How to Make Routine Task Fun!


Lately we've needed a creative way to get school work completed for the day.  I don't ask my son to do a lot, but yes- math, phonics, reading together-- will happen everyday.  The rest of the day he is free to P.LA.Y!!  I suppose it is my Type A personality coming in to play here, but I'd  like to just get that stuff over with right after breakfast, but with a little sister tagging around, I can see where she would be much more exciting to hang out with and trying to get him to school work afterwards just ain't gonna happen {pardon my English!}.

To get us moving, I created a "To Do" School Jar.  I thought the incentive of picking out his school task and the element of surprise from not knowing what will be chosen, would help motivate him {and me} a little bit.

To make our jar, I used an empty glass jar I had on our shelves and "prettied" it up with paper, ribbon, and buttons.  Then on several large wooden craft sticks I wrote the subjects we do for school.  Not every stick is in the jar everyday; for instance, when it's Math day for Five in a Row, the Math U See stick will not be put in the jar.  And school stuff is done when all the sticks have been pulled out, which answers the "Are we done yet" question!

Playing car and/or with little sister is way more exciting, but I think he enjoys being able to have some control in what gets done at the moment.  And since he has to pick, it makes the whole process unpredictable yet fun.  

What are your tips/ tricks you use to get your child to do school stuff without the drama?  
I'd love to hear!!