Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer "point" program for the kids

Over the years, as the kids have been growing up, I've tried a couple "programs". For instance, a marble jar, where the kids get marbles for doing certain activities that they're supposed to, and have to use those marbles for activities that they want to do (for instance, watching TV or playing video games). I know some families where these kind of programs worked well, for years. But for us (maybe more for me), the amount of monitoring and bureaucracy that was required was too much for me, and I usually gave up within a few days.

I'm trying again, though. This one is a little different. Our latest "program" is one whereby the kids earn points for activities that I deem worthwhile. Then they can use those points to redeem Magic the Gathering cards, which they're really interested in now. Otherwise, without points, they're not allowed to buy them.

Here's a sampling of the activities and their point values:

Make a great stop motion video and upload to youtube 5
Juggling with clubs 10 catches 4
Juggling 10 catches for Peter 4
Do a long bike ride 3
Do a long hike  2
Finish CodeAcademy program for Python 5
Sew something for teddy 2
Learn how to dive 2
Learn to tie 5 knots from memory 2
Organize and promote family game night 1
Cook dinner for family 1
Make cookies without help 1

Kenny's gotten all the way to 25 points, which he wants to get some kind of Magic the Gathering "expansion pack". Peter's not quite there, but he's doing pretty well.

Is this a success? I'd give a qualified "yes" to that question. It motivated them to try some new things, and didn't require a lot of oversight.


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