I was sort of hoping that this post would write itself after I announced the topic. Alas, it didn’t, so here I am trying to motivate myself to write it.
Disclaimer: This is not a one-size-fits-all post. All kids are different and are motivated by different things. In addition, teens are not motivated by the same things that motivate toddlers (although mine still like stickers on their school papers if all the questions are correct and they’re neat). But, here are a few ideas to try that may not have crossed your radar yet.
Remember that we talked about setting up schedules for our kids last week? (Click here if your memory is like mine!) Well, after you’ve figured out how much time each subject should take (approximately; you may need to make some adjustments), do your teaching for a particular subject, then set the timer for the alloted amount of time. Even kids who can’t tell time well can see that they have 20 minutes or 5 minutes left. One of my girls liked to play beat the timer with her own stats. She kept a log of how long each thing took her each day, then tried to beat that time by even a minute each day (it worked for a while at least!).
2. Sticker Chart
Make a chart for each kid and let them add a sticker either for every subject they finish on time (or early) each day, or add a sticker for each day that they finish all of their subjects on time or early. When the chart is full, dole out a reward that was previously agreed upon.
3. Reward Punch Card
This is the same principle as the sticker chart. I found little cards (labeled good behavior or something) at our local education store and punched a hole for each day of EXCEPTIONAL behavior. Not just good behavior, which was expected, but over and above that. When the card was completely punched out, I took them to Claire’s to pick out a small reward. Obviously, you’ll have to think of a different reward for your boys or tomboys. 🙂 Exceptional behavior was defined as finishing school work on time, no whining or pouting, getting along with sister, and being cheerful. Make it work for you; every family has different expectations and needs.
4. Additional Computer or TV Time
For our media-savvy kids, additional computer or TV time may be an incentive to finish school work early. This is especially useful if you currently have time limits for media usage. Finishing school work early could earn additional time, but be sure to write out the expectations and the rewards clearly so everyone’s on the same page.
5. Praise from You and Dad
This may seem obvious, but I know I am often guilty of forgetting to praise my kids for a job well done, or even for a good effort. When we’re with them day in and day out, school gets to be routine. We need to remember to praise our blessings for a job well done (as well as a good effort) on a regular basis. Our kids are sponges and soak up those important words! It’s important for Dad to get in on the schoolwork praise as well. Leave tests and other papers at Dad’s spot at the kitchen table so he can be involved, too.
Q4U: What are your best kid-motivation tips? I know I haven’t covered everything and I sure don’t have all of the answers!
Be sure to visit my fellow bloggers on the blog hop:
10 days of socialization for mom | The Homeschool Chick
10 days of classical education | Milk & Cookies
10 days of large families | Chocolate on My Cranium
10 days of special needs | Special Needs Homeschooling
10 days of struggling learners | Homeschooling the Chaotic Family
10 days of homeschooling girls | Homegrown Mom
10 days of homeschool enrichment | Confessions of a Homeschooler
10 days of building a spiritual legacy | Mommy Missions
10 days of frugal homeschooling |The Happy Housewife
10 days of Charlotte Mason | Our Journey Westward
10 days of unschooling | Homeschooling Belle
10 days of organization | Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom
10 days of getting started | Blog, She Wrote
10 days of homeschooling boys | The Tie That Binds Us
10 days of homeschooling Montessori | Fruit in Season
10 days of preschool | Delightful Learning
Brought to you by Heart of the Matter Online.
12 thoughts on “Day 7 of Organization ~ 5 Ways to Motivate Your Kids”
My 3 1/2 year old has a very basic sticker chart (basically just a piece of paper that we've taped to the school shelf) and he gives himself a sticker whenever he completes a school activity. I usually try to provide themed stickers that go along with whatever unit study we are working on. At this age, the sticker itself is enough to motivate him! I like the idea of a punch card when he gets older.goldfuss1 at frontier dot com
We have a small prize box for our 6 year old. When she has earned five \”Best Bee-havior Bees\”, she can turn them in for a prize. I only have simple things like post it notes, pencils, etc. So far, she has been most excited about a packet of instant hot chocolate I had in there! 🙂 My teenager is best motivated by extra time allowed on the computer!
We have a marble jar. When they do good deeds around the house (including completion of school work for the day), they get to put a marble in their jar. When the jar is full, they can choose a reward (go out to eat w/Dad, bake something, sew something, etc.). They love it.
I really liked the idea of using a timer. There are days we have had that seem to just drag on and on. This is an awesome solution! We face an unusual situation of having school in my mom's house (where we currently live while hubby is deployed) and the punch card sounds like a great solution for those of us with no school space of our own to hang a chart up :0 Thanks again for the great ideas! Cheryl email@example.com
I never thought of a punch card! I'm HUGE on charts and rewards, and have really good kids to show for it, but never thought of a punch card. I may just use that next time I get the urge to make a new chart:o)
I love the timer idea and the reward punch card may be just the thing I need to get two of my children to have some more motivation! Thank you so much for this wonderful set of ideas!Christine in Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org
I love the timer idea…my daughter is motivated by a timer in general…and so am I!! lol..will definitely try out some of your ideas and see what works for us as we venture into the world of homeschooling!! email@example.com
I used the timer idea back when I was teaching, and it's great. I like the punch card idea.adventuresinmommydom at gmail.com
Thanks for the great ideas! This is my first visit to your blog. I was drawn by the word \”organized\” in your title as this is an area where I struggle. I fall more to the \”creative\” side. 🙂 We have fallen away from the timer, but it is time to put back into use. Thanks again.
Thanks for sharing such great ideas for motivating our children! I especially love the idea of the punch card!
I love the idea of using a punch card. We have used stickers, but I think the older kids would like these better.
I really like the idea of using a punch card and that they only get punches for exceptional behavior. Also, like the idea of setting work at dad's spot at the table so he can also be involved. It's important for kids to know their dad is interested in what they are doing. firstname.lastname@example.org