March 14, 2020

Emergency Homeschooling 2020

I've put together this schedule for my kids to use during this Covid-19 mess. All of them have been homsechooled through 3rd grade, so doing school at home for them is not completely new, but it might be hard to get back into the habit. 

My kids are currently in 11th, 9th, 7th, and 4th grades (and 8 months old but she's just working on sleeping). Since they are older, I'm giving them the opportunity to dictate a bit what they do from day to day. I've made a loose schedule with ideas of what to do during each time. I'll let them fill out what they are going to do and I will approve it or offer suggestions of things to add if I think they're taking it too easy. 

I'm sharing it here in case it is helpful to anyone else. We are currently out for 3 weeks (one of which was supposed to be spring break). The uncertainty of when we will go back for sure is stressful. Hopefully having a little structure will help all of us cope with the anxiety. 

I haven't updated the blog in a long while, but thought this would be a good time to share ideas. There are other ideas on this site for incentives, which I believe go a long way toward motivation. I will probably let the kids earn privilege coupons for each day they do their work without too much moaning and trouble. I have a spinny game wheel from IKEA that I'll tape coupons on and let them spin it when work is completed each day. For coupon ideas check out my summer reading posts, one of which you can find here at this link

Thanks for reading and best of luck to you during this difficult time, and I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy!

June 21, 2018

Summer Reading 5-in-a-Row Game

Every summer we try to encourage the kids to read with something fun. We've done game boards, a beach scenecaterpillars, scratch-off boards, balloon pop, and a plinko board. This year we are playing a 5-in-a-row game.

I made a large grid. I assigned the kids each a color and cut out circles with my silhouette machine. On the back of each circle I attached a coupon and put the circles in an envelope for each child. I made a list of ways the kids could earn circles and filled in the grid with the corresponding words. My kids are big readers, so I chose the following:

church magazine
Personal Progress/Faith in God/Duty to God
Journal (5 pages, 2 for younger kids)
Typing (2 hours)
School Book
Scriptures (2 hours)
Khan Academy (2 hours)
Writing/Art (2 hours)

You choose what you want to encourage your kids to do. My sister chose for each of her squares to be earned after 1 hour, and chose some different genres to put on the grid.

After earning a circle, they pick it out of their envelope and take off the coupon. You can find my coupons here: summer reading coupons.  They then choose where to put the circle on the grid. When they get 5 circles in a row they get to choose a prize from the prize basket. Some of the coupons include a free circle and taking off a circle, so if someone is blocking you there is a way to remove it. However, if a circle does get removed I tell them they just put it back on a different square of the same type so that the other child doesn't lose that circle. I also say they must have a circle to put on that space if they are removing one - they can't just remove one to make their sibling upset.

I've told the kids that they can only reuse 1 circle in their row of 5 - so that to earn a prize they at least need to have 4 new circles, but that may change depending on how quickly they fill up the board and run out of room. I put a mark on their circles once they've been used in a row of 5 so I don't get confused which ones are new. I also write on what they did to get the circle so the kids don't have to look underneath to see what it was if they're looking to remove a circle.

Since this is the first summer we've done something like this I have no idea how well it will work. So far the kids are loving it and reading lots. I guess we'll see if I need a new board half way through the summer!

April 29, 2016

Mother's Day Coupon Books

Coupon books are an easy present for kids to make and give their mothers.

cute coupon books for Mother's day and great coupon ideas!

*this post may contain affiliate links

I work with the girls at our church, and with mother's day coming up, I wanted to make a small gift with their girls that their moms would enjoy. We made these small coupon books and they were a hit!

cute coupon books for Mother's day and great coupon ideas!

To make your own, print out the coupons (or make your own) and cut apart the coupons along the lines. If you want to attach the coupon books with brads or ribbon, you can print on card stock. If you want to sew your books together, just use a nicer paper; not as thin as regular printer paper, and not as thick as card stock. I found some old nice resume paper that we've had for 15 years and never used. 

Now take the thread off your sewing machine and run your coupons through on a setting that puts the stitches close together. Do it about 3/4 inch in from the side. This will create the perforation so the coupons can easily be pulled from the books. 

cute coupon books for Mother's day and great coupon ideas!

I put 8 coupons together for my books. I cut a piece of card stock that was 2 inches by 12 inches, folded it in half, and stuck the coupons inside. With the nicer thin paper, I was able to sew along the edge to make the book. With card stock, punch holes and string through ribbon or brads to make the books. 

cute coupon books for Mother's day and great coupon ideas!

Now I've gotten coupons from my kids before, and sometimes they've been pretty lame, like "I'll do the dishes for you!" or "I'll make my bed!" And I'm thinking, "Wait a minute. I'm the mom. And if I ask you to do those things then you'll do them whether or not I have a coupon." So I asked some moms I know and came up with a list of coupon ideas that are not chores or expected responsibilities and might be things mom's would actually have fun using. Here is the list:

cute coupon books for Mother's day and great coupon ideas!
- breakfast in bed
- clean out the car
- make mom's bed for a week
- backrub or foot massage
- play with/brush mom's hair
- be in charge of meals and dishes for a day
- speak in a british accent for an hour 
- babysit siblings
- day with no complaining/whining
- day of doing things before being asked
- an hour when the child sings everything instead of talking
- a day when the mom is always referred to as "your majesty"
- perform a song for your mom
- find the good in every situation all day long
- play games or read books with a sibling for 30 minutes
- tell mom a story you make up with her as the star
- make mom her favorite treat or meal
- for a whole day, all questions/problems/arguments go to dad first!

I told my daughter I wanted her to give me the british accent or singing one, and she said she wouldn't because I would probably try to redeem it when she was out with her friends. She knows me too well. 

What coupon ideas would you add to the list?

cute coupon books for Mother's day and great coupon ideas!

Thanks for reading!