Monday, July 2, 2012

As Promised: Summer Goals, Discipline, and Allowances!

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Let's start with goals: I'm a big fan of Shawni Pothier over at her blog, 71 Toes. She has posted about doing Summer Goals with her kids, and I thought it was a great idea, so I copied her!

I sat down with my kids and helped them to set 4 reasonable goals for themselves in the following categories: Physical, Mental/Educational, Spiritual, and Personal. Here are my kids' goals for the summer:

Monkey's Summer Goals

1. Physical: Hit 10 balls in a row (prepping for baseball next year!)
2. Mental/Educational: Read 5 chapter books (I'm pretty sure he'll read a lot more than this, but he wasn't convinced so I let him go with 5)
3. Spiritual: Remember to say personal prayers every day.
4. Personal: Save up $20 to buy Lego set.

Starlet's Summer Goals

1. Physical: Learn to hula hoop.
2. Mental/Educational: Learn 15 1st grade sight words (she just finished kindergarten)
3. Spiritual: Memorize 6 scriptures.
4. Personal: Save up $7 to buy a stuffed kitty.

I will admit, so far I'm not doing a great job reminding and encouraging the kids with their goals- we may need to implement a chart for this. What I'd really like to do is sit down with each of them and help them to make their own charts to track their progress. Part of the point of setting these goals is teaching them how to set goals and how to make a plan to achieve them. Working on it!

As for discipline, I recently read a great book entitled, "Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire" by 5th-grade teacher Rafe Esquith. In the book, he talks about how he has helped his students understand the 6 Levels of Moral Development. Here's a short video where he explains these levels:

I really loved the concept, and I decided it was something I wanted my own kids to understand- never too early to start, right? So I sat down with them and drew a picture of a mountain. I made each level of moral development a tick mark on the mountain, starting with Level 1 at the bottom and going up to Level 6 at the top- from which point you can see the great view from atop the mountain. I had the kids watch the video and we talked about each level as I drew them on the mountain. Even at ages 8 and 6, they understood- my 8-year-old more than my 6-year-old, but it was a good start.

My ultimate goal is to do entirely away with discipline systems and rewards so we can achieve Level 6 thinking: being good because you know it's the right thing to do, but I know that will take time. For now, my son is doing well with gentle reminders and we still have to use the "color change" system (from last summer) with my daughter. We were having too many tantrum issues, and so I sat her down and explained that I could see that she still needed a system to help her remember how to behave.  It's a good thing because not only does it help nip the bad behavior in the bud, but when she gets a color change it also reminds her that she's aiming for a higher level, and she doesn't want to be using the color change system.

Little Boo is still on basic 1-2-3 time outs. She's only 2 and it works. Someday she'll get the levels. :-)

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As for allowances, it's very simple: the kids earn $0.25/day for completing all their chores. We don't use a chart, I just make sure they get everything done every day. They can earn an additional $0.25 for extra chores, with a limit of 1 extra chore per day using the chore sticks (otherwise I'd go broke and run out of things for them to do). We do chores Monday through Saturday, so that's a "base pay" of $1.50/week, and up to $3 a week. Little Boo earns $1 a week for helping her brother and sister (she alternates being their helper and mine throughout the week) and doing the things I ask.

I've heard that kids should get $1/week per year of age, but I'm sorry- what is a 6-year-old going to do with 6 bucks a week? That just seems like a lot to me, especially when my kids are tickled pink when they get to buy 1 thing from the Dollar Store. I like that they have enough money to save up for the things they want and to learn budgeting, but I'm not emptying my wallet into their little hands each week.

So that's our plan for the summer! So far it's working for us. :-)

How about you? Goals? Discipline? Allowances? Thoughts?

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