Every 7 school days, my daughter comes home beaming. When she earns something at school, even the smallest trinket, she can’t wait to show me. I used to think it was so unnecessary for kids to receive rewards every few days in school. I thought “rewarding kids for things they’re supposed to do? Why?” After thinking about it, treasure box is pure genius! High five to all those teachers who know much better than I do. (I guess that’s why they’re teachers and I’m the parent). Here’s why I love treasure box.
Everybody Does Not Get a Trophy
In my daughter’s class, you don’t get to go to the treasure box unless you’ve earned it. You don’t get rewarded for simply showing up. You have to put in the work. In the world of first grade, that means listening in class, participating, being a good citizen, being responsible for your class work and work area. It means being responsible for your actions. If you do the things you’re supposed to do, you’re rewarded. If you choose not to, you do not receive anything. It allows the little ones to make a choice.
For those who choose not to follow the rules, they must sign the “BIG RED BOOK”. It’s amazing the reaction children at such a young age have when they misbehave and are required to sign. You’d think they were heading to the principal’s office. There is black and white is an acknowledgment of their misdeeds. They know they are in trouble. Teachers tell their parents. The world just might come to an end. My daughter’s teacher says that she doesn’t have to use it often.
Everyone is Accountable
To keep track of progress towards the next treasure box, the children receive a sticker for each class day that they do all the thing that need to be done. The sticker sheet is attached to their homework folder that gets sent home with them every day. Parents review the folder each night and sign the sticker box. No signature, no treasure box. One of her chores is to make sure that I look over everything each night and sign her sticker. One time early in the school year, we forgot to sign her stick box with treasure box the next day. She came home the next day with no treasure box. Needless to say, she was very disappointed. She’s never missed another treasure box days since then. She got to see this in action on the flip side when she sadly had to deal with a bully at school. Bad behavior is not rewarded.
Hard Work Pays Off
I’ve gone back and forth on whether kids should be celebrated for doing things they are supposed to in school. In my opinion, as adults, we do the things we are supposed to do at work a so that we can be “rewarded” with a paycheck. That doesn’t make up all of who we are. We can also volunteer our time and money to other causes where the reward is simply to make the world a better place. We are able to balance our lives to where there is no “reward” for everything that we do. So why not the same for our little ones?
My daughter is so proud of herself when she comes home with her treasure box. She talks about all the things she did to earn it. It has made her want to work even harder in school, even though the reward is still the same.
Placing Value on What You’ve Earned
My kids love their toys. Shopkins are my daughter’s current favorite (and I’m convinced those little things are taking over the world). Her favorite things, however, are the little things that she gets from the treasure box. She earns kazoos, plastic rings, spiders, and all kinds of other stuff. My daughter values those above anything else. She takes special care of her treasure box finds. After all, she worked hard for them.
A Chance to Celebrate Your Good Work
When surveys are taken of adults about what they think defines a good employer, one of the items near the top of the list always seems to be receiving recognition for their contributions. Why should we think children would be any different?
I always know when treasure box day is, because, in addition to having to sign her sticker sheet, it is always the first thing she talks about when she gets home.
Does your child have treasure box at school? Do you agree with the idea of treasure box? I’d love to hear your comments.