This week I discovered an effective method for improving overall student attitude (if you’ve homeschooled more than half an hour, you know what I’m talking about—the perpetually lost pencil, slouching or disappearing under the table, tears accompanied by the “It’s not fair!” whine, the 45 minutes spent solving 15 math facts).
The system is just a continuation of what they did in private K. Each child has a stick (like a popsicle stick) with their name on it that they’ve placed in a “blue” cup (a plastic cup from their play dishes). At the first sign of poor attitude, inattention, time-wasting (mine!), they get a warning. Two warnings and the stick goes in a “yellow” cup. Persistent bad behavior, and the stick goes to the “red” cup. For each day they “stay blue” they earn 10 minutes of computer time (I would prefer educational computer time, but it appears Webkinz are actually plotting to take over the world). A “yellow day” and they earn 5 minutes; a “red day” loses 10 minutes. If they are “blue” all week, they get a bonus 10 minutes for a weekly behavior incentive of 1 hour of computer time. I’ve added “citizenship” to their weekly planner pages, so we now have a space to color in their “color” for the day.
This has worked like magic for us! It usually takes only one warning to straighten things out, and we have been so much more productive and relaxed! I’m thrilled!