t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.


A Place for Bribery

I admit.  Bribery has a place in my methodology.  Nothing spells incentive and excitement like a little bottle of glittery, glow-in-the-dark nail polish!

I'm amazed how fun the children think it is to earn a new pair of socks.  The socks are a necessary expenditure in the first place, why not make them serve a sneaky purpose?  This is my most genius stroke in a while.  My children probably get too much in the first place, so I better make them work a bit harder for everything they do receive.   Actually my inspiration for this concept was the book The Five Love Languages of Children.  My SIL gave me the book a couple years ago.  It was worthwhile read.  I loved the idea of making things like a new toothbrush special to children, who thrive on gifts.  I never would have thought of wrapping a toothbrush.

Usually I attach prizes to very measurable tasks.  Currently Callista is working on completing math fact sheets of 25 problems in one minute.  For the nail polish she has to master her "doubles plus one's."  Ellery is working for 100 problems in under 2 minutes, with an end goal of beating me in 63 seconds.

I usually tie their tasks to one another (both have to pass off a goal to earn a single nail polish), to promote team unity, rather than compare and compete.  But some rewards remain individual, especially if I feel like one of the children has worked especially hard.

What you won't find me rewarding or bribing with is food.  Probably this strategy will lose novelty if used too often, like most things, but it is fun to incorporate with spelling, math and gymnastics.

No comments: