This type of student is much less likely to appear in our classrooms than the opposite extreme, aren’t they? Then, the problem can be compounded when a classmate needs constant reminders to do careful work and this student takes those warnings seriously.
Your problem brings to mind a particular student. School was not easy for her but you would not have known that by the scores in the gradebook. She spent a lot of time being meticulous. In the early grades it wasn’t a big problem but by the middle grades it was interfering with her health–anxiety attacks and so on. She was spending 4-6 hours on homework every evening and still did not really know when good enough was good enough.
Her parents and teacher worked together to help her overcome her habit (and there may have been a health professional involved also.) One of the first steps was to help her understand her problem and then parents and teachers came up with a plan to help her. Some of her work load was cut back–she had difficulty copying and spelling words so for some assignments such as fill in the blank matching, the teacher would tell her to only write the first several letters of each word (enough that the teacher knew which word she meant.) It’s been a few years but I’m also thinking that the teacher monitored how much homework went home and only allowed a select amount to go home. Sometimes it may have meant allowing her to skip parts of the lessons so she didn’t have so much homework. She was not a daydreamer she just didn’t know when good enough was good enough.
But a big key was that both teacher and parents checked up on her frequently while she was working and if they saw her taking too long with a problem (erasing for perfection, double-checking, etc.) they told her it was good enough and she was to move on. The teacher also made a point of saying, “You know I don’t mean you, _______, right?” when she was giving a class lecture about neatness, carefulness, etc. They also made positive comments where fitting, such as, “I’m pleased to see how far you’ve gotten. It looks like you know what you are doing. Keep up the good work.”
Since this girl knew they were trying to help her she accepted their comments and allowed herself to move on. Sometimes the teacher may have even told her that she’s okay with seeing it a little sloppy but she wants to see it done in a certain amount of time.
It took a little while but that school year ended on a positive note for this girl. She struggled with it again to a small degree the next year with a new teacher but mom was on the look out and she was able to communicate with the teacher before it became a huge issue. She has graduated from high school and as far as I know never let herself become so bogged down again.
This year we have another student with some similar tendencies especially in some subjects. One day her mother told her to not use her eraser so much but just let it be a little sloppy if necessary. She told her mother that evening that it didn’t take her nearly as long to get her work done that day.
Blessings to you as you guide her days.