Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cate's Reading Homework & Reward System (Day 10 of 31/21)

OK - I'm sure since it took me three posts to talk through it you probably think that it takes us all week just to do a night's homework.  And although sometimes it feels that way, most nights it goes relatively well and we are done in a half hour.  We actually do homework six nights a week at our house.  Ms. B send me Cate's spelling word list on Friday so that we can get a day lead time on learning them.  Normally that first run happens on Friday or Saturday and we focus learning to read the spelling words that day and maybe write them a couple times.  We also do the reading section of her homework 6 days a week.  The reading section of the homework is pretty simple.  Cate has to read a book that was sent home in the packet like post with the video a week or so ago.  Here is another reading sample of Cate doing a level B book:

She of course doesn't read every book this easily, the ones where she doesn't know two or more words per page go horribly as you can guess based on her fussing of my correction for "sailfish".  But she is absolutely progressing and gets a lot of genuine praise when she does well.

Of course just like anything else we make our kids do, a reward or punishment system is necessary to help things along.  With Cate a reward system normally works OK but it is even better if there is a punishment side to it as well.  I stole my current homework reward system from our music therapist because it kind of hits both sides.  You might have noticed the card stuck above Cate's spelling words in the previous homework posts with three smiley faces on it. 


That is our reward card.  Each smiley face represents 10 minutes of ipad time that Cate can earn doing her homework in a cooperative fashion.  The punishment side comes in because as she shows non-cooperative behavior - saying "no" outright, whining "I don't know" or " I can't", or leaving her desk - I put a line through a smiley face.  She knows that means she just lost ipad time and to her that is also a punishment.  Having three smiley faces gives her 6 chances because unless the problem is serious I only put one line through a face at a time which knocks it down to 5 minutes.  The second line 'x's out that smiley and she can't gain that time back.  The three faces are loosely tied to the three parts of her homework but if she is really non compliant she can lose more than one smiley face in a single section.  If she successfully completes a section of homework and is cooperative I will decorate a smiley face and she has 10 minutes of ipad time that she can't lose in a later section.  We normally do spelling first then math then reading for this reason.  The spelling almost always earns her 10 minutes then the math is the hardest and where she frequently loses some time then back to reading to finish on a good note.  The night that I took these pictures she got 25 minutes of time - she lost 5 minutes in the math section for getting up to go potty and then playing around in the bathroom.

 It is something that works for us for now.  That is one of the lessons I've learned with Cate - my systems don't work forever.  If I don't change them up once in a while they lose all effectiveness.

1 comment:

  1. I have been following these posts and I am committing some things to memory for later! I know we have a long way to go before Everleigh has homework (she's only 17 months), but it's still nice to see some adaptations before I'm right in the thick of it.
    Thanks Lisa!