Dear homeschooling mom,
I want you to grab your bottle of peace and calming and take a deep breath. If you don’t have any yet, pretend to share mine.
I want to share something with you that has been revolutionary for us.
What is one of our biggest challenges as homeschooling moms?
Getting it all done, right?
What if our kids could take responsibility for their own schoolwork?
What if they could finish it every day, without us nagging them or having to sit with them every second?
And what if they did it to the best of their abilities?
Does that sound like a dream?
It IS a dream – but it is an achievable dream!! I remember the first time I came downstairs, about 8am, and was greeted by my then 8 year old son, known to you all as Super D. He enthusiastically told me that he was almost finished with his school work for the day! I was SHOCKED to say the least! He had decided to start his work first thing, so he could have more free time that afternoon to spend with a friend.
It was simpler than I realized to set him up for what I’m calling self-propelled success and I’m excited to share what’s working for us!
1. Choose curriculum that your children can use independently. This is huge. For our kids to be self-propelled, and take responsibility for their schoolwork, they need to be able to complete the bulk of it on their own. I’ll go more in depth on the curriculum we use in another post. My kids do a lot of their work on the computer.
2. Create a homework chart so they know what is expected of them. This sounds obvious, but how many of us actually do it? Previously, Super D had been waiting on me to tell him what was next every day! That really bogged things down for him. I like this free chart from The Crafty Classroom but there are lots of other ones online. I laminated mine to fill it in with a dry erase marker each week. I may go back to printing a new one so we have a comprehensive record of his work.
Now that he’s in 4th grade, I picked up a planner for him. I write his assignments in the planner, and he checks them off as he completes them. When he gets off task, it’s easy for me to get him rolling again.
3. Organize the materials so they are easy to find. How many of our kids can’t find something, even when it’s under their noses? That’s definitely true at my house!
I got a text from Super D:
“Mom, my math ran away.”
To help him keep track of his work, I put together one binder with tabs. His homework chart is in the front pocket, and his other work is easy to find and all in one place.
4. Develop a reward system. As people, we love to work for extrinsic rewards. How many of us are motivated by earning money or recognition? Kids are the same way! When he was younger, I used a sticker chart reward system. Super D earned a sticker for finishing a chapter book, doing school on his own, having a good attitude, serving, doing his chores, etc. When he filled up a chart (about 13 stickers), he could turn it in for either a toy prize or $5. Now, his reward is that he gets to go to martial arts, have a friend over, or play on the Nintendo Switch for a little while.
The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence is a book I LOVE on this very topic. It was the jumping off point for me in implementing some of these ideas!
Comment below with your favorite way to motivate your child!Pin It