November 4, 2009

One Effective Way to Motivate

I put up a "Merit Store" in one of our bookshelves in the corner of our learning room.

I bought assorted items like decorative pens and pencils, stickers, scented writing pads, and anything I know my children fancy. Sometimes I display fruit gum and lollipops. Each item has corresponding points e.g. a pen is worth 100 pts. and a pencil is 50 pts.

I just keep filling them from time to time. Sometimes, aunties and uncles would send them a package of goodies which I think more than what they need to receive in one time, I would put some of the goodies on display. My kids don't seem to bother that I do that.

So, how do they avail of those items on display? Ah, ok. Here's what I did!

I made a merit bank book for each student (see how it looks in the picture). I bought blank stickers where I wrote the points. It would look better if printed. That's my plan for the coming months. Students earn points by accomplishing a task. I have a guideline on ways to earn merits posted on my our bulletin board. See the picture below.

My ways to earn points are: 25 points for perfecting a test, 5 points for scripture memory verse, 10 points for getting goal done in a short day, 25 points for book report and field trip report, 50 points for being a special blessing to someone by doing extra good deed, and so on. If you noticed the heart sticker in the bank book, I award that to any student who has been extra good in many ways. The sticker can buy any item on display. Don't forget to cross out the spent points ;-)

I have a student who would not "waste" her points for small items. She would wait for the big items to be displayed. Isn't also a good way to learn economics?

Our merit store is a hit since we had it. I just keep adding attractive items periodically. I also gave them the option of converting their points into our local currency but only the older ones buy the idea and only once they did it. For them, the goodies are still better than money.

I'm sure this will work for you , too. I got this idea from my training at School of Tomorrow and I made my own version of it. You can try it in your own creative way!

Enjoy motivating your homeschoolers!

"......Honor to whom honor is due."
Romans 13:7

Note: I got this idea from my training at School of Tomorrow


  1. Thank you dear Morales family! Your zeal and creativity never cease to amaze us! We are getting to work designing our "store"! We used to enjoy a "Caught being a Blessing" poster wherein Mom and Dad would offer coupons to show appreciation for kind deeds and great effort in work...The kids could then "collect" their coupons in "pockets" on the poster...each labeled with "rewards" that were worth a certain amount of coupons....some rewards were: "Rent a Movie Video", "Out to lunch with Mom or Dad", "Stay up late and enjoy a movie with Mom and Dad", "Choose the Dinner Meal", etc...

    I think we will combine these ideas with your wonderful Merit Store for a new and exciting incentives project in our house! GOD BLESS YOU FOR INSPIRING US!

  2. Thanks Judy for your kind words. Your coupon idea is also very creative. If you don't mind, I would like to add that to our motivation tool box.

  3. I must try this idea! My son loves any type of little gift and is very motivated by them. We are working on several character issues and this could help. Our school year is just about over for summer, but what a fun idea to start the fall with. Thanks Ruth. I always love reading your blogs. There is such love and wisdom here!


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