Homeschooling is not always easy! That’s just the cold hard truth. While the great days far outweigh the not-so-great days, there are times when our patience is pushed to its breaking point and we barely claw our way through the day. And let’s not forget about the kids. Their days can be just as trying as they navigate new lessons and difficult concepts while also learning self-discipline and emotional control.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have an arsenal of support and ideas for making those not-so-great days better?
Last week in the Not-Back-to-School-Blog Hop we shared ways to make special memories as you start the new school year. This week, the Homeschool Review Crew has lots of encouragement, incentives, and rewards that you can use all year!
I haven’t always been a promoter of rewards and incentives. In a way, it always felt as if I was bribing my children to do something that they should just do because it’s their responsibility. But then my husband asked me, “It’s your responsibility to work, but would you work if you weren’t getting paid?”
Ok . . . fair point.
“But what about incentives for having a better attitude or memorizing scripture,” I asked. “Aren’t those things that they should just learn to do because they’re supposed to?”
In his typical no-nonsense way of breaking things down, he thoroughly convinced me that rewards and incentives are not bribery unless they are presented as such—”Please just do your work and I’ll give you a dollar!”—which is definitely not what we want. Instead, when used properly, rewards and incentives can motivate children to step up to a challenge and meet it head on. They learn that there are natural rewards for a job well done and that those rewards must be earned through perseverance and hard work.
Don’t limit your rewards and incentives to tangible things. Children love to earn special things that they wouldn’t otherwise get to do, like staying up a few minutes after bedtime, skip a chore for the day, or have a dance party in the living room. Rewards don’t have to be complicated or expensive, they only need to be fun.
The older our kids get, the harder it can be to keep them motivated and on the right track, especially if we haven’t been training this mindset from the beginning. Teenagers require a little more thought and planning, but there are still lots of ways to give encouragement and reward them for a job well done. Keep in mind that thanks to all of those hormones, life with teenagers can seem like a wild roller coaster ride. Taking the time to encourage and support their efforts will make a huge difference in your relationship with them, and that is the most important thing.
Don’t forget about yourself! Moms need encouragement, too! SchoolhouseTeachers.com has a wonderful Encouragement for Homeschool Moms course. The 31-day devotional book provides the perfect balance between the “academics” of answering questions and the freedom of journaling personal thoughts and inspirations. It’s a wonderful way to refresh and fill your own cup so that you can pour into the lives of your precious children.
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Members of the Homeschool Review Crew are sharing wonderful ideas, tips, and free printables all throughout the week. Be sure to visit their blogs for more encouragement, incentives, and rewards that you can use!