One of the most common challenges we hear about from homeschool parents is how to keep children motivated throughout the homeschool day. We’ve consulted our extremely helpful Facebook community group, Abeka All Access, to discover the tips and tricks real homeschool parents are doing to keep their children on track.
Many parents use breaks as key motivators. One Abeka parent says, “Snacks in the sunshine … on the trampoline! I make them push through to a certain point before snack time.” Another like-minded mom adds, “We take 15 minutes to eat a snack and jump around to get the wiggles out! My high schooler just rolls his eyes. But it gives his brain a break too.” Incorporating short increments of play in between longer periods of work is a great way to break up the school day. One mom credits the time bar on the bottom of the Abeka Academy video lessons for keeping her and her children on track. She teaches her children two subjects and then gives them a “20-minute break of educational free time. … As long as they come back with a joyful heart when the 20-minute timer goes off, they get to keep the breaks going till school is over.”
Keep their eyes on the prize
Taking a moment to plan a fun reward for the end of the school day or week can make the difference between a focused or fatigued child. When children know they will be rewarded soon, it can help them buckle down and get what needs to be done out of the way. One All Access mom says she plans fun activities like crafts, baking, and even a game of cornhole for her children once they finish their schoolwork for the day. One grandmother says, “My K4 grandsons look forward to the ‘treasure chest’ at the end of each day for good behavior.” Others use different physical rewards, like punch cards that can be “redeemed” for money or treats.
“School” somewhere new
Sometimes all a distracted child needs is a little change of scenery. The beauty of homeschooling is that learning can happen anywhere! One Abeka mom says, “Taking my son to a local coffee shop to do his schoolwork is a great motivator for him.”
Build a schedule that works for you
One of the reasons many parents choose to homeschool is because they love the flexibility it brings to their lives. Some parents choose to start early and not take breaks to be done by midday. One Abeka mom explains, “My 8-year-old and I power through school from 9 a.m. to noon. We mix video lessons with parent-led lessons. Lots of hands-on and a variety of learning. We are way happier. No more fighting, whining, or even me dreading the next day. We are moving forward instead of taking weeks off at a time from burnout.” Another parent added that it’s extra motivating for her son to know that as soon as he gets done, “he is free for the rest of the day! He looks forward to playing video games or going to the park after school is done.” Another mom goes a step further and keeps a calendar for her son to “mark off the lesson completed in the school calendar because one less day means a day closer to finishing the school year.”
We hope these tips and advice will be helpful in keeping your children (and yourself) motivated throughout the school year. And remember, when all else fails, prayer and leaning on your support system (like joining Abeka All Access if you haven’t already!) goes a long way.