We are 7 weeks into our First Grade Homeschool year– so I am by NO MEANS a pro. But, being our second year I have found more of a groove. I have a few tips and tricks for a successful homeschool day that I would like to share with you. Some of them I implement every single day, others maybe once a week. But, they have all made this homeschooling thing a little easier (on the both of us!).
Tips and Tricks for a Successful Homeschool Day
- Snacks– never underestimate the power of goldfish crackers or anything that you can throw at your kid when they need a break. (Don’t forget some snacks for you too!) Sometimes we have a couple of snack breaks, depending on how much work we’re doing.
- Stickers– aka rewards. Sometimes the only incentive my little man needs to finish a worksheet is the knowledge that if he does a good job, he will get to put a sticker on it at the end. (Obviously, this won’t work for older kids, but it works great for lower elementary students.)
- Goal Chart– we have a ‘No Whining’ chart. If there is NO whining at all and he does his work without complaining and tries his best- he gets to place 3 stickers on his chart. I take stickers away each time he complains or doesn’t try. Once the chart is full- there is a reward at the bottom. Sometimes this is a trip to a playground, a special (read: cheap) toy, or a visit to somewhere like Chuck E. Cheese. Some call it bribery…I call it genius! Some days this works like magic. But, we’re also 7 weeks in this year and he still hasn’t filled his first one up, so…
- Music– sometimes the quiet is a little too mundane or we need a little pick-me-up to get through our math worksheet. That’s where background music comes in! Something a little peppy or fun helps motivate. We also love the “Instrumentals for Studying’ channel on Pandora- it plays more classical music, movies scores, etc. Things without lyrics to distract us. Steven is also a huge fan of Mr. Scruff.
- Breaks– stretch breaks, play breaks, snack breaks. It’s hard to just plow through our curriculum without a rest. Sometimes we’ll cuddle up and read our read aloud halfway through our worksheets. Or go outside and play sidewalk chalk or run around the back yard. Occasionally I’ll just yell, ‘Stretch Break!’, and we’ll get up stretch, touch our toes, do some jumping jacks, or anything like that. It gives us a mental and physical break, and gets us more in the mood for learning. And yes, I mean US. I’m probably learning just as much as he is.
- Get Outside– on nice days we love to school outside. We take our books to the table on the back deck and work out there with the birds singing and sun shining. Or we can even pack up our curriculum and head to a park to learn!
- Get Hands On– my little guy loves science. And he loves doing experiments. The messier the better! So we try to incorporate a hands-on activity every single day. Whether it be an art project, something we build, or making a mess baking in the kitchen. We learn a lot through doing.
- Comfort– do we homeschool in our pajamas every day? No. But, sometimes we do! That’s one of the perks of getting to stay home. As I write this I’m wearing leggings and my Hubby’s Star Wars sweatshirt. Little dude is in his PJ’s. We didn’t have anywhere to go, so why not? We’ll eventually get dressed, but sometimes learning is easier when you’re comfortable. I also believe in the power of comfy pillows laying around in case we want to lay on the floor and read. Or study under a warm blanket. (Check out my Homeschool Room Tour to see how we implement this.)
While my tips and tricks for a successful homeschool day might not work for everyone- they’ve definitely made our days a lot easier. Please share in the comments any tips and tricks for a successful homeschool day that you’ve learned! I will take ALL the help I can get!
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