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If you do a rewards system for school.

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I will be incorporating a rewards system for chores & school done on time. My idea is a daily checklist (my kids dig checklists & box checking) with chores & school. If everything is done & marked off checklist all week then they get a reward.


My problem my 10 yo dd who stalls & plays instead of doing chores. If she misses her checklist goal on Tuesday then she will say "Oh well" and not try as hard the rest of the week because she's already missed out on the reward at the end of week. But I don't want to be unfair to her 11 y/o bro who gets his checklist done every day. Any ideas on how to fix that?  Also, what do you use as rewards? TIA!

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Decide carefully what you want to reward.


We do contracts here, because I want to reward for responsibility, not work.  Work changes, the need to be a self-starter doesn't.  We make a deal, I will pay for work completed before 9am (or 8pm for evening chores).  I will check them at that time on the chore chart.  If not done, or done poorly, guess what?  The kid STILL HAS TO DO THE WORK.  I just get to nag, complain, and remove the reward.  End of the week is payday and the pay is determined by how much was completed on their own, not with me having to take over the responsibility. There is still a reward if there is still a smidge of responsibility, but not nearly what it would be if it was all taken care of.

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We do sticker charts for attitude/behavioral stuff, including attitudes towards school work. It's semi-flexible, but it's only three things for her to remember to do---listen, use nice words, and help.  That pretty much covers everything I want to cover with her. Not stalling is part of listening.  Not complaining is part of nice words. Cleaning up is part of helping.


We don't do weekly rewards, but we reward every set number of stickers.  That way even after a bad day she still has motivation to get better the next time.  


Rewards are variable, and can be anything from a color bath, to a family playground trip (with mom AND dad), to picking a family meal for the week, to picking out a new book. 


It works for her, but she's obviously much younger than your kids- so YMMV.



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*singing the song*Moneymoneymoneymoney.....MONEY!

IF you decide to go this route, make it clear that you will do it on a trial basis.  This is not the right system for every family or every child.

1) There is no allowance in our home.  But there is always opportunity to earn money.

2) This reinforces that their job is schoolwork, and they need to do it.  Daddy doesn't get paid for his job if he doesn't do it.  If you don't do your work, you don't get paid either. 

Be brutal.  Either you did the work, or you didn't.  And limited tv until it is done. 


3) Kindergarten work: 5c/page (Intro Phonics curriculum earns 25c/lesson because learning to read is SOOOOO important IMO).
1st Grade: 6c/page or lesson

2nd Grade: 7c/page or lesson

3rd Grade: 8c/page or lesson

4th Grade: 9c/page or lesson

This system works for us because:
--If little sister wonders why older sister gets paid more, I tell her that her work is harder.  And I am willing to to double lessons with her to get her to the same level as big sister.

--If big sister wonders why little sister's work is so easy, she also gets paid a lot less.  Does big sister want to earn less?

--My third grader currently does "mostly 3rd grade work" which pays the 8c level.  Her math is a year ahead, so it pays 9c/lesson part.  Her history was never finished last year (12 lesson to go!), so it pays 7c/lesson part.

--Varying levels of payscale teaches that: Harder work (and being more educated) earns a better wage in the same way that being college educated earns a better payscale than just a high school diploma.

4) The way I break down some lessons:
Our history is time intensive.  Each of these earns pay (7c)
--All reading finished for the chapter (several books)
--map work and review questions answered 

Math has several parts (9c each):
--mental math section + flash cards
--problems for current section
--review problems

Chemistry: 8c/experiment + write-up

ExplodeTheCode book:
one page

Grammar General Workbook (from Rainbow Resource)
one page

Logic of English
1/3 lesson (as recommended by curriculum)


30 minutes

List +the spelling activity on the following page

5) Some things I pay only 5c for:
--Practice your TaeKwondo + situps and pushups
--20 minutes on Xtra Math
--20 minutes of typing up a writing assignment

6) I pay a bonus of 25c if everything on the list got done today.   Didn't get everything done?  Not my problem.  What can I do to help you get more done tomorrow?  Wake you earlier?  Limit tv?  Remind you about the bonus every hour on the hour?

7) I shy away from time limits.of having everything done by a certain time of day.   I don't want my child penalized for working really hard and putting in extra time to master a new or challenging concept.

Dd has spent more than one night in her bed working to finish the day's work.  IMO, she is applauded to be working so hard.


Unexpected consequences:

--When I pay the girls, I divide their income into thirds: 1/3 for a locked bank which will be opened after the 1 year date written on the bottom, 1/3 for "impulse buy" money, and 1/3 to save for something specific.  The girls learn the value of saving for long-term.
Some families use this a way to structure tithing.

--When we go to the store, and they beg for something, I ask, "Did you bring your money???"  At first older dd would be upset by this.  Not my problem, but I'm willing to do extra schoolwork with her.  Eventually, she would come home ready to do schoolwork RIGHT NOW to earn money for [insert heart's desire].

--Both girls talk about saving the money in their locked boxes for college.

--It feels good to buy things.  Since my children have their own money, I counter this drug of purchasing by saying, "Doesn't it feel good to have that money saved?" 

--For big purchases, we discuss whether the new item will make her happier than the good feeling of having that money saved.  Maybe it will or maybe it won't.

--If dd wants to buy something, I help her obtain it (often by looking online).  For as hard as she works for her money (at 8c/page), even a purchase of $5 is a big investment of time an effort for an 8yo.  That is as many as 63 pages or lessons of work.

--Irony: I'm the biggest Progressive (socialist) my extended family has ever met.   And yet, I'm raising my kids in pure capitalism.  :lol:


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As stated above, I wouldn't award based on week because there is no incentive to do well if mess up one day. Maybe earn five completed day stickers and then get the reward.


I don't do a lot of rewards.

My 8 year old earns marbles - marbles for pages of schoolwork. These can then be turned in for computer time.

Donut days when we finish a math workbook.

NO computer or other fun until all work is done.


Decide what motivates your children and what you are willing to do as a family and then try it out.

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We use Accountable Kids.  http://www.accountablekids.com/program.aspx Can't take credit for most of what is below, but here is how we have applied it:


We have daily rewards, and one kid can earn their rewards without input from the other kid, so resentment doesn't build (well, at least not about this, lol).  I think the daily system helps them get an immediate positive reinforcement and even if they have one bad day the next day is a fresh start and they have a reason to do it well.  They also have rewards earned over multiple days so they are encouraged to be consistent.


As for the rewards themselves:

- Free time, which to them is basically screen time, though it is supposed to also cover other stuff.  They earn this throughout the day as they finish up different tasks.  

- Money, but these are for things that are not required for them to do (vacuum, mop, fold the family towels, pick weeds, etc).  I'd say my kids average $1/week each.  

- Privilege Passes, for something that is difficult to do (my daughter: not complaining about certain things, my son: staying in his spot for quiet time or bed time); these can be redeemed for larger things, like a special art project, a long movie, etc.  My kids could get one daily, but I'd say at most they earn these 3x a week.  Once they do a couple weeks perfectly, we change the challenge.  

- Best behavior cards, for when they do something exceptionally good or nice; these don't actually have a trade-in value and are just an official acknowledgement, but they still like it a lot -- these are actually some of the most sought-after bling on the boards, lol.  

- Long term reward for doing well consistently is a date with mom or dad, maybe 2-3 hours total.  Maybe 1-2x a month each kid.  


We also have a sticker chart at the piano for my daughter, each half hour practiced gets a sticker.  She gets a musical reward at the completion of a chart.  We had her choose her own chart/stickers, which motivated her to use this more than expected.

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I got this idea from someone here last fall. My 8 year old was having a terrible attitude about school work: yelling, talking back, storming off, throwing fits, etc. I bought a tall taper candle and told him that I would light it at the start of school every day. The first time he had a bad attitude about school that day I would blow the candle out. Once we made it through an entire candle, he'd get a reward.


It took maybe 3-4 months to break him of his bad habits with his attitude and behavior. After that, I stopped using the candle and school has been much improved. I didn't even spend the end of 3rd grade looking longingly at private school websites like I did at the end of 1st and 2nd grade.


I found this system to be much easier to keep track of than points, stickers, or anything else. All I had to do was light the candle each day and blow it out the moment bad behavior started.

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Pretty basic here. Work gets checked off on a checklist. No work, no screen time, no guitar time. You want screen time (TV, games, access to Google/email/Pinterest if you're over ten) -- complete your work by 5 pm. (Guitar time is more flexible because that's also an art, and they like to play along with DH when he comes home; they still have to do their work before playing, but if they finish at 6 or 7, they may still have the chance to play guitar for a little while.). If you haven't completed work, you might also miss out on special privileges, like going somewhere with DH on the weekend, or being the one child who goes along with me for grocery shopping.

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One of the best things I've ever done for my homeschool is put out an empty quart jar and some pretty pebbles.  I told my girls that each time they got through a subject (not necessarily a specific task, but a subject - it's clear to them) they could ask themselves, "Did I do that with a good will?  And to the best of my ability?"  And a "yes" answer allows them to add a pretty pebble to the jar.  When the jar is full, something happens (fancy lunch, special outing, something like that).


This jar turned things around in my house.  The kids had gotten into a bad habit of complaining, even about things they actually liked pretty well, and the jar with the pretty pebbles fixed it!  Also, it's worth noting that in a year and a half of three kids participating in this thing, only twice has a kid dropped in a questionable pebble.  Sometimes they'll deliberate a little while, and occasionally ask me what I think (I never offer an opinion), but always save twice they've been honest and true about it. 

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I don't do rewards, I am strongly in favor of intrinsic motivation. That said, computer game time and fun stuff happens after chores are done and schoolwork is complete. They have lists of what is expected of them for schoolwork every day. So when they ask "Can I play on the computer?" my first response is "Is your schoolwork done?" if they answer is yes, then I say, "Are your chores done?" Their reply is my answer. 


I also give my kids a small allowance every week not tied to chores. We do chores because we live in a house and that requires upkeep and care. Nobody pays me for the laundry. However, I want them to learn to manage money, so they get a small allowance. I DO charge them from their allowance if I have to do their chores. If someone else did my laundry or cleaned my house, I would have to pay them. Same goes for their responsibilities. I am very experienced and my rates are high. If I do one chore it is 1/4 of my son's weekly allowance. 


I have also told them that it is my job to provide housing, food, clothing and an education. Everything else is just extra and I do not mind doing it. But I refuse to pay for things for which i see no value. If they want something and it is educational, I will buy it. Always. IF they want something that I see some value in, I will often pay for half and they can pay for the other half. If they want something for which I see no value but it is NOT immoral, unhealthy or potentially life threatening, they can buy it on their own (candy, video games etc...). These ideas are clearly laid out in Barbara Colorosso's Kids are Worth It.


This method works! My teen buys all of her own stuff, we bank with Capital One 360 and she has her own account (tied to mine so I get a notification for every transaction) that comes with a debit card. I give her money every year to buy clothes, she budgets what she wants accordingly. If she blows her budget on one pair of shoes, she can find her jeans at the Goodwill. If she wants a $30 bottle of hair product, she can buy it herself. This is working out VERY well. Both of my kids have a very good sense of money. They wanted a new laptop last year, so they went in together. They researched online and found a laptop they wanted and could afford. They split the cost. One kid had dibs on even days, the other on odd numbered days. When the older one wanted to buy her own laptop this year, her brother bought out her share of the old laptop and she used that towards a new one. All I did was drive them to the store. It was great! They were like an old married couple looking at computers, she was looking at specs and he was playing games on them looking at video quality. 

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I don't do rewards...don't know why? Probably don't have the time to deal with it. I do set expectations. Don't know... just don't know how I feel about them doing everything to get a reward, I don't think that's how life works. I do take them to plenty of activities, field trips, allow plenty of play time with friends...if work isn't done then they lose those. So I guess those can be seen as their rewards

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I don't do rewards, I am strongly in favor of intrinsic motivation.

That's how I generally feel, however we really needed something to break our oldest of his bad attitude habits about school. Using the candle for a few months broke the automatic bad attitude and now we are back to not having any rewards systems. Rather than always using one or never using one, I think I will save rewards systems for very occasional use only.


They have a chores list for the morning and afternoon, plus some extra jobs that rotate depending in the day of the week. They earn "bonus pay" if they get a few specific jobs done before I get up. (Ones that make the day go smoother if done early.) They have to do these jobs either way, but they only get paid for them if they do them early.

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We don't give rewards for chores - they must be done daily and on time. Nor do we give an allowance.


However, we are giving rewards in the form of money for completed schoolwork. I went back to work 20 hours per week this year and since I am getting paid for time previously spent working with my children, I felt they deserved some of the money if they continue to get their schoolwork done with much less oversight from me. They have a monthly chart split into five subjects. They can earn money for each subject completed at the end of the month. There is no money if the subject list is not completed at the end of the month and less money if the subject list was not completed to the best ability of the student.



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My kids' reward for prompt work is free time. I make weekly assignment sheets and assign only a few things for Friday. Friday is catch up day, for the most part. Anything that hasn't been checked off the assignment sheet has to be finished Friday. If they kept up all week, they'll have much of Friday free to do as they please, although I don't allow movies during the day, and we don't have video games.They tend to use this time in productive activities -- for example, today they've played games, played outside, read books, and done Duolingo and Seterra.


I like this because it's real life. First, education is its own reward. I think giving material rewards diminishes that ideal. Second, generally you pay to get a good education, not the other way around. My grown kids are paying a fortune for their (graduate) educations right now. No one is paying them to turn in assignments. The reward for finishing their work is free time.   


As far as chores go: I give extra chores to kids who don't finish their chores on time or do them with a bad attitude.

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