Homeschool Store: FREE printables

August 17, 2010

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99% of what we do during our homeschool day is an adaptation of what I did as a classroom teacher. As a teacher, I learned two important things:

1. Children like to be rewarded for “good” behavior.

2. All children love to please their teacher. Now this pleasing the teacher thing is much easier for some than others. But I found that it was my responsibility to find the “good” in each child. I was always on the look out for the smallest opportunity to reward those students who are not the perfect little girls who will actually one day grow-up to be teachers.

I tried quite a variety of reward systems. The most successful by far was our classroom store. I ran off a bundle of $1.00, $10.00, and $100.00 bills. And I passed them out generously to reinforce desirable behavior:

I like the way Johnny is walking quietly in the hall. Here’s $1.00.

I like the way Suzy is sitting flat on her bottom, hands in her lap, eyes on me. Here’s $1.00.

I’m impressed with the way Tommy is writing in his journal. Here’s $1.00.

Thank you Mary for cleaning you workstation so quickly. Here’s $1.00.

You’re getting the idea, I bribed the children into exhibiting “good” behaviors. Now some are very much against this. But hey, it worked! And it was all through positive reinforcement. Most of us go to work to earn a living. I explained to the children that school was their job. And just like a real job the harder they worked the more money they made. Yes some made more money than others. But all of the students made a lot of money! And all students left my class knowing that their teacher thought highly of them! :)

Each Friday I opened the classroom store the last few minutes of the day. Anyone with “ten dollar” behavior was allowed to shop. The store had stickers, pencils, books, posters, donated items from parents . . .  Some items were $1.00. Some items were even $100.00.

Through the years, I saw the children learning some important life skills:

1. When the children had their eye on an item in the homeschool store they worked hard to save-up their money, even if it took months. They had to decide, “Do I want to spend $2.00 this week on candy or save-up for that poster?”

2. When the children collected 10 one dollar bills they traded it for a ten dollar bill. And when they had 10 ten dollar bills they traded it for a one hundred dollar bill. This was an excellent hands-on manipulation of the place value system.

3. I witnessed many children sharing their purchases with other students! :)

What in the world does this all have to do with homeschool? We have adapted this system to our homeschool setting. MacGyver is a little boy with his own agenda so he needs a little motivation to complete his homeschool assignments in a TIMELY manner. So I reward his good work with homeschool dollars. Here he is on a Friday shopping day, reading the directions and putting together the 3-D dinosaur he purchased.

Shopping at our homeschool store is like shopping in Japan, the prices are very high. But this way I can be very generous when giving out the homeschool dollars. When we are out doing our family shopping at a real store, I never buy my children treats. On occasion, if they see something they want at the store, I purchase it, price it and put it in the homeschool store. Sometime during first grade MacGyver asked, “If everything at The Dollar Store cost $1.00, why does it cost $10.00’s in the homeschool store?” Snagged!

MacGyver begged me for these space crystals. When they went on sale for half price, I purchased them and put them in the homeschool store. He worked very hard to earn these crystals. This purchase turned into a great family science investigation.

MacGyver and Miss Enigma move in for a closer look.

Now and again, I have tried letting Miss Enigma have a go at earning money. For the first 2 years of homeschool she didn’t really “get-it.” But we try to include her as much as possible. Here she is with one of her first purchases.

Miss Enigma is now approaching four and just starting to understand the homeschool store concept. We were having trouble with her sleeping in her bed through-out the night. So when she begged for this mermaid set, I used the opportunity to allow her to earn it from the homeschool store. Each night she slept in her bed, she earned $1.00. That solved our problem and now she has worked for and earned her first real homeschool store purchase.

The children also earn homeschool money by doing little family chores like taking out the recycle and . . .

sorting and folding their laundry.

If I weren’t homeschooling, we would have a family store and reward system. This summer we’ve taken a break from our homeschool routine but the children still do chores and earn money. MacGyver has especially participated in a lot of household cleaning chores this summer. He currently has his eye on this art set I bought on clearance. Wish him luck.

And Miss Enigma informed me that she will be purchasing these stickers from our homeschool store.

As the children get older we’ll probably transition away from the homeschool store. But at this age it works great! Joyce has been through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace class. She’s recommended Chapter 16: Crumb Snatchers and Money to me. Maybe we’ll tackle that next.

For those of you interested in starting a classroom store or homeschool store below is a link to print FREE money! I printed mine on different colors of card stock.

Print this homeschool money FREE

What reward systems do you use in the classroom and at home?

Life with Jeannine

In our “at school” section we are sharing why we use the Math U See curriculum. We also have a math book giveaway: Bat Jamboree

Please join us tomorrow for more math “out in the world.”

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Joelle August 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Thanks for stopping by. You have a cool site here. I’ll have to come by again later.

amandab August 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm

We have a reward chart with stars, and each star equals 10c, so Princess can save up her money and go and buy something special. I like this idea much better though, so I think I might discuss it with my huband (if he ever wakes up!) Thank you!

Jackie August 18, 2010 at 6:00 am

Great idea. My kids are too little still but my nephew has had trouble staying in bed too. I’ll have to pass this link on to my sister.

Maegan August 18, 2010 at 1:10 pm

This is a great idea! I am going to have to show this to Brandon, so we can use it with our kids as they grow up.

Mrs Random September 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

What an awesome idea! You seem to have a great blog filled with good stuff! I’m very glad I found you!

maryanne March 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I love the idea of a family/homeschool store! We have used charts to earn rewards for things like sleeping through the night in your own bed (Emma), but money might be easier for the kids to understand in some ways.

Merelyn - Real Kid Friendly August 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Love this!
I can’t wait to organize myself enough to get this started (hopefully before he’s 12)!!

Maryah April 23, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I have been struggling with classroom behavior & although we are nearly finished with the end of this school year, I am so excited!! I know my children will love this & it will definitely help them want to please their teacher mommy. Thank you!!

Jeannine April 24, 2013 at 8:02 am

My experience is children like to be praised. Our homeschool store helps us focus on the positive and gives them a tangible goal to work towards. Good luck and happy learning.

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