#8- Grade your children's assignments as they complete them.
At times, it can be difficult to motivate my kids to plow through their school work. As much as I poke and prod them with visions of future successes based on their present academics, they don't always seem to care. They're more interested in living for the moment. They would prefer playing outside, completing an art project, building with Lego's, enjoying their Playmobile, reading a book of their choosing, enjoying a sports activity, or playing on the computer. I'm speaking for my younger kids, but, really, the problem is present as they get older, as well.
So, how do I keep them on task? I sit with them throughout the school day. And I grade their assignments as they complete them. It's simple enough and it works fairly well. Don't get me wrong, they don't beg to get to the school table everyday just because I'm right there with them. But, it does keep them grounded, focused, and motivated.
As I grade their assignments right after they complete them I can quickly assess their weaknesses with new and old material. I can work with them immediately on problematic areas. They don't have to wait until the next morning to find out they need to redo an assignment.
Kids have limited attention spans. Greeting them on a new school day with problems from previous work (which they left behind in their minds right after they completed it) is frustrating for them. They might not even be able to verbalize how unmotivated they are to work through yesterday's mistakes but you will see it in their attitudes and demeanor.
It sounds simple enough and intuitive. But, I can't tell you how many times I have run across parents that grade their children's assignments the following day or even week. It just doesn't work as well.
We all attempt to get other things done as we homeschool our children. In a way, that is the beauty of homeschooling. On the other hand, if you are your children's teacher than you need to be present when they are working on their assignments. I know there are exceptions. I'm suggesting a lifestyle not a legalistic ritual.
Everyone likes a fresh start each day. Give your kids a new beginning every morning with new assignments, new problems, and new challenges. Their day will be better and so will yours.