Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rewards and Motivation for the Homeschooler

We recently sat with our family psychologist to learn about behavior modification through rewards and motivation.

The two main ideas that stood out to me the most were:

I. For better motivation provide three levels of rewards
          1) small rewards are immediate- a sticker
          2) medium rewards require some saving up towards- a few days
          3) large rewards take longer to save towards- a week or two

II. Mix of structured reward times and random reward times so that they stay motivated.

This is what we decided to implement in our homeschool:

Structured Reward Times

They each have a clipboard with a weekly lesson chart that they highlight as they finish

For each school lesson they finish they get a popsicle stick which goes into a pocket chart

Random Reward Times

If I see them all on task I will offer them a reward from the small reward bucket

Sometimes I will give them an "If you...." challenge that can earn them a small reward or a stick
(ie: if you finish your morning routine without me telling you)


For the small rewards we have stickers, party favors, erasers, pencils, balloons, etc.

For the medium rewards we have a "store" where they can redeem sticks every Thursday. I lay out the prizes and they can buy them for various prices. (ie: 1 stick= something from the small reward box. 5 sticks= flashlight, journal, glitter pens, note pads, and other things purchased for $1-$3.

For the large reward they can save up their sticks to go out with dad or mom. This is a one on one reward time. They can choose from a limited variety of activities (ie: ice cream, bowling, hiking, baking time, etc).

~Disclaimer~ I am not looking over this because I am way tired. Also, all the pictures were found on the web because my camera was lost by a busy three year old. At least it wasn't my wedding ring this time!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Children's Recipe Book~ update

It's been weeks of working, testing, reworking...but I am finally finished with the cookbook. There are only 22 recipes for now, but that will be plenty for the children to start cooking. I'm sure that process will lead to some more simplifying and reworking too!

Here's the cover of our book...
School starts next week, and with it comes cooking and so much more!!

Hats off to my little chefs!

And here are examples of the help I've received from toddlers...mostly with taste testing!




Thursday, August 11, 2011

No-Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

I made these last night and they were a hit! I found the recipe on the blog Buns In My Oven, which has some really fun recipes.

Pic from Buns In My Oven

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I wish I'd used milk chocolate, but that's just me)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
In a medium saucepan cook butter, brown sugar, and oats for 3 to 4 minutes. Add vanilla. Press half of the oat mixture into an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment/wax paper.
Microwave the chocolate and peanut butter until smooth, stirring occasionally. Spread over the crust.
Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top of the chocolate.
Refrigerate for a few hours before cutting...I'm impatient when it comes to yummy treats, so I just popped it in the freezer for 30 minutes.