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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Honestly, I was never a big fan of this. I always told them "knowledge is its own reward". But I'm trying a new tact. My twin boys just started Jr. High. It is a big adjustment. Great thing is the teachers email us progress reports every 2 weeks. This last set was a big disappointment to me for one of them. This was mostly due to a bunch of assignments not turned in.

So I made them a deal. So much for an "A", less for a "B", $0 for a C, -$ for a D. F's aren't even an option. But -$ for any not handed in equal to what I'm giving them for an A. This is only for report cards, not the every 2 weeks progress emails (I'd go broke).

They are both very smart. Both fully capable of all A's. But the workload is definitely more than what they were used to in elementary school. Also, they have things they want and this gives them the opportunity to buy these things instead of just asking/begging for them and this starts to teach them the value of money.

Any thoughts? Criticisms? Alternatives?
 

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I've raised three children and never paid for good grades. My parents didn't believe in that approach either. We always believed in them learning to do things on their own initiative.
 

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I dont have a problem with this, though our kids are still in elemantary and probably wont have to deal with this for a while.

My parents didnt do that either, but I dont think that is an actual argument. It is what it is.

Thing is, I also feel that I want my kids to have a little money in their pocket. Its represents a little freedom, and helps them learn how to manage money. There are tons of ups and downs on this.. and no perfect answers... but somehow I feel that giving them some money as a reward for something well done is better than just handing them a $20. I also feel that it does not need to come off as bribery or paying for grades.

When we were small if we brought home good grades we would get praise. If we didnt, we got punished or a stern talking. If the mood hit - maybe we went out for an ice cream or something. I do not see a great deal of difference between this giving them a little cash. The discussion, praise and guidance is still there.

A good friend of mine who has what I believe is a very successful family.. stable, happy.. both kids have graduated college at this point... always did something very similr to what you are doing. (certain amount for A's etc). It actually generated competition between his kids... his daughter always got the most $ and would grin indulgently at her older brother - but this was alwas good natured fun and not belittling.

I dont think there is as much moral threat here as can be imagined if handled correctly. Its not that you are training kids to only work for money.
 

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I am not a fan of paying for grades. Nor am I a fan of the public education system. Kids have their love of learning snuffed out at an early age in school, so that when they get to the higher grades they don't want to learn any more. School becomes a necessary evil. Paying for grades might make them get better grades, but are they really learning anything more? Grades are subjective to a large degree, and they don't really reflect what someone has learned. They reflect how much the teacher likes them, whether they handed stuff in, how much they managed to cram for tests and then promptly forgot, etc.

I think we do our kids a bigger favor by trying to instill a love of learning for learnings sake in them. I did this for my youngest by letting her school herself through high school. This is a drastic step and obviously not for everyone, but de-emphasizing school and emphasizing letting kids pursue things they are interested in is another course.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We are definitely in the top 10, if not top 5 public school systems in the country. I didn't really view it as an incentive to learn more, but as a way to reward the work, and in particular, discourage the missed assignments. They are both bright, actually enjoy school, learning, reading.

I'd say my W agrees with you about the importance (or lack there of) of grades. I agreed with her that good/great grades are not that important, but said that bad grades (D's & F's) are EXTREMELY important. We all get "graded" by others throughout life, even though they don't give us report cards.

Like I said initially, I have never been a fan or advocate of paying for grades. So I look at this as an experiment (parenting is trial and error right?:confused:). I hope to use some of the feedback here as discussion points for my kids to draw out their views too.
 

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-$ for any not handed in
The overall concept sounds good. It encourages them to hand in things that are half done instead of handing in nothing. I didn't realize it until I started working, but that's exactly how the real world works. I swear to god most people are absolutely terrible at what they do, but they never get fired for it. Showing up and doing a piss poor job can keep a person employed for decades, but not showing up will get a person fired very quickly. It's better to learn that lesson as early as possible. Handing stuff in, even if it's terrible, is very important.

They are both very smart. Both fully capable of all A's. But the workload is definitely more than what they were used to in elementary school. Also, they have things they want and this gives them the opportunity to buy these things instead of just asking/begging for them and this starts to teach them the value of money.
I had a weekly allowance and I got paid for good grades, but I had to buy all of my own toys. In the end, it keeps everyone happy. My parents never complained about how expensive and overpriced plastic toys are. It's my money being wasted, so it didn't bother them. I'm still very good at handling money because I've been doing it since I was 5.

Paying for grades might make them get better grades, but are they really learning anything more?
Probably. It's much much easier to learn the material than it is to memorize the material. I always had awesome grades in math and science, and I never studied. Show up to class, paraphrase what the teacher is saying, do the assignments, understand the material. That's it. If you learn things, you'll never need to remember things. I felt bad for the kids who didn't want to learn it. To get the same grades as me, they had to rewrite all of their notes, make stupid flash cards, make songs out of the course material, etc. They earned those good grades, but it seems like they did it the hardest way imaginable.
 

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Not a great motivator, in my mind, because all you're doing is teaching them to study to the test. Memorization over understanding, for a nefarious purpose.

What I did do was reward DD22 for good grades in other ways. Wow, that deserves a trip to the park! Or, hey good job! Let's go get an ice cream cone to celebrate. She always wanted time and attention more than money, though, so it's just what worked with her.
 

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One thing I DID do was make time to go OVER the material with her and actually ask her to explain it to me, so I could see if she really was learning it, instead of just memorizing it. If she didn't know it, I'd take the time to sit with her and discuss it until she did.

I think that attention is what drove her to become a PhD student and to love learning. She reads textbooks for fun now. She'd buy workbooks with her allowance, to see what she knew.
 

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Now, as for money, I'll tell you something that changed my life. I heard a story, read it, saw it, can't remember, of a man with 3 sons around high school age. They were so flippant about money that he decided to figure out how much he spent on them each year. Then, the next January 1, he sat them all down. Each had a stack of cash in front of them. He told them that this was how much money he spent on each of them, each year - video games, clothes, nights out, high school events, everything. He said 'I'm giving you this money today. You're going to learn how to manage your own money. This will have to last you until December 31. Mom and I WILL NOT RESCUE YOU. No matter what. Figure out how to use it wisely, or you'll have a bad year.

One kid blew threw it in a couple months and was MISERABLE for the rest of the year, had to beg and borrow from the other kids or friends, for everything. The next year, he learned a little better, and the next year, and the next.

One kid did a pretty good job and ran out of money around November. The other one sat down and worked a budget, stuck to it, decided he didn't want to spend money on some of the things he used to, and ended up with a savings account.

Each year, they got better and better about handling money. He said that, at the time of the interview, all 3 had paid their own way through college, all had professional jobs, and owned their own homes.

I started my DD22 on that when she was about 12. Not completely his way, but I gave her a monthly allowance and told her I wouldn't cover anything for her. She learned really quickly what she didn't really need. Today, she will barely spend money on a snack between classes and will plan out her day instead to avoid needing to, she's so good at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Now, as for money, I'll tell you something that changed my life. I heard a story, read it, saw it, can't remember, of a man with 3 sons around high school age. They were so flippant about money that he decided to figure out how much he spent on them each year. Then, the next January 1, he sat them all down. Each had a stack of cash in front of them. He told them that this was how much money he spent on each of them, each year - video games, clothes, nights out, high school events, everything. He said 'I'm giving you this money today. You're going to learn how to manage your own money. This will have to last you until December 31. Mom and I WILL NOT RESCUE YOU. No matter what. Figure out how to use it wisely, or you'll have a bad year.

One kid blew threw it in a couple months and was MISERABLE for the rest of the year, had to beg and borrow from the other kids or friends, for everything. The next year, he learned a little better, and the next year, and the next.

One kid did a pretty good job and ran out of money around November. The other one sat down and worked a budget, stuck to it, decided he didn't want to spend money on some of the things he used to, and ended up with a savings account.

Each year, they got better and better about handling money. He said that, at the time of the interview, all 3 had paid their own way through college, all had professional jobs, and owned their own homes.

I started my DD22 on that when she was about 12. Not completely his way, but I gave her a monthly allowance and told her I wouldn't cover anything for her. She learned really quickly what she didn't really need. Today, she will barely spend money on a snack between classes and will plan out her day instead to avoid needing to, she's so good at it.
Very interesting idea, thanks. I'll have to think about it & discuss with my W. But first I have to figure out how much we spend on them now - I'll probably be in for a shock.:eek:
 

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The good thing about it is it doesn't tie grades with money, so they learn to care about grades for the sake of learning, not rewards.
 

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we were giving money for good grades, even if she made a 100 on a test as well as accelerated reading test. She saved most of it. We figured scool is her job as well as chores. Doing a great job deserves a reward. We ended up last year giving her way too much money and we are adjusting the amount we reward her hard work this year. I know the harder I work at my job, the more money I make. I want her to see the better her grades are now at her age, the payoff will be better later. Some may not see it that way.

As of now, she loves to read and I think it will continue.

How much money does a 9 year old need anyway? The funny thing is that she doesn't want to spend her savings, unless it is something she really wants.
 

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When DD22 was a lot younger, I'd give her an allowance and we had 3 banks - one for spending, one for her savings account, and one for charity. At the end of each year, I'd have her decide what charity to donate her charity money to.
 

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Its easier just to pay the teachers and it prepares the kids for how life really works.
 

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Interesting story on NPR the other day about a study where they gave the teachers a bonus up front, and then said if kids didn't meet a certain goal they would have to PAY BACK the bonus at the end of the year. Those who got the bonus up front had kids advancing up to (I think) 20% higher than the kids of the teachers who got no bonus or who were promised a bonus at the end of the year. So the negative avenue - taking away money - was more effective at motivating teachers.
 

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Honestly, I was never a big fan of this. I always told them "knowledge is its own reward". But I'm trying a new tact. My twin boys just started Jr. High. It is a big adjustment. Great thing is the teachers email us progress reports every 2 weeks. This last set was a big disappointment to me for one of them. This was mostly due to a bunch of assignments not turned in.

So I made them a deal. So much for an "A", less for a "B", $0 for a C, -$ for a D. F's aren't even an option. But -$ for any not handed in equal to what I'm giving them for an A. This is only for report cards, not the every 2 weeks progress emails (I'd go broke).

They are both very smart. Both fully capable of all A's. But the workload is definitely more than what they were used to in elementary school. Also, they have things they want and this gives them the opportunity to buy these things instead of just asking/begging for them and this starts to teach them the value of money.

Any thoughts? Criticisms? Alternatives?
Personally, I'd get to the bottom of why that one child isn't turning his assignments in. What's going on with him? Why did he think it was ok to blow off the assignments?

I wouldn't pay them. They should be doing their schoolwork all on their own without monetary rewards, like every other child out there. They should sure as hell be turning in assignments! Make sure they understand this is not negotiable.

Set the expectation that you expect them to work up to their potential, no excuses. And take away privileges...like the computer, tv, video games, hanging out with friends, etc., if that is getting in the way of their time for assignments. Or don't buy the electronics or a new football in the first place until they improve their grades.

And pay attention daily. You already get their progress reports...make sure you are asking about assignments and homework and when exams are.

Also, spend time talking with them about education and the future and success. At the dinner table, talk about the latest health study on the news and how the scientists did experiments in order to get their results that bring us one step closer to curing cancer. Talk to them about the Mars rover that just landed. Talk to them about your investments, and teach them how money and investments and mortgages work. Talk to them about unemployment and marketable skills.

Make this a daily part of your life so they understand "school" is not an isolated thing and getting that A in math is not just about getting an A in math and $20 bucks from your wallet.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I did norajane. I had him make a list of the assignments he didn't turn in and be ready with it when I got home that day. I already had the list from the email reports, but wanted him to go through the exercise.

I had talked to my W privately and knew what answers to expect from him. I had him go through each one with me. 5 of the 7 were assignments he did, but forgot to turn in. 2 were not fully complete, so he did not turn those in either. He can walk from family room to the kitchen and forget why he was going there by the time he arrives. So I believe he honestly forgot to turn it in. Both W & I talked to him at length about it.

My W checks with him daily and goes through his folders & bookbag, taking out the crumpled papers stuffed everywhere. In our discussion he complained about that because things were not where he put them. So W agreed to leave it alone and he agreed to make a better effort to stay organized.
 

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Honestly, I was never a big fan of this. I always told them "knowledge is its own reward". But I'm trying a new tact. My twin boys just started Jr. High. It is a big adjustment. Great thing is the teachers email us progress reports every 2 weeks. This last set was a big disappointment to me for one of them. This was mostly due to a bunch of assignments not turned in.

So I made them a deal. So much for an "A", less for a "B", $0 for a C, -$ for a D. F's aren't even an option. But -$ for any not handed in equal to what I'm giving them for an A. This is only for report cards, not the every 2 weeks progress emails (I'd go broke).

They are both very smart. Both fully capable of all A's. But the workload is definitely more than what they were used to in elementary school. Also, they have things they want and this gives them the opportunity to buy these things instead of just asking/begging for them and this starts to teach them the value of money.

Any thoughts? Criticisms? Alternatives?
This is almost identical to what we do. The only difference is 0 also for D and - if there is an F. F's aren't really an option in my eyes either but that don't mean it won't happen. The subtraction of money from their report card reward is only 1 of the negatives that would result from an F.:mad:
 
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