Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Things that are working around here....

My friend Andrea, over at Dean's Academy, just posted a few fun ideas she does around her house for school and chores. Well I have been thinking I would like to post about our bean jar, but haven't gotten around to it yet, so here goes.....

(not sure why we call it a bean jar, it's actually leftover craft "stones and rocks" Originally we were going to use beans, but I didn't want spilt beans in my brown carpet!!)

A fun thing we do, it's a reward system of sorts. Works alot like her token system, with my "tweaks" How the bean jar works, when Mom or Dad notices something nice being done, we can chose to tell that person to put a bean in the jar. They take a bean out of the holding jar, and put it into the bean jar. Simple really, oh and I can not take credit, read it somewhere!

One thing I noticed, and one reason I decided to do this is I always feel I am so negative to the kids. I ALWAYS notice the wrong, and often forget to say thanks or great job. So this helps me, Mom to notice the good. Beans are added for all types of things, here are just a few ideas. I ask for someone to do something, example "can someone go downstairs and grab me a can of tomato sauce?" If someone jumps up quickly and does it hastily sometimes I say you can put a bean in the jar, sometimes not! If the kids get 100% on their math, or spelling tests etc. they get a bean, this is done everytime, and not only on 100%. If someone is struggling with something, say a specific times table or spelling list etc I sometimes let them add a bean for accomplishing it. I have a set amount for piano practice, a certain amount of days equals a certain amount of beans. However I try to do it more with simple kind gestures that happen. If I notice someone giving of themselves for another, that always gets a bean. I notice a good attitude, especially when that someone has been having a hard time with that lately, they might get a bean. Get the picture?

Once all the beans are in the jar, it will be completely full. We will do something extra fun as a family. Something that is abnormal, something special. I also like this idea because it is teamwork. Everyone is competing TOGETHER to fill the jar.

Lets see what else do we do.... I had gotten so tired of all the complaining and arguing to say the prayer for meals. I made a simple, not very pretty, prayer wheel. It's simply two circles, with a triangle cut out of one, I used a brad to fasten them. Then I taped the circle on the back to the wall. The back circle lists each persons name, Mom included. Then as we sit, I ask who's turn to pray? They say!! The prayer wheel gets turned, and I know who's turn it is to pray come next meal. Oh and when Dad is home for dinner, or on the weekends, he always chooses. Dad overrules the prayer wheel!!

I also love how I have set up our new "planners" for school. I have listed all subjects, lessons, workbooks, reading times (structured or unstructured) EVERYTHING then I have boxes that say, this has to be accomplished "X" amount of times a week. So Math lesson is done 5X's (with 5 boxes) Spelling lesson says must be finished by Thursday with 1 box. Mind Benders is done 3X's a week. So then the older kids sit down, and plan their own week. We also meet every Monday, and discuss what's happening this week, so they can plan accordingly. Such as if we have an errand or we are doing a field trip, they know they can take school reading along for the ride, and often save some. Otherwise it seems they grab another book to read! Also during our morning devotional and family lessons time, I mention any changes to the schedule, or unforeseen running of that day. I started this a few years back with Austin, and he is such an organized kid, he knows the value of time. I am hoping some of this will rub off on his younger siblings!!

So there's a few things that work around here....Do you have any other fun things that work around your house??

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since August 13, 2009

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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6