Hey there! How’s it going?
Are your kids counting down the days to winter break? I know lots of kids start to get extra squirmy this time of year. Staying in bed seems so much cozier. Work seems a lot less fun. Harder subjects (which I know, I know, often include math!) seem less and less appealing.
So, how do you keep math a priority in busy seasons like this?
I’ll just say right off the bat, it’s tough! You simply cannot avoid distractions in this season. And interruption is almost equally as hard to get away from.
All of that means that at this time of year, we can’t go for “balance.” No, we need to go for prioritizing. We have to decide what the most important thing to accomplish is, and let other things fall by the wayside, temporarily. For some of us, math may not be the thing we want to prioritize. But I would urge you to keep it on the front burner for the next week or so. With the nature of math learning and the Saxon spiral method, very few people will ever say, “I wish I had done less math.” Math seeps into so much of education and life that it needs to be kept up with.
But I’m not here to preach at you! I’m here to help. If you want to make math a priority, here’s how you can do it.
- Commit. Figure out how much time you want to devote to math and anything else that needs to be kept up with. Make sure you leave room in your schedule for that, and that alone. Then protect it like crazy! Don’t let anything creep in on that time, knowing that you’ve made room for the other once-a-year stuff by tending only to the essential.
- Fun Stuff First. By this I mean, if there’s a part of the assignment that is enjoyable, let your student do that first. Then tackle the harder stuff. Then, take a break. Math may be challenging enough for your kid. But math when there’s baking to be done or gift lists to make? Even harder! So reward the effort when they’ve made a good one.
- Forget the word “should.” Pinterest, Instagram, and your extended family will all tell you everything you “should” be doing right now. I mean, they never shut up about it, do they? I’m kidding, but we all know there simply isn’t enough time to do it all. You’ve committed to doing a couple of vital things, and there simply isn’t anymore you “should” do except enjoy the season.
- Remember this is temporary. This one can help with keeping those pesky “shoulds” at bay, too. This is just for a little while! You WILL get back in the swing of a full schedule, soon enough. If you have prioritized the most important subject(s) and activities, the other will be okay to go untended for a few days.
Now trust me, I do know how hard this is! But for most of us, a good, solid break is near! Hang in there, and remember there’s no perfect way to get through the busy-ness of this season. Do your best and I hope these tips for prioritizing math help.
Talk to you soon,
Nicole the Math Lady