Motivation is a big part of homeschooling in our family. For a child in public school, peer pressure, grades and their parents reaction is a big motivator. But in our homeschool there is neither motivator. I want my children to learn the material, so an 80% is not acceptable to me, they have to correct everything until it is all done perfectly. So we have had to look for other motivators, and we have used several methods successfully, I think each one is good for different periods in our lives.
The easiest motivator I used was a piece of construction paper with 20 circles making a trail. The trail leads to something exciting, like a field trip the child has been dying to go on. Every good day of school (no bad attitudes, and hard work) they get to fill in a circle. When the path is complete we go on the field trip! This is a picture of our current chart, with a picture of a playground at the end, which is where Brian, our six year old picked!
Another method we have used is based from thinking outside the box homeschoolers. We made a big poster to hang with four areas. Our school was a spy school with a secret mission for top secret clearance spies. Each subject done well raised our oldest's security clearance, and the secret mission was a fun treat or activity. Also on the chart I put a "well done" area for each child so that they could hang the best sheet of the day up. For my preschoolers we did a red, yellow and green light to keep them motivated. A green light at the end of the day merited a special treat.
I think I've mentioned this earlier, but now we use a natural consequence for our nine year old adhd child. If his work is done before lunch he gets to watch an hour of tv in the afternoon or play a WII Game. If it's not done he doesn't. Since we have started this he gets his work done without fail!
How do you motivate your homeschoolers?