Thursday, October 06, 2011

Why I love the Marble Jar

A long while back, I read an article in family fun about using a marble jar to encourage your child to become involved in household chores. We've been using it for well over a year, and its STILL paying off. Not only because Garrett (and now Summer) get involved in the housekeeping, but also because they have SUCH fun with their rewards.

When Garrett filled up his jar last week, he got a bug collecting kit from the dollar store. Quite possibly the best dollar I've ever spent. We have spent COUNTLESS hours outside ever since hunting for (and occasionally catching) lizards, bugs and other creepy crawlies. Lizards are by far the favored critter to catch.

You can't beat a "special surprise" that gets you outside in the beautiful weather. Garrett loves to create a habitat, observe his catches and look at them through the magnifying glass on top of the container before we let them go.

The other reason I love this jar is because Garrett truly takes initiative to help at time. It gives him a tangible reward for helping me. Last night Brad had a meeting and Summer is to a point where she is very hard to put to bed (we just switched her to a Full Size bed). While I was putting her to bed, Garrett asked if he could do something to earn some marbles. I told him to clean whatever he wanted and then tell me how many marbles he thought he deserved. He decided he would earn 20 marbles. He wrote the numbers 1-20 and then would go find something to clean. As he did an item, he would cross off a number. By the time Summer was in bed, the horrendous amount of toys were put away, the dogs were fed, and the floors were vacuumed. He worked very hard for those 20 marbles, and I didn't have to stress about getting the house clean. It was great.

Other than that, we've been busy, but not doing anything terribly special. Football, school, family time. We switched the beds around this weekend are in the midst of a massive declutter. That will (eventually? hopefully?) get its own post. Summer did sign up for a tumbling class, but that only lasted a week before she got a nasty cold. We haven't been back since. Or rather, we have tried to go back, but she refused to participate. Maybe because she is still sick, but who knows. It was a fun (but apparently expensive) week.
She's very much into letters right now, so we're going slow and introducing a letter whenever the opportunity arises. She can identify O, L, and S so far and likes to find them WHEREVER we go. Potty training has been successful (knock on wood) and we've been slowly getting more adventurous in our outings. It even cooled down enough for a family trip to the zoo this past weekend.

Other than that, we've played with our food.

We've gotten the occasional sweet treat for working/playing hard.

Garrett has FINALLY started doing what I consider REAL school work--first spelling test is this week. Now that they have finally started doing sight and spelling words, Garrett is reading and writing even in his free time. He's also having tons of fun drawing too. Here are a few of his fun little "just because" projects.

Every day is crazy and chaotic and absurdly wonderful.

1 comment:

Hartley's said...

Good idea! I have a master negotiater at my house- you are lucky to get all that work for such a simple toy! I am going to try this with Ainsleigh though. I love the first spelling tests- so cute! Thanks for commenting on my blog- I forget other people read it!