Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Surviving the Dog Days of Summer, Part 2

Some of my goals for the summer are: clean out and reorganize some scary closets, work on training the kids to help more around the house, keep their brains from turning into mush, and try to sneak in some memorization work we never finished during the school year.

My kids do not share this vision for our summer.

At all.

Their goals for the summer include taking it easy, eating ice cream daily, and having as much fun as possible.

It's not that I blame them, really. I'm just trying to figure out how to find the balance.

Even though we take a break from homeschooling, I have realized the importance of keeping a little structure and routine going for the sake of sanity, while also trying to allow for fun.

I decided to borrow a very popular idea from the public library and create my own "Summer Memorization Program."

I made a game board on construction paper of all the letters of the alphabet, with the words "PRIZE" inserted every five letters or so. We are working on memorizing a scripture verse to correspond to every letter of the alphabet (For example: A: As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD, B: Believe the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, etc.) and I figured that would sneak in a little review of letter sounds for Caleb as well as Bible memory work.

Rather than toys for prizes, I decided to reward them with fun activities. For example: A date with Mommy for ice cream, a date with Daddy for ice skating, a family dinner at our favorite pizza place, a camping trip in the backyard, etc.

I also decided to emphasize cooperation over competition by only making one gameboard for both of them to share.

I hope that doesn't backfire. I can still remember when one of my elementary teachers was trying to motivate us to learn our multiplication tables. She paired students up and promised a pair of kites to whichever team learned them first.

A good idea, except that I really wanted that kite and my partner could have cared less. He totally blew it off and would not try no matter how hard I tried to convince him.

Not that I'm still holding a grudge or anything.


amyswandering said...

I love this idea. Thanks for sharing!


~*Michelle*~ said...

Very cool idea....love how it incorporates Scripture verse memory too!

ps. I think you should treat yourself to a new kite this weekend! ;)

debby94 said...

I was hoping that I was not your partner who kept you from winning the kite! Good idea Angie!

angie said...

No it wasn't you! I was thinking you were the one who ended up winning the kite. Must have been someone else.

Blank said...

Yeap, that is the problem with external incentives...

I wonder if there is a way of making the the learning fun it itself... maybe with some times tables games...