Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Consequences Pyramid

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.

God Bless,


Amy@theredheaddiaries.blogspot.com said...

What a great idea!! I admire you both for what you are doing for your kids. My kids are in school all day and I get so frustrated with just doing homework with them. I can't imagine how much patience you must have. One of my best friends is homeschooling her kids and I see all the work and love she puts into it. You guys rock!!!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Amy! It isn't always easy, especially with fiery redheads (as you well know :), but it is definitely worth the effort.


RaD said...

That's a great idea. Hmmm... the wheels in my head are turning...

Connie said...

Excellent! Some days I think they just want to go to bed and now they know how to get there. LOL Most of the time, however, they like clarification - you have given it - boundaries/discipline they understand.

alexis said...

Jackie, what a wonderful idea! I am definitely going to implement something like this when Brett arrives for his winter break. It's difficult for him, because he splits his time between two homes with two different sets of rules, but if the expectations and the consequences are clear, it should make it a bit easier on him. Wow, I just love this idea!
PS--your big Thanksgiving get together sounds like a blast! My family is very small, and scattered all over the place :(

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

Jackie, great idea! Isn't God so great and creative? I might have to see if how this will fit in with where we are right now.

thanks for letting me know about it.


Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

What a great way to streamline discipline!

Anonymous said...

Yours is different from my mom's, but I like it anyway.


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I'm so glad we started doing this. It is amazing how quickly they turn it around, when they realize that no TV is the next level of loss of priviledges!

I will share my system later this week!


Jackie, Great idea... I am glad it is working great for you. I love Homeschooling my 7 blessings. Glad you liked the Planets. I can send it to you in an email if you would like. It is great to print out for a Schoolroom or Teaching. I really enjoy your blog... Blessings, Audrey

La Familia Garcia said...

Came here from your sister. I love this idea! Thanks for posting!! Very God-honoring and clear cut!


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