We've all been there. It just isn't working. You're trying to teach something to your kids or get them to do something and it seems like you're hitting a brick wall. I think the easiest thing to do is to mix it up with ideas that are EASY to implement quickly without any extra work for you.
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Let them take a picture of their worksheet or artwork to send to someone special. I’m very bad with mail. I’ve often made the resolution to write and send more cards and I never follow through. But, when I tell my kids that they can take a picture of a finished product and send it to a grandparent (or even post it right on Instagram!), they won’t let me forget! It’s easy, they work just a little bit harder and longer, and it gets done!
Make it a race. Use your phone or a special timer to time anything and everything. They will want to do it again to try to "beat" the first time. This could work with answering a question as fast as they can or seeing how many questions they can answer in a set amount of time. I may sometimes have my kids race to take showers, get in pajamas, and brush their teeth - it works!
Use music. If there's something you need to memorize that is already set to song (like the catechism questions - see here and here), listen to it on repeat and make it a dance party / karaoke session. If you're feeling especially daring, you can even break from the nice sing-along and try screaming the lyrics! #boymom
Make it a game. Everything can be turned into a game! Movement helps keep things from being boring too. Every time they go down the slide they recite their Bible verse when they jump up. Every time they make a basket (use a laundry basket and any toy), they answer a question. Play catch, make a circle and have everyone take turns saying the same catechism answer you're working on when they have the ball. Go fast and the answers will be flying!
Have a reward. This is pretty obvious but I couldn't leave it off the list. Make the reward be especially fitting to their accomplishment. Or have it be something that will be a good motivator - like being able to use glitter, glue, and other random craft supplies to do a craft (don't get me started on glitter! #girlmom). I think one of the best rewards if you have multiple kids is time alone with mom or dad out of the house. Then you have an easy and automatic opportunity to have a deeper conversation about whatever it is they accomplished.
(And last but probably my favorite trick) - Have them record themselves saying something they’ve memorized. Super easy. Just grab your phone and record them (if it's more "special" you could also allow them to record themselves in selfie mode) either reciting a verse or answering catechism questions. As an added bonus, they will want to watch it again (and again) so they (and their siblings) will watch themselves repeating the question back!
Here are some samples of my kids and their videos (shared with their permission). David is 3 and this is his video where he wanted to both show his artwork and answer the question from the last activity I shared here last week. Then Lucy just turned 6 and is answering some of her questions we went over when we learned more about sin, which I'll be sharing soon!
Those are some tricks that work around my house... anything I should add to the list and try? I'd love to hear from you!