I am relatively new to this homeschooling adventure. I started doing online schooling with my daughter last Spring and this Fall we decided to online educate/homeschool both kids. So really, I'm more-or-less a first time homeschooling mom with a 4th grader and a 6th grader. It's not the age and stage the average person finds themselves homeschooling for the first time. But alas, here I am.
Can I just say it isn't always easy?
I feel like I've spent so much time just trying to figure out and establish rules and routines. Then I find that something isn't working, so I throw it out. And we try something new. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
I was talking with a dear mama friend at a local coffee shop the other day. She's in a similar boat to me but she's way more structured than I am, so I was delighted to pick her brain about what's working for her and her family. In the midst of this conversation I got an idea in my head that I couldn't let go of. It took me a while to flush out the details, but I'll let you take a peek at my beta-test version of our new family board game: Homeschoolopoly!
|I saved my 12X12 board as a JPEG in Publisher |
and sent it to Costco to get it printed out.
I was just trying to find a way to motivate my kids to get up, get going, and get ready on their own accord!
Once they've gotten ready for their day they start with Bible and Cursive while a history timeline song plays in the background. Then they move on to math. My youngest also completes a "Jump Start" page, front and back. It's basically just a skills update worksheet that covers some math, handwriting and basic language arts.
|This is the perfect place for fines, loose change |
and other random goodies. I think it's my
kids' favorite reward!
Right after lunch they need to finish anything from the morning that wasn't complete, but after that they can move on to "specials" for whatever time remains in the afternoon, rolling the dice to see what's next.
You will notice that there are four spots on the board for cards. We've turned old playing cards into four different categories of cards that are used throughout the day.
|Chore cards are drawn at a few points during the day. They help the household run smoothly, but it also gives my kids a little break here and there where they have to get up and get moving. Most of these chores can be done in 5 minutes or less.|
Sometimes the cards are used right away, and sometimes they are saved for later, it just depends on the card drawn and where we are at in our day. We discard the used cards until the whole stack has been cycled through. My kids are really enjoying the surprise elements of this game, while I really enjoy the flexibility. If one of the cards isn't working for us I can just remove it from the deck. If I think of something else I want to include, I can just add it in. If I don't want them to complete a subject that day I can just cover it up or add a marker to that spot so they skip over it when they are playing the game.
It's like structured chaos.
That's how I roll.
This is what the board looked like just before lunch today. The buttons show what Leeann has completed and the Lego parts and weapons show Titus's progress.
We are really enjoying making this game part of our homeschool routine. Our family loves board games so this feels like a natural and fun solution to our search for a routine that will actually work for our family and our life of structured chaos.