This has saved so much headache and arguments over the past couple of weeks it's not even funny! There's only been a few times it's been used but boy did it work! We also added a rule to go with it that if you're complaining about your school day too much you get to do some form of copy work on Saturday irregardless of the fact you may finish all of your regular school work on time. And it's cut waaay back on the amount of complaining that goes on around here!
So, here's what we did:
Earlier in the year we'd purchased three inexpensive (we're talking a dollar here folks) student planners but had no clear idea on how exactly we planned to use them since the children just use my lesson plan book to get their lessons out of, or simply ask me for them.
|How the student planners look on the outside.|
|What they look like on the inside...|
YCJ's was assembled backwards! So double check
before you purchase!
|My lesson plan book...|
|A closer view of my planner. In this book the teacher divides the spaces as they see fit|
and then fills everything in. I color code mine for simplicity when I'm looking at it.
Pink for Peanut, purple for YCJ, and blue/green for ECJ.
So, in theory what the children are required to do is any assignment that hasn't been finished by 4 PM on that day gets written on that day as homework. If they have no homework they can either cross out the date or draw a smiley face on it. What usually happens is that it gets written on one or both of the weekend days instead so we're still working on that part.
Peanut most likely won't have any homework until at least next fall or later. However, she wanted to be included and we wanted her to be in the habit of using this method. You'll notice nice big green smiling faces on all of her days (at least up to the date I took these pictures). If at the end of the month when we look at her book she has all smiles then she's allowed to pick out one item from Dollar Tree as a reward. We're doing this so that "homework" isn't associated with a bad idea and eventually we'll remove the reward aspect of this for her. It does make her want to get all of her work finished however, because she likes the idea of getting to pick something out for herself. Next year we may offer a different reward, such as an hour of crafting with Mommy or getting to watch an hour of cartoons on Netflix (subject to our approval of the cartoon of course).
YCJ's book looks a bit different. Not because she failed to do her school work on time any of the days this month (she's had no issue with that since the week we began this in December largely due to the fact that "homework" doesn't get help from an adult) but because she spent a full day complaining about her school work and dragging her feet at it all day long. So, she ended up with one Saturday where she had to copy her spelling words out in cursive, which she's only just learning so we were going to write the first one out for her. She also has a small reward system in place but it's that if she doesn't get any homework assigned for the month she's allowed to stay up one night on a weekend and watch a DVD quietly. She really enjoys her alone time and the idea of being allowed to stay up late appeals to her since now Peanut goes to bed and actually goes to sleep which provides for uninterrupted quiet time.
And, finally, ECJ's book. Well, he was doing pretty well. And then we noticed unfinished assignments and a lot of slacking off and back talk. So, everything that he hadn't completed got written (by me) on that weekend in my red pen. He spent the entire weekend working on his homework and getting everything done. The last time he needed to do homework (other than when he was in public school) was last month when we began this policy. He did NOT like it one bit. He doesn't have a monthly reward if he gets no homework. He's expected not to have any homework whatsoever. He's twelve now and in sixth grade and perfectly capable of completing his work on time every time. As a matter of fact our school days are only currently ending at 4 PM due to his shoveling job taking up part of his mornings on some days. He still says that having his weekends free is the best reward because we no longer school on Saturday unless for some extreme reason we feel we need to.
Basic really and super simple to do. We're hoping that by starting this now with the girls that assignments not getting done will not happen as they reach higher grades. Plus, the bonus here is that this is working!!!
Link-ups this is shared with:
Our Busy Homeschool (Sharing What Works)
HOT Homeschool Blog Hop
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