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This week the Review Crew is sharing different ideas for providing encouragement and incentives in your homeschool. I have gathered ideas for encouraging both your students and yourself. (Yes, sometimes even us moms need a little encouragement and incentive.)
One of the biggest motivators for my children is free time. When their work is done they can play, explore, and be creative. The understanding that working hard means more free time is really motivating for them.
For some students, grades are an incentive. We do not do a lot of grades in the younger years because I did not need grades to know how my students were performing. However, in middle school my daughter started an online math program that gave her feedback via grades. She was actually very motivated to keep that grade high and worked very hard to maintain an A average.
My seven-year-old loves to be recognized for his accomplishments with certificates. If there is a certificate of completion with a book or program, he wants to do whatever it takes to get that certificate. We also give our children the chance to show good work to dad at dinner time or to grandparents when they come to visit.
Finally, set goals with your student. Allow them to set reasonable goals (with help from you) for what you will accomplish in a given time period. This might be over the course of a year or broken down into semesters or even each month. It can be powerful to set a goal and accomplish it and it often helps them to see the growth that they may not realize is happening in the day-to-day.
Encouragement and incentives do not have to be a big deal, sometimes it really is the small stuff that encourages students.
I think homeschool moms often need encouragement more than our students. Homeschooling is worth all that we put into it, but it is not easy and it can sometimes feel overwhelming or fruitless (but it is not fruitless.)
- Scripture: Find a verse or two that you can lean on when times get hard and the days are long. Galatians 6:9 is one of my favorites. This post from A Diligent Heart has some other great verses for homeschool moms.
- Books: There are many encouraging books for homeschool moms. A few of my favorites are Read Aloud Family by Sarah MacKenzie, Lifegivng Home by Sally Clarkson, Help! I’m Homeschooling! By Tricia Hodges. Check out all of my book reviews and reading list posts for more great book ideas.
- Facebook Groups: Finding support from other homeschool moms can be crucial on those difficult days. Facebook groups can be a great way to have easy access to encouragement, ideas, and support. I love being a part of large like-minded groups and also smaller local groups that allow for facilitating field trips and events. If you are looking for a large group of encouraging homeschool moms check out the Schoolin’ Swag Facebook group to connect with thousands of other moms in a safe supportive environment.
- Moms Night Out: My friend Jen over at Homeschool Fanatic is great about setting up monthly local mom’s nights. We get to go enjoy good child free conversation and yummy dessert once a month. It is a great time of encouragement and refreshing.
- Secret Chocolate Stash: Finally, do not underestimate the power of a good piece of chocolate on a challenging day. Take a quick minute, close your bedroom door, and enjoy your favorite treat. Sometimes, that can make all the difference in keeping a day from totally falling apart.
How do you encourage your students or yourself on difficult days? Share your ideas in the comments! Make sure to hop on over to the Review Crew page and check out all of the other ideas and enter the giveaway for a free Homeschool PAK!
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