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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Rewarding Good Habits- A Plan

As you may know, I have created a housecleaning schedule and a daily nobility record for Camille I am ready for 2nd grade! Uh, so what do I do to motivate Camille to strive for excellence in these areas? Is praise and a job done well enough? Sticker charts haven’t worked in the past. Hmmm.

Do you ever just feel that God is continually guiding and blessing you? I’ve felt this way lately when it comes to our homeschool. I just finished reading Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire by Rafe Esquith, which a wonderful book if you’re interested in reading about teaching, he has wonderful ideas that he’s put into practice. I’m about to borrow one of his ideas and shape it for our use.

He created an economic system in his class room (forgive me if I explain this wrong, the book has already been returned to the library) where he gave his students so many points for completing their work and other things but they also had to use their points to pay rent for their desk and had the option of paying for little treats here and there or saving their points (money) until the end of the year to purchase a really great item. I’ve really mucked that up but I hope you get the gist of it.

Okay, the Daily Nobility Record has 25 items on it daily that can be awarded 1 point. The questions at the bottom, Were you kind?, Obey 1st Time? etc.will be answered everyday for a possible point a day. You may need to see the Nobility Record to understand, link is above at the beginning of this post.

In addition to the 25 points a day that are available, there are 3 chore points. Other than the daily everyday chores that Camille is to do like make her bed, put away her clothes, etc. she’ll have 3 chores that she chooses each week to complete from our list of weekly chores (our household is split into daily, weekly and monthly cleaning chores). With these 3 chores that she chooses to do, she has to:

1. The task is done the first time she’s asked, she only gets 1 reminder a day.
2. The task is completed without whining or complaining.
3. The task is done to the best of her ability the first time.

These are based on our House Rules, linked on the right hand column under Parenting & Organization. Our house rules are scripture based.

Only 3 chores a week came from Mrs.CleanJean’s Housekeeping for Kids where Tara Aronson said that a child’s age can be a determining factor for how many chores a week they can/should be responsible for. Just take the child’s age and divide by 2 and that is how many chores you can expect your child to accomplish without overload in a week’s time. Now Camille is my oldest and she helps a LOT with Danny (3) so I’ve been a little lenient on her when it comes to the 1.,2.,3. I have listed above. I realize this is a disservice to her so I’m changing that. Okay, back to the points system. Each day there is a total of 28 points to be earned.

We have roughly 42 weeks of school this coming year so 42 weeks x 5 days a week = 210 days, 210 days x 28 points available per day = 5880. Okay so 5880 points are available in the 42 weeks. Now to set up rewards based on this.

The points are able to be saved or spent, depending on Camille. If she saves them, she’ll have a better reward or she can choose to spend them as she gains them and have a smaller reward. It’s up to her. This will teach the importance of delayed gratification, long-term savings, perseverance and patience.

100 points: 1 hour later bedtime or other privilege at home
200 points: A new purchase of her choice with a $20 limit (within reason)
500 points: A selection of one public entertainment venue (movie theatre, play, Chuckee Cheese, etc.)
1000 points: A ‘Camille’ Day where she will be able to choose 3 things she’d like to do or places to go.
4500 points: A trip to a fairly local amusement park of choice or equivalent prize.

Yes, there are 5800 points available and yes I’m allowing for 1300 points to be wasted or spent otherwise during the 42 weeks. The grand prize has to be achievable, if it’s not - what’s the point? Now the above things I have listed are for Camille only, if she were to cash in her points for a selection of one public entertainment venue, this would be for her only not the entire family. Trips to Chuckee Cheese with Danny and the family do not count towards her points, these are family excursions. The awards for the points may need to be adjusted and will if necessary but for now it’s what I think she’ll respond to.

Camille will be ultimately responsible for keeping record of her points, they will be recorded on our calendar but the math portion of it is her responsibility. Each week she has the opportunity to earn 140 points which she may choose each week to spend or save. Her reward is up to her for her vigilance and duty. I will discuss the rewards with her to make sure they are to her liking but they will be progressively better with the amount of points saved.

In a small way I feel guilty that Camille is the guinea pig for such experiments but I credit God for the inspiration that has put this on my heart. There is very little precious time to instill good habits! Danny will have the benefit of the trial and error of Camille, he already does. He cleans up all his toys before bedtime without fuss, knowing that this is expected of him. We've done the sticker chart before but I think this will teach much more, I'll share how it goes each week in our Weekly Report that I will post each week here to document our 2nd grade journey.



Jules said...

My son's fifth grade teacher did something similar. I am sure she got it from the Esquith book, as she is very well read. Anyway, it worked like a charm in the classroom. Five of them (including my son) saved enough "money" that she took them out to dinner and a movie during the summer. She is a wonderful teacher and one of the people who inspired me to be a teacher.

Jenny said...

You know, I wonder why you are only counting points for school days. Is this only something to be done when "at school" or is it a behavior that you want to last a lifetime? Lord knows, I am not saying this from a soapbox or any such thing... we are a sticker chart failure family here (led to greed and materialism)... I guess that's why I question the wisdom of schooltime chores and good deeds for a homeschooling family. Isn't the point of homeschooling to bring learning to our entire lives?

Just the thoughts that I had while I was reading. BTW, I reference your blog frequently. You are "reference material" to me, lol. Thanks for all the good info and inspiration. :)

Mrs. "M" said...

Thanks Jessica for being willing to help. When I start thinking and planning if something comes up I will definitely ask. I always get good ideas from you.

Thanks again

Trivium Academy said...

It's not really just during lesson time, the chore points are for all the time, so are the points for questions regarding behavior but I think you're talking more about Mon-Friday, right?

Honestly, it's because I don't want to worry about counting points on the weekend! Lol. It doesn't mean that it will be a free-for-all. I'll adjust it if we need to, good point though!

: ) Jessica

Jenny said...

Yeah I was referring to the "42 weeks of school x 5 days a week = 210 days x 28 points available per day = 5880 points available."

I just know that I would get a lot of flack from my (almost) 6-yr old on the weekends and vacation time for that lack of consistency.

It is an interesting system though! I can't wait to hear how it works.

Caryn said...

Jessica, just wondering if you implimented this and how it went/is going? It's something that I've been thinking about for a few months now.