And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Incentive

I think I need to adjust my standards and make incentive (to use a phrase uttered by a friend this morning) a big part of our home school outline. See incentive is different than bribery or rewards. I've tried both with my kids and they don't work. They see right through any bribes and opt not to do the lesson, chore, favor, whatever. They don't want to stoop to the level of bribes. (Who made these kids so smart?) They also don't fall to rewards. I've tried it. For.ev.er. My kids could care less about a sticker or a piece of candy or a toy. They don't care. They haven't cared since the potty training days (both were around 2 yrs old).


Speedy at 2 when rewards worked
So as I've struggled to find the magic key to prompting them to happily and efficiently do their school work, I've tightened down the ship to the point of almost no lunch dates, field trips, mid-day Nonna breaks, etc. I think this is where I went wrong. I got up this morning and told the kids to get moving that we were meeting a friend for lunch today. And there it was- INCENTIVE. They were dressed, fed, and at their desks before I had my third sip of coffee.



See the thing is maybe my expectations have been too high. Maybe I was praying and hoping and holding my breath that they would just wake up one day and declare their love for school and then birds would sing and light would shine down on us from heaven above. Maybe that wasn't realistic. Ahem. My husband told me recently that I shouldn't expect this, that kids weren't always going to love school, and that I should just make each day the best I can. Bless him, I never listen when he says it. Well....obviously I listened because I remember him saying it but I didn't heed his advice. But when a friend typed "incentive" this morning, it all clicked.

So while I'm already writing out our calendar for 2014-2015 in more of a 5 weeks on, 1 week off (roughly) way, I'm also going to have to add in some incentive days. Because on incentive days, I get to have fun catching up with a friend/ my mom/ the sunshine and my kids are excited to finish school. Yep these are important. And I have to remember that my legalistic tendencies to cut out all fun when things get tough ISN'T EVER GOING TO WORK. I'm shouting that to myself y'all.

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