Monday, March 16, 2015

Middle School Monday - Winter Blahs Update

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Homeschool Coffee Break: Middle School Monday - Winter Blahs Update @

Welcome to Middle School Monday! Last week I wrote about the winter blahs and listed several things I planned to do to try and get us motivated to power through those doldrums. I gave myself the challenge of four specific things I was going to do, and I said I was going to start on them that day. Up front I'm going to admit I didn't get all of those items completed, but since I said I was going to do them, I think it's only fair that I report my progress.

Know what needs to be done, and make a plan for doing it. I realized that Kennady had been slacking off in using her My Student Logbook.And I had been lazy about printing updated assignment lists for a couple subjects for both kids. I said I would print updated assignment lists, and help Kennady set up a new page in the logbook. I got those assignment lists updated and printed right away (thank you again,  Homeschool Tracker!), and Kennady and I got to work on Science reviewing what she'd already done and looking ahead through the next several lessons so we'd be prepared. I reminded Kennady that she needed to use the logbook and said I'd help her set up a new page if she needed to, but I didn't actually do it for her. I will check on her this morning, and if she didn't set up a new one on her own, I will do that with her today.
Homeschool Coffee Break: Middle School Monday - Winter Blahs Update @
Watch the clock and the calendar. I confessed that I'd been setting a poor example by "hitting the snooze button" on things that I said we would get done. Example: saying we would do Science right after lunch, but then getting distracted by other things and not actually opening the book till 2:30 or something like that. I said I would make it a priority to get started on time and resist the temptation to procrastinate. I can't claim a perfect record on the week, but I set some alarms for working on certain things, and made sure to get them done. Sometimes that meant interrupting something I was working on and finishing it later, or being "mean mom" by telling Kennady that she would need to get back to the books at the time agreed upon. I expect we'll have to keep working on this one, and by "we" I mean "I" will have to work especially hard on it, because this is one of my biggest weaknesses!

Try something new or different! I figured it might be time to find some add-ins or projects to switch up our routine a little bit. I said I would look for at least one fun extra project to add to our studies. I invited Kennady to browse the updated website with me and we found lots that was interesting, and started us thinking ahead to what she might want to do next year. And that actually did motivate us for this year! We got some great ideas, and picked out a few things from among the many art and geography lessons available that we can make use of in upcoming weeks. I found a couple of science projects I'd pinned or bookmarked months ago that I had all but forgotten about so we can fit those in too.
We also found a couple of art projects that are purely for fun - and for St Patrick's Day! We tried to untangle the mystery of tying Celtic knots, and Kennady spent some time working on a shamrock art project.
Homeschool Coffee Break: Middle School Monday - Winter Blahs Update @
Rewards should be earned. This was all about how we need to be careful to keep our breaks during the schoolday to the agreed upon time limits, and reward ourselves when we complete things on the to-do list. I said we would save our leisure activities for breaks and "after school"; and I would tell Kennady how much math she has to do in order to earn a donut. (See last week's Middle School Monday for more on why she wants donuts.) She did finish a math book last week, so tonight or tomorrow, I will get her a donut reward. We also rewarded ourselves with pie for Pi Day on Saturday.
Homeschool Coffee Break: Middle School Monday - Winter Blahs Update @

It also helped a LOT that the snow is mostly melted and the weather has warmed up! So now that we can put the Winter Blahs behind us, how long before we have to contend with Spring Fever?

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