Gess actually likes school and does not generally complain about doing it, but when we would end one subject she would think that meant we were done with school. So last year I began keeping a schedule on the wall so that Gess could see just how many more subjects we had to do before we were done. This way she can look up at her desk and see which subjects are left without having to ask or wonder. Her current schedule looks like this. (Note that I have it divided into 2 sections which is basically before and after lunch.)
Of course this may cause some children to insist that the subjects must be done in order, but I would rather Gess demand a set schedule and be willing to learn rather than to have to continually fight to get her back on task. While I know that some homeschooling methods do not follow close schedules, I am learning that Gess does much better when we follow one - so we do. Besides, once she gets used to the routine, she rarely checks out the list anymore and doesn't seem to notice if I do something out of order.
Another thing I have implemented this year is using alarms. As our schedule has grown, so has our need for breaks. However, once Gess is allowed some play time, she is not always as eager to go back to school (depending on what she is doing). Well, I have discovered that if I tell her how long her break is and set an alarm for that set amount of time, when the alarm goes off Gess immediately stops what she is doing and runs back to the school room! I never thought would work that good! It's like our own school bell!
I generally set 3 alarms a day. One to start school in the morning, once to start after lunch and one for our mid-morning break. Here she is with my cell phone which is the alarm clock that I use. She is sure to bring it with her so I can shut it off. I mean, she loves the reminder, but the noise is another thing!
Gess really does love school. It's amazing how little tricks like this can make the entire day go more smoothly. Now when break time is over Gess is once again ready to focus on school.