22 October 2009

Earning Minutes



I usually limit Josh and Zoë to no more than 30 minutes of TV and computer time (combined). So, if Josh already watched 15 minutes of TV, he then gets only 15 minutes of computer time. This has worked out pretty well, because of my old trusty friend, The Timer.

Josh is pretty good with stopping once the timer rings. Lately though, he has been negotiating for additional minutes. He actually came to me the other day and asked, “What can I do to earn minutes, Mommy?”

I decided that since he wanted to “earn” additional minutes, I would get him to do some worksheets. Yeah, yeah, I know that’s probably from where he got the idea of giving us worksheets. These are not schoolwork, but are merely activity books that I have bought for times when he’d get bored and complain that he has nothing to do. I brand these activity books as “treats” and this has really worked for us, because both Josh and Zoë really get into doing the worksheets. Yes, Zoë gets her own, too. I cannot not give Zoë her own if I give Josh one worksheet. She gets the connect-the-dots, coloring, and tracing ones.

Josh gets to choose which worksheets to do: Phonics, Math, or Science. I don’t have a set rule where he gets extra five minutes for each worksheet. He usually gets so engrossed in doing them that he does at least three before he’d remember that he was doing them to “earn” additional computer time.

We did a few Science ones the other day and he learned about wild and tame animals, as well as carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. He also learned that ostriches don’t fly “because their wings are small and their bodies are too big.” We were able to finish 6+ pages of the workbook. For all that, I figured that he definitely earned his extra 10 minutes.
Josh cracked both of us up by making up other “-vores” when he couldn’t remember the words “herbivore” and “omnivore.” Doobyvore, Berryvore… you get the idea. It was quite a fun session for both of us. And Josh was happy that he earned additional minutes!


Josh at 18 months
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16 COMMENTS:

Menopausal New Mom said...

What a great mind to ask if he could earn extra time. Even better that he is learning so much while earning his extra 10 minutes. Think I'll save that little bit of advice to use on my own daughter when she gets a bit older. Thanks for posting,
Deb

Laura said...

Hmmm.. this is an interesting concept. I wonder if this could work with my 2 year old? I definitely want to instill in her that things need to be earned. Perhaps I could use this technique and start to plant that seed in her head. Thanks for sharing!

Flying Giggles and Lollipops said...

Sounds like he is a great little problem solver to think of earning additional minutes, that's fantastic! It also sounds like he is a comedian, I am glad you guys had a great time together.

Carla said...

That's a GREAT system!

Love that photo of him on the computer so young. :) Our oldest was that way (he's almost 11 now), and he's into programming things, very involved computer games (we pulled out Myst series), and then...he learned how to hack our passwords and such. *sigh*

Dandy said...

I can't get over how young kids are when they start using the computer! So cute! I love that he gets so into the worksheet. Have you heard back from the schools yet?

Lindy said...

Good for you for sticking to your time limit. I find myself letting E use the computer for as long as she likes.

It still amazes me how quick kids pick up all the technology stuff today!

Nezzy said...

Back in the day, (heeeheehee, I'm an antique here) I did the same thing for my children to earn video game time. They were clueless that I choose educational games. Your children are such sweethearts!

Have a blessed day, girl!!!

Alicia said...

Oh my gosh!!! I just want to SQUEEZE him!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is soooooooooo cute!! His sister looks so much like him!!!

Your children are so smart!!!

Jennifer said...

What a great idea! I am so guilty of letting my little one watch TV now! But I think that I'm going to have to lay down the law! LOL! I love the idea of earning minutes with those kinds of activities! Good one!

BTW, look at his chubb-a-wubba legs in that picture! :-) So cute!

golonghorns said...

I use a timer too but have been pretty lax about it lately! I love the idea of worksheets and will have to try this with the kids.

Helene said...

I love that he came up with the idea of earning extra minutes on his own. My kids would just whine endlessly until I handed them the laptop and say, "Fine, you win". And I love that he gets so engrossed in the worksheets that he forgets about his "extra time".

He's one smart little guy for sure!

Veronica Lee said...

That's a great system!! Love the pic of Josh too.

smiles4u said...

What a sweet picture! And such a smart boy to ask what he can do to earn more time!

blueviolet said...

I can't believe I almost missed this post! I think that's really pretty clever of him to negotiate for computer time.

Aunt LoLo said...

Brilliant!! (GOODNESS...what a cute little chubber!)

Life with Kaishon said...

You are a fantastic Mother. Oh my goodness! WOW! So amazed at that super parenting. He is going to go far in life!

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