Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Homeschooling Question

I have a question for all you homeschooling moms out there:
Do you reward your kids, or give them any kind of incentive to do their work?

Here's my issue - I have a 4 1/2 year old, who LOVES doing every subject except reading lessons. We only do about 3 subjects: math, perception worksheets and reading, along with a healthy dose of reading aloud (I read aloud to the kids). Elijah thoroughly enjoys all but the reading lesson. We use "How to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" and each lesson takes only about 15-20 minutes, tops. He is doing well and learning all his sounds and letters, but hates to do it. I would be inclined to put it away if it weren't for the fact that he can already read the 1st of his BOB books, and is so excited to learn, but he doesn't enjoy the lesson itself!

So how do you handle this? Do you reward your student when they perform with a decent attitude, or do you lose your patience, like I have been guilty of doing? What has worked for you? I'm really interested to know!


sarah said...

Being a past teacher...I don't think rewards are terrible for those hard to stay motivated subjects. Just make it something that is really small...you'll be amazed at what is exciting to them even though it doesn't seem exciting to you!I know Michaels put a sticker on a large picture of a bus or something when they get done with a lesson or something like that (sorry Julie I'm not exactly sure)and then when it's full of stickers they do a fun family activity. Seriously at this age it does not take much at all to get them motivated! Also try making some lessons into games, but not all because life is not all games! :) I have lots of letter sound/identification games if you need something to break up the boriness!

Sarah said...

I am not a homeschooling mom, but I have also taught preschool at several times in my life and rewards are great for motivating a reluctant learner.
The only thing to stay away from, as far as I have read, is using food for rewards. Stickers, even small toys or pencils, etc. are great.
Or you could even set up a sticker chart and let him fill up a week or a month or whatever, and then allow him to pick a prize or go somewhere special when the chart is filled.
Good luck....this is exactly why I am not homeschooling--I do not have patience! :-)

Anonymous said...

We use an incentive chart in our homeschool, where the boys are paid 5 cents per chore or page of schoolwork completed. Since our boys are a bit older, we found that money was a big motivator for them.

For reading, we had bought the 100 easy lessons book but only did a few lessons from it and later sold it.

When my younger son was 5, I used game way to phonics to teach him phonics. At 6, he picked up a book and started reading. He went from early readers to phonetic readers to nature readers to McGuffey readers.

If your son resists the 100 easy lessons book, there may be another phonics program that works better for him.

My younger son could also do some reading at 4, but he was stressing himself out trying to keep up with his older brother. We decided to take a break from reading at that point, and later he picked it up on his own.

Melissa said...

I recently found your blog and really am enjoying it. I just wanted to share that my oldest (now 11 and reading wonderfully) started to hate 100 EZ lessons too. It's not uncommon, I hear. I do think its worthwhile to reward those 'hard' tasks that are dreaded. It could be with a candy or a free 10 minute break or something else. We never got all the way the way to the end of 100 EZ lessons. I think he was reading well enough that we moved onto Explode the Code workbooks and reading various readers. By 2nd grade he had learned to LOVE reading. And still reads a TON and enjoys it today! Hopefully that will always continue.