Monday, August 31, 2009

A super-cheap homeschooling incentive

My son is starting 1st grade this week, and I wanted some kind of incentive to reinforce several things throughout the year.

I didn't want to use candy since my son has inherited my weak teeth and has already had to have several teeth pulled. [Not to mention the fact that he gets plenty of candy from the church people! :) ]

Then I remembered these little plastic trophies I had picked up at Dollar Tree last year because I just knew they had potential for something neat. Here's what I ended up with:

My son thought it was the greatest thing in the world, and he can't wait for the chance to display this trophy on his desk every day.

Just in case you'd like to make one (or more) of your own, let me show you the cheap supplies I used:

I paid $0.25 each for the trophies, since they came (4/pack) from Dollar Tree. The wood blocks are leftovers from some rubber stamps I unmounted. I have about 10 of these blocks lying around, so I was thrilled to find a good use for them. I just painted the block white and hot-glued the trophy to the top.

As for how we'll use the trophy ... The first thing we're going to focus on is being at our school desks on time. My kids are night owls like me (one of the "hazards" of parsonage life with all its company), so it's hard to get him adjusted to a somewhat-normal schedule when we start school. For the first week, every day that he's at his desk on time, he can keep the trophy on his desk for the day. If he's not on time, it will stay on my desk for the day.

So how excited is he about this? Well, he woke up Sunday morning with a start and looked at me wild-eyed. "When does school start?" were the first words out of his mouth. He was so anxious to get that trophy on his desk, he was afraid he had slept in! :)


altonwoods said...

This is a great idea! loved your blog too, Jeff

Esther said...

Cute trophy!
This is one of the reasons I like homeschooling! You can adjust EVERYTHING to meet the budget/needs/likes/weakness of your family (child). What works for one doesn't always work for another, and it doesn't have to if you home school.
As you probably remember I too use positive reinforcement to help Makyala be obedient and neat, and to memorize her Scriptures/poems.
For starts I put up a good sized school bus full of kids on the wall. Underneath she will put up a little school bus -- one each day. If she decided she doesn't want to cooperate it comes down. She also gets to put one up when she memorizes her verse/poem. Once she reaches a certain number (usually 50) - she gets a prize of some sort (or a few $$ to spend at Toys R Us!).
Good luck on your first day of school tomorrow!

DeeAnn said...

My DS just finished his home school courses last year. I love this idea.