Motivation is a tricky thing. After 11 years of parenting and 10 years of teaching, I’ve decided that gimmicks and bribes don’t really work with my kids. (Or any kids I know.) If they want to do it, they will. If not, they either won’t, or they’ll complain a lot in the process.
That said, I still occasionally attempt short-term gimmicks when I want to nudge my kids to open their minds and try a new idea. (Hoping they will build a habit and find the internal motivation to continue it!)
Enter the punch card…
I designed these several years ago when I needed to encourage my sons to eat something other than carbs with butter and salt. My three boys are super competitive, so each boy jumped at the chance to “win” the punch card game by filling up his card with punches before his brother. It worked for about two weeks. And then it didn’t. So we put the punch cards away. It wasn’t a failure though. In the process, each boy found some new foods to like or at least tolerate on a regular basis. That counts as a win!
So, what does this have to do with literacy?
We recently started punching again, but this time, it’s to encourage everyone to try new things when it comes to reading. For the month of January, we’re all challenging ourselves to get as many punches as possible on our reading punch cards. It’s fun, and it’s a great way to jump start our reading for the new year.
P.S. Hole punching is great fine motor work for strengthening those little writing muscles!