School Work Contract

Ever since we moved, SD has been bringing home work assignments that are not her best work. Even her coloring is worse than it was when she was 4! She really is seeming to be digressing in her efforts, and this is worrying us.

Her paternal Grandma has been planning a trip this summer for about a week and a half to Florida, and we were going to let her go with. However with her lack of effort at school, we decided that if she brought home 100 work assignments by the end of the school year that were not her best & proudest work then she was not going to go.

So, I made the following 'contract' to keep track of her progress (or whatever you would call it).

BTW, the random 1's below the chart were not there before.

She has already brought home 3 bad assignments, and I marked them off starting at 100 instead of 1. The reason behind this is so that she can easily see that she only has to bring home 97 more to lose the privilege. This teaches subtraction in a simple form.

You, too, can make one of these for your own child. Some things to consider when creating your own contract like this:
  • What behavior are you trying to discourage? Some ideas are: poor school work, stealing money or items, and not completing chores. Make sure it is substantial and over a long period of time, because 100 things is a lot, but can add up quickly. You want your child to be able to see this. Do not make it something that can happen 100 times in one day, like not listening to you, backtalking, or hitting. These behaviors are better to be ignored rather than added up. Instead use things like an Accomplishment Chart to add up good things your child does.
  • What will be the consequence of reaching 100? Make sure this is something meaningful to your child. Also, make sure it is reasonable and equal to the 100 things. I.E. no camping over the summer, no after-school activities, etc). It also has to be something that you have control over taking away, and that would not burden you terribly. Some that may not work in your favor are: no recess at school, no snacks at school, no play time with friends, or no TV time. Anything where you are not present to control or there are a few variables that would make the punishment be a burden on yourself is not a good idea. Also, if it is too simple or an everyday punishment, then the child is not learning, they will just adapt and become familiar with the punishment. So, you can see why a 'once in a lifetime' event for a child is the perfect tool to guide your child into good behavior.
  • How long will the contract be for? If you are trying to discourage something like bad school work like me, then the deadline is pretty simple, the end of the school year. However for something like stealing or not completing chores, you have a more flexible deadline. Sometimes the event that they will not be allowed to participate in can be the deadline (camping trip, vacation, etc). Try to give your child ample opportunity to correct their mistake by making the deadline last for at least a couple of months. But always have a firm deadline date, so they don't consider it an option. This will undermine your efforts and allow room for the child to negotiate the contract.
Good luck, and if you try this method or have your own, please let us know in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting concept twist on the "Rewards and Punishments" Theory! I personally would hold a higher standard than 100 though since by the time they have gotten 100 bad assignments reported they may be in danger of failing said class. But I commend you on being proactive and trying to implement structure into your child's life! Education is critical in this day and age, as is starting out young!