Friday, August 17, 2012

Tracking Your Activities

Homeschooling families are usually involved in many extracurricular activities. These activities can include Boy or Girl Scouts, volunteering, playing a sport, taking musical instrument lessons, attending co-op school, taking art classes, and more. You may or may not be required to keep track of these activities by the homeschooling laws in your state, but you will probably need a log of your student's activities eventually.

*Here are a few ideas for tracking your child’s homeschooling activities:
*Use a notebook or spreadsheet to keep track of your child’s activities.
*Place the date on top of each entry. You will need to know exactly which day your child participated in her activities, in case you ever need to provide detailed information to the state or to a college. It will also help you easily organize your child's activities into weeks, months, and years.
*Note the time and duration of each activity. This will allow you to know when and how long your child participated in an activity. This is especially important in situations where a total number of hours are required. For example, if your state requires a certain number of hours for P.E.
*Record your child’s activities on a daily basis.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


9-year-olds can be quite a challenge some days. Even though children at that age usually enjoy learning, they sometimes become easily distracted or resistant to their schoolwork.

Here are a few suggestions for motivating your third grader:

*Limit distractions in your homeschool area. That means no t.v., radio, or even cell phones ringing (set your phone to vibrate).
*Set easy-to-follow rules. Create three or four rules that put a positive spin on the schoolwork that you expect her to do. For example, "Try your hardest" or "Do your best" are general statement rules that can help to motivate your child. Add rules about time so she will know how long she must work. Third-graders can typically work for at least 30 minutes on one task or assignment.
*Set specific goals, and link them to positive outcomes. For example, tell your child that you expect her to complete a set of 20 addition and subtraction problems, getting at least 18 correct. If she accomplishes this, then she will earn a choice of a sticker, a special pencil, or whatever treat you wish. Track her progress with a fun chart so she can also see how well she is doing.
*Always give her positive encouragement. Be your third-grader's most vocal cheerleader. Focus on the positive aspects of her work. For example, if the assignment is to write 10 vocabulary words, comment on how neat her handwriting is or how well she is spelling the words.
*If your third-grader seems completely uninterested in the schoolwork at hand, try to connect it to something that appeals to her. For example, use the names of favorite characters during a language arts assignment or math word problem.
*Rough words, yelling, punishments, grounding or overly restrictive consequences will not motivate your child to excel. A too-strict learning environment may instill more fear than encouragement.