Good Morning! I’m gearing up today for our homeschool co-op field trip. I’m so proud of our group of kiddos and so I thought I’d share today what we’ve done this year and how successful it has been.
First of all, I am so lucky to belong to this awesome group. It is wonderful to have a group of mommas that can work together, support each other, and have fun, while we
try not to screw our kids up too bad take on schooling our own children. There are days as a homeschool mom that you are sure that you will pull all your hair out by the end of the day, are certain that you should probably be medicated, and that your children are going to be permanently damaged. There are also days that you are ecstatic, doing the happy dance because your child is excelling, or when your 5 year old explains to you what compromise means after he hears you teaching his brother, There are great victories and times of extreme frustration ( I may or may not have actually banged my head against and algebra book this year). Having like minded friends, who are in the same boat is a God send.
That’s where our co-op comes in. One post isn’t enough to cover every detail but our trip today has to do with something we started this year as a behavioral reward system, and I wanted to share it.
We became more structured this year with more class time, and therefor more expectations from the kids. We wanted to come up with a way to get the kids to obey the rules, work together, learn to give, reward good behavior and correct bad behavior. That’s not too much to ask is it?
So here’s what we came up with!
I have some friends that are teachers so I’m familiar with the “card system”. I don’t know if this is a local thing or if other schools use it so I’ll explain. We use green, yellow and red. Each kid has 3 cards with their names on them. As long as they behave their card stays green, one warning- we change it to yellow, and if the bad behavior continues they are changed to red (and we get their Mom). It is a nice visual for the kids and a great way for them to check themselves if they aren’t behaving.
We then came up with a reward system that not only helps reinforce the good behavior but is also teaching them to work together, to give, and to be responsible. Each week we give the kids tickets according to what color they were on. Green gets 5, yellow gets 2, and the dreaded red gets none. We set up a “store” full of fun stuff they can buy with their tickets. There is a box of small things like pencils, stickers, small toys. Then there are larger things that they have to save up for. We also gave them 2 jars, one for give and one for reward.
We told the kids that for every 2 tickets they put in the give container we would donate an item to a charity. We divided the school year into 3 month increments and each one gets its own charity. In November we donated to the Salvation Army. We took the kids with their donations to the local branch, where they got a tour of the facility, learned about what they do, and helped pack grocery bags for Thanksgiving. Today (the long winded girl finally gets back to where she started!) we are visiting another local charity, where we are donating canned goods and toiletries. Our next project is going to be care packages for soldiers over seas. It has been heartwarming to see the kids put their tickets into the give jar willingly, and to see them learn about helping others and giving.
The other jar we have is for a reward trip. When the jar is filled with 50 tickets the kids get to go on a super fun (not in any way educational) trip. They have the same 3 month allotment to get it filled to earn their trip. We pick out 2 choices for them and let them vote on which one they want to do. Their teamwork here has been really cool to watch too. A couple of weeks ago they weren’t even half way to their goal. One little boy put in all his tickets, and encouraged the others to do the same. Nothing like a little positive peer pressure to get the job done!
What we’ve learned-
– If you are teaching a class the child who is most likely to misbehave and get their card flipped is your own.
– Our kids are generous especially when we give them an outlet for it.
– Mom’s may dread the fun field trips and pre-treat themselves with Excedrin but seeing our kids work together is our reward.
– We are pretty awesome mommies even on days where we bang our heads against algebra books!
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