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#1 of 15 Old 02-05-2011, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Every single day, the pencils and everything els eis missing. We do have everything for organization anyone can possibly suggest. We have a school room, and folder holders and pencil holders and even a pocket holder for extra supplies. Everything is set up great. Yet, every single day, no one has a pencil. Actually, it starts with, they cannot find their folders or books or whatever they need..usually folder. They each have 1 folder with everything they need in it. At this point, I tell them they better find the folder. There was no reason for the folder to leave the room. The folders can be found anywhere from under their beds in their rooms (no clue why) to on the floor next to their chairs. Once the folders are located, next thing we have to find is the pencils. They will sit down and then say "I don't have a pencil so I cannot do my school work anyway." I ask them where their pencil went. They don't know. I tell them to look at the floor. Sometimes there is one there. Then I tell them to get up and look for a pencil. Sometimes they find one. I eventually join their search. Sometimes, I have to pull a new one out and give that to them. They have gone through (a complete guess) 50 pencils this school year already, despite the fact that they have very little work.

 

I am fed up. My older children never did this and I am feeling like it is on purpose with my younger children. I never had to fight with my older children the way I have to with my younger ones. Was I just super lucky with my older children? Was I living in the LaLaLand of Easy World with my older ones?

 

Only thing I can come up with is continuing to be consistent and give it more time, and make them accountable for their own behaviors. I just feel defeated by them sometimes and now I am expecting so I have even less energy to deal with this. I am not giving up. Can anyone relate? Has anyone gone through this?

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#2 of 15 Old 02-05-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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Is it possible they aren't enjoying their school work and are subconsciously looking for ways to avoid it? Do they misplace other items (shoes? mittens? brushes? stuffies?) in a similar way? My kids can be absent-minded but they tend to keep very good track of the things that are important to them, like their school books and writing utensils ... which is what makes me wonder whether yours might be exhibiting a sort of passive-agressive rebellion against work they don't want to do. If so, you probably need to think about adjusting your homeschooling approach.

 

If they're like this with other things too, then the solution may be in routines and organizational expectations ... not removing their school books from the school room, or putting them "away" in a designated area as soon as they're finished with them.

 

Miranda


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#3 of 15 Old 02-05-2011, 02:32 PM
 
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Hm. How about trying to turn this into a positive game? You sound very frustrated about the issue, and I'm sure the kids would much rather start on a good note each day.

 

Let's say for every day they come prepared (make a list of three things they must have to begin your lessons: a folder, a pencil and ?..) - they get to: finish 20 minutes early / bake cookies / play a special board game / extra computer time / choose a dessert /  etc.? Find something simple to reward with, or maybe even make a list of cool things they would enjoy (ask them for ideas). Keep the list visible, and maybe that will help them get ready on time? Sometimes changing the attitude around the issue helps to solve the problem.

 

Good luck!


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#4 of 15 Old 02-05-2011, 03:52 PM
 
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I have a cup with about 50 sharpened pencils in it, ready to go, on the kitchen counter.  No point in losing your pencil here ! 

 

I also keep control of all the school stuff.  DS does not have access to it except when I give it to him.

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#5 of 15 Old 02-05-2011, 04:15 PM
 
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School supplies must be set and ready to go before they go to bed at night.  So if anything needs to be hunted down... as often it does, we find it before bed so we don't loose the flow in the morning.

 

The biggest thing that walks in our house are our storybook of the week.  That NEVER stays put.  We loose crayons and pencils too.  But it is hard to complain because things usually walk away because they are being used and loved all throughout the day.

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#6 of 15 Old 02-05-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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figure out what pencils cost and fine them ... before long, they'll value them enough to put them away


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#7 of 15 Old 02-05-2011, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yes! We rarely get snow and every single time they went out, they came in and lost their gloves, hats, everything. I don't get that either as I have them take it all off as soon as they come in the door.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

Is it possible they aren't enjoying their school work and are subconsciously looking for ways to avoid it? Do they misplace other items (shoes? mittens? brushes? stuffies?) in a similar way? My kids can be absent-minded but they tend to keep very good track of the things that are important to them, like their school books and writing utensils ... which is what makes me wonder whether yours might be exhibiting a sort of passive-agressive rebellion against work they don't want to do. If so, you probably need to think about adjusting your homeschooling approach.

 

If they're like this with other things too, then the solution may be in routines and organizational expectations ... not removing their school books from the school room, or putting them "away" in a designated area as soon as they're finished with them.

 

Miranda



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#8 of 15 Old 02-06-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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Did you have them take them off and put them away in a specific location designated for those items?

 

At the end of the school day, do you have them put away all their materials into the proper places?

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#9 of 15 Old 02-06-2011, 07:17 AM
 
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I would buy a huge amount of pencils and pens, and literally bring the container to the table when they finnish the work and have them put them back.  I would also keep a secret stash of pencils.  

 

If problems persist, I would have them start looking for pencils about 15 minutes before they start to work.  Perhaps if they have to spend time looking for things they will keep better care of them.  Do not help them look for the pencils they lost, or get engaged in their drama.

 

I am not above making them pay for pencils if they continue to loose the situation does not change.  

 

For awhile we did stuff on a whiteboard, and that worked well.  The whiteboard was afixed to the wall - it never went anywhere.  The pens did , but not as often as they can only be used with the whiteboard, so there is no point in dragging them about the house, lol

 

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#10 of 15 Old 02-06-2011, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

For awhile we did stuff on a whiteboard, and that worked well.  The whiteboard was afixed to the wall - it never went anywhere.  The pens did , but not as often as they can only be used with the whiteboard, so there is no point in dragging them about the house, lol

 



And, in a pinch, you can attach a string with a pen to it and mount it on the whiteboard so that it can't be taken anywhere!  


Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
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#11 of 15 Old 02-06-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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Honestly, we do about half our lessons on the couch, and if we need to find a pencil, I usually just need to reach into the couch cushions.


breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling Heathen parent to my little Wanderer, 7 1/2 , and baby Elf-stone, 3/11!

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#12 of 15 Old 02-07-2011, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravin View Post

Honestly, we do about half our lessons on the couch, and if we need to find a pencil, I usually just need to reach into the couch cushions.



LOL...sounds about right. 

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#13 of 15 Old 02-09-2011, 09:48 PM
 
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Since they also lose things besides pencils and folders, they might just have different temperaments and ways of thinking from the older ones, for whatever reason - genetics, environment, diet, or other factors - but that doesn't necessarily mean their temperaments are not going to serve them just fine in the long run in ways that are different from the older ones. There's a wonderful book you might find helpful - it describes the very different ways in which people think/perceive, and it's absolutely amazing to see the variety of ways of thinking we're not usually aware of. My husband was amazed when he read it, because it made him understand for the fist time that he and I literally didn't even think in the same way.

 

I'd keep lots of pencils on hand that you can hand them if and when the ones they were just using have migrated, and have regular large containers/baskets in a couple of strategic locations  - attractive large containers make it a lot easier for tossing things in and and keeping them organized. The same for the folders - if they can easily put them into large containers that are readily accessible, they might be a lot less likely to carry them around. I'd assume they just need more organizational help from you in terms of the way things are arranged, in terms of friendly reminders to put things away right after using them, 

 

And I'd highly recommend using some really nice colored pencils - they not only make writing more pleasurable, but they provide a extra sensory input that helps in the learning process. Lyra makes wonderful ones in several styles. We used them for everything

 

And, of course, I'd make sure they're also getting lots of hands-on and imaginative learning experiences that have nothing to do with sitting down and hitting the books or worksheets - games, puzzles, audio recordings, building projects, etc. 

 

Lillian

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#14 of 15 Old 02-11-2011, 06:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravin View Post

Honestly, we do about half our lessons on the couch, and if we need to find a pencil, I usually just need to reach into the couch cushions.


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#15 of 15 Old 02-12-2011, 11:30 AM
 
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My suggestions.

 

1. Bring your children into solving the problem. They will be more invested if they identify the problem and choose a solution. Brainstorm ideas, choose a solution to try out for a week, meet again and evaluate if it worked or if needs to be modified or abandoned. You could do this in a family meeting style problem solving atmosphere.

 

2. Use only one binder for each child. While there are lots of organizational systems out there, if you read a few books about ADD and other organizational challenges, every single book will suggest using only one three ring binder. You can find a great description of a system here:   

http://soarstudyskills.com/   The system divides a three ring binder into subjects using divider pockets like these. http://www.amazon.com/Avery-Insertable-Plastic-Dividers-11901/dp/B0000AQOH2/ref=pd_sbs_op_4   This system works really well at our house. If pencils are the problem students could have a zipper pocket with pencils in their notebook.

 

3. Build a routine of setting up for the next day.

 

4. Pencils are cheap. It isn't worth daily hassle over it. Buy them in bulk, have some in every room where they may be needed. Put somebody in charge of sharpening and collecting and replenishing the supply. An electric pencil sharpener is a great investment if you don't already have one.

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