Just a few more days left of school. The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation is almost out. Several homeschooling friends and families are done with their school work already. There are more kids running around Evansville’s neighborhoods than in the schools. Everyone is counting down the days. Summer is calling the kids’ names. However, school is not out just yet. Most children stop caring about their schoolwork and learning. They are ready to be done. How do you help your children finish the school year strong?
Give incentives or rewards. Have each child pick out something special to have after the school work is neatly completed, finished within a specific time, or redone correctly. The incentives can be small or large. For example, one child can choose an hour of playtime with just mom while everyone else finishes the chores. Another child decides that she will watch her favorite tv show. The rewards do not need to cost any money. Just make them individual rewards for the children.
The children schedule the school time. This helps the children feel that they are in charge of their learning. This gives them a sense of responsibility and feeling of pride. This is great motivation. If they feel a sense of pride and honor, it helps them give their best effort in the work.
Only do a few subjects. Pick and chose the subjects to do for the day. You do not have to teach all the subjects. For example, you can teach English on Monday and on Tuesday teach Math.
Use games to review any subject matter. Play a game of Jeopardy for the History review. Play a game of Wheel of Fortune to teach or review Spelling words. Lessons can be light-hearted and fun, and they will still learn!
Get proper rest. During the winter months, it is easy to put the children to bed on time because there is less daylight and schedules are not as hectic. During the spring months when the light of day lasts longer, it is very easy to push back bedtimes. However, the children still need the same amount of sleep to get the proper rest for their bodies. Try to keep to the set bedtimes.
Keep your schedule. All year, you have been maintaining a school day schedule. Don’t stop now. If you started school at 8 am each day, keep at it for the last few days. Children like routine. It helps them feel secure. Now that’s not to say that schedules can’t change and can’t be flexible. Children should learn to be flexible. There is a difference between being flexible with the schedule and being lazy with the school work.
Dig deeper into a subject area. Sometimes, there are not enough lessons in a textbook to cover the 180 days of school. This leaves you with not enough subject matter to cover, and your children want more information. Instead of doing nothing in that subject area or reviewing the year’s lessons, let your children do their own research. Have the children recall the lessons they learned throughout the year, have them decide the specific topic they want to know more about, and then let them research the information. For more information on a topic, they can go online, go to the library, interview known experts, write a report, do an art project, or produce a movie. The possibilities are not limited!
Hang in there! You can finish the school year strong! One Evansville’s homeschooling mother in the co-op said, “Let the countdown begin!”