One of the ways, I keep my son focused and determined to complete his work for the day is a reward system. He enjoys doing the activities I give him but there are some mornings when he would rather be bouncing around the house instead of sitting at his desk during school work time. We do stickers for sleeping in his big boy bed and than a night out at Chuck E Cheese when he completes the chart, so I wanted to do something a little different.
Din is a gamer. Whether it be a board game or on the Wii, he loves playing games. His latest phase, is playing New Super Mario Bros on the Wii. If we let him, he would play all day long. I did let him play for quite a bit after the holidays and when he was sick but now it’s time to curb the play time and get him back into learning, dancing, playing etc.
For every worksheet (back & front) that he completes CORRECTLY (or at least tries), he gets 5 beads into his “Mario Container”. There have been times, to get through the work, he just doesn’t care or acts silly and those times, he understands, he will get nothing. I never do more than a half hour of school work at a time, because he is young and I know he gets burned out easily. It’s a lot of work focusing. I get that.
This Mario plan has been working beautifully! Every bead is worth 1 minutes. This morning, I had 6 sheets for him to complete (back and front) so 12 activities. In the end, we sat together while he counted out 5 beads for each sheet. We started the Mario plan 3 days ago. Since then he has learned that 5 + 5 = 10. He has learned that the number after 29 is 30 and not twenty ten. He has learned that the number after 39 is 40 and not forty ten. In fact, he has learned to count all the way up to 76! He is getting fine motor skills picking up and counting these beads. He is more excited about learning and earning more beads.
Another thing which he has learned and has really surprised me is he has learned to “bank” his time. One night, while I was getting ready to make dinner, I told him he had 20 Mario minutes he could use while I got dinner on the table. He actually told me, he was going to go play his drums and save those minutes until tomorrow morning!!
He isn’t asking for Mario all day constantly like he did before we started this plan. He knows he has to earn the time. I have also given him Mario minutes when he cleans up his room and/or for any other exceptional good behavior.
Like all the plans we try, this plan might not work next month, but it works for us now. 🙂