These Are The Days

My boys were finished with their schoolwork by 9 am yesterday morning!

I could not believe it.

They were all pretty motivated to get their work done.  We had karate today and wanted to run a few errands afterwards before having a fun afternoon with some homeschool friends.

Intrinsic Motivation is the best tool a homeschooling mom can have, but when that does not exist I find that having something to look forward to after the work is done can work just as well!!

I know that when they are intrinsically motivated to learn something that they absorb it so much better.  

I know that external rewards can lead to greater expectations later on.  

I know that rewards can make learning look like work-- but let's be honest.  Everyone loves rewards.  Most adults expect rewards for a job well done at work so why shouldn't kids get rewarded too?

Sometimes the internal motivation is just not there and I am wiling to use anything I can to get my kids to cooperate with their schoolwork.  

A play date with friends?!  That's easy!

Here is how they managed to get all of their work done in just an hour or so:

Evan wanted to read two more of his Dick and Jane stories to me while he was eating breakfast.  He'd take a bite.  Read a page or so and then take another bite.

While he was doing that Alec and Ian completed their math and language arts work.

Each boy picked a page in their math workbooks and then worked on a page that combined bar graphs and multiplication facts.  Alec was so thrilled that he got to do some graphing.

The older boys also had a correct the sentence page where they read sentences written about Star Wars and went through adding proper punctuation and capitalization. (Star Wars Editing)

The boys finished up breakfast and went to get ready.

Ian and I sat and read another chapter in Catching Fire with him reading another 4 pages aloud to me.

While I was reading with Ian, Evan sat at the table and completed two pages of mixed addition and subtraction problems using the various Star Wars characters.  He did awesome; I love seeing how independently he's already starting to get. (Star Wars Math)

Alec informed me that he had woken up extra early this morning and read a few more stories in his Egyptian Mythology page (he had also been up waaay past bedtime last night reading) and we agreed together that he was all set with reading today.

I went to sit down with Evan to finish up his language arts work but he told me he only needed my help reading the instructions and then he wanted me to go away so he could surprise me with the completed pages.   He had to decide when to use "oa" and "ow" in words and he got them all correct! (Star Wars Spelling)

 The boys were on a real roll and they were rewarded hugely!

After karate, errands (where we listened to our book on CD), and lunch (where we listened to another chapter in Harry Potter) we headed to a fellow homeschooler's house and the boys spent a lazy afternoon playing with lots of other kids.

They played a few video games, had Nerf gun wars around the yard, played with the kitten, watched the baby goats, and used the trampoline.

They had snacks, played gaga ball and just had a great time hanging out with other kids.

Groups formed, broke up, and re-formed.

They made up their own games to play and enjoyed soaking up lots of fresh air and sunshine.
jump around 

playing gaga 
just hanging around 

Some of my favorite homeschooling days are those where I'm reminded it's not all about the schoolwork but about the relationships too.  

When thinking about homeschool relationships I often focus on how we all connect as a family but it's just as wonderful to see all the "other" connections the boys are making too.

It's equally as rewarding for me to meet up with other homeschool moms and form bonds.

It's pretty neat to realize that many of my closest friends and acquaintances are those that I've now met through homeschooling.

These are the days that keep us going through the long New England winters and these are the memories we'll cherish and carry with us.


  1. I love those relationship connections as well! We have a Park Day Friday each week with our homeschool group and I love to watch the children play together. It is such a beautiful thing!

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!



    1. It is; we've gotten away from out weekly park day but when we do go it's so nice to see all the kids playing together and catching up with one another.


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