As moms, we have days where we feel like we win big time and have days where we lose big time. I’m sure most of you know exactly what I mean. I recently had a BIG win! Once it worked I knew that I had share it with all of you!!
My daughter is five years old, and we have been homeschooling actively for about two and a half years. She started off this year with about a first grade reading level, but it’s been like pulling teeth to get her to work on her reading. I knew she could read well, because she would randomly read signs, and advertisements at the store. However, I wasn’t sure how far reading level had advanced.
While she was doing well reading, I really felt that she was spending far too much time on the tablet and not enough time playing with her toys, or reading actual books. That led me to find a plan that worked – for both of us.
I figured that we’d give this a shot and if it worked, I’d just have to iron out the details later. The idea was that in order for her to have any screen time at all, that she would have to first earn it by reading a book.
When I explained this to her, she was a bit apprehensive at first. However, once I told her about how much fun it would be and that I was going to be here to help her, she started to get more excited. (And secretly, I am thinking – is this really going to work?).
Her first books was simple. It included short and included simple sentence structure and words. As she breezed through it, I could see her confidence increasing. The moment we were done, she asked me, “Can I read another book to earn MORE screen time?” Of course I answered, “Yes!” I allowed her to select the next book. The second one was a bit more difficult, however, she was able to read it without any problems at all.
Within the first week of implementing our new program, she not only read 18 books without any type of fight or struggle, but her self-confidence has grown tremendously. I was one happy mom!!!
One morning, I even had a double win! She asked for screen time, and I told her she would need to go grab a book to earn it, and she said, “I don’t feel like reading right now, I’ll just play with toys instead.” Toys. You know the things that take up her entire room – yeah those. She actually played with them all morning. I was tickled pink!
Since the beginning, here are some details we worked out for us ( and it may vary for you and your family, so feel free to change it to make it work for you!)
- Different books are worth different amounts of time. We have three separate baskets.Basket One: Simple books which are not really challenging. he will earn 10 minutes of screen time for each one she read.Basket Two: These books are just one level below her current reading level. They may take longer to read as they include more pages. These books earn her 15 minutes for each book read.
Basket Three: These books are at or above her current reading level. They are definitely much longer and as a result, she will earn 30 minutes of screen time for each one she finishes.
- All books are read under Mom or Dad’s supervision. The reason is that we want to be able to monitor her reading and help her with those words she my not know or may mispronounce.
- When redeeming screen time, set a timer. This allows him or her to feel more in control than when Mom or Dad have to intervene. Once the timer dings, she can ask to earn more screen time or might go and play with toys or do something else.
When I shared this on my personal social media, I had many moms (with kids of varying ages) who were excited to try this out and had incredible success – even with teens!
If this worked for you, we would love it if you would share your success with us! It’s all about working together as moms to come up with ideas to make our kids the best they can be. So, here’s to a mom-win, may they outnumber the mom-losses!