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View Full Version : A Small Hint That Helps Us Motivate and Inspire



kadylaha
09-21-2013, 01:14 PM
Since September 1, we have tried a new "plan" in our homeschool. I made colorful cards for our bulletin board that said "Math", "Art", etc. Now when my son gets up in the morning, the first thing he does is plan his day however he likes. He takes the cards out for each subject, and arranges them on the board in whatever order strikes his fancy that day. It certainly re-tossed our educational salad; now we have Art first on most days, followed by Brain teasers and Silent Reading, before we tackle Math and History and other "hard stuff". I was skeptical about having Math last, because he gets burned out around 2pm. But this is working well; he's motivated and interested in school more than before. We are using a semi-classical approach, so he has a pretty demanding workload. Anything that makes him happy and gets him moving, makes me happy too.

Also, while he does his silent reading every morning, I get to do yoga! :)

What do you guys do to unplug and re-motivate at your home schools?

Heidi M
09-21-2013, 01:25 PM
Since September 1, we have tried a new "plan" in our homeschool. I made colorful cards for our bulletin board that said "Math", "Art", etc. Now when my son gets up in the morning, the first thing he does is plan his day however he likes. He takes the cards out for each subject, and arranges them on the board in whatever order strikes his fancy that day. It certainly re-tossed our educational salad; now we have Art first on most days, followed by Brain teasers and Silent Reading, before we tackle Math and History and other "hard stuff". I was skeptical about having Math last, because he gets burned out around 2pm. But this is working well; he's motivated and interested in school more than before. We are using a semi-classical approach, so he has a pretty demanding workload. Anything that makes him happy and gets him moving, makes me happy too.

Also, while he does his silent reading every morning, I get to do yoga! :)

What do you guys do to unplug and re-motivate at your home schools?

It took me a while, but some years back we also put the power to choose in their hands and it really did make all the difference. I imagine it has to do with their own investment in their learning and I love it!

RachelC
09-21-2013, 02:21 PM
The more choice I give, the better it works. It takes more adjusting on my part, but there is less whining and complaining. That goes for all aspects of our home life though, not just the schooling part.

If I come up with a project idea and they are not interested, I don't make them do it (even if my feelings are hurt, haha).

If they start a project, but then abandon it partway through because they have lost interest, I try to persuade them to finish, but I let that be their choice. This is one I am on the fence about more, though. On one hand, I feel like they should learn to finish something they've started. On the other, what does it matter if they finish the Lego book they initiated in the first place, if they aren't interested any more? Anyone else have thoughts on importance of completion?

farrarwilliams
09-21-2013, 05:39 PM
Choice has been a tricky line to walk here. It's definitely the case that there's a right amount for us. Too much and it's crippling and overwhelming. Too little and they don't feel any sense of investment and control. We're definitely working toward more.

No new tricks here though. We're still on break for another week. :)

OldFarmer
09-24-2013, 08:03 AM
My kids choose the order of their work most days. One cool thing is that they have discovered their own daily rhythms. They know they need breakfast, and they both work best in the morning and up until about 1pm. Then they usually take a "PE" break, and we go back to easier stuff (not math, grammar or foreign language) after 3 or so.
They really do seem to feel like they own the responsibility for their learning, which feels good to me.

alegre
09-24-2013, 05:15 PM
My 7yo chooses the order of her work, also. Spelling used to be her hardest, so she always chose to do it after recess so that she'd feel refreshed and ready to delve in. Now she usually prefers to do the longer work first and save her favorite for last.