"Do we have to do school today Mum?"
"Can I just play with lego?"
"I'm really tired today"
"This lesson is too hard!"
I'm sure we've all heard these
delightful persistent comments as home school mummies at some time or another!
Or maybe you've heard this? ...
"What do I have to do again?"
"I can't remember what you said to do"
"I was just looking at this picture ... I'm almost finished ... almost"
"What subject am I doing now?"
"Oh, no, I didn't get that quite finished ..."
I was beginning to hear myself giving too many instructions and reminders time and time again, and I thought to myself ... this has got to stop or I'll go completely bonkers!
I planned and initiated an intense, organisational program, that I completed in one month, to establish order and structure in our home school days ...
... pppffffffttt yeah right!
You know what I use?
A 49c exercise book!
I call it our 'day book' and each child has one ...
... here's what they look like ...
They begin with the day and the date, and then I write out what is required for each child to complete each day.
The circles are their 'check-point' (a.k.a. the silent motivator!)
My children know that when their check-points are ticked off (and their space tidied up), then they are free for the rest of the day! Obviously, I do require them to show me their completed work, so that I can make sure that they ARE ACTUALLY doing it, and doing it to a high standard!
Here's the reasons why I love this method ...
#1. It's so easy
#2. It's very cheap
#3. It's easy for the kids to follow and understand
#4. I know that the kids are on track with their learning each week
#5. It's great for writing little reminders and encouragements to them
#6. There's no need to be 'precious' with them, as they cost so little!
#7. A written record is kept in these books for their reporting
#8. **My most favourite part** ... the kids motivate themselves!
#9. I can add as little or as much as each child needs, or according to our days other activities.
I also try and plan a week, sometimes only a few days, ahead ... but that's more for my benefit than the kids (consider it my 'anti-bonkers scheme'!)
There are weeks when I don't use these books for one reason or another, and let me tell you, it's so incredibly noticeable ... not in a good way. There's more distractions, less being achieved, and less productivity in general.
These small little investments
have had very big rewards!
When I first brought the exercise books, I wrote some reminders and encouragements to each child in the front of their own book ...
... and that's it! Our easy peasy way to be productive and stay on track!
(**Disclaimer ... these books are not magic wands and by no means solve issues such as stated in the following examples: sibling rivalry, world hunger, who's unpacking the dishwasher, or who spilt the maple syrup on the kitchen floor**)