Let’s face it some days drag on and on and on and on and on. This can be especially true while we are homeschooling since there isn’t much to break up our days. While sometimes our days fly by because we’re all in and working well, other days feel as though a snail is helping to pull the minute hand around the clock. We had one of these intensely dragging days on Wednesday as no one seemed to have any motivation to keep on task – myself included. So after looking at the clock for the four hundredth time in ten minutes, I decided to do something about it. We needed momentum because momentum always trumps motivation – thanks for the truth bomb Kendra Hennessy @ Mother Like a Boss. To help us gain momentum, we have to mix things up, we have to just do one thing, we need to break things down. Below you can find our list of momentum building ideas.

  1. Get outside – simply moving all our materials outside and getting some fresh air while we work helps us to refocus and get started on tasks we may otherwise be dreading.
  2. Grab the fun subject and move it earlier in the day than usual – When we just can’t get going, I take science or social studies from the end of our day and do it right now. After we dig in and have some fun we are all ready to keep learning.
  3. Find a new way to answer – Do we need to write answers to our problems on the window in chalk marker instead of in the workbook, can we answer out loud, is there a way to show this using manipulative, what about writing in marker or crayon instead of pencils? Simple little changes can help you get started.
  4. Move! – Get that blood pumping. 15 jumping jacks, a 100 yard sprint or other quick activity can help our blood get pumping and our brain working more effectively.
  5. Add a special snack or drink to work time – need some momentum? Give them a treat to get them started. Or use the treat for the second task as a reward for completing the first task.
  6. Take a quick creative break – draw, paint, sing, do anything creative. Once your brain is started in on something it is easier to move on and do something different that also requires thinking.
  7. Do it Together – Know when to stop whatever it is you are doing and just sit down with your children to work. Working side by side builds momentum since you are both working toward accomplishing something near one another.
  8. Destroy a Box – okay not literally but rather complete a destroy the box challenge. You can find a new one on our Facebook page each Monday morning.
  9. Set a Timer – There is something about knowing I only have to do something for 10 minutes that can get me going. Then after that ten minutes it is usually pretty easy to set another ten minute timer and keep going. I just have to get started with one thing.
  10. Give in to Inquiry – Spend 10-15 minutes together learning about anything that interests your child even if it has nothing to do with their curriculum or work for the day. After that time, shift gears and get back to what was on your list for the day.

Does our list work every time? No, but I would say it works more often than it doesn’t. In fact, I can only think of a handful of times in more than five years that one of these strategies hasn’t gotten our momentum going and helped the clock speed up enough to make our day enjoyable.

Do you have any ideas you can add to our list of momentum builders? Share with us in the comments. We would love to hear you keep time from dragging on those tough days.

Until next time, keep it smart. Keep it simple.