I woke up this morning with a new attitude and a new plan for schooling. Yesterday taught me that the kids need a tangible motivator…something they love….something that we already had in the house and I didn’t have to run out and buy…..something that wouldn’t hype them up on sugar….BINGO! Screens! The answer to so many things with kids! Ha! They both just got new iPads (I’ll let you in on a little secret – they are NOT actually iPads but rather Amazon Fire tablets that are the same size as an iPad but we got 2 for less than the price of a single iPad, and when the tablets have the same cover as an iPad, no one is the wiser!) and the kids of course love playing games and watching shows on them. Plus, yesterday was Eli’s birthday and he received 2 new Switch games that are huge motivators for him. So, I made each kiddo a little “dry erase” (use a piece of paper with packaging tape over it to laminate) board that I taped to their desks with 6 boxes on it for the 6 courses Eli has to complete every day. Each box is worth 20 minutes of screen time, so both kids have the opportunity to earn 2 hours of screen time for the day – there are no screens in the morning before school; only after their schooling is finished for the day. They even get to use my dry erase markers to draw a smiley face in the boxes, which they thought was awesome.
So, armed with this new positive reinforcement system, and a big smile, I was ready to tackle day 2 of homeschooling. At 9am, I explained the reward system, gave Ava a worksheet to get started on and signed Eli into his virtual school. First course was Language Arts – read a story, verbally answer a couple questions about the characters and plot, draw your favorite scene from the book, and write one sentence about your picture. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. We got this. By 9:20am, Eli was in mutiny mode. By 9:30am, the protesting moved to the floor. No smiley face for Language Arts. Ava miraculously found the strength to color the tiger picture she couldn’t possibly do yesterday, and earned her smiley face. This did not bode well for the sibling relationship.
I told Eli the next course was health class and it was just watching a short movie on what to expect. He perked up and was ready to sit back down at his desk. The computer voice reading the slide show said, “Next, we will learn how to eat right” and Eli’s response was “Noooo! I hate rice! I will NOT learn how to eat rice!” Back to the floor protesting. This sums up homeschooling day 2.
Onward soldiers! Tomorrow is a new day!