Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Little is More Than Nothing

I have a confession!  I have been the WORST at practicing with my 6 year old.  The holidays really threw us off, then she got the flu for a week, and now it's super hard to get back into the routine!  She resists every single day with huge tears.  It's hard enough for me to find the time between her school schedule and my teaching schedule - not to mention I have to cook dinner and tend to my other four kids' needs.  When she throws such a fuss, sometimes I'm not even motivated to start the process.  We've been known to only get a couple days of practicing in a week.  THIS IS NOT ENOUGH!!!  I tell my students every week they need to practice AT LEAST 5 days a week.  We have a 100 day practicing challenge going on right now.  And here I am slacking with my own children!  So, I've made a new goal to practice with her EVERY DAY!....even if it's just a little, because a little is more than nothing and right now I'm really close to doing nothing.  This girl has so much ability and I can't hinder her by not practicing with her!!!

With everything she's assigned each week she could easily practice 45-60 minutes per day.  Her attention span is just not that long so I'm assigning her 30-45 minutes per day.  On days we don't have even that amount of time we will do less.  This is how we are practicing this week:

I write down everything she needs to do on this white board.  I also write the time we are ending because that is very important to her.  Some things like "Book 2 Skills" is a bunch of warm-ups and technique exercises.  It probably takes 15 minutes to complete this job.  Others are just one piece like "Galop" and "Simple Gifts."  I have broken up the review into three different jobs: last 3 pieces, Book 2 Review (3 other book 2 pieces), and Book 1 review (3 pieces.)  This week for Book 1 review we are doing the Book 1 review Bingo and she gets a treat for every Bingo.  This really makes her excited to review Book 1.

Each time she finishes a job she erases it.  With the shortened amount of time we are practicing we don't get everything done each day, but I write the next day's assignments in a different color.  We make sure we finish everything every two days.  Some things (like her current piece) needs to be done each day.

We are always surprised how fast the time goes once we get started.  The white board provides a visual for her to know what the practice and we can manage our time more efficiently.  Each day of practice is different and I've noticed that once we get started she actually enjoys her playing and practicing.  That's why I'm doing this - so she'll enjoy playing!  So, I'm happy with our practicing progress this week!

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