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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Incentives for our children

I've been struggling with how to help the kids get their piano lessons in.  With babies in the house during the weekdays, and carting three of the them to the school at our church, it's a circus around here most days. 

The piano teacher was saying that they need to practice more, and asking how often were they practicing?  and I'm left pondering the answer.  I have no idea.  The piano was played and almost every day.  But who played and was it the same person each day?  I had no clue.

I thought about this problem for awhile and wondered how to keep on top of this in the midst of my circus life.  The one solution that I came up with, that has worked now for a few weeks is the notebook. 
A fun cover

Some words of wisdom - my picture doesn't show it but it's from the Time-Warp Wife at

Each time they practice they must put a check mark in the box for the day
But that didn't solve the problem of me needing to remember to remind them to do the job.  So I decided that twice a day they could get a piece of candy for practicing, but ONLY if they remembered to practice on their own.  If I reminded them, then they don't get a piece of candy.

This led to another problem.  Only three children practice piano, and there they are getting candy.  Four others are wondering if they can have a piece too.  Well, it seems like it would lose it's effect if I gave it to them for nothing so I had to come up with something.

Then I started thinking about the things each one needed to learn.  Some are needing to learn to consistently make their bed - who am I kidding?  that's probably each one of them.  But some are at the age that learning this is new.

So Tractorman and Jules are earning a piece of candy for caring for their laundry and their beds.  They don't forget these days, because they see someone else getting candy for something and they know how to get one.

Tank, Bugaboo and Waterman are earning it twice a day for two times of practice.  They can't double it and make it work for one session.  It has to be two separate sessions.

Jones and Sharpie are working on cleaning their faces and Jones needs help feeding his dog.  So Sharpie needs to clean his face twice a day, but Jones really doesn't (yet) and hopefully won't.

Each has something to work on and they are different things.  So we're working toward learning in these areas.   In a few months, or maybe less we'll switch to some other areas that we need help on.  There are quite a few. 

As it has been working since the beginning of the year, I think it will continue to work for awhile anyway.  And the piano teacher has been happy with how they are doing.   So I'm happy. 

Making the most of today,

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