Ah yes another change. Currently Child #1 is on a 1st/2nd grade reading level *when he actually tries to read*. He doesn’t always like to do it, and I can’t say I blame him. The selection for kids in that reading range isn’t very exciting. Of course the only way to get to the exciting stuff, is to wade through the not so exciting stuff. Over the summer we did two reading programs, both of which he thoroughly enjoyed. Mainly because, he got prizes after reading X-number of books or for an X-amount of time. I figured why not extend that to our everyday learning.

Now I’m not a big fan of the paying kids for grades thing that is sweeping parts of the US. Since I don’t see school as a job *or something a child must be paid to do in order to excel*, instead I see schooling as something far more complex. Where good grades are not the goal, but actual acquisition of the knowledge is. Hence our homeschooling, I do however think a little treat, something fun to work for, can get a non-interested reader started on path of unlimited possibilities.

Now how would our reading log be done? We will use a simple reading log printable off the web like one of *these*, and after ever ten books Child #1 will receive a sticker or a small piece of candy. Nothing outrageous or outlandish, no big screen TV *yes some student got a big screen for making straight A’s*, or flashy new gizmo. Just a sticker or piece of candy. Not much to most kids now-a-days I’m sure, but to our kids little things like that are awesome.

Now would I use this same method with grades later on down the road? No. Why? Because, we don’t do “grades”. As I stated previously, I feel education is about learning the material not about making good grades. Right now whenever Child #1 does something and hands it to me to check I go through it and if I notice something wrong like a misspelled word on a spelling test, or the wrong answer on a math problem I hand it back to him. I then instruct him to look over the problem again and double check his work, or if it is a spelling word I will say it again, making sure he listens closely *the majority of his spelling work right is heavily phonics based* We also keep a Language Arts binder with spelling rules in it so they are close at hand when he needs them.

I know I will have to keep “formal” grades once the boys get in the higher grades or if we move to somewhere that requires that. My plan for that are to take the initial grade and then the grade for the corrected work. I think that would be a far more accurate indication of what they can do then just the initial grade alone. Either way though they won’t get any cash from us for good grades. Now stickers and a piece of candy, well sweets do make the day brighter.

Now to go stock up on our sticker collection!

Copyright(c) 2010 Rayven Holmes


  1. Love that Plan, Grateful over Greed any Day.

  1. I don't do grades per se either - I make R go back and correct her work when she misses things (though I do mark them in pen so I can see that they were originally wrong and had to be corrected). For the most part I do that and a checkmark showing that I reviewed the work. However, if it's something that is usually a challenge for her to get through and she gets everything right at the beginning/first review, I will sometimes put a 100% on the top instead of just a checkmark. Especially math since she does fine when she concentrates - but frequently DOESN'T concentrate. ;-)

    Another option - or something to go along with the reading chart you already have - is one of those electronic bookmarks. It has a counter on it that will keep track of how long you have read in one sitting and your total time reading (over a day, week, month, whatever, until you reset it). I have one around here somewhere, I'll have to find it and shoot you the actual name. I'm sure Amazon would have them. :-)

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