Monday, February 21, 2011

Set the Bar for Better Grades

When I was in high school I was generally an average student but if I set my mind to it, I could get A’s.

I remember my dad setting a goal for me regarding my grades.
If I got a certain amount of A’s on my report card he’d give me $50.00 or something.
I can’t recall if that was the actual agreement  or not, but whatever it was, it ended up being just a little more incentive to work harder to reach the next level.
I never really had terrible grades but I think he just wanted me to strive to do better, and by my senior year of high school I had graduated with honors, so, maybe it helped.
Now, with three children of my own, ages 13, 9 and 6, first grade thru 7th, they are all above average but I would just like to see them continue with those grades and maybe achieve more.
Prior to this, they never received any rewards at home for special grades.
Besides the self esteem, and the feeling of accomplishment they get for doing the work, they are expected to achieve good marks.
But I think sometimes they need an incentive to stay motivated;  something fun to inspire them to keep those grades up and push for a little more, like my father did.
We all need some sort of treat sometimes. Even as adults we can get bored, lose momentum and not give it our 100%.
 Just a small carrot dangled, to get us through to help keep the momentum, like this time of year especially, when most everyone starts losing steam and could use a little extra push. It surely can’t hurt.
The reward that I set up for my children is small and simple. And each of our children has achieved it, two grading periods in a row.
Since we don’t eat out often, besides the occasional takeout pizza, the challenge is that if they get all B’s (or higher) in every class, we take them out to dinner!
As of now, the parents have chosen the restaurants.
So, the next idea is to set the bar a little bit higher. I would like to reward the child who gets the highest grade point average next marking period, by allowing them to choose the restaurant we eat at.
Out of the three kids they all love someplace different; one loves Eat and Park, one craves Cracker Barrel, and one favors Red Robin.
So at this level of the bar makes it makes it a bigger challenge and promotes a little friendly competition for them to work harder than their sister or brother.
While I don’t want my children to be overly competitive with each other (I feel siblings, in general, do not need any more help with opposition) they do need to become comfortable with a little healthy competition.
Maybe by next year I will set the bar slightly higher again and reward the one who gets the most A’s on his/her report card.
It will become a long lasting tradition that’s affordable, attainable and something they all want. Because they know if they don’t reach the goal, they don’t go, and nobody wants to be left out.
My teen almost had an issue this last time. When she received her interim report she saw how she had gotten laxed and slid back a grade point in two classes!
She got those grades up quick!
This past weekend we took them out to celebrate.
It was awesome watching each of them  enjoying their restaurant experience, soaking up the fun Quaker Steak and Lube atmosphere, ordering whatever they wanted (from pop to dessert) knowing that they earned every last bit of it.


Truly,
Amber

2 comments:

  1. What a great idea! That reminds me of a reading program my sisters and I did in elementary school. I don't remember the exact premise, but I know it involved getting pins and stickers at Pizza Hut. That was such a treat and made me want to do the reading!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Isn't it amazing what rewards we remember from childhood!? :)Some got us to do things we didn't really like and others rewarded us for practicing what we were already good at...motivation comes in all sizes! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

Search This Blog