Thursday, December 5, 2013

Homeschooling Secret Weapon

This is how Joy does math--outfit is essential

I have been struggling a lot lately trying to homeschool my kids.  Mostly because they don't always want to listen when I read out loud to them.  Or they pretend to not retain anything they've just heard.  Which can become extremely frustrating.

"So what did we just learn about?"  Met with blank stares.

"Who was the main character in today's reading?"  More blank stares.

Makes a person want to give up.  But that's the downside of homeschooling.  You can't give up.  You have to figure out a way to get through to your kids because they have to actually learn and there's no back up plan.  As in--I can't just pass them onto the next grade and hope the new teacher can do a better job.  I'm it.

After weeks/months of trying to come up with a solution--from switching teaching methods, curriculum, letting them do puzzles or build with blocks, etc--I finally hit on the winning solution.  I was standing in the checkout lane at Walmart on Monday and inspiration struck.  BUY THESE it said.  So I did.

I pulled them out Tuesday morning.  I told the kids that I was going to read to them and at the end I would ask questions.  If they got the right answer, they got a cookie.  I started reading.  Absolute silence.  I asked a question.  All three kids were falling over each other to be the one who got to answer.  When I asked them to narrate what we'd just read, they all wanted to go first.  I assure you, this is not normal in my household.  It was the same story today during school.

All I can say is that I am not above bribing my kids to pay attention and learn.  If it works, I am all for it.  If a few cookies will transform my wiggly, brain-dead kids into astute children eager to learn, bring on the cookies! 


  1. This was how we learned scripture verses, ten commandments, prayers, books of the Bible and all that jazz. We got 1 M&M for each correct answer. My 3 year old recites the Creed with this method. Very effective.