So, I was on the phone with my sister last week and we were swapping homeschooling woes. Both of us were complaining about the amount of time we were disciplining compared to teaching and neither of us were satisfied with what was happening in our homeschools. We were trying to figure out how to keep our kids on-task without losing our minds in the process! We were being consistent with the "break system" but it just didn't seem to be enough. Half our energy and brain power was being drained just in trying to figure out what privileges to take away, what would be fair and deflecting the arguments that would inevitably come our way when we would apply a consequence.
Thus, the Consequences Pyramid was born! Ours may look a little differently, but I think we have the same basic idea. We decided that a simple visual reminder and "code system" just might do the trick. This way, everyone is on board and knows what to expect if they aren't able to turn their behavior around. Kind of like how God deals with us adults when we are disobeying Him. He starts chipping at us with a hammer and ends up bringing in the jack hammer if we still aren't "getting it". As you can see from the picture above, I've got my pyramid broken out into five "codes":
Code Blue: Take a break
Code Green: No snack
Code Yellow: No electronics (including anything with batteries)
Code Orange: Take a nap (or one hour rest time)
Code Red: Go to bed right after supper
Infractions include: disobedience, disrespect, bad attitude, arguing, not staying on task, etc...
We decided that our homeschool day would be over at 3pm. If the kids weren't done by then, they would automatically go to code red. A couple of days of that and we knew we'd have the upper hand again. We also having them do their extra chores after homeschooling is over for the day and before they are "released". Same system applies.
So, how's it working? Josiah has only gotten as far as code yellow (once). Blue or green is about the average. We've been getting our homeschooling done in record time (as well as chores) and the attitude has been completely different. My energy isn't getting drained by the constant arguments and goofing off. Stacie reports similar results. She works hers a bit differently because she is disciplining more than one child. When I can tell Josiah is having a hard time turning it around, I tell him he needs to ask the Holy Spirit to help him. I want to teach him at an early age that he can't be "good" on his own. Many times he'll ask me to pray for him. As you can imagine, this has helped tremedously and it is teaching a spiritual truth.
I'm so excited about this new system! I just had to share it with you all. I drew the hearts on my chart to remind both Josiah and I that the reason there are consequences is because I love him.