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#61 of 82 Old 02-16-2013, 06:48 AM
 
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I think there are various forms of time management. And at some age levels certain ones are unlikely. What we are discussing is learning math. It can be looked at as time management, or project management. Most workers are not expected to have project management skills.

In the example of the coworker is it really poor time management, or something else? There's not enough info to determine.
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#62 of 82 Old 02-16-2013, 06:50 AM
 
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There has been a lot of reference to time management skills, on this thread and others. I've spent some time the last couple days thinking about the importance of time management skills. What kinds of jobs really require them?
This is a good question.  High school, college and university require time management - and many USer do end up in school at some point.  It is natural for parents to fret, I think, and wonder what their part is in helping them acquire the time management skills that will help them get through the classes they want to take.
Work is a different thing.  Upon, reflection, I do not think most jobs require great time-management.  Neither my husband nor my job involve huge amounts of time management.  They involve multi-tasking, flexibility, a certain amount of being able to prioritise - but time management? - not so much.  I do occasionally run into bumps with time management at work.  I become involved in other issues and don't make time for more mundane daily tasks.  It is not a huge issue - I often fix it by staying a bit late.  I do know some jobs do have concrete deadlines for thing, but I do think it is possible we over-emphasize this skill as parents.  

And just as a person with a tin ear cannot hope to hear a song and duplicate it, so to some folks lack something that makes time management work for them.
 
I agree with this.  Some people really do struggle with certain things, and may struggle with them their whole life (it might just be how they are built). Repeatedly trying to make a square peg into a round one is an exercise in frustration for everyone - and may give off the idea that they are not good enough the way they are.  It can be tricky as a parent to know if a child is really built one way  or simply lacks skills in that area.  



 

There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#63 of 82 Old 02-16-2013, 08:16 AM
 
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I don't know how to say this without possibly offending someone, but I feel it's an important point. I'll start by saying I'm not judging anyone. I've just noticed a trend, recently, that leads me to believe that some are not fretting about their child's time or project management skills, but rather are expecting skills to be in place without any effort from the parents or teachers. Refusing to provide instructions or assistance does not, in my opinion, qualify as fretting.

Looking more closely at my own project management skills, I doubt I can teach those skills well. I'd need to look to someone else to do that job. I work on an intutive level for that.
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#64 of 82 Old 02-16-2013, 08:37 AM
 
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I don't fret about time management skills.  It starts quite basically-- getting ready to get out the door in time for gymnastics, etc.  It can be learned by more involvement in making meals, both in getting it started and making it to all come together.  I'm glad my girls have opportunities like 4-H to experiment with time management in small ways.  

 

I think that it's not the best idea to stress learning a skill like time management alongside a skill in which someone is struggling, just like I think in the early years learning math should be separate from writing until that is no longer a struggle.

 

Having said all that, I don't think getting motivated to sit and do something that is difficult and requires applying oneself despite the frustration is really about time management.  It is about control over willpower.  I can have excellent time management skills, it is getting myself set to the task in the first place that I struggle with, and sometimes my attention drifts because my heart is not in it.  Perhaps it's a semantics argument, but I'm not thinking this is about time management.

 

So, what is it about, if not that?  It is learning to focus.  It is learning about acting when the task is not the immediate motivation but a means to an end which is the true goal.  These are both helpful in time management, but not the thing itself, which requires an idea as to how long each task will take so that when put all together the task finishes at a prescribed time.  With math or learning there is no prescribed time, not in homeschooling.  But kids do have goals that cannot be immediately acquired without effort.


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#65 of 82 Old 02-16-2013, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with both pek64 and SweetSilver. I think time management skills cannot necessarily be expected to simply arise in good time -- not in all children, not even with good modelling by parents. Sometimes a more active approach is needed, and sometimes a child's aspirations to learn or do something will exceed their current time-management skills in which case parental help is appropriate if the child wants it.

 

But I also think that the scenarios in this thread are not primarily about time management. They're not about the child forgetting to do the work, or leaving it too close to a deadline, or having trouble fitting the work into his busy life. They're about the child avoiding the work which would get them closer to his goal because the work itself is not intrinsically enjoyable. So to me this is more an issue of deferring gratification and doing grunt-work that is unengaging in order to reap the benefits of having done the work later. Like practicing scales to get better at playing Mozart, or doing abdominal crunches to get better at swimming. Or learning division of fractions to get closer to your goal of studying architecture at college. 

 

To me deferment of gratification is to a large extent a maturity-based task. It requires a fair degree of abstraction to choose your future happiness over your present comfort. School provides the structure that removes a lot of that choice, so school children tend to have less trouble working through relatively unenjoyable basic learning tasks in the early years. However, because they lack the opportunity to grow through making such choices I think they tend to struggle when the structure of attendance checks and homework-grading falls away in high school and college. Maturity is required, but it is also developed through experience. 

 

I think in order to learn how deferring gratification can be helpful in some situations, one has to experience in meaningful ways both the drawbacks of not doing so and the benefits of doing so. After experiencing both those outcomes in a variety of circumstances one can appreciate why sometimes it is good to defer gratification. When it's all just hypothetical, when you haven't experienced one or the other scenario, it's hard to make a mature informed choice. And with my ds and his intense perfectionism, I felt like he hadn't ever had the experience continuing to work diligently through the really uncomfortable (for him) place of not being able to do something easily yet, and realize the benefit that comes at the end. Once he had that one guided experience, he was able to assess his subsequent issues in light of his past experiences and make reasonable choices. 

 

I'm also a big believer in awaiting readiness and meaningfulness, and I think that's the scenario school children often don't get enough of. They don't get to put grunt work off until they find their own reasons for doing it, and so they don't learn how satisfying it can be to learn things quickly and to completion when the task is intrinsically motivating. Unschoolers though can suffer the opposite fate: they sometimes don't get the experience of taking on tasks that aren't intrinsically enjoyable in order to open doors, build confidence and bring forth opportunities down the road. Not unless their parents help them find and work through those experiences. 

 

Miranda


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#66 of 82 Old 02-16-2013, 10:58 AM
 
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. Refusing to provide instructions or assistance does not, in my opinion, qualify as fretting.

 

I disagree.  People can fret without doing anything about it.  Whether or not acting on ones fretting is a good idea or not depends on the circumstances.


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#67 of 82 Old 02-17-2013, 07:40 PM
 
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I disagree.  People can fret without doing anything about it.  Whether or not acting on ones fretting is a good idea or not depends on the circumstances.

Refusing to give help is an action.

Some parents are fretting, don't get me wrong. It's just the rather vocal ones that seem proud to declare they refuse to help their children that bother me. And I seem to have an overabundance of that type of parent in my family tree.
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#68 of 82 Old 02-17-2013, 07:44 PM
 
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Perhaps it *is* more of a delayed gratification issue. Personally, if I have no alternative gratification, I might take a negative consequence later to ensure some positive now.
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#69 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 06:11 AM
 
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Refusing to give help is an action.

Some parents are fretting, don't get me wrong. It's just the rather vocal ones that seem proud to declare they refuse to help their children that bother me. And I seem to have an overabundance of that type of parent in my family tree.

Every couple of months we will have a parent come on this forum that is fretting over their 6 yr olds lack of reading.  They are torn on what to do - offer assistance, check for learning disabilities, etc.

 

Without doubt, someone will come on and say that many 6 year olds do not read, and that what their child might need is time - and that they will learn easier once their internal motivation kicks in. 

 

The mother may ponder this point, do a little further reading on the topic - and decide to wait.  So - she is not acting on the issue (at least not with the child) but she still fretted and may well be fretting.  

 

There have been many times in life where I fretted over something my kids were doing or not doing without acting on it.  Sometimes we have been working on other things.  sometimes I did some reading and decided my expectations were not developmentally appropriate.  I have on occasion decided it was their issue and not mine  (I am not sure we need to take on all problems our kids might have - it can be a little micromanage-y and give them the idea they cannot take care of themselves).

 

Without knowing any of the backstory of this thread, if my son had said to me "why don't you make me do math?" I would have taken that as a  request for help and I would have honoured it (honestly, I would have done back flips - a kid wanting to do math is darn cool!  I struggle with kids wanting to Spongebob when I want them to do math….)

 

I have seen Parents who do not help their kids - who seem to not parent, to not care.   I don't think that is a problem specific to USers at all.


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#70 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 06:14 AM
 
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Perhaps it *is* more of a delayed gratification issue. Personally, if I have no alternative gratification, I might take a negative consequence later to ensure some positive now.

Me, too.  I am not 100% convinced that is a bad thing - none of us live forever.  I don't think we should always live in the now, but always living in the future seems wasteful of the present.  It is a balance thing.


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#71 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 06:26 AM
 
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I agree that parents refusing to help is not specific to unschoolers! Sorry if I left that impression. I am the only homeschooler among my relatives, and too many of those relatives are the not helping kind.
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#72 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 06:48 AM
 
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I agree that parents refusing to help is not specific to unschoolers! Sorry if I left that impression.

You didn't.  I said it for any lurkers/newbies.  I know I quoted you (I probably should not have - sorry) but I was really just using your statement as a jumping off point for a discussion.  Some people do believe "not helping your children" is a problem that is more prevalent in USers, and I simply wanted to point out that I do not think that is the case.  


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#73 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 07:01 AM
 
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Perhaps it *is* more of a delayed gratification issue. Personally, if I have no alternative gratification, I might take a negative consequence later to ensure some positive now.

Me, too.  I am not 100% convinced that is a bad thing - none of us live forever.  I don't think we should always live in the now, but always living in the future seems wasteful of the present.  It is a balance thing.

 

I agree that there's no point in always deferring gratification, but it's good to be able to defer gratification when it benefits you.

 

My kids have a kids book by Dave Ramsey they got from Chikfila years ago that talks about savings, and recommends that kids start saving for their first car at age 10 or so. That book drives me nuts because a 10 year old is a lot more limited in their sources of money than a 15 year old, and so a 10 year old could easily spend a year carefully saving and sacrificing things they'd really enjoy in the moment in order to save what would be a weekend's wages when they're 15 or 16. 

 

There needs to be a balance of immediate and long term costs and benefits. All one way or all the other is no good. 

 

I really appreciated what Moominmama wrote here-- she did a much better job than I did of getting to the heart of this. I want my kids to learn how to push through an uncomfortable task, and also to feel obligated to do what they say they will do, or at least to talk to the person in question about why they're not going to do it. 

 

I've been having a little unschool freak-out lately, and part of it has been because I'm frustrated that my kids have been kind of snotty and entitled-- at some point a person should be able to politely eat food that isn't their favorite, or do things they said they'd do because they said they'd do them, even if in the moment when they ought to be done there is something else that would be more fun, or to consider their own commitment to seeing something through before they ask other people to go out of their way to make a project possible. I'm tired of driving across town to buy supplies for a project that's never started, or paying for classes the kids decide they'd rather not leave the house for. I'm tired of hearing about how the chicken at dinner wasn't cooked perfectly. I'm tired of empty promises about things getting done, followed by complaints about my nagging. Other people matter (including me!)

 

We are talking about these things and I am optimistic that things will improve. But for a little while there I was feeling like I had ruined my kids.

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#74 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 07:51 AM
 
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I've been having a little unschool freak-out lately, and part of it has been because I'm frustrated that my kids have been kind of snotty and entitled-- at some point a person should be able to politely eat food that isn't their favorite, or do things they said they'd do because they said they'd do them, even if in the moment when they ought to be done there is something else that would be more fun, or to consider their own commitment to seeing something through before they ask other people to go out of their way to make a project possible. I'm tired of driving across town to buy supplies for a project that's never started, or paying for classes the kids decide they'd rather not leave the house for. I'm tired of hearing about how the chicken at dinner wasn't cooked perfectly. I'm tired of empty promises about things getting done, followed by complaints about my nagging. Other people matter (including me!)

 

 

 

I sympathise.

 

There is another thread going on where people are talking about if their homes are child centric or family centric.  

 

I am not a fan of child-centric houses, as I think it can lead to feeling of entitlement and, yeah, snotty behaviour.  Maybe child centric does not always lead to this behaviour, but I have seen it happen a bit too often for my comfort.

 

A few year ago on this forum there were people who were vocal about cleaning up after your child, leaving a room if the kids were being difficult as it was bugging you, essentially re-arranging what you were doing to put them first even when it was not necessary and what you were doing was more important.  Thankfully, much of that has died out, but it did seem to me that if people followed all of this we would be raising entitled people.  I wonder if it was/is an extreme position, perhaps born out of the other side of the penduluum - which tends to dismiss kids concerns?

 

One of my pet peeves (and I still see it a fair bit IRL, although more among Waldorfy types than USers, per se) is people who will halt any conversation they are in because their child (often an older child) asks them a question.  Um, hello, you were talking…they can wait.  I can see it is not urgent.  

 

Oh well, vent over.  

 

I think reflecting on whether or not you want to be family or child centric is a really good idea for most people.  


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#75 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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I've never thought of us as child-centric, but we've had a lot going on in our lives lately, and I have perhaps let some things slide that I shouldn't have. I know I tend to be self-absorbed, and have needed to be overtly taught to consider other people's perspectives, so it's not surprising to me that someone related to me might not be naturally perfectly empathetic.

 

A problem I see with being child-centric is that at some point kids need to transition to being adults and need to understand what adult expectations of behavior are. I knew a family growing up that was very gentle and child-centric until the kids were 12 or 13 and then WHAM the hammer came down and they were expected to KNOW to do everything they hadn't been expected to do up till then. It was weird to see, and seemed a lot harder on the kids then a gentle ramp up of expectations might have been. Although, maybe those parents went through the same panic I am? 

 

Being a parent is hard. I should have had more kids, I bet by the 15th or so, I might actually be good at this. whistling.gif

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#76 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 09:57 AM
 
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kathy, is that on MDC?  I haven't seen it and I am interested in the conversation.  Could you link it for me?


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#77 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 10:06 AM
 
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kathy, is that on MDC?  I haven't seen it and I am interested in the conversation.  Could you link it for me?

Sure - but you are on it orngbiggrin.gif

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1373785/radical-unschooler

 

The Op in the above thread was somewhat about whether people were family or child centric, but did move rather quickly into a discussion on unparenting.


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#78 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 11:04 AM
 
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Sheepish.gif Oh yes.  I think I might read that more closely to see if I've skimmed over stuff.  Wouldn't be the first time.  I would be interested to see a thread on the regular parenting forum worded just the way you have and see what comes up.  Mmmmmaybe.....maybe that would be a bad idea!


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#79 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 05:20 PM
 
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Oh, lordy, I went and did it.....

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1374868/poll-child-family-or-parent-centered-households

 

Brilliant?  Or crazy?  

 

Ah, well it'll probably fizzle anyway.  I just couldn't help myself.

 

Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled posting.........

 

I *don't* consider myself Radical, BTW.  However, I read an essay by Sandra Dodd, and it did make me feel a little radical under the collar..... OK, maybe I'm not entirely UnRadical either.


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#80 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 06:23 PM
 
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Voted!

 

I will post tomorrow, though. 


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#81 of 82 Old 02-18-2013, 08:45 PM
 
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Being a parent is hard. I should have had more kids, I bet by the 15th or so, I might actually be good at this. whistling.gif

 

Ha. Indeed. Our poor practice kids, huh? Ah well. Hopefully they'll learn that we aren't perfect and they don't have to be either. 


Writing, reading, unschooling. 

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#82 of 82 Old 02-19-2013, 10:10 AM
 
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Since we have been discussing time management, I thought you all might find this as humorous as I did.

I just heard on the radio the following (quoted as accurately as I can) -- If you are always late, it may not be your fault. A new study has shown that 17% of the population is "ungifted" for time management.


And here I thought it was a tendency to procrastinate!
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