The holidays are over, and it seems our homeschooling motivation often leaves with them. We’ve enjoyed days off with lazy mornings and family visitors, holiday parties and presents, and some much needed rest. But, the New Year has come and it’s time to get back into the homeschooling routine we let slide back in December. Sometimes the most difficult thing after Christmas break is getting started! The days are darker and, for many of us, colder. Naturally, our motivation is lacking. Here are my best homeschool motivation tips for getting and staying motivated in this New Year.
Homeschool Motivation for Moms
Be flexible. Nothing kills homeschool motivation or desire more than too much structure and control. This New Year, focus on flexibility. Start by sharing the power of your schedule and the order in which you accomplish tasks and tackle subjects. Allow your children to set their own schedule and create their to-do lists. Finally, roll with the punches as they come. If you’re having a hard day, declare it a “movie madness” day and watch educational videos or take a break and go on a hike.
Challenge yourself to learn alongside your kids. The best lifelong learners model what they see in their home. Your commitment to learning has a direct impact upon your children’s commitment and motivation. Engage your brain to more fully engage your children. Create a “learning bucket list” of your top learning goals and tackle one at a time this year. Grab some foreign language curriculum or challenge yourself to read four books a month. Of course, you’ll want to do this as a family and keep track of what you’re accomplishing. The more you learn, the more they will want to learn!
Reward thyself. Staying motivated should include rewards! Setting goals and reaching them will keep you motivated, especially when you reward yourself with a coffee, extra time to run, movie outing, or even a special trip. Maybe your goal is to stay caught up on grades and lesson prep, or perhaps it’s to visit the library more. Whatever you choose, when you tie your rewards to your learning goals, you’ll find yourself accomplishing more and staying motivated.
Homeschool Motivation for Kids
Reward them. Just like you accomplish more when you’ve got something to work toward, so will your children. Create a reward chart like this one based on points that can be “cashed in” for fun goodies, screen time and other things.
Give frequent breaks. Brain breaks are very important and keep all of us from burning out. However, a brain break doesn’t mean vegging out in front of the TV or just reading a book. Physical movement, science experiments, or simply a little LEGO playtime are all great ways to enjoy a break that is meaningful and good for our learners.
Challenge them with STEAM. The newest learning fad is STEAM, activities that include science, technology, engineering, arts and math, adding arts to the STEM acronym. It’s popular for good reason!
According to Engineeringforkids.com, “STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at 9.8%. STEM degree holders have a higher income even in non-STEM careers. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy and are a critical component to helping the U.S. win the future. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators.”
Keep your learners motivated by sprinkling in these 25 fun STEAM activities throughout the week, or use an activity as a motivator for pushing through the tough topics or lessons.
Let them lead. We all learn more deeply and enjoy the process of learning more when it’s related to our interests. Allow your students to lead in the learning process by tying their toughest and most difficult challenges to their interests. You can even choose curriculum that incorporates your child’s interests into their lessons. If you have a strong reader who hates math, consider Life of Fred. Love science but struggle with social studies? Consider reading “Story of Science” alongside “Story of the World.” Make it about what they’re interested in and you’ll have all the homeschool motivation you need!
Keeping your homeschool motivation momentum doesn’t have to be boring or a struggle! This year should be filled with fun and engagement, especially if you intentionally work at staying motivated along the way.