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School Rewards – Part 1

September 8, 2011

Do you reward your students for doing their work? I do, and here is my philosophy on school rewards.

My first reason for setting up this system is that God has modeled it for us. Way back in the days of Moses he spelled out the rules to the children of Israel. Basically He said, on this hand are the blessings of obedience and on this hand are the consequences of disobedience.  I guess you might not look at this as a reward, but rather a natural law. It reminds me of what my husband, Paul, always told the kids, “If you obey, you will be happy; if you disobey, you will be sad.” It is simply stating the rules that everyone will live by.

Secondly, the most rewarding things in this earthly life are set up to give you satisfaction. It might be just an emotional feeling of doing the right thing, but more often than not, there is an actual pay-out. In school you will have some students  who enjoy the feeling of accomplishing a hard task, some that revel in earning a 100%, but you will have some students who struggle, and that struggle can be de-motivating.

After 20 years of homeschooling, I have found a way to reward the children that works for us. It rewards their hard work and effort and not a grade. After all, if you learn to work hard, you have learned something more important than a temporary and sometime subjective grade. A good work ethic will last forever. With our system, there is a way to lose your reward too, which makes the reward that much sweeter.

I have decided to use money as a reward.  Since they earn cash for school work, it gives us the opportunity to teach them how to save, spend, and give, of their earnings. It is also much easier for me to pay the children cash rather than keep a constant supply of cheap toys on hand as a reward.  We all know money earned is much more precious than money borrowed or given.

This is the reasoning behind what we do. In part two I will tell how we practically manage this in our homeschool.

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