August 25, 2020
No Need to Nag: Build Responsibility
This week my daughter and I attended a high school homeschool orientation for a local campus she plans to attend this fall. During the presentation, the campus administrator asked parents if they were micromanagers or if they took a hand’s off approach. I looked at my daughter, smiled and said, “You know you’re on your own.”
This hasn’t always been the case, but through the years I’ve tried to gradually implement systems giving our kids more and more individual responsibility passing a baton of personal accountability. I’m a firm believer in intrinsic rewards and wanted to grow kids who embraced learning for the love of learning.
Thankfully, all three of our kids, through the system of learning we embraced, are strong and independent. Now, believe me this didn’t happen overnight and it’s not perfect today. We had moments of frustration through the process. I had an idea of what I hoped our homeschooling outcome would look like and we planted seeds and nurtured them along the way. In high school and beyond we will occasionally be asked to step in, but for the most part they have taken ownership of their education.
When they were young, I personally didn’t have the energy nor the time to want to carry the responsibility of making sure every detail of their school work was done and checked. I’ve always worked from home while homeschooling. We never had a nanny or full time tutors. I had my work to do and they had their work to do. One strategy we implemented was a crafted hanging check off chart. I wish I had a better name for it! If you have any ideas, please share! It was cute, durable, and reusable. At first there were thin wood door hangers, and now it’s a bit different. We could use the same system year after year, or we could make new ones for as a fun craft project.
For my tactile learners using this tangible checklist gave them an action to do. If they kids looked at their personal checklist, they never needed (but you know they did…haha) to ask or wonder what was next on their list. This is a simple little craft that can save time and questions throughout the year. When my kids asked if they could go outside, I’d ask to see their list. Since we did many homeschool activities together, I knew much of what was completed. After initial instruction, for subjects like math they did the lessons on their own. And mommas, side note… save yourself time and empower your kids to correct their own math. If you have multiple kids, they can check each other’s math. It took me a couple years to release this one, but it’s a FREEDOM Giver!! Wowzers!
This little handmade wooden checklist is a piece of craft wood or a wood door hanger. You can find these at your local craft store. The first one we made were door hangers. First we painted and placed their initial on them. We then wrote their subjects on each side of a clothespin. To begin the day, the subjects were placed on the left hand side of the wood, “to do,” and when completed they’d move the clothespin to the right side indicating it was “done.” This simple system worked well and reduced frustration and/or exasperation. I never wanted to be a nagging momma and this system helped! No more nagging… the clothespin is either moved over, or it’s not. This is also great for use as a chore chart.
Another tool we used to enhance and help our kiddos’ focus was to add the application and diffusion of essential oils into our school routine. Sadly, I didn’t use or know about oils when our kids were elementary age. Since discovering doTERRA in the last 7 years, the oils are now part of our learning routine. I remember making roller bottles with Basil and Rosemary for our oldest son when he was in high school preparing for an exam. These two oils support the brain against mental fatigue while also improving focus.
Nowadays, I routinely grab a convenient, pre-made roller bottle blend like Thinker, Motivate, or InTune. Thinker is one of our blends developed and diluted with kids in mind. It works great for adults also. I use it routinely when I need to sit down and focus my attention. As a busy mom with many hats to wear, I can often struggle with focus, so oils to the RESCUE!
For the month of August, our focus oil blends (InTune, Motivate, and Thinker) are 15% off. If you have a wholesale account, you’ll save 25% off retail. If you do not yet have a wholesale account, and you’re interested in getting started with an “The Empowered Student Kit” that will help support focused learning in your home, click here. If you start with a collection of oils like this, I will also send you a Homework Helper Blend and Immune Support Blend to support your entire family.
If you’d like to make your own Homework Helper Craft, here’s what you’ll need. Remember, this is an opportunity to have your kiddos use their creativity. In the past we’d add their initial, paint, stickers… whatever suited their personality.
Wood Door Hanger or Rectangular Wood
Sharpie Permanent Marker
Embellishments- pressed flowers, craft supplies, initials, decorative paper, stickers, etc.
Modge Podge (if using pressed flowers or stickers)
Glue or Glue Gun
Twine for Hanging
If you have any questions regarding this project or the best oils for your family, send an email and I’d be happy to assist and answer. If you end up making this craft, please send me a photo! I’d love to see and post your creation!