Wednesday, July 8, 2009

wanted: motivational booster seat

although we have the first week, post month vacation, under our belts, we (as in NOT me) were still lacking in the motivation department. the kids needed a pick me up. a SERIOUS boot to the bottom kind of thing to get them interested in this "school" business.
i came up with these little motivation/incentive posters for each child. it took a while to actually figure out the dynamics of the whole thing, and i worked on various designs and such in my head. and they may change as the years roll on.

i started by setting them up with their own little notebooks. then, as we would do reviews, each child would get a sticker for remembering a certain question. they also received stickers for doing assignments quickly, or doing assignments without getting any questions/math problems incorrect.

then i took some of last years posters (they had miscellaneous german alphabet and german numbers on them), and turned them over to use the other side (thrifty props for the day!). each child chose a theme. for keaton, he chose dinosaurs, and for ashton, she chose horses. i simply took computer paper and traced over old coloring book pictures that were just the right size. cut them out, and sticky tacked them onto the posterboard. you can make them more permanent if you wanted, but i know i will be re-using these so i wanted to make them as reusable as possible.

next i chose areas of incentive. the three that i chose were "knowledge", "expedience", and "goodness". the small notebooks will contain all their accumulated knowledge stickers, and for every two that they get, one sticker will be placed in the assigned knowledge outline. for every assignment that i require timing for, i am even including chores and other duties here, and if they finish said project in the time allotted, they get a sticker straight to the expedience outline. and for every exceedingly good deed, or for helping mommy without being asked, or for doing their list of chores without being told, they will get a sticker in the goodness outlines. i chose 5 outlines in all. 2 for knowledge, 2 for goodness, and 1 for expedience. i placed these tabs next to the outline of the child's choice, and they are also sticky tacked to the wall so i can easily move them around as they progress throughout the year.

then came the fun chore of deciding prizes and how these will be doted out. i decided that for every outline they fill, they will get to pick, out of a small container, a "prize". i let the kids help me choose some of these incentive prizes, the only kicker is that it required little to no money. a few we came up with were: picnics in the wilderness, 3 days of no chores, a pizza and movie night with one friend, one toy from the dollar store, 30 extra minutes on computer day, or an ice cream date out with mommy or daddy.

my hope is that these keep them motivated to fill all the outlines. and once all the outlines are filled, they get one large prize at the end, something of some worth. ashton chose a new Webkinz doll, and keaton chose a Hot Wheels car carrying semi truck.

i will keep you up on the progress of these charts and let you know if they have "staying" power. so far, they are working SPLENDIDLY. ashton already has done the dishes without being asked, and my son started folding laundry without being asked. they were so excited to pick and place their own sticker!

*gives self satisfied pats on back*

i am currently working on a reading incentive chart for each child. ahhh, my creative juices are flowing!

ok, who am i kidding?! i needed this motivation boost just as much as the kids did!!!

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