When we started homeschooling this year I wanted to have some type of reward system in place. At first I made a sticker chart where they could earn small rewards each week.
Then I came up with something a little more concrete: our Reward Store.
I’ve found that having something more concrete that they can work towards is a HUGE motivator.
All of the items in our store were little things I had picked up at the dollar store and stashed away for a “rainy day.” In the future, when our store needs restocked I might let them pick up items they’d like to earn.
I didn’t want to use real money for our store for several reasons. So I came up with our own “store dimes.”
Our dimes are simple circles cut from aluminum foil. The kids each have a “bank” to save their dimes in.
Each of the items in our store is labelled with a price written on masking tape.
I made sure to have small items (lollipops and other small candies) that are worth ten cents each (one “dime”). This ensures that they can always purchase something at the end of class if they have given their best effort and earned that dime.
Other items range in price from 30 cent ring lollipops, to 50 and 80 cents and even a dollar (or 10 of our dimes) for the larger items. I plan on increasing prices over time, making each reward take a bit longer to earn.
I also included a few shared rewards in our basket, like going for ice cream. This way the kids need to work together towards a few of the rewards.
The reward store has been a big hit with both of my students!
Not only are they earning small prizes for good behavior and trying their best each day at school, but they are also learning so much from our store!
* They are counting by tens. (That’s why all our coins right now are dimes!) The youngest has learned that if he wants the 50 cent Silly Putty, he needs to earn 5 dimes to buy it. We go over counting our coins by tens at the end of each lesson to see how much is in the bank.
* They are both learning to save their money for what they want to buy. The candy may be tempting, but they know that if they want to earn that Lego set they need to have ten dimes.
* They are learning to make good choices. “If I buy the candy I will enjoy it for a little bit, but then it will be an extra day before I can buy that Silly Putty that will be fun to play with for a long time.”
* They are learning patience. That first day my youngest didn’t understand that he wasn’t getting a prize out of the basket every day. Now his attitude is a lot different!
* They are learning to work together. Remember those shared rewards?
As an added benefit they aren’t always begging for a “little something” when we go to a store.
So far our reward store has only been associated with school, but I am thinking we may eventually tie it in with good behavior throughout the day. Maybe earning one dime for school and having a chance to earn a second dime for completing chores and having good behavior the rest of the day. (If we do that, those prices will definitely be increasing a bit!)
Do you have a reward system in place?
I’d love to hear about it!