Thursday, September 8, 2011

5 Minute Homeschooling Post

I set my timer for 5 minutes.  That's how long I have to do this post.

My kids have their timers set for 30 minutes.  That's how long they have to do their assignment.  In this case, read a saint story and take a Latin quiz.

I just started using timers yesterday, prompted by I-don't-know-what inspiration.  Looking over their schedules, I can see that they each have a good, solid curriculum and schoolday planned.  Pip, especially, since he's in 7th grade.  But he just wasn't getting his work done, and we were both despairing of ever catching up.  Meg was getting hers done most of the time, but there were still lots of tears involved.  More than necessary!

Oh, and in case you're new here, or forgot, we're already in our 5th week of school!  We did not start the Day After Labor day.

So, yesterday I assigned appropriate time limits to each lesson:  1 hour each for math, science, and history.  30 minutes for Language Arts, Latin, Religion.  And so on for the other miscellaneous subjects.  The beauty of this method, which I learned from The Flylady, is that they know they can stop after the timer rings, whether they're finished or not, and if they finish earlier, they know that they'll be done will school that much sooner.

It's an amazing thing how this trick works!  It's all a mind game.  Just knowing that they have a real stopping time (not just when Mom is too frustrated to deal with it any longer!), and that Math won't drag on all day, gives them the boost they need to actually work for that hour instead of dawdle!  This way, they actually accomplish more in 1 hour than they would in 2 hours of my constantly nagging them to stop playing and get to work!

I'm thrilled that they finished their school day in good time yesterday, even though we started an hour late, and there were no tears.  Which Meg proudly announced this morning!

Do you have any special tricks for getting your kids to work and not cry about the amount of work they have?

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