In some classrooms, like my niece Maddie's, children acquire marbles when they do a good job, for some, it's check marks... well, here in our house (thanks to the big bag of beans I use as pie crust weights which have been baked so many times, no amount of cooking could resurrect them), that coveted item that any given child will do ANYTHING for is the lowly, humble bean.
I can not tell you what I have gotten accomplished with the promise of a few beans. The children will turn from unruly goof-balls to straight as arrows big-helpers in 1/2 of a second with the luring of a few measly beans. Of course, this only works because they know that 500 beans equals a trip to get ice cream, thus bringing us full circle... it truly IS the magical fruit! I can hear you now: "500 beans, you big meanie, that's too much!"
Slow your roll, let me explain the system: the primary winner of the petrified bean is Anthony, and the primary way he wins them is through doing neat, thoughtful, concentrated school work. In one day, between our reading, writing, and arithmetic, he can easily earn 100+ beans... IF done correctly, neatly, and in a timely manner (messy writing gets re-done, without beans). That boy will write 2 full pages (remember he's in pre-K!), and finish with a beaming smile ready to count his beans. (As a double-whammy for me, I use the counting for English and Latin practice, as well as tens place and units place practice.) So, I am certainly NOT mean... if he does well in his studies, he has the potential to earn, for the WHOLE FAMILY, one ice cream a week... 100 beans PER ice cream). With that being said, we average an ice cream every 1.5-2 weeks :) Hmm, now that I think of it, once Dominic gets old enough I'll need a bigger jar!
The pride beaming in his face when he gets to tell the whole family that we are getting a treat because HE did so well in his studies is priceless... only the rays of the August sun could rival it. Today is the coveted day. His bean jar is full, and as soon as Daddy gets home, Anthony gets to treat his whole family (minus Mike, poor thing gave up sweets for Lent) to a ice cold cone... oh Happy Day!
|So proud to "buy" his family ice cream!|
|Jake is ready to go!|
|Mary knows a full bean jar = ice cream!|
|Today's ice cream was Chick-fil-A Ice Dream- yummmm!|