Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Money Incentive for Good Grades

Last year my children’s grades just weren’t what I wanted them to be. They weren’t extremely bad but they weren’t extremely good either. The main problem I had is that I knew they could do better. I tried talking to them, then asking and finally pleading with them to please bring their grades up. Letting them know, I knew, they could do better than what they were doing.

It didn’t help.

Up until last year, I have been against paying children for grades. The way I saw it was, I shouldn’t have to pay them or bribe them to do something, they should do anyways. I don’t pay them for chores either. It’s their responsibility to be a productive member of this family, and that means contributing to the upkeep of the house.

Then I thought, isn’t that what your job is all about? You go to work and get paid. You do a good job at work and you get raises and promotions and when you do a bad job – you get fired. And what about scholarships? Isn’t that money earned by getting good grades? So, when I think about it like that, maybe giving my kids a little money incentive isn’t so bad.

Therefore, last year, just into the second 9 weeks, I did something I didn’t think I ever would. I bribed my kids with money if they got good grades. Well – that’s not the entire story. As we were having our family meeting, I announced to them that I would be paying them for their grades. Their eyes lit up and sparkled and then the question of, ‘how much?’

Here is our Good Grade Paying Contract:

1. Only the main subjects counted: English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Reading, Health.
2. Payment will be made at the end of every 9 weeks or when I got their grade cards.
3. I will pay you $10 for every A.
4. I will pay you $5 for every B.
5. You will get nothing for C’s.
6. If you get a D, you owe me $10.
7. If you get an F, you owe me $20.

I think they were excited up until #6. Although they usually didn’t get F’s, there was the occasional D, and I wanted to make sure that if that happened, the D’s out weighed the A’s and B’s. Meaning, if they got an A and a D – they get nothing, and if they got a B and a D, they would owe me $5 bucks.

Seem fair? I don’t know but I saw grades coming up immediately, and I was happy! In the end, everyone was happy and that’s what really matters right? I’m planning on using this same grade incentive for this school year also.

I'm thinking this will also give them some experience with saving and spending money. I don't give them an allowance so the only other time they have money is from their grandparents around the holidays or their birthday.

What are your thoughts on paying children for grades? What are some things you do to keep your children motivated in school?