A fun way to motivate a student is to pack your lessons full of surprises and silliness. Positive emotions enhance learning and motivation. Your boys will have strong and lasting memories if they are experiencing strong emotions while they are learning.
If you can make something fun, exciting, happy, loving, or perhaps even a bit frightening, students will learn more readily and the learning will last much longer. Emotions can be created by classroom attitudes, by doing something unexpected or outrageous, by praise, and by many other means. Surprises and silliness make lessons so much more memorable for your boys!
Fun elementary lessons could begin with you teaching the class in period costume, acting like a mad scientist when you are doing a science experiment, or having everyone sing their answers. Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself to make a memorable point.
Try motivating your students by using these surprises and silliness techniques:
- Be Energetic - Being energetic in your teaching is a motivating factor in itself; adding energy to the ideas you want to convey will further enhance learning and commitment to the ideas.
- Catch! - Throw soft candy, like circus peanuts, into your students' mouths if they get the answer right.
- Crafts - Let your kids have time to make a fun and unusual craft. This is good for their imagination as well as giving them a break from their traditional book work.
- Dancing - Jump up and start dancing during a lesson. Your boys will jump up and join you - it's a great way to get the wiggles out as well as to get the blood pumping when the boys are acting lethargic.
- Enthusiasm - If you become bored or apathetic, students will too. Typically, an instructor's enthusiasm comes from confidence, excitement about the content, and genuine pleasure in teaching. If you find yourself uninterested in the material, challenge yourself to devise the most exciting way to present the lesson.
- Humor - Allow your boys to express humor in appropriate ways and at appropriate times. Acknowledge your son's skill at being humorous. Sometimes, you just have to have a sense of humor about a boy's sense of humor. Don't allow yourself to become annoyed at their antics - be in the right frame of mind and they will brighten up your day.
- Mud - Let your sons put on bathing suits and roll around in a bunch of mud if they do their schoolwork well that day. And let them run through the sprinkler to get cleaned up again.
- Music - Sing their lessons to them. You can also accompany yourself on a musical instrument that you have at home - whether you know how to play the instrument or not. Have your boys join you in singing the lessons as well.
- Outside - Move their desks or table outside without them realizing you've done so and have them do their lessons outdoors for the day. This is a great spring or fall surprise!
- Pies- Let students throw a pie in your face if they get 100% on a test.
- Play Dead - Have a guest come in a play dead and let your sons solve a murder mystery. This will help to strengthen their reading and logic skills.
- Strange Voices - Use strange voices when you are teaching the lesson. Or, allow your boys to use silly voices when they give their answers.
- Stunts - This is a great way for Dad to get involved with homeschooling. Have him offer to have his head shaved or to run a marathon if they achieve a certain level of work.
- Visual aids - Use silly pictures or cartoons to get across the point of the lesson.
Different approaches will motivate students differently. Use your imagination to continue to try new ideas out on your boys, until you discover which methods work best for them. Fun elementary lessons motivate students and help them to remember the information longer as well. Add surprises and silliness to your lessons and bring the fun back into your boys' learning.
Michelle Caskey has been homeschooling her sons for five years. Michelle graduated from the Western Michigan University with a degree in English and Computer Science. Read more of her homeschooling articles at http://www.homeschool-your-boys.com
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