Looking for Something? Search here

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Progress Chart

I love a good reward system! Especially if it encourages one of my kids to do something they may struggle with. Sixth grade math has really challenged Julia. In our curriculum they offered a reward chart for encouragement. It was actually meant for smaller children but we modified it according to age. It is best to begin small and increase the prize. Every day that Julia completes her math in an hour she gets to color one square. When she takes a test and scores 90% or better she gets three squares and every once in awhile I let her do two squares for good attitude. So far she passed the farm ( animal crackers), the train station (stickers), library (new book), school house (pencil set), bank (dollar or lollipop ), grandma's house (bake cookies), fish pond (new goldfish), store (trip to dollar store), zoo (stuffed animal) and FINALLY home which is a tea party with friends! Whew! They have all taken to it but Emerson finished hers first and made up a new one for herself for the rest of the year. Second grade math seems easy for her so next year we will make her chart for book reports as she detests those! Loves to read but doesn't see point in writing about it. I was thinking today wouldn't it be nice for moms to have one! Imagine our prizes: quiet bath, full night of sleep, clean house, warm cup of coffee waiting for us in morning...ahh one can dream can't she?

Car Wash

Blaise's Aunt Jenny is a preschool teacher. When we visited she showed him some things she had done with her students. His eyes lit up when he saw the soapy water table. I sometimes need reminding that little boys don't always want to sit and practice penmanship and reading. I was really proud of myself when I let him spread the play dough out yesterday all over the floor. This morning I decided it was time to break out the soap and water. He played in it all morning. He washed his cars and counted how many cups it took to fill up a pitcher. It kept him entertained while his sisters worked on their school work. It was unusually quiet at one point and I expected to walk into a flood on floor. To my surprise he had put on my gloves and was wiping down the sink! Hey this is not a bad idea after all! Kudos to Aunt Jenny! Now the shaving cream idea?!? Don't know if I can handle that one!

The Frying Pan

I went into Julia's room this morning to find little bits of scrap paper all over her floor. My immediate response was to toss them in the trash, but I know better. Julia and Emerson are like Tony. Every little thing means something to them. I recall the first year Tony and I were married I was organizing the kitchen. I came across this small old frying pan. At that time news reports were talking about the Teflon and metals coming off in your cooking. Having no idea where the young bachelor had obtained the pan I threw it in a dumpster behind our complex. I mentioned it to my newlywed sweetie what a great job I had done! He looked at me with shock and ran out to the dumpster, dived in and retrieved the fry pan. I stood there in shock. Who had I married? What was wrong with him? He better take a shower before he gets near me. He came walking back in clutching the pan to his breast and looked me in the eyes and said the following "that hurt me! My mother gave me this pan"
I couldn't believe it. Now I am sure it was not a family heirloom, and it had no value. Here is the lesson I learned. I tell this to the kids too...Tony came from a large family and things meant something. Even if it came from a yard sale the idea that his mom had given it to him was the point. I felt horrible. Now as the years have passed I still throw stuff out, Tony still hoards it... I won't touch his car that is his hiding place for his stuff. I do a monthly sweep in the house though and the girls know that if it isn't put away it will be thrown out. It is about compromise. I have come a long way and I know Tony has too. Just the other day he finally threw out the socks with holes in them! Good job honey! Now about that fry pan, I did end up throwing it out, but not until I made sure it wasn't a family heirloom!