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Goodness of fit

joining OT and homeschooling EVERY. SINGLE. DAY>

· mission,development,homeschool ideas,learning styles

When people hear that we homeschool, I often hear," I couldn't find that balance between teaching and parenting." In less subtle terms, I hear, "I couldn't do that, my kids don't listen to me." Sometimes, I think both of these questions in my own head. I have one kiddo that questions every method. She wants to tweak a lesson to fit her thinking. When I ask her to write an outline, she writes bubble thoughts. When I ask to see her work for long division, she gives me the answer but not the work. When I want to help, she wants space. It can be exhausting and frustrating. "Why can't you just listen and obey?" or even, "Why can't you just be easy?" are two questions that have crossed my mind... um... every. single. day. Then, I stop and think that she is probably saying the same thing.

In occupational therapy terms, this is called "goodness of fit." It is built on the theory that interaction of the person, environment, and occupation increase meaningful participation. In other words, I have to consider my daughter, herself, where we are, and what I am asking of her. When I feel tensions rise, I have to think to myself, is there an issue in the environment, an issue with the task at hand, is there a problem specifically with her? Is she hungry, tired, tweening? This is a huge plus of homeschooling. I get the privilege to think through these things with her. I get the responsibility to influence her interactions with me and with others.  I get the honor to help her recognize when the issue is personal and she needs to change. Finally, I get to help her understand how she learns best so she can modify her environment or activity when I am no longer in her day to day life.

Unfortunately, the problems seem to occur more frequently when we aren't in our home. I am the Essentials Tutor for our Classical Conversations Community. Almost every week, I leave feeling like the other kids are learning yet mine is just grumpy. I often feel like she has been rude to me or to someone else during the class and it hurts. Today, we sat down and went through the problems and solutions. She identified

person- nothing (typical tween)

environment- its difficult to move from me as a mom and teacher to me as a teacher of others (I get it)

activity- She hates being called on when she doesn't know the answer. She hates writing on the board because she feels like everyone is looking at her.

Some strategies from here are

Person- since she couldn't identify anything, she agreed to take a deep breath, come in with a positive attitude, make sure she had enough to eat and drink.

Environment- I'm going to hug her before class but then we just have to "code switch"

Activity- I've been calling on the kids a lot without raising hands. I'll be more specific with hand raising so she won't feel singled out. I'll pass out individual white boards and they can write there instead of coming up to the board.

 

I know that many situations are more complex and I even know this specific situation will continue to require work and grace. But, utilizing this model to guide thinking can be a huge help. If you need help with specific situations, please feel free to reach out to Collins Academy Therapy Services.

Some strategies from here are

Person- since she couldn't identify anything, she agreed to take a deep breath, come in with a positive attitude, make sure she had enough to eat and drink.

Environment- I'm going to hug her before class but then we just have to "code switch"

Activity- I've been calling on the kids a lot without raising hands. I'll be more specific with hand raising so she won't feel singled out. I'll pass out individual white boards and they can write there instead of coming up to the board.

I know that many situations are more complex and I even know this specific situation will continue to require work and grace. But, utilizing this model to guide thinking can be a huge help. If you need help with specific situations, please feel free to reach out to Collins Academy Therapy Services.

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