Organization + Motivation = Happy Homeschool Days
Homeschooling your children comes with many blessings and challenges and after two years of homeschooling 3 kiddos, the challenges seemed to outnumber the blessings and I was finding that keeping up with the housework, chores, meals, and cleaning up after everything was taking over our whole day. When we got around to sitting down for school work, I was flustered, tired and overwhelmed. I did not have a clear set plan that was simple and straightforward and it was really harming our homeschool. Does this sound familiar to you?
Finding Focus for You + the Kids
We really needed some help focusing us all, myself included, on the school goals of the day, using something that was simple. I brainstormed and thought about it for many days. I felt like the system I had, was not working, and it was too complicated. Soon I realized all we needed was a list of daily goals for each child! We started with 3 goals for each day, per child. I organized them so that my youngest had his own options that he could grab from, in their backpacks, while my older kids had their goals which were different than my 3-year-old. I placed them where they all could see them, together at one table, (not separate desks, and away from computers) with their names for name awareness and individual space, where they could see their list and the sticker rewards they were building. The first mock-up was very simple and handwritten, but it was working. I then created this printable with plans for each child, and it worked like a charm!
I was reading and building up my Pinterest board all about Sticker Rewards being useful for motivating young students to behave and do well, at home and in the classroom. We were starting to introduce this concept with chores around the house, so I thought I could include them with their school work as well because this was a problem – nothing was getting done! I am pretty good about the days when we do not get to any planned learning because I do see the benefits of play and naturally learning at home with what the kids are interested in. (Computer + Video Games) But once we set this in place, with the STICKER Rewards Added, school work was happening a lot more and my kids’ behavior was improving. They were feeling more satisfied with their own progress and accomplishments and they are really liking this new routine.
What we do + How it works
We moved the homeschool space downstairs and changed up a bunch of things that were not working for us, but we kept their school areas the same, each with their own checklist & sticker charts, and Caddy’s for their things they use regularly for our subjects we have planned. We had their backpacks on their chairs, keeping their subject books handy. We have plans for each day of the week, mostly repeating subjects on Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday, with Friday consisting of different subjects and activities. Because we stay at the table together for lessons from our curriculum we are using this year we work as a small group together, we can keep our focus on those subjects, and when those are done, we can move on to the rest of the homeschool learning that takes place around the house, not in a lesson plan.
The Student Subject Check List & Rewards Charts
We use the Checklist & Sticker Chart daily. How do we use it? I check off each subject once it’s complete and give out a sticker or two, for it. I usually give out stickers throughout the lesson, to keep up the motivation for each of them. Example, we do our word work, they get a sticker, we do flash cards, they get a sticker, we read a book, they get a sticker, they do a worksheet or anything that is asked of them, they get a sticker after each one, and this really helps to motivate my kids. I let them choose the sticker I would like, which lets them see something new, and exciting, and they can practice counting to see how close they are to their goal of 20 or 30 stickers to receive their reward.
Our Caddy’s for Supplies
We keep all the pencils, crayons, markers, scissors and glue in one place, along with a few other curriculum-specific things that that each use, or will begin to use this year. We store them away on the shelf next to our table, and that way they can go and take their caddy to and from the table, encouraging independence. (I have been working on them doing their own simple tasks, instead of mommy always doing it)
This has brought a lot more organization for us and the planning of each child’s goals for the day has been very valuable. Check out my YouTube Channel, where I upload videos about out curriculum and homeschool adventures on the Prairies. For more help with your kids doing their Daily Jobs, check out my post here which includes the FREE Printable of My Job to Do Today, or sign up for our mailing list today!