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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Bean Jar- Simple, yet Effective

I had been thinking for awhile that my kids are ready for some kind of reward system (they're four and two), but they're not ready to manage money and I don't want to bribe them with candy for every little thing. I was considering making some kind of chore chart when I read a short little article about a bean jar. I took a simple mason jar and a bag of beans and we are in business. Every time a bed is made, bean in the jar. A bean for each child who can make it through an errand trip without whining. A bean for each workbook page completed. Five beans for cleaning a bedroom. Throwing hymnals at your sibling in church means that beans will be taken away. (You would think I drowned a puppy for how traumatized they get when I take a bean out of the jar.) When the jar is full they get to pick a prize. Possible prizes: go swimming, Jumpin' Jacks, picking an item from the dollar store, a new book, go to a movie. We've been doing this for a couple weeks and I'm amazed at how well it is working. Sometimes my daughter gets up before the sun to make her bed and get a bean. Even my son will sometimes cooperate if he's rewarded with a bean. After starting I decided that they probably don't have the patience to get the jar full, so I made several lines on the outside with a Sharpie. At each line they get to pick a prize also.