I had a dream...
...I didn't exactly see the promised land, but I saw a small set of cards. I think I was watching (in my dream) a video about teaching the piano and I woke up straight away and thught "oh, what a good idea" - now no doubt I shall find that several of you already do this.
It has struck me that new methods often bear fruit while they're new; when I made my pupils' own website pages writable, and suggested that they keep a practise diary, one of my very reluctant practisers contributed to his three times in his first week after that (but not since nor has he practised much recently, and he's not happy about it either). I was reminded of a time years ago when I was trying to lose weight and I was buying a slimming magazine that had a different diet regime every month - a different way of going about it - and each month it would perk up my interest in doing something about it (maybe I should have kept buying it)
So a different way of stimulating their interest in practising might not go amiss. Many different ways. Perhaps not a new one every week, but every so often.
Anyway, in the dream, there was a small set of cards, maybe about 8 (so I can cut one A4 sheet into 8 in preparation) and on each one was written something which needed practising. not so much the title of the piece or the name of the scale, but a smaller detail, and the person practising was almost "dealing" the cards to himself to see what would come up next.
So I thought I'd be there with the cards in the lesson, and a pen, and every time we got past something which we thought could be sorted out at hme ("you know that fingering works better than what you're doing, so now you have to practise it" or more broadly "yes, you know what the notes are in this section, but you won't actually know the music till you've played through it a few more times just to let it get really familiar") I (or even the pupil, as suggested in another thead) will write it on the card, leaving enough spae for them to write M, Tu, W or whatever the day was, if they've gone over the instruction, and a big tick across the whole card if they think they have completely mastere it (though of course they can keep the card min the pack) then return the cards to me for the next lesson. If they want to make the practice more interesting, they can place them face down and just choose, say, three. Or one at a time until they're tired.
I think it might work with all but the youngest layer, but again, I'm sure the novelty will wear off if it's done too often. Any more ideas like this would be welcome!