Encouragement/Ideas: Help with attitudes, unmotivated,

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Encouragement/Ideas: Help with attitudes, unmotivated,

Unread post by kellybell »

phillipians48 wrote:I need advice dealing with attitudes. My 6 yo dd enjoys school and the work / fun. My 5yo ds, Isaak (means laughter) enjoys fun - not any work. My son lures dd away from her school to go play. This year, we will be doing mfwk and 1st grade with more concentrated school time than previous years.

I am excited about the curriculum and teaching, but when I think of son's attitudes, I get very discouraged. We have played games and done phonics outside previously. Any repetition, even games, are complained about by ds. It is hard for me to invent new and exciting ways to work on skills. Fortunately, both are bright and learn quickly, however, some skills need repetition.

Any mention of school, or sitting at the table starts the whining. We do many activities without sitting, but there are times we need to be sitting or at least gathered around a table so I can stay focused. It doesn't appear to be the sitting that bothers him. He can sit at the computer playing tonka for hours if I let him. It is the idea he has that school is hard. I try to disguise school as play and this works, but sometimes the word "school" slips out and he resists the training. I am working on changing his outlook of school. My 6yo dd named our school "homefun" all on her own. I have tried to carry this concept over to our son.

We also have a 2yo blessing toddling around at the time.
Thanks for any suggestions.
I'm guessing that everything I write here you've tried, but here goes...

1. Do the worst stuff first with a promise of "after math we do science."

2. Spell out each day what needs to be done. Use something the child can see (a sticker chart, notes on the white board, etc.). Let the child mark off each activity as it is done. This is good for a child who needs to see his progress.

3. Save the fun for last. No computer games until school is done.

4. We're doing well using a card system. We put up four pockets on our wall, one for each child. At the beginning of each day, the pockets contain five colored cards (dark green, light green, yellow, red, and black). Each time a child dawdles or complains, he must "pull a card" and move to the next color. If a child is on dark green, he's done nothing wrong that day. Light green means that there was one goof and he needs to be careful. Yellow means that he doesn't get any sweets or computer game. Red means he also gets an extra chore and black adds an early bedtime. We don't use this for offenses like lying or hurting each other, but for school attitudes. It works for us ... some.

5. Start each school day with prayer. Pray for the attitudes that the children need and thank God in advance for providing ds with the perseverence (remember t..t..turtle?) he needs for today. Ask the kids to pray for what you need for the day (joy, confidence, energy). Don't hesitate to pray again if needed.

6. Give really small bites of work. For my ds, he just froze when I asked him to copy an entire proverb. However, I broke the proverb up and he copied one line at a time and throughout the day, finished it. You can even have him write one word at a time using different colored pencils for each word.

Sounds like you are doing a great job infusing as much fun into school as you can. However, not all of school is fun, and there's a time for buckling down and working through the not-so-fun stuff. Hope some of these ideas help.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Unread post by Guest »

Your Isaak sounds like my Jonathan Isaac!! When Jonathan was five, we tried using MFW K but I had already begun using another curriculum before I found MFW and I never could pull off combining the two. I also have a three year old son who was two at that time. I ended up dropping the MFW and just used the other since we were so far along into it. But, I did use enough of MFW K to see that this is curriculum is so perfect for five year old boys. I'm sure it's great for girls too but something about it just screams "BOY" to me! When it came time to decide what to do for first grade, my heart just kept telling me to try MFW again even though I had a complete first grade program already lined up.

If you are looking for a fun curriculum, this is definately it. Have you read For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay? It is one of the books in the K deluxe package. I am now reading it for the second time. It is such a wonderful reminder of how important play and free time are to children. Susan just has a way of communicating about children that leaves me nodding, "yes, yes, that's right." I think your son is just being a five year old.

Now that my son is six, he is much more compliant about coming to the table to do some "school stuff." I make sure his time there is truly necessary and very short. We don't waste time at the table and I'm constantly telling him to let's just do what we need to do and then he's free to go. I know how fatiguing it can be to have to drag a little boy through something. I can't tell you how many "fun" things I have planned that went over like sour milk.

Try not to worry too much about your five year old. If your six year old is ready for more "schoolish" stuff, then concentrate your efforts there and focus your energy on protecting that time for her. Maybe your son would take on a project during that time. I sometimes send my son outside and say, "don't come back until you bring me _______." I'll have him bring me a blade of grass that we have never identified before, catch any living creature that will fit in a small jar, find a smooth rock that can be painted, weed the flowerbed or bring inside a clump of dirt that we can describe (language arts!). You may want to try something like that when he just won't settle down and leave your six year old to be.

Most of all, pray for patience and don't try to be supermom. It is just amazing how quickly children begin to mature between five and six. Atleast that has been the case with my son. It does get easier for mom, I think. I do think your son will like MFW though. You don't have to do everything in the manual. Start gradually and I bet by the end of K, he will be much more eager to participate.
michelle price
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:26 pm

Unread post by michelle price »

Just another thought. Pick up a pack of different colored popsicle sticks. Blue=reading, yellow=math, green=writing, etc. when he earns 6 different colored sticks enough to make a basic house shape (or school house) school time is done. You determine how each stick will be earned each day. Or use different shapes and when your child completes the shape of an ice-cream cone he gets a ice-cream cone for a snack. (shape of tv, computer, etc. earns time on these to play games.) I also have to have recess time for my 6yr. old son to run off energy, have fun, and then refocus. We also use various medias to teach school (puppet show, other people reading stories, etc.) Or we take school to the park, or have a carpet picnic and read our books, etc. Just ideas. Have a blessed upcoming school year.
Michelle Price
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Little Boys

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I agree with all the fun ideas people have shared. Even my 3rd grade ds last year needed to do something loud or active between every writing activity. Luckily he took to piano, and that helped a lot. The ECC songs were also favorites.

I also wanted to chime in and agree that there is no hurry with little boys. In some areas, many families wait until at least 6 to start kindergarten for boys, and it isn't even required in our state til age 7.

Also, once you do start formal schooling, something that really helps is to have a definite schedule. A starting time helps because the child only has to "get over it" and accept the starting time you have set once, rather than fighting that battle new again each day as you begin at a different time.

An ending time also helps the child see there will be an end. For homeschoolers, it can sometimes seem like mom will keep pulling things out of her hat! Whereas in public school settings, teachers do not always get their tasks done, yet the kids know they will be freed on time!

For my ds, I set a generously late ending time -- the same time as the neighborhood kids get home. That is the time he is truly free. However, if he stays on task and finishes schoolwork at noon, we can do "fun school stuff," like games & building toys & phy ed in the afternoon :o) Sometimes he likes this, other times he likes the freedom to putz thru his work :o) Same as he did in public school!

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:03 pm

Unread post by kfrench »

I think this is a common problem with some 5 year olds. My dd who is 51/2 is still this way. Last year we just did kindergarten as she wanted too. This year we are planning to do MFW k more formally. I also had issues when my older daughter was 5.

All I can say is lots of breaks, as a reward for finishing something. Sometime a timer helps. Maybe a preview of today's activity to be done when other stuff is finished. Short lessons 15 minutes and then a break. On days when it is obvious that he isn't learning anything cut it short or take a break. Once your child has their limit of learning your wasting your time. Go with the activities he likes when doing phonics. Doing writing on white boards, in salt, with chalk on the side walk. Jumping on letters to make words. Word or letter hunts. We do flash cards by both kids sitting on the top stair. Each correct flash card means the get to go down a step , they each have their own level of flash cards. My oldest addition or subtraction, the younger letter and sound idetification.
Sometimes having an outing and calling it a field trip and doing fun stuff and calling it school makes school seem funner on the whole.
Do read alouds during meals or at bed times when kids will listen, it's better than going to bed usually.

On thing that worked well with streaching attention spans for phonics was to have snack with lots of little things, gummies, peanuts, apple slices, etc and they get one piece after 5 words, after each line, after each page. What ever seems to be what motivates them. Make this the only mid morning snack and they will feel proud of earning it. You can always count the snack and do subtraction addition as they eat it and sneak those things in. MFW is pretty geared towards short attention spans. And if needed break it up do 1 activity each hour saving the funnest for last.

Some times my girls don't want to color or cut and so I let them skip this if they don't want to. I only insist on the stuff they have to learn and if they can only make 10 letters instead of 15 that's ok. Sometimes we do half a lesson and then continue from there the next day. If on one day my daughter just plain doesn't want to sing the alphabet song we skip it and go on to the next thing. Half the time she later decides she want's to sing it. Sometime she doesn't want to do the activity listed but wants to pick one of the other ones. ie she want's to put together the alpabet puzzle instead of singing the alphabet. I sometimes will ask her to say the letters and their sounds if she knows them.

The complaining is a problem. And not an easy one to solve. Maybe earning computer time by being possitive and doing school without complaining. Or on the switch side each complaint equals lost computer time. Maybe each minute in school earns recess time, computer time.
For a while when my two were being quite the complainers we had an envelope and smile and frown faces. Smiles were earned for quick positive responses when mom asked for something. We require them to respond "yes, mom" when asked to do something so we know they heard us and are going to obey. For slow responses they earned frowns. Frowns took away 2 smiles. They suddenly were responding very quickly and getting a frown quickly detered complaining. I think they added up their envelopes everyday. Deducting 2 smiles for each frown. THen they had to earn so many smiles for a special trip we would decide how much and what they wanted to earn each time. This was pretty intensive but it helped them to listen better and complain and fight less.

Each child is differant so just don't give up.
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:06 am

Thanks for your help

Unread post by phillipians48 »

Thank you so much for all the great suggestions. I can see that they will be very helpful. I need to decide which ones to choose and start out the year with some groundwork laid out for student motivation charts etc.

Now I have some concrete and attainable avenues to pursue.

The reminder of prayer is helpful. Prayer has been a great help in our attitudes (mine as well!). It is great to start out with prayer and set the stage for good attitudes rather than watch the day deteriorate and use prayer as a last resort.

Thanks again, Dana
We homeschool 3 children; 1st, kinder, and toddler currently in 2005.
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:26 am


Unread post by LSH in MS »

Happy2BMotherof3 wrote:Sooo needless to say.....there are days I wish I could put them in ps so that I can get a break from all the daily stress of attitudes, homeschooling etc. It's so hard! Help! :(
Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:30 pm

One thing I have found that helps is for them to see me reading my Bible and having my time with God. I used to think this quiet time with God had to be private, but now I think it's better if they see me doing it, so they see what it looks like and that it's important to me.

Also I've discovered when I have to deal with bad attitudes in me and the kids, I will take a deep breath, stop and gather the kids, saying that we need to stop and pray. Then I pray out loud with them, crying out to God for help. THis helps them to see that Mom is human too and needs God to do what is right. The thing that seems to help the most is the most difficult to do. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts, then model those attributes before them.

Homeschooling is difficult because all of your problems in you and your kids are constantly before you, and you have to deal with them or be miserable. In the long run though it is much better to know what you are dealing with and face it head on. We must keep perspective! We have to or we will go crazy right?

One more thing. The book that has helped me the most ( I need to read it again!) is Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and your Kids by Scott Turansky and Joann Miller. This is not what you may think. It is a book on how to develop honor in your family. It teaches how to honor God, your husband, your children, and how to teach your children to do the same to you and each other. It also deals with how to speak kindly to your children and how to teach them to speak to you respectfully. One of my favorites.
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:35 pm

Unread post by ssjcjensen »

Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:56 pm

A friend of mine pays their children to read the bible. They can read any book they want and they receive $0.50 a chapter after they finish that particular book. They can only read each book once and 1 chapter a day. I am not sure about paying my child but on the other hand the power of the word is awesome.
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:25 pm

I agree that it is always good for them to see us reading our Bibles and hearing our prayers out loud. Sometimes, I feel like I just need to cover our schooltime in prayer and I pray for my children to have joy and to want to learn (because they don't always). I also pray for myself to have wisdom and to know how to help them with their schoolwork.

Which MFW curriculum are you using now? It seems like when I pray about these things that God gives us a Bible lesson or a scripture verse that applies to just what we need. Remember to turn to Him because we cannot do this without His strength!

But when I have a bad day or a bad week, sometimes it just helps to e-mail or call a friend who is a homeschool mom because they know what it feels like, too. It is just encouraging to talk to others who have been homeschooling for a bit longer than me and to hear what they have to say. I hope that you find courage by receiving responses on this board.

Whenever I have a couple of bad school days or attitudes, I also turn to some of my homeschool books that encourage me. I read the posts above and just a minute ago I reserved the book about how to stop whining, complaining at my library - sounds like something I should read!

We've also done incentive charts for good behavior and they get a prize after a certain number of stickers on their chart. In January, we also brainstormed together all the things that would make a great day of school and over a couple of days boiled them down into 4 "rules" for our school, which is something I can keep directing them back toward when it gets rough.

Prayers and Hugs,
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:31 am

Unread post by lyntley »

Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:33 pm

I believe the kiddies get bogged down during this time of year too. Whether it's the weather or the day after day of studies I don't know, but sometimes it is helpful to take time away from the academics and spend time with them. Real time. Making memories of fun times. A few days, weeks or even a month. Build up your relationships so that you will be able to work through those areas and calmly deal with those attitudes with understanding.

My DH always says," Rules without relationship leads to rebellion"
And I recently heard this quote from Chris Davis, A Conference speaker, Homeschool dad and former pastor...
  • "If your reason for keeping your children home rather than sending them to school is mainly so you can have a relationship with them and so they can work side by side with you as they grow up, then they will come by their education incidentally—but you will end up having the relationship you desired. However, if your reason for having them home is mainly for educational purposes, then they may receive a traditional education, but your relationship will always be incidental."
I pray that your weekend will refresh you and that God will give you the strength to persevere through the difficult days, I pray you will find the little joys hiding in the trials. May your journey be a blessing.
undivided heart
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:36 pm

Unread post by undivided heart »

Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:34 pm

Scott was just reading your message as I was in the next room nursing Isaac and says, "Whoa, honey... you gotta read this. This lady is describing YOUR day today!"

Let me first say that I commend you for being SO real and honest. That can be a hard thing to do in a very "public" setting like this. I hope and pray to encourage you in saying that you really ARE NOT isolated or alone with doubtful thoughts... thoughts of giving it all up. We have to remember that the majority of us are in this journey not for academic reasons, but for reasons of discipling our children for LIFE and for their children, and theirs and theirs. That is a huge task that is not an easy one. We are "out there" in the middle of forming what will be very important building stones of the Kingdom... the church... the body. This, unfortunately is a task that hardly ever comes as "easy" for us now or those we see in the past from people like Paul and the apostles to modern day Christians and missionaries. BUT... we do have such a great help (which I call on quite often with my children as the previous person mentioned) who is more than willing to provide what we need at the right time.

I think a big part of the battle is realizing that we are not alone, though the enemy (and we ourselves) really wants us to believe this is true. Scott had to remind me of this verse just today. We hear the first part lots, but I had not focussed so much on the second part:
  • "...like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, FOR YOU KNOW THAT YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN ALL THE WORLD ARE UNDERGOING THE SAME KINDS OF SUFFERING." 1Peter 5:8-9
Not that homeschooling is SUFFERING, but some days, as you and I both had today, can be ... testing, to say the least! If nothing else, don't be fooled into thinking you are out there on your own. This encourages me. I hope you can feel encouraged to press on, to see your kids as Jesus does, and let Him love them through you. Some days all I get through (and feel I have the drive to do) is get through our bible part of the lesson/character development and somehow in someway bringing glory to the Lord in this... and I think that is (for some days) ENOUGH.. for them AND for me!

In Psalm 28:9 (I have been meditating on this for the past 2 mornings, quickly :o) David is referring to O.T. Israel when he speaks of the Lord's heritage, but when i read it, I immediately thought of Ps. 127 where he speaks of OUR children, the fruit of our womb, as our heritage: "O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them forever." God is our help and He is on OUR side. He wants us to succeed at this more than we do, and he loves our children much more than we do! Some days we need to hear that more than others!

Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:48 pm

Lyntley, What a wonderful quote! I will be writing this down in my journal right away!
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:17 am

Unread post by mom2woii »

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:15 am

We're in our 13th year of hsing and I still have days like yours.

I used to think it was something I was or wasn't doing until I realized that we live in a fallen world with sin always at the door. If it isn't the kids having a bad attitude, it could be mine.

Although no book other than the Bible is going to be the best answer to godly character in our children, there is one I used to keep by my nightstand when my kids were younger that would remind me to pray for their character. It is called Watchman on the Walls by Harkins and Harrell. I did see success, but Godly character and attitudes are lifelong pursuits. After all, I am still God's work in progress and I won't be "finished" until I get to heaven.

Don't fret too much. I do like someone else's post about taking time out to just play games and spend time with your children. There are days when school just "gets in the way" and we forget about having fun and enjoying one another's company. We oftentimes do puzzles or play Scrabble, Monopoly, Yahtzee or whatever the kids want to play.

I try to look at it this way: We have an advantage with homeschooling that we get to see the blessings and flaws of our children because we are with them almost every minute of the day. I wouldn't want to miss those blessings and I sure wouldn't want to miss the flaws because who else is going to correct them when I am not present? The down side, of course, is that our kids see our flaws too --ouch!

Be encouraged that you are not alone.
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:14 am

Unread post by Mommyto2 »

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:23 am

One thing that helps in our house with just grumpy, not listening, don't want to do school... is a 10 minute break and 20 minutes of good exercise. An activities that will really raise his heart rate and pump up some endorphines. (ds takes the dog for a run, dances to some kid exercise cds we have or if it is really bad runs on the treadmill). After he cools down from that he is usually much better and can complete school work with a better attitude.

This are just some practical, non-bible activities we do to change attitude.

mom to ds 8 and dd 5
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:03 pm

A verse that always comes to mind for me is, " The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." The whole passage is found in 1These.5:12-24 He will help you as you and your kids are being "sanctified through and through" by "God himself, the God of Peace". Thank you for helping me to again focus on His thoughts. May we call on him together and trust that he will do it!

Keep Lookin' Up,

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:20 pm

The weather turned nice and dh is making a cake with the kids. It was in the cooking assignments in the curriculum. It didn't really take away any of the daily grind, but it took the focus off the daily grind and let us have some fun together. In fact, they are laughing right now. My husband just said, "Wow! what a great homeschooling day. We played outside and rode bikes (that's P.E. right?). And I took the kids to the grocery store? That's a math/home ed field trip right? And now we're doing a hands on project! yeah, real homeschooling family over here."

Ok... so I will add.... go do something fun and laugh at yourselves while doing it.
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:05 am

Unread post by pjssully »

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:41 pm

I was praying this afternoon and found the web site Simply Charlotte Mason or something similar and I began reading about her philosophy of education.

I am beginning to see where my children have been let astray because of my need to do the "academics" before the attitude. I am a teacher and very heavy in the academic area and didn't realize how that was wearing on my children.

So this morning, we all sat together for devotion, and then said one thing we were going to work on this day-i.e., getting along with each other, talking more respectfully to mom were the two most common. We also had a family meeting this weekend to talk about how to handle angry feelings without hurting each other's feelings.

I have a daughter -8- who is going through some emotionally challenging times and i let her have time to just explore this morning, read Ranger Rick, look through the atlas-then she did a short dictation and a short copy work, listened to 2 chapters of a read aloud and that was it.

Guess what I am trying to say is that the attitude of my children needed to be corrected and I will spend more time/energy working on that for awhile.
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Teaching manners

Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:21 pm

In addition to reading books and teaching from them, don't forget other approaches.

At the start of dinner, give each diner a small Dixie bathroom cup with a certain number of M&Ms in it, say 10 or so. Chocolate chips or other sweets work well too. During dinner, if someone catches someone with bad manners (talking with a full mouth, reaching for food instead of asking that it get passed, using fingers instead of fork on certain things) then the offender must give the catcher a candy. At the end of dinner, everyone gets to eat the leftover chips.

Similarly, you can start a manners fund. When the family has a good manners day (or meal, or in our family's case, a "good manners moment") then Mom or Dad puts a coin or dollar in a big jar. At the end of the month (or summer or whatever) the family decides together how to use the money. If it's been a poor manner month, then perhaps all you can afford is a pack of Dentyne. On a good month, go out and get some ice cream. The idea here is teamwork. If one child has bad manners, no money goes in the fund (I supposed you could even take out money for horrendous manners) for that day or meal. If everyone has decent manner, then a little or a lot of money goes in the jar.

Another thing you can do (I read this in a book somewhere, can't remember where) is to "bribe" the kids when you are out at a restaurant. Just tell them, "we're going to have good manners and be polite. If anyone we don't already know comes up to us and tells us that we have well-behaved kids then we can all go get ice cream (or go to the movies, or skip math tomorrow)!" It might take several trips to restaurants to make that happen. We got a few comments about our well-mannered children a while ago. But that was when we just had two kids (and when we went out to eat more than twice a year or so!). Now that we've got four kids (and the last two are loud and wiggly), we're still waiting for this to happen. Sometimes I am tempted to make a tee shirt that says on the back, "tell my kids that they are good so that we can all get ice cream. I'll buy you a cone too!"

Be sure to give your children chances to practice their manners in social situations. Invite people over, take a few classes here or there (even Sunday School) to practice raising hands ("classroom manners"). Go out to eat to celebrate a birthday, have a fancy tea party. Encourage your son to be a gentleman and open the door for ladies and young ladies, etc.
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Expanding the teaching to general good behavior

Unread post by mgardenh »

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:18 pm

Kelly suggestions are great. We do something similar but not for manners. Our girls have a small jar that we put marbles in. We have a list of things (behaviors) that when we see them do it they get a marble. Sometimes we tell them and sometimes we don't. When the jar is full (i mean a small one) they get a special treat to choose from a list to do as a family (mom and dad create the list to choose from). We have gone bowling and the next time we are going to a free museum in town and to look at books at barnes and noble (not buy just look)

So they get a marble when the share and are playing nicely, Solving problems together with out interfearing from parents. They get marbles for being nice and kind to each other. Can you tell they struggle with there relationship. It has really helped we are seeing a lot more cooperating, sharing, and playing well together.

All this to say that Kelly's ideas are cool and you can expand them to other areas.
Posts: 986
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am


Unread post by TriciaMR »

Margaret Schrock wrote:I have some unmotivated children when it comes to math and English. Or anything involved with writing. Partly it's because my second and fourth grade boys do have a hard time with writing and reading but they are doing the bare minimum.

I'm not sure how to come up with incentives-like 100's charts or grading to put some oomph into sticking to the assignment without prodding. Any suggestions for incentives?
Hmmm. How about earning tickets. If they write x many sentences, then they earn a ticket. When they earn however many you designate, then they get 15 minutes of computer/T.V., or a trip to DQ, or date night with mom. I would add the stipulation that they have to do it with a good attitude, and be their neatest writing.

15 tickets - 15 minutes of computer/TV
30 tickets - Trip to DQ
45 tickets - blah blah blah
95 tickets - buy a Mom/Dad approved CD from the Christian book store.

You'd have to think of things that would motivate them. If they want something "big" then they have to earn it.

I have a friend that does this with some of her kids.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 11:24 am

Re: Incentives

Unread post by scmlg »

Last year I made up an "attitude chart". Nothing has worked better.

Instead of taking items away, they earned their privileges. I set it up with 20 squares... (5x4) for the school days. 5 stickers earned them something... Their DS's, computer time, friends over, Wii time, and so forth. You think of their treasured possessions. The last row was the Wii for them, most precious. It took them a month to earn everything back, but then if they had a bad attitude day I took off stickers... so it actually took them longer. When they finally earned it all back, they could lose it by the removal of stickers again.

Hope that's not too complicated. It worked very well, because if there was grumbling and complaining, lost temper, rolling of the eyes, I didn't have to lose my cool, I just walked up and took a sticker off. They got the point quickly. On the top of my chart I even had some clip art representing good attitude vs bad attitude. Turned out great.

Hope that helps.
Mom to 3 boys. Curtis, 11, Kyle, 9.5, Colton 3 years old. Live in Amish Country, Ohio.

Finished Adventures
Finished ECC
Finished CtoG
Working on R to R and a bit of preschool time
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Incentives

Unread post by Julie in MN »

This isn't much, but each elementary year, I bought a package of stickers. In ECC, they were John 3:16 stickers. In CTG, they were something with shiny gold. In RTR, they were Christian symbols.

When my son did good work, such as completing his Bible verse for the week (all the writing & memorizing), he got a sticker on the page. He seemed to like them a little bit at least, and he seemed to see them as a gauge of having done well or having completed something long. He only got like one or two a week.

The only other incentive I've used is the, "Well, I see we need to redo this at 3:30 after school is done," type incentive ;) Seems like we only used that one once or twice a year :~

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Margaret Schrock
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:11 pm

Re: Incentives

Unread post by Margaret Schrock »

Your suggestions are so helpful. I'm fixing to go get em!
I think I'll start off with the tickets as that would fit for us right now and see how it goes from there.
Yes, I need something that takes action instead of words!
Margaret,Mom to dd 10, ds 9, ds 7, dd 5. Wife of a wonderful man.
'09-'10, Rome to Reformation and Kindergarten.
Completed: Kindergarten 3 times, 1st three times, Adventures, ECC, CtoG.
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:12 pm
Location: MA

Discpline during School Hours

Unread post by Caryn »

karlafoisy wrote:I have three five year olds (2 s, 1 d). I started K with them a week ago, and it seems that they are getting increasingly attitudinal. I am constantly telling them to sit up (instead of laying) while we are reviewing numbers/singing songs, and they answer questions when it is not their turn. They get upset when I give someone else various jobs to do (passing out buttons, showing flash cards), and they then refuse to participate. Also, they have been giving wrong answers on purpose, because their siblings will laugh and make a joke out of it.

Sheesh. I just read this, and you might think I have really unruly kids! They usually are pretty good listeners, but I think they figured out that I feel powerless to discipline in this new school situation. Usually, I would put them in time-out/not give them the opportunity to participate (if it was a game/something else fun), but I don't want to put them in time out when we are doing school, because I fear the kids would quickly figure out that they can avoid hard work by acting out.
What suggestions do you have for this type of behavior during school time without taking them out of the situation? Or is that my only option? Thanks,
I tend to remove a privilege for bad behavior. That way, they need to complete their school work, and then they lose something they enjoy. For example, they get to play outside for 1 hour, and the child who misbehaved only gets to go out 15 minutes after the other kids. While they're inside, they do a chore. Or, if there is 30 minutes of TV time, they miss it, and do something else.

Another option is to add an additional chore, or to carry out the "time out" after the lesson is over.

Something else that's worked for my kids is a reward system. Positive reinforcement does wonders. When they get 50 points, we go to the farm stand for an ice cream. Children who behave well get 3 points after the lesson. If you did not behave, you do not get points. If your behavior was especially bad, you lose points.

Hope that helps a little!
dd9, ds8, and ds3 (Speech therapy and pre-k)
Pre-k (twice), K (twice), 1st (twice), Adventures, ECC and currently CtG
My blog: Considering Wildflowers
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Discpline during School Hours

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I don't think you have unruly kids -- I think you have wonderful little boys!

Would it help to tell you that my 13 year old son rarely sits on a chair to do his work. I hate to admit, but he even moved a mattress into the living room one day last week to "get comfy"! (Of course he had to move it back when we were done :) )

I do require attention and accomplishing work in a speedy fashion (or he does it after school hours). But position doesn't matter much to me. My husband tells me that he would have done so much better in school if he would have just been able to stand up! I experimented when I first started homeschooling a boy. I had him narrate what I had just read when moving about (he did it perfectly) and when sitting still (he said he couldn't remember anything because all he could think about was not moving).

For learners like me who would totally get distracted if moving while learning, it's hard to imagine that some folks learn better while moving. But I attended learning workshops (when I was a Girl Scout trainer) and met adult women whose testimonies convinced me. They aren't "fooling around" but simply absorbing information into their brain in the best way for them.

I'm sure a group of 3 boys will get too crazy on occasion. I just stop and say "what did I just say" on occasion, and if it can't be repeated back accurately, then we must start over. That usually gets the point across.

Best wishes in your fun household!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:15 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Discpline during School Hours

Unread post by nagada »

Thanks for sharing that. It gives me some insight to my own 5yo son.
SAHM to 2 boys
Working through K with DS1 while DS2 runs underfoot!
Post Reply