If you are a regular Teaching My Baby to Read reader than you will recognize this current get-up on my family room wall as being vaguely reminiscent of a system I used over Winter Break. The main idea is the same; give my son Bruce(7) a sense of control over his own day, schedule, and destiny, while at the same time eliminating all arguments about when he is allowed to watch TV or play on the computer. In this latest incarnation of our token economy system, Bruce can earn “Bardsley Bucks” by doing a variety of activities. He stores the tickets in his piggy bank, and then places them in the appropriate envelope when he is ready to cash in.
Lest you think I am a slave driver, I need to mention that during Spring Break I give Bruce as much down-time as he would like. If he wants to spend the whole week in the backyard looking for worms, that’s fine by me. But if Bruce wants to play Wii Resort, then he can earn that privilege by playing Dreambox Math, working in his pink math book, doing a spelling lesson, playing Solve for X, writing a letter, cleaning his room, playing with his little sister, etc.
My mantra over vacation is “Give Bruce choices and keep Bruce busy.”