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First we... Then We (Plus Distance Learning Reward Ideas)

Hi Friends,

Show of hands for all of us working from home and homeschooling... There are many of us out there. If you are working with littles this change of environment can be especially hard for them. They aren't used to learning at home, so you may be met with some defiant behavior. That is normal. You may feel less than patient as you deal with work stress and the current fears from the Covid 19 crisis. This is also normal. So today as I struggled with my own fears and prayed I tried to think of a way to help. This strategy popped into my mind and I thought I'd share it. It has gotten me through SO MANY lessons with kids over the years and even therapy sessions with my youngest. Here's how it works.

1. Show the kids the reward list (or create your own).

2. Let the child choose a reward to work for or use a pencil as a spinner to choose one randomly. (P.S. It is even okay if they change their minds midway through the day about which reward they prefer.)

3. When your little learner begins to say, "I don't want to..." or something like this. You say, "First we do our math sheet, then we will have a dance party together." (Or whichever task/reward combo is appropriate for their behavior.

4. BE CONSISTENT! Without consistency and follow through on this, it will not work! Let me say that again for the folks in the back... WITHOUT CONSISTENCY THIS WILL NOT WORK. If you promise a movie time... you must have movie time. If you say "First we do math..." then you give the reward without the child completing the assignment, they will learn that they can have the reward without doing the work.

5. Younger kids may need smaller rewards after each task is finished rather than one task at the end. If your child seems genuinely stressed, give them a brain break. Go for a walk, have a snack, do some breathing exercises. After you take the break, finish the task and enjoy the reward together.

Y'all we are living in an uncertain time. Be with your kids. Enjoy them. Decide how much work you complete in a day, work towards that and enjoy a family reward together. That's how I hope these strategies/rewards are used. I've seen a lot of frustrated folks right now with homeschool and I just wanted to share a little tip with you that's helped me over the years. It's not the only right thing to do, but it is one right thing to do. Hope this helps. If I can help with anything else, don't hesitate to reach out.

Sending you all my love and well wishes.

Wash your hands.

Stay home if you can.


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