Rewards ideas to keep your little learner motivated
The Komodo programme includes rewards as one of the tools designed to keep Komodo learners (and indeed parents) motivated. Recently we've been thinking of a few ideas for parents to add to their mix of treats, particularly ideas that won't put pressure on the bank balance. Naturally, these ideas are suitable for any family that uses a rewards system - not just Komodo learners.
We’ve split them into mini-rewards for completing a number of lessons or super-rewards for completing a Komodo level or levels. You are completely in control of exactly how much effort is required and how frequently rewards are offered.
Some children are better motivated by little and often rewards and others will look out for the “big prize.” You will know what works best for your child.
Start in a way you can continue. The benefit of using Komodo comes over months - so it’s important to use rewards in a way you can keep up. It’s much better to start mean and become more generous, than the other way around.
Consider also that 10 lessons can be done in 30 minutes of using Komodo - this would fit into the “mini-rewards” . One level on the other hand could take a month of using Komodo five times per week - perhaps deserving a “super-reward.”
Time on a game or deviceMany of us are concerned about how much time our children spend on screens and games - so why not have way of earning it through Komodo?
Add to a collectionIf your child has an insatiable desire for the latest collection craze, a card/sticker/figure is ideal for Komodo rewards and can prevent constant “pester power” !
Choose what’s on the menuLet your child choose what’s for dinner for an evening.
A trip to the park of their choiceGive this classic Komodo reward an extra boost by allowing your little learner to chose their favourite park.
Picnic in the garden/local parkTake your lunch/dinner outside - al fresco dining can be quite a treat on a good day.
Breaking a ruleAllow your child to break a (minor) rule - like skipping a chore or staying up past bedtime.
Use a little imagination to keep up the motivation levels and without resorting to additional expense - here’s our suggestions:
Parents join inHow about joining in on some kids activity you don’t normally do? A family football tournament, outside water fun or console games tournament (kids Vs parents) for instance.
A girlie day/boy’s day - or whatever your child prefers.A little pamper session with mummy’s beauty products, a baking afternoon or DIY lesson.
A new bookA win-win reward for all - with children getting better at maths and reading too.
Role reversal daysLet your little learner take charge of the day (within reason of course - it’s fine to set some boundaries). Plan the day’s itinerary with your mini-adult and set a budget for spends. This will also teach budgeting lesson, which after all, is part of the role of being a parent!
A trip to (insert appropriate venue/person to visit) using public transport.If you normally travel by car, a day trip by train or bus can be quite an adventure.
SleepoversAn ever popular treat for kids. The excitement of staying up late with your bestie never fades (but don't expect to get much sleep!)
There is an argument that children shouldn’t need rewards for learning. This is particularly true for older secondary school children, where self-motivation is important for exam success. With younger children rewards are pretty harmless and they work, but it’s worth remembering that the best motivation comes from your interest and encouragement. When you're giving encouragement it's worth remembering to praise the effort as opposed to the ability or score. Effort and resilience are the keys to learning not just having talent.
So that’s just a few of our ideas - hopefully these will trigger off some more of your own. We'd love to hear what rewards work for your family - if you have any ideas that might inspire other parents, please join in the conversation on our Facebook page.
I'm Jane, Co-founder of Komodo, and mum. If you have any questions please get in touch.
About Komodo - Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost primary maths skills. Designed for 5 to 11 year olds to use in the home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning maths (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy routine. Komodo users develop fluency and confidence in maths - without keeping them at the screen for long.
Find out more about Komodo and how it helps thousands of children each year do better at maths - you can even try Komodo for free.