eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Friday, February 7

Attention and Self-discipline
(revised from Feb. 12, 2003 8:34 PM)
The idea that one can do anything for 15 minutes reminded me of similar advice from another source - Charlotte Mason. She lived in England during the late 1800s and early 1900s as an educator. She also encouraged parents to educate their own children. She had a lot of ideas about education, but the one relevant here had to do with "habit training" - specifically training attention.

She thought that children (and adults) learned to be inattentive when forced to work long past the point of interest in a subject. She claimed #suggested# that attention could be trained by keeping the lessons short and varied, by encouraging the child to pay full attention since the lesson would soon be over, and by stopping the lesson before interest was lost and attention began to be difficult to maintain. She suggested 15 to 20 minutes per lesson (or type of activity/subject) for a beginning 6 year old student, and then gradually increasing the time by 5 minutes, per lesson period, per year until the student could focus for 45 minutes #May 7, 2003# per subject# at high school age.

There was another technique that was supposed to help with training the habit of attention -- the withholding or limited access to picture books and "junk books" (my term) from children. The idea was that a child might get "filled up" with junk and not have interest in more mind nurturing books that required greater attention and effort to enjoy.

#May 7, 2003# I think now that whatever interests a person nurtures the mind. One of the most nurturing acts one could do for a child is to pay attention and interact with him. Another important aspect of nurturing is helping a child get rid of "junk" that doesn't interest him. As his knowledge grows about what is healthy and good for him, provided by plenty of interaction with interesting people, what interests him will tend to be healthier and better for him. #

Me neither, 5 minutes seems to be my limit.

Posted By: becky smith 2/7/2003 4:43:00 PM

I can't do 15 minutes of homework. But I'm weird.

Posted By: Elliot Temple 2/7/2003 2:08:00 PM

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