Today was Boo’s first day of her new daily “curriculum” and she was so excited. She saw her cousins doing this in Seattle and I made mental notes of everything their parents had set up for them and adjusted it to work for Boo.
First, we made a contract. It stipulates that she must have a good attitude to get credit for her tasks. It also states the reward system: $1.00 a day if she completes her sheet, 25 cents for extra credit items, and after she completes 30 days she gets a larger reward.
Then I made a daily worksheet. Every morning she has to write the day and date (that she figures out from a calendar I printed off for her). Then she has a few basic tasks she has to finish by the end of the day. She has a chance for extra credit items as well. I’m sure we’ll tweak this sheet as time goes along but it’s a good start:
All of her daily worksheets and subject worksheets are kept in her notebook. I made a few extra credit items to start off with: learning our phone numbers, home address, and learning currency. At the front of her notebook is a picture of a reward she is working towards: a princess skateboard.
I let her pick out her notebook and all the supplies she would need to start. She was so excited and focused:
The reason I know this will work for us? It’s simple, straight forward, and uncomplicated. I can add lots of new exciting stuff via her extra credit tasks. Extra chores I need help with can also be extra credit….so I can make it up as I go. And if we miss a day? No big deal.
I uploaded all the templates I made so far into a zip file if anyone is interested. Click here to download.
Oh, and she also gets 25 cents if she gets ME to exercise every day.
P.S. Thanks to Bill for all the ideas!
I wonder if my oldest is too young for this…but I love it anyway! Very clever.
Liisa Sanchez says
Brilliant!! Well done Mom and go Sienna!!
So fun! Are you going to keep this going after school starts in the fall? I’m thinking this would be great to do for the rest of summer but maybe changing the items up once school starts for my daughter.
Definitely, but I’ll change it up to just have her homework replace the math and other work 🙂
I think most kids crave a sense of order in their lives and this is something that they can feel proud of, and earn along the way for doing daily tasks. Excellent!
Oh how I wish you’d done this 2 months ago, my summer might have gone much smoother.
I am implmenting this tomorrow! Thank you for such a great idea!
Adriana M. says
My sister home schooled my niece. It has been such a challenge for all of us involved in her care now as we have no experience home schooling and Aurora takes advantage of this. She slacks off on what she knows she needs to do and at the moment everything seems disorganized and chaotic. I am at the point where I want to enroll her in public school but I know she will suffer greatly if we do this as she struggles to learn when there is a lot of distraction. I am going to put together something like this immediately to go along with our curriculum. I really think it will help a lot. Thanks so much for posting this! 🙂
Let it be. says
I’m so confused…you want to enroll your sisters daughter in public school?
Adriana M. says
My husband and i have guardianship of her and her siblings. 🙂
Check out homes cooling section on Pioneer Woman, lots of great ideas and a support system to of folks who are homeschooling.
I love this idea we do something like this at home… but my son earns TV or video game time for doing work (worksheets, workbooks, handwriting sheets and/or Calendar Notebook).
We just started doing this Calendar Notebook… i found here http://www.ouraussiehomeschool.com/2012/03/calendar-notebook.html
It is a little to much for him right now, but I am hoping that it will be perfect for christmas break and next summer.
lisa jack says
This is just the beginning I needed for my 4 yr old. We’ve been trying to figure out where to even start…..thx Ashley!! <3 ya!
Becky B. says
Love this! I’ll be honest; I have an awful time trying to get my little ones to follow through. We’ve tried different systems all ending in failure. This may work especially with my oldest who has ADD. It’s simple and to the point! I ‘m going to try this out!!
I love the realistic rewards you have set up. I have seen a lot of parents go overboard with the monetary limits (myself included). Thanks for sharing!
June K says
I think this is a super excellent idea. I don’t have kids but I can see where it motivates the child, keeps the household in order and helps the parents as well. Thanks for sharing.
(I love she earns $.25 for getting you to exercise. LOL).
This is fantastic! How old is Boo? I’m wondering if my soon-to-be 4 year old is too young for it? Regardless, I’m going to download it and get it set up ASAP!
This is very similar to what we do with our 4.5 year old who, out of sheer excitement, wakes up and runs to her 3 workboxes first thing in the morning! She has actually gotten out of bed in the middle of the night to run in and remind me to put out new workboxes! 😉
Our currency is 3 workboxes = 1 tv show. It is never used punitively.
We are heading to the Olympics tomorrow and, so as not to leave behind a disappointed girl, one of my pre-trip items was to create 3workboxes for each of the 10 days we’ll be gone. I tried go make them coordinate as closely as possible with our itinerary: make your own Passport, how do airports work?, Madeline/Paris themed, then a while series around the Olympics/London. I’m happy to share the links I’m using if you’re interested in them for Boo. A lot are craft based and can be taiolred to any age!
Thank you for your printables! We will make great use of them.
I know I want to homeschool my kids because I was both public schooled and homeschooled, and I learned so much more from homeschooling! I had no idea how I would go about homeschooling though because I am NOT good at teaching anything! This will definately be something I do! But I probably won’t get around to using it for about 10 years!
I started off with “picture” charts for my boys at about age 3 – simple things like a toothbrush for brushing teeth, toys and a basket for putting away toys. As they got older it changed to words, check lists, use of stickers, colored markers, etc.
As for homeschooling – I had them go to public school (in a town of less than 15000 with only 1 elementary school I admit it was easier) BUT I supplemented at home with whatever they were interested in at the time. By the time they were 10 or 12 they could identify all wildflowers, trees & birds found on our 10 acres, had raised pumpkins to sell and knew how much each one cost to raise, could do simple carpentry, plumbing, wiring and car repairs and the list goes on & on. As there are numerous on-line sites, books at the local library and even your own state’s Dept of Education to draw from, I think anyone can totally homeschool or partially like I did.
Melanie G says
I love it! thanks for sharing the templates too, i’m definitely going to use them. you are so clever!
That’s a fantastic idea. I’m going to do this for my daughter too. Thanks!
Sara B. says
I LOVE this!! I will start this soon, thank you so much for sharing!
Amber Hunter says
Love this!!! I’m going to give this a go with my girls thanks so much for sharing 🙂
I’d also suggest teaching her how to handle the money after she gets it. For our kids the first 10% goes to church (or any charity), 10% goes into the bank for long term savings, and the rest goes in their wallets. Taking a trip to the bank together is part of the learning. Some banks give a prize, sticker, or sucker to kids which makes it even more fun.
Don’t be surprised if she burns through the money on little things at first. Both of mine did that but learned after about 6 months that they could save up for bigger things. Now when they ask for something at the store they can weigh whether it’s worth the money because it’s their money.
Great job on the binder! I love that you built the calendar skills into it too.
What a great thing to do. Have seen variations of things like this for kids. Mine have been grown for a very long time but, I think all parents should do some sort of a program similar for their kids. Good for you and Boo.
Julie Edwards McCartney says
Ashley!..you are Awesome!!..You, ” motivate!..your, Love, Boo!”..kindness” ,!!..so!..correct!!..Parenting..comes..with Ease..Grace!..Boo,..is ..Blessed..to have you..MOm!..!!..from, Peds RN,..Degreed Early childhood ..Teacher. Julie Edwards McCartney ..
This has nothing to do with this post, but just saw this sign from a shop on easy & thought you would love it!
Love all of your postings! 🙂
I love this idea, but wasn’t sure where to find math worksheets. I went on the hunt and found a site http://www.education.com. They have wonderful worksheet you can download for free, not just math but any subject.
paul monteith says
Hi, I’ve received the link to your site through a ‘self-help’ yahoo group for people dealing with issues of clutter and hoarding of ‘stuff’ … and I’m curious to know whether you’ve considered the impact of attributing rewards to objects [the princess skateboard] … while the acquisition of material objects [possessions] is necessary and useful in any persons life [including our children] I’m aware that in my own case it was held up as a ‘replacement’ [albeit unconsciously by my parents, and other family members] for love and affection … and so I used the objects as a support structure, friend, means of establishing self-esteem, character growth tool, and others …. now at nearly 65 yrs. of age I am dismantling the relationships I have with my ‘stuff’ [lots and lots] because it isn’t able to fill the needs I have, now that I’ve developed awareness of ‘why’ I collected them around me initially … it’s a bigger topic than I have time to fully describe now, I guess I’m just wanting to throw it into your site to see what others think about the importance of this element of ‘rewards’ to children …. ie: could a reward be [say] … your child ‘choosing’ and activity for a set-time [1hr., 4 hrs., 1 day] that involved you spending that time with them, and them [solely] choosing what would be done [hugging around an open fire in the yard, walking by a lake feeding birds, standing by the huge waves as they crash onto the beach …. ], these, I suspect, are going to be the images, and memories, that your child will recall later in life as they stand remembering you at your funeral, not what toy was acquired as a reward for learning how to control and structure time and behavior when they were young …. ?
It makes me beyond excited to see this system! You know why? Because I’m a psychology major and this is part of applied behavior analysis and it’s PROVEN to work.
Wow that’s genius!
I’m eager to see if it really works in the long term 😉
Sienna is amazing and so are you!! Your adoring grandma in NC
I love these ideas but they just don’t work for us. Unless we have a full day at home the stuff just doesn’t get done. Just now my son is doing a mountain bike course every morning and we are spending the afternoon playing catch up and their bedrooms have turned into pigsties in just 3 days… I start with such good intentions but though my daughter loves them t just creates battles with my son that don’t seem worth it. Had intended another go with a chart but we have no computer just now, so without a printer it just seems too much. Gah!
I can hear my mother’s voice ringing in my ears. “I’m not going to pay you for things that you are expected to do every day.” If my siblings and I wanted to earn an allowance, it was for something above and beyond the usual tasks like picking up our toys or brushing our teeth, etc. A dollar a day, so $30 a month on average, is a lot of cash for a child. With 5 kids, of course, my parents wouldn’t have been able to afford it!
My children attended a Montessori school because I liked the philosophy that the love and desire of learning was the motivation, so no rewards (grades) were given. Needless to say, when they attended schools that did use a grading system, I never paid for grades either. (I would have gone broke if I paid for every A!)
To each his own.
Sooooooooo organized. Love it. I need one of those but who will pay me?
I love this! I just downloaded the templates and tailored them to fit my son. While at the store today we took a picture of something he wants to use as the reward. I think a reward system works great. I dont understand why people have a problem with it. In life you are rewarded for your hard work. Yes sometimes the most meaningful rewards we recieve in life are non-monetary but mostly we just get paid – with money – for doing what we are supposed to do. As adults we all go to work to make money. The better we do at work the more money we make the more opportunities we have. The more places we can go. And yes – the more things we can buy. Why not teach our children to get the hang of that before entering the workplace?
Anyway…we all signed the contract and he filled out the first page and did the night tasks. I rewarded him with 50 cents because it was for half the day. There is one thing we are doing differently. This will cut back on the total amount of money he will actually end up keeping because I agree that $30 dollars a month is a lot for a kid this age. My son is in love with video games so we are making him pay 25 cents for 15 monutes of game time. We will see how it goes!! Thanks Ashley!
April Harris says
I want you to know I have been doing this for the last year and a half- I found it just in time for my kindergartener to start school! now I am using on my first grader and kindergartener this year again. It has been soooo helpful to keep them on track and they love feeling organized and understanding how to earn. It has helped teach them about money as I have incorporated a saving/spending program with it. Very easy and I have shared with others. Just needed to say Thanks!! xoxo- April