Nov 11, 2008

pro·duc·tiv·i·ty

Noun
Definition:

1. rate of production: the rate at which a company produces goods or services, in relation to the amount of materials and number of employees needed
2. ability to produce: the ability to be productive

This is a word that has been being discussed a LOT lately around here. From the kitchen remodeling, to the chaotic situations that have put our "normal" life on a hold a bit, to the economics coop class that KM is take to prepare herself for another visit to Exchange City.
This word was mentioned again today, by a father who just does not want to grasp the concept of natural consequences for his child. He has been working around the house for the past week and I think the cabin fever is beginning to get to him already.

Here was the situation:
KM took an EXTREMELY long time getting herself together this morning, she couldn't make a decision on which cereal to eat, she was allowing SC to distract her every chance she got, was picking out "just the right outfit" for a day when we were not planning on leaving the house and just generally dawdling about her business as most 11 year old girls tend to do from time to time.

Things like this don't really bother me on days when I know that we don't have anywhere to be, but for some reason CJ just can not stand this dilly dally behavior. He just kept prodding her along until I finally pulled him aside and had to explain to him again that no matter how long it takes her to do her work, she will get all of the work done today.

There are days that she gets everything done in under an hour - generally on days there is something SHE wants to do planned - then there are days when it takes her four hours to get the exact same amount of work done - these are generally days when we HAVE to be somewhere that I need to be. Regardless of the amount of time she will get all of the assigned work completed.

I am always with in earshot of her and if she needs help I jump right in there to point her in the direction she needs to go in, but I do not stand over her. She wants to be independent, she wants to learn most of these things on her own, so that is how her morning work is done - I give her the morning daily assignments and she does them as I go about playing with SC or getting my daily cleaning, baking, work and what not stuff done.

When she has completed her morning things she has free time to go on the computer, play with SC, work on an afternoon assignment or just do whatever until after lunch. Then in the afternoon we work on one or more of the following topics - either Literature, Science, Social Studies/History or an elective - art, music, Spanish, current events, etc - together. I try to keep the lighter fun things for when SC is there as she really likes to participate with us for art, music and Spanish. History and Science is saved for two of the three afternoons that we don't have SC so that we can really focus on what we are studying and can get engulfed in it. When we are done with that KM is done for the day.

Therefore if KM chooses to not focus and get her work done, she does not have as much free time. This is the natural consequence for the behavior. As I was explaining all this to CJ, KM came by and handed me her completed work and said "See Daddy if my productivity drops, I don't get to have the benefit of a friend coming over this afternoon. Since there is no Public School today, I can probably have a whole afternoon visit!"

CJ was shocked. In the amount of time it had taken me to explain to him how this all works, KM had finished her entire math reading and practice assignment. She was totally done for the day.

She also told us that when she was putting the date in her daily notebook she remembered that it was Veteran's Day and her neighborhood friends would be home - see there was a benefit for her to be productive! I know for sure know she FINALLY understands the concept and I think he may be getting it as well!
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