Here's what Kristen had to say:
"How are prizes awarded at my house?
1. My husband and I decide what we really think the kids are willing to work for.
2. We ask our kids for suggestions. My youngest always says "Lego Land" - we ask for simpler ideas!
3. We choose 3-4 prizes that we can make happen. This means- is this something that we can afford to purchase or are we willing to travel or attend (sporting event, amusement park).
4. Finally, we figure out exactly how many points we think our children can earn over the summer. We generally award for 50 points, 150 points, and 300 points.
50 Points - Video Game150 Points - J: trip to local baseball game, R: trip to a water park for the other (they will earn it for the entire family to attend)
300 Points - Trip for the entire family to a local amusement park
- All points are cumulative - they do not need to start over from the beginning for each prize
- Setting goals and accomplishing them gives your child a huge boost in self-confidence!
- Do not make this too complicated for yourself or else it will never happen. "
Truthfully, I have been doing something similar to this with my son already this summer. I wasn't too pleased with his math scores at the end of the year so I asked a teacher if I could check out a (less often used) math book from her for the summer...this way he wouldn't have a repeat of the same book. I sat down at my computer and typed up a list of (what I felt was) the most important pages/assignments from the book and told him he would be working on a page a day during the summer. Some people may call me the "Nazi Mom" for doing this, but in truth I don't want my son to get further behind, so I will gladly wear that title! Aside from the week vacation we took in June (hey, the kid has to get a break sometime!) he has been very determined and surprisingly self- motivated. I told him I would pay him $20 if he would complete his work, so that may be why he has been self motivated! :) My son is driven my money, but find out what works for your child (like Kristen did) and go for it! Nothing too expensive or crazy is really needed. If your child needs rewards more often, buy items from the dollar store and make a prize box out of it. Taking your child to the park, to see a movie, McDonalds, to get a snowcone, or a parent date night are all ideas that might work for you?!?
I asked my son earlier this week if he thought doing his math was helping him to learn more and improve and he said yes so that makes me feel like it is all worth it! If he can start 6th grade feeling more confident about his abilities, that will make for a much better overall year!!