Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Incentive Program

When my children were younger, there were 2 reasons why I hated summer! 

 No. 1—my kids got out of school and seemed to go into lazy mode—killing brain cells in front of the TV or flapping their mouths to tell me how bored they were. 
 No. 2—end of summer shopping for clothes and school supplies (which lists are exhaustive and kill my wallet). 
What I finally came up with to solve these two gripes was this summer chart.

Since there was no getting out of Gripe No. 2—shopping—I decided to make my children earn it (instead of letting it be a right). They’d be paid to read all summer and do chores to develop their talents, but would become responsible for buying their own school supplies and clothes.

This solved my 2 biggest summer stresses. My kids became consumed with filling out their charts and started spending hours a day reading. Besides reading, I encourage and pay them to do other things: music practicing, scout goals, art/writing portfolios, book reports, & school workbooks. Whatever you need your children working on anyway, put it on a list so that they become responsible for earning $$$ for supplies/clothes.

Great things have come from using this incentive program. Besides giving my children something to do, they’ve learned a lot about budgeting and wants vs. needs. For example, my kids used to think they needed a new backpack each year. Now that they’re in charge of buying them, it’s amazing how their old backpacks have become good enough to use again for another year. My son’s backpack has been used for 3 years now and sadly, must be trashed this summer (he’s used it to death, I’m afraid).

This ‘earning’ power has made them a lot more budget conscious and responsible.
 If your kids make poor choices and buy the expensive clothes or supplies, don’t bail them out. Let them learn from their choices so they feel ownership over their choices and grow in responsibility. Sometimes the hard love lessons teach kids the most (and being called a ‘mean mom’ is the best compliment you can get. Kids raised by mean moms turn out best).

What you basically need to do to make your own chart is to figure out what you’d spend normally on your budget for school supplies and clothes. Then work out that price into a chore/reading chart. If they really want the nice new clothes, then they’d better do their part to earn them by working hard all summer on their charts.

I am sharing my printable with you today.  Just click and download and print off at home.
How easy is that!

My kids are all junior high age or older now, but still beg me for weeks before school ends to get the summer reading/chore chart printed out so they can be ready to start the minute school ends. It gives them a lot to focus and work on all summer!

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lizy b said...

Love this! I've been doing this for a few years too!

Jill said...

This is a fantastic idea! I might have to adapt it to something else - since our school has decided to just charge a levy and provide all the stationary etc for the kids each year! Takes all the fun out of shopping!!!???

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Trish said...

wow. this is great! i don't have kids but i think it's a great idea if i ever decide to have some! i hope you have a great summer!

Lizard Rae said...

Anything that gets kids reading is a good thing!

Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy said...

Great idea! I would love it if you would link up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now: I hope to see you soon!
~Macy from Confessions of a SAHM

Tara said...

Wonderful idea! Since I am a homeschool mom I think that I will adapt this to have my children earn for their extra activities (soccer, ballet, piano, karate). Thanks for the ideas :)

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