I have not written a post in a little while. We have been really busy but I have been sick as well.
This is our first year homeschooling and it has been a wild ride. I plan on writing about the challenges we went though in the beginning and how things seemed to even out.
I hate having so little to say right now but I am going to use this post as a place holder.
Look for my blog about our homeschool experience that I will have up in a about a week or so.
Oh and the kids also took some more photos for photography class and we recently visited Louisiana to visit my Aunt and I took some great pictures! I will share those as well.
Sooooo, lots of catching up to do!
We all need a bit of motivation or incentive when it comes to boring or mundane tasks. Let’s face it, no one and I mean no one likes to do chores. As parents we often have to be creative when it comes to getting our kids to do certain tasks they that they do not want to do.
As a homeschooling family, chores an essential part of the day. When the kids were in public school the house was a mess because we never had time to do any cleaning. Coming home was more of a pit stop, with shoes and backpacks tossed everywhere. We all reasoned that since we were so tired we would wait until the weekend to clean up. But when the weekend came we wanted to use our off time for fun not staying home to clean up!
It was difficult to get the kids to see the importance of making sure our home was neat and organized. I mean, we were not living in filth, we were just messy and nothing had a place. I tried everything I could think of to get the kids to complete their tasks with pride and satisfaction but chore time was always met with whining and grumpy faces.
Most people might reason that since the kids live in the house they should just clean it and that’s that! To a degree that is reasonable. But back to the title of this blog, a little motivation and incentive goes a long way.
For the past month the kids and I have developed a little test program. Every day they have a chore chart with chores that I assign to them. At the beginning of the week I fill out a “check” with their name on it. Instead of printing new “checks” each week I reissue the same one to save on paper and ink. They are responsible for keeping up with that check and handing it to me every Friday for successfully completeing their chores. It’s a way to get them to do the chores and allow them to earn money instead of being handed an allowance. I have two ten-year olds and a twelve-year-old so the idea of a check with their name on it is pretty exciting.
The way the chore chart works is when the chore is complete they mark the time, using an analog clock. I also work with them on the chores to make sure they clean effectively and not just according to what they think is clean. That doesn’t mean I hover over them and pick out everything they missed. Instead I want to show them the proper way and also that I am working alongside with each one of them and not sitting on the couch eating bon bons. But they do the heavy lifting with the chores they are assigned.
The kid have been super motivated and enjoy their work knowing they get paid at the end of the week for a job well done. I have seen a great improvement in their attitude and thoroughness of completing their job.
What have you done to help motivate your kids to do their chores? Share in the comments!
In this house we have always loved movies and cartoons. I grew up spending countless hours glued in front of the tube watching nearly every Disney animation on repeat. Movies like Star Wars, The Labyrinth, Goonies, E.T, The Princess Bride and Indiana Jones were likewise viewed as if they were going out of style.
These movies had such imagination that it oozed from the screen into our unsuspecting minds, molding, shaping and inspiring us in ways we may have not expected. Many in my age group associate these movies with a happy, exciting childhood.
My kids have seen the movies I grew up and they have not had the same reaction that I had when I was a kid! But it’s easy to understand, movies are incredibly different today. CGI saturates many movies and the pace moves so quickly with action or events happening at every turn.
I have had to help my kids to appreciate the art and dedication it takes to many any movie or Broadway show even! I have had a bit of experience with the entertainment industry in the past so I understand to a degree the dedication it takes.
So, as a project we decided to create a mini series that the kids are responsible for drafting a script, creating costumes and sets as well as lighting. My son was not as excited about this so I told him he could make one “boy” episode but still assist the girls with lighting or whatever.
The girls took full responsibility and after a week of rehearsal, script changes, arguing and finally getting their act together they produced the first episode of ten!
Once the work was completed with editing and adding sound they were exhausted. I asked them how they felt about the process and they replied that they didn’t realize how much effort it took to make a movie. I made sure to point out that hours of preparation was needed in order to produce a five-minute video.
All in all they had a blast and my son wouldn’t touch the filming area with a ten foot pole! He was not down with the “girly” story line. But then I don’t blame him.
After they viewed the finished product everyone celebrated. Planning has already begun for the next episode.
You can watch it here. We hope you enjoy it.
You might think it would cost an arm and a leg to buy supplies for your homeschool. That is not necessarily the case. You likely have a few items around your house that could be re-purposed. Keep things simple and stick to your budget. Never underestimate dollar stores or other discount stores where you can find some of the best deals!
Now let’s get started on the list.
1. Good electric pencil sharpener. I could not even begin to relate how many inferior sharpeners we have been through. This is an invaluable product to have. Whether you purchased cheaper pencils or the more pricier brands, a good electric sharpener will be able to get that perfect point.
2. Printer. Having a printer that can scan and has color capabilities is extremely helpful. There are so many free and valuable homeschool resources on the internet.Having the ability to print them for use in instruction is helpful.
3. Laptop/Computer. We base most of our homeschool on resources found on the internet. Even so, the kids do not spend a lot of time sitting on the computer. Be sure to install pop up blockers and teach your kids about internet safety.
4. Simple Storage. I use the word simple because as mothers we tend to over think things at times. Well, at least I know I do. I purchased a few mason jars (picked up from the dollar store) to store pencils, highlighters and pens. I re-purposed a cube storage shelf we already owned and turned it into our homeschool supply area. It’s great because we can store our books and other supplies there.
5. Entertainment. We live in a major city so entertainment is not far. But during school hours we need something that is educational and fun. Netflix (no I wasn’t paid to advertise this) is great because there are many nature documentaries that go well with our science studies. It’s also fun for the kids after school to watch their favorite cartoon and unwind at the end of the day.
6. Art Supplies. I know you’re probably thinking that this is where we blow the budget. Not the case at all. We bought a few paints, brushes, crayons, markers, construction paper and small poster boards. There are so many things lying around your house that you could use for art supplies.
7. School Supplies. Since my kids were not attending public school this year we saved a ton of money on supplies. A few pencils, scissors, binders and notebooks were all we needed.
8. Dry Erase Board. We have had a lot of fun with the dry erase board. It makes explaining complex subjects and ideas easier. I don’t just use the board for solving problems. It’s also used to write encouraging notes and tips of the day.
9. Teacher Supplies. Again, you do not need a lot of things. Depending on what curriculum you have settled on, you can prepare yourself for what you need. I have found an online planner that lets me keep track of the kids assignments, grading and even print report cards. I have purchased a stapler, paper clips and five subject notebook to further help me keep organized. In a later post I will explain how I use the notebook.
10. Classroom Decorations. We use our dinning room for our main classroom. We have a map of the world, various education posters and inspiration quotes on the walls. Even if there is limited space or you feel like you are not creative, you can still come up with a cozy spot in the house or apartment for your kid(s) to spend their school day. Homeschool is not about sitting in one room for hours. After all that is one of many reasons why we chose to keep our kids out of public school. Field trips, science experiments, family time and lounging on the couch while you complete an assignment is what homeschool is about. But it’s still nice to have an area that is dedicated to a quiet area to study.
Do you homeschool? What supplies have proved to be most useful for your family?