The last few weeks have been very busy!!

Two weeks ago we went down to my parents’ house and helped them pack and move back up here.. we also helped them unpack and settle in quite a bit over the next few days.

Over that weekend, I watched my sister in law walk across the stage as she graduated with her Master’s Degree. Yay!

This past week we worked on staying busy with our school and getting our house back in order from all the traveling and back and forth and running around. We still have six more weeks of school but we’re going to have work hard to make sure that we stay on track and finish strong.

Yesterday I house and puppy sat for my parents all day and that being AFTER running several of my errands and doing several of my own chores. It’s been busy. (And I’ve got lots to blog about!)

Seeing the need to get back on the bandwagon as much as I did, last week Big Daddy issued a challenge to the kiddos. A challenge with a reward. (In other words.. bribery.)

Big Daddy challenged the girls to get their school work done by 3 each day (also for Princess to not whine about her math and Drama Queen to not whine about writing) and he challenged our son to clean his room-disaster a little each day and get it cleaned up by Friday at 3 (and kept clean if it got clean before then.) That was the challenge. What was the reward?

Home made ice cream! As my mom was unpacking and purging, she gifted us with an ice cream and frozen yogurt maker that she had rarely used. The kids were very excited about this new prospect. Their reward for working hard (and working together — if anyone fell behind they all lost the reward) would be home made ice cream and getting to pick their own additives to stir in.

Did it work? Did they make it?

You betcha! The girls and I did have to pitch in and help Little Prince get his room clean. But I’m okay with that because I like promoting helping each other and working together. And the girls?? They had NO PROBLEM getting their work done on time. I’ve never seen them work so quickly. Huh. Bribery Works. Imagine that. ;0)

Issues with bribery aside, I’ve decided that I kinda like this idea. It reminds me of a lullaby my mom sang to us, and I sang to my own kids:

“Twenty froggies went to school, down beside the rushing pool, twenty little coats of green, twenty vests so white and clean. We must be on time said they, first we study, THEN we play…”

This week I issued a new challenge to the kids, with the promise of a family reward on Saturday if we complete it. This time they picked a special family movie night – rented movies, hot dogs, popcorn and home-made cherry limeades. I think, sometimes, one of the challenges of homeschooling (one of the same challenges with housework) is that it just seems to go on and on and it’s easy to feel a bit monotonous sometimes. We all need to learn the ability to self-motivate, to push forward, and also to break up the monotony when we need to. We also need to spend time together and celebrate our hard work and successes. So we’ll try this for a while and see if we like it.

And in the meantime — bribery works. 😉

Photo Credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by gordonramsaysubmissions

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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!