What should you do when your children need correction?
Today I’ll share a simple tip for correcting children that I picked up during my public school teaching days. It is a tip that remains incredibly helpful to me every day of homeschooling! This tip is so simple that it almost seems like it couldn’t be a real tip. Yet, it will yield big results if you use it (and you can start today)! So, here it is… Tell your children what you want them to do, not what you don’t want them to do.
Tell your children what you want them to do.
If a behavior that you do not want to see crops up, direct your children toward the behavior you do want to see. Instead of saying, “Don’t do that!” say, “Please do this.” For example, if your children continually rush about the house loudly, instead of saying, “Don’t run!” instead say, “Walk.” Or, if your children write very messy, instead of saying “Don’t write so sloppy,” instead say, “Please write neatly.” Or, if your children speak to you inappropriately, instead of saying, “Don’t talk back to me!” instead say, “Please use respect when talking to me.”
The mind is a powerful visualization tool.
The reason this is such an important tip is because the mind is a very powerful visualization tool. It automatically pictures what is said. To show you what I mean, ponder this scenario. If I say to you, “Don’t run,” what is your mind picturing? It is probably picturing you running, isn’t it! However, if I say to you, “Please walk,” now what are you picturing? You’re picturing yourself walking, aren’t you! The words you use when you give directions to your children are powerful. Your directions should help your kiddos picture themselves behaving the way you desire, so they can act on that desire.
Paint a positive picture in your children’s minds.
Watch yourself today as you direct your children. See how many times you catch yourself painting a negative picture of their behavior rather than a positive picture in their minds. Then, change the way you give directions. You will find this tip will change your homeschool attitude and your kiddos’ attitudes too! Try it today, and see what you think!
It is a good idea to have a plan for checking school work as part of your school day. Otherwise, the work will just pile up and may never get checked!
How do you handle checking work for younger students?
At our house, with our younger kiddos, we just check their work as we go through the day. We have them make needed corrections right away. They put away their work and their books as soon as they finish. This helps keep the clutter down.
How do you handle checking work for older students?
With our older kiddos, who have more independent subjects, we needed a more organized approach to checking work. So, we assigned each student a separate place on the kitchen counter to pile his completed work. Our older kiddos hand their work in open to the page that needs checking or closed with a sticky note marking the page. Our older boys also hand in any needed answer keys from the answer key shelf for us to use in checking.
Once work is checked, what happens next?
When we check something, we mark any errors. If there are few to no errors, we give the page a star or a grade. Then, we place the checked work in a new pile in a different spot. At our house, we move work from the counter to the right of the oven to the counter to the left of the oven. This provides an easy way for our boys to see what work has been checked.
How does this method allow us to stay on top of checking?
In this way, we can check work throughout the day as time allows. Our boys can see at a glance, depending on which side of the counter something is on, if their work is checked. Before putting work away, our boys make any needed corrections. Then, they either show us the corrections or turn the work in to be checked again. This helps us stay on top of the checking and keeps clutter to a minimum. It also keeps us from skipping the checking, as the piles are there as a reminder!
Ponder your plan for checking work.
Take a few moments to ponder your plan for checking work. A new plan might really change how you feel about the clutter of school work at your house. Then, try your plan and see if it helps your day go more smoothly!
Heart of Dakota’s plans make it easy to see what must be accomplished each day!
This From Our House to Yours will focus on high school planned meeting times. High school is a new and exciting time for parents and students alike! Heart of Dakota makes this transition smoother in 4 ways! First, Heart of Dakota guides use easy-to-follow 2-page daily plans, just 4 days a week. Second, each credit includes detailed plans labeled “T” teacher-directed, “S” semi-independent, and “I” independent. This makes parent and student roles clear. Third, parents love the detailed course descriptions, suggested grading, and transcript helps. Fourth, students love the clear plans for each day’s work! Finally, you should always check your individual state requirements for high school. But, your student should typically earn all credits and electives necessary by doing HOD’s 4 high school guides!
So, now that we know the plans are complete, how do we as parents correct high school work?
Each high school guide’s introduction has detailed suggested grading for each credit earned. From this, we can make professional transcripts easily and inexpensively by using each HOD guide’s course titles and descriptions. We can also use the website www.transcriptmaker.com to input our student’s transcript details. I especially love this website because it figures my students’ GPA automatically! With all of this help, the only thing I’m left with is finding time to teach and to correct work. I’ve found one successful way to do this is to use planned meeting times!
What are planned meeting times?
I use planned meeting times to teach and to correct my children’s work. We set specific times to meet within the day. I’ve found 2-3, or even 4 planned meeting times work well. My kiddos often complete some work independently first, and then they take this work to our first meeting time. My first meeting time with my 9th grader using World Geography happens around 7:30 AM in the morning. He comes with his completed independent work from the night before. (As he is a bit of a night owl, he likes to do about 1 hour’s worth of independent work for the next school day the night before.) He also completes his Bible from 7 to 7:30 AM prior to the meeting. Our first meeting time includes going over completed work from Bible, the Living Library, Spanish, and World Religions and Cultures.
So, what does he share from each of these subjects?
For Bible, he reads aloud his answers to me from Rooted and Grounded. He also shares his prayer journal, unless it is more private. On days 1 and 3, I have him say his memorized Scripture verses for me. I also correct his Common Place Book entry if he had one. (If he had Practical Happiness, I read it on my own and so does he, annotating as we read. We meet at the third meeting time to go over the devotion.) For the Living Library, he reads aloud his sentence summary. I check to be sure it contains the main characters, main goal and action taken, main conflict, and the setting. Skimming the pages of the book’s daily reading is enough for me to see if he is on track for this 10% extra credit assignment. I also check any special assignments noted for this in the plans (i.e. if he was to star, cloud, circle, etc certain things). I correct his Spanish using the answer key, and I have him orally translate/read the odd problems aloud referencing the key as needed. For World Religions and Cultures, I have him hand me the book he read open to the first page’s reading. I skim the beginning, middle, and end of the reading. Also, I read the key idea in the guide. Finally, we either correct his bookmark together, or I listen to his oral narration with book in hand.
What does the rest of his day look like?
After the first planned meeting time, he checks off the Living Library, World Religions and Cultures, Foreign Language, and Bible boxes. They are done – hooray! Next, we discuss what he needs to do for his EIW composition or R & S English grammar part of the plans. He works on this independently then, while I do a planned meeting time with a different child. His next planned meeting time is around 8:20 to 8:30 AM, whenever he completes his composition or grammar. I correct his written work by having him read it aloud to me. He reads with pencil in hand, making any corrections he sees he needs to make first on his own. Then, I help him correct any mistakes using the grammar answer key or the EIW daily plans/rubric. We check the Composition/Grammar box off in the plans, and he is off to chores and breakfast!
How does he finish out the plans?
After breakfast, he completes his World Geography, Geography Activities, Literature, and Logic boxes. I pop in the living room to hear his oral narrations, correct his map work, edit his written work, discuss/check his literature, and check his logic answers. We love this time together, and the key ideas and answer keys make it fairly easy on me! If he had Practical Happiness, we meet on the couch go discuss our annotations. (It is more private there, and this is a special time 1 on 1 for us!) Finally, he completes his Science with lab and leaves it out on the counter for me to correct. (I’ve let him correct his own science the second half of the year, as I corrected it the first half, and he always did well. He loves science! So, I never worry about him skimping on this.)
His math is taught by my oldest son, as he loves it and is a business major! This was their idea – apparently I get somewhat tense teaching math, and they prefer doing it together without me. Who knew?!? Anyway, the math answer key makes this last subject easy peasy to correct. Then, drumroll, we are done! Usually by 1:30 PM or so. Not bad for 4 days a week of high school! Hope this helps you see how planned meeting times can provide both special 1:1 teaching time and time to correct work!