7 Tips for Homeschooling... The Final Installment
July 22, 2014
I wanted to share with new homeschool parents a couple of "insider" tips to consider as you prepare for your homeschool endeavors this fall. The last two weeks, I shared ideas to help you manage your school schedule and juggle your "to do" list. I had two final concepts to pass along...
When you are driving around town, utilize your time and enjoy an audiobook or an educational DVDs. Also, don’t forget to log this educational time in your records! Missouri Law requires that you differentiate between “home” and “away” (i.e., 400 of the 600 academic core hours must be in the regular home school location). I count carschooling time as "on campus/at home" and not as an "off campus/field trip." I figure, if I am paying insurance on it....it counts as home.
For example, I select a famous composer and only listen to their music in the car that week using the “VOX Music Masters Series.” A narrator discusses a famous composer's life while we listen to highlights of their works. I also check out library books about that composer for the kids to look through while we are out.
7.) Implement Incentive Charts and Motivational Games
I think it is important to give the kids positive reinforcement throughout the school day. I try to think of fun mini games/rewards to keep them motivated and encourage good learning behaviors. They like the competition too. My mentor often said, “Your attention is like a flashlight. You will get more of what you “spotlight” or pay attention to!” If I am complementing my son on how diligently he is working, I typically see more of that behavior. I even use a real flashlight and put a “spotlight” on good behaviors.
Here are a few examples of reinforcement games (for elementary aged students):
I put stickers on completed worksheets, or they can earn stickers for a trip to the local indoor play gym. You can purchase sticker incentive charts at any school supply store or dollar store. I will also give them stickers or rewards when they complete their work without complaining (if it is a dreaded subject).
Sometimes, I will put a mini M & M, raisin, or nut on top of difficult problems. They can eat one as they work their way through the worksheet. We also do "popcorn" spelling word games. The kids "pop" out of their desk for each letter in a spelling word as they spell it out verbally. Then, they get that many pieces of popcorn for a snack (i.e., one piece of popcorn for each letter).
On bad weather days, pack up their backpack with snacks and a treasure map. They can follow the clues to each area of the house where school work is hidden. Make sure to include flashlights to read in the dark closet or under a table tent! Celebrate the educational adventure with a fun movie at the end of the day.
Sign up now for Pizza Hut’s 2014-2015 reading incentive program called “Book It.” You can register online as a homeschool teacher and enroll your children (Kindergarten-Sixth). The program begins October 1st and ends March 31st. You need to register early so they can mail you your materials by fall.
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin