Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New reward system!

Hey all.  Yesterday's grateful coming up!  Yesterday I was grateful that school went very smoothly yesterday.  Everyone worked hard and I didn't need to prod too much

Today I am grateful that we will have friends visiting tonight. We usually have another family over every Tuesday because our kids extra curricular activities line up with each other. Last week we had to miss it and I really missed that middle of the week connection. 

I wanted to talk about something else. My boys are absolutely obsessed with video games and would play all day every day if I let them. I slowly started implementing rules about the games and tv as well since "J" is more drawn to watching tv than video games. The rule was they could only play/watch games/tv on the weekends and one night during the week. The other nights they could spend their time reading, drawing, playing a board game or just plain playing.  Then as "I" learned to read I wanted to implement motivation for reading. You see, "I" loves to read but "T" and "J" are very much reluctant readers.  So I made another rule. For every minute of screen time, they needed to read. At first the boys would only read when they wanted to play. So for example, they would set a timer and read for 30 minutes. Then they would play video games for 30 minutes. Then they would go back to reading and then video games and so on. The other night "I" realized that he could store up his reading time for a longer video game time.  So we have been just writing their times on our white board. But they kept getting wiped off so I searched the internet and found these little reading bucks. So I printed them out, a different color for each child.

Now for every ten minutes they spend reading, they get 1 reading buck which they can in turn exchange for screen time.  I keep all the bucks in an envelope and we covered an ice cream bucket with some blue paper and when they earn a buck, they put it the bucket. When they spend a buck, it goes back into the envelope.  The kids are very excited about this system and the boys already have over an hour of reading time saved up. 

Now you might be wondering how Sweet Pea can possibly earn reading bucks when she can't read yet. Well whenever she sits and listens to one of us to read to her, she earns a buck. For example, she sat and listened for ten minute as "I" read me his reader so she gets a buck and so does "I".   I'm hoping this system solves both the begging to play video games at all hours and gets them reading a lot more. 

Oh and the previous rule of game nights and reading nights still stand.  However, Mommy and Daddy have the authority to declare a free night whenever they want where the kids can play video games without spending their bucks. We will keep free nights to special occasions such as when someone is sick or if we have company coming or a meeting in our home and the kids need to be in their rooms quietly. 

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