Homeschooling is a challenge for parents however it will have more positive outcomes if you use a system of rewards to motivate and inspire your children to do their work. A system of rewards not only gets your children to do the required schoolwork but also do it correctly. Implementing a system of rewards in your homeschool does not have to be expensive or complicated and its value is priceless. Here are some ways you can go about this along with a little background about why it works.
The Myth of Negative Motivation
Some fall into the trap of using threats of punishment and removal of privileges to get their children to do their schoolwork. This rarely works and if it works at all it is only because the child is forced externally. In other words, when you are looking the other way, schoolwork probably won’t get done.
Sarcasm and criticism never work either. They only make your child fear taking risks and making mistakes. A fear such as this can drive a child into perfectionism where which spawns procrastination and taking too long to complete tasks for fear of being wrong.
Using positive reinforcement through an effective reward system is far more effective than negative motivation. It gives a child something to look forward to after completing a difficult task—even if mistakes were made along the way.
The most common way of implementing a reward system is by having a method for accumulating points and then letting the child redeem those points for something he or she wants. The rewards used should be of the nature that they have value to your child.
Benefits of Rewards Systems
The obvious benefit of homeschool rewards systems is that they motivate your children from within to do their work. However, it also has some other benefits. For example, your children might get together and work as a team to achieve their reward together. This builds character in the form of teamwork. Furthermore, because work turned in should be done correctly for a reward, higher grades result from the effort.
Implementing Rewards Systems
You can get as creative as you like when implementing an awards system for your homeschool. The points can be tickets, play money, tokens, or whatever else you find that can serve the purpose.
When your children finish their work, they turn it in and if done correctly they get the agreed upon point tokens. You first need to decide how many points are awarded for certain school assignments. For example, more difficult assignments will be awarded more points.
When it comes to the prizes that your children redeem for their points, choose items that are not too high-priced and that your children like. It doesn’t have to get expensive. For example, your child might have a favorite kind of snack and that can be used for a prize.
The prices that you set for the prizes should not be priced too high or too low. For example, your child’s favorite snack might be priced at two tickets (or whatever other token that you use). If items are priced too high, they may seem unachievable to your child which will be a de-motivator. When items are priced too low, they don’t have much meaning to the child and the benefits of being challenged are gone. You can also award bonus tokens for schoolwork done exceptionally well.
Rewards don’t need to always be tangible items. You can also sell blocks of time for them to do their favorite leisure activities such as playing computer games.
Many parents use a store system with a designated shopping time once a week. They open the store at that time and children purchase items with their accumulated tokens. This way, you don’t waste time by redeeming tokens several times throughout a school day.
By implementing a system of rewards in your homeschool, you make it fun for your children. Children always like to earn prizes no matter how simple you might think those trinkets are. It also teaches them a valuable life lesson about working hard to earn money when they transition into the employment world. It is a positive way to provide incentive and is much more effective than negative reinforcement. Sit down and plan your system of rewards and see how quickly it turns your homeschool into a fun and positive learning environment.