally started making rhythms rather than just the "loud noise" that most people do when playing around. 

Naturally she decided drums were much better than violin. 

However, the lesson ran us so tightly next to the ET appointment that we pulled into the garage and opened the front door to let her in. Not a moment for rest, wind down, snack. So we had an answer to he pleas.

 "Ima, I want to play the drums! I don't like violin anymore!"

"Well, as soon as you don't need to see the ET anymore you can take them. The time doesn't work out otherwise."

That day she had the best ET session yet and she has been reading and working on her letters with little complaints.

I guess we'll have another instrument in our band soon.

Overheard: The Evil Genius' Plan

Thing 3: We need an airplane. Are we supposed to swim the whole ocean?

Thing 1: First we'll take an airplane then we'll conquer here. We'll put all our soldiers into airplanes and...

Thing 2: How do you expect that to work? You can't conquer the world in a day?

Thing 1: Not in a day. A hundred years. Or a year. Yes. At the end of a year I expect us to have conquered the world.

Transient

DragonBox

The Things have been going absolutely crazy over DragonBox lately. Its a cute little app that introduces basic algebra ideas through a game where you complete levels to make your dragon grow. It starts out using cards with daytime and nighttime pictures on them and slowly changes to positive and negative numbers and letters. When you finish all of the levels you can go back to the bonus round and redo all of them without the picture cards.

Thing 3 finished the bonus levels today and asked for the second app. It was actually a great price on the Amazon Appstore. $9.99 (or 999 coins) and you get 300 coins back which I used to get Thing 1 a reading app.

As soon as Thing 2 saw the next app she switched from it because the first one was "boring." Now she's happily growing her dragons.

Transient

Reading problems

After witnessing a meltdown while trying to work on a writing sample for our charter school teacher, we scheduled an appointment with an educational therapist for Thing 1. It was a bit difficult watching my eight year-old struggling with what sound a "J" makes or what letter comes after "T" especially when I remember her seeming to blaze through those kinds of games as a toddler.

It was also a bit disheartening to see how distracted she seems to get. Always wanting to tell stories or act out animals or go get her violin. Watching her I started wondering if it was something other than just excitement. After her session the therapist asked if she had ever been tested for attention problems. So we have another appointment to make (or at least something to discuss at her next check-up).

The biggest change, though, is the removal of her Hebrew class and lessons. The therapist feels that until Thing 1 gets a good foundation with English reading that adding in another language can just confuse her. The upside is that the therapist believes it won't take long for that foundation to be built.

All of this means I need to rein in my natural reflex to push ahead with all sorts of "reading games" and focus on doing what the therapist has given us to work on.