Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Motivation

As any parent or teacher will tell you, you can't MAKE a child do something.  It's a universal rule, really.  When we're little, sometimes we like to think that we can actually make someone do what we want, but then we grow up and learn the harsh truth that the only thing that can make someone do something is a highly-developed guilt complex or actual willingness on the part of the party being ordered asked to do something.

Adults, by and large, are pretty amenable.  Kids are, too.  Until you find something they have no desire to do, and then the amount of procrastination, lolly-gagging, and dilly-dallying that goes on can absolutely boggle the mind.

I've lamented M1's writing reluctance before.  He goes through phases with it.  Sometimes he loves to write; at other times it's like trying to get Jesse Ventura elected governor of Texas.  It ain't gonna happen.


M1 and I have been doing some bigger projects over the last couple of months to wrap up the school year.  He did a descriptive paper and did well and enjoyed it.  He did an opinion paper and did well and mostly enjoyed it.  Then, 2.5 weeks ago, I asked him to make up a fiction story.  I didn't care how long it was, but it had to include dialogue because we're learning the rules of writing dialogue and he's only used them a time or two.  We've worked on the story a little bit at a time since then, and for the first week and a half, he refused to let me see anything he'd done.  Last Thursday he finally showed me the "final rough draft."  (I figured this would've been the final final draft, but what did I know about his thought process?)  It was a great story, except one thing was missing.

Dialogue.  The ONE thing I asked him to make sure the story had.

*headwall*

I really, really want him to finish the story this week.  Preferably by... ohhhhh... today.  Because I really, really want to hit poetry again for a day or two before we start on our final project of the year - a research project that I want to let him combine with Powerpoint to make a presentation he can show to the whole family.  I know that he will love this project.  It combines his two favorite things - science (because I'm sure he'll pick some sort of scientific topic) and electronics.  And hello, who doesn't love Powerpoint?!?  But I also know that this project will take at least three weeks to complete, and M2's last day of school is one month away.  So we need to get crackin'.

I love my kid.  And I love that I get to invent projects that he enjoys so very much.  And I love that he thinks that just because he's demonstrated a concept ONE WHOLE TIME he's done with it forever.  Sadly, however, that doesn't translate into being motivated enough to finish a project to get to the fun stuff that comes afterward.

It's okay, though.  I'm going to show him a sample Powerpoint presentation later today.  And if that doesn't light a fire under his skinny lil' derriere, nothing will.  Wish me luck.

1 comment:

farmwifetwo said...

My 12 yr old (passing for normal HFA) has to do 7 book reports with artsie projects this year. We're on #6 and it's been.... unpleasant to be kind. Last nights war was a "change the ending", it's due on the 30th. I simply gave him ideas, 3 points, and he had to make up the short, 1pg at most around it. His definition of helping is me doing it for him. He's not impressed that I refuse to do his homework for him. "But the rest of the parents do".... not my problem.

"Well have them eat supper" Me
"It's not in the book" Him

What part of "make up an ending" did he not get???? Sigh.....

Good luck with the writing. I only have one more of these things to go and we're going to redo a project - like the radio interview - and simply get it over with. He's now in her homework club - need to know in Sept not April - the rest are doing math, he's doing inferencing (Theory of Mind). It's getting worse, not better, the older he gets.