Saturday, January 25, 2014


I learn so much from my preschoolers, they're the ones I get plenty of inspiration from.  This month we're learning about goal striving.  We spent some time sharing stories and learning about goals, and then decided to set some of our own.  With some influence from our shared stories, our young little class agreed we'd begin to learn the process of shoe tying, and also recognize and write the first letter of our name, both pretty acheivable goals for my smart and special students.  They also each chose one other goal they wished to accomplish (or at least practice) by the months end.  Some where quick when choosing their goal, others took a bit, especially when I had to gently explain that 'learn to mow the lawn', wasn't an entirely reachable goal given the time of year and three being a little young to push a grass slaying machine.  My biggest goal for our class, just something to encourage little ones to stay seated safely (we've had more than our fair share of tumbles off and out of chairs) in their chairs.  At the end of the day I was proud of each one of them, they'd made some great goal choices, spent some quality time practicing their goals, and even made and decorated an amazing chart to help them stay motivated and visually track their hard work and progress.

We've been doing some goal striving at our own house too.  The last few months I've done a lot of thinking on how to help my children become more accountable and responsible for their own success.  My boys have a small amount of things they are responsible for, cleaning bedrooms, taking care of pets, garbage duties, all realitively easy.  However they never seem to do them without a lot of parental reminding.  I wish they would do them on their own, I'm even willing to reward them for any above and beyond efforts, but we've never reached that point.  But possibly with our new system that will change.  Sol, always wanting and saving for some sort of new toy, was completely willing and ready to help make some charts and rules for our new technique.

What only 5 cents for picking up the front room, this is slave labor!
I'd seen a friend do a similar version of this pay scale, you wouldn't think nickle and dimes would add up, but they do, Sol earned four dollars last week, and is on track to do it again this week.  Everything is pretty straight forward, they know what they need to do to earn money.  I have only one rule it's that they have to at least complete 12 jobs by the end of the week to get paid any money, this helps justify the fact that I'm paying them for things they should be doing reguardless (making bed, pick up room, laundry away).  Jo is yet to get a paycheck, I'm hoping eventually he'll see the benefits to earning money (this might take a while), maybe offering him fun activities in place of money could speed up this process.  Even Abe is catching on, although I don't know how I feel about him taking me seriously when I offered him a penny to let the dog in and out during the day (already with Sol's help he's tracked 11 cents on his own chart). 

I want my children to be successful and happy, I think helping them realize the importance of their responsibilities and their consequences is a major part of that.  I hope that our new system encourages these realizations...... even if it's only one nickle at a time.   

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