(This post is one of many in my Memory Master series. Please see the blog post titles and links at the bottom of the page to access the rest of the posts in this series.)
Memory Master is an achievement. I believe that a child deserves a reward for putting the effort in that is required to be successful. I know not everyone agrees with a monetary award, but I started with that and pretty much set myself up to have to continue it. Motivation is a unique factor for each child, but there are a few general ideas that might go a long way in your MM pursuit.
What can you do to motivate your future Memory Master?
#1 Motivator in my book? JOIN THEM!
That’s right. I went for Memory Master with my two sons, Andrew and Aaron, last year. Standing up there together was a memory I plan to hang on to for a long, long time. We had one family in our community where they ALL achieved MM together. This included 2 Challenge Directors, 1 Challenge student, and 2 Foundations Students.
#2 Motivator – T-Shirt & Certificate, Public Recognition
In our community, we add a certificate to the t-shirt to congratulate each student on their achievement. Finding them on clearance, I purchased bags of Easter M&Ms. These were NOT small bags of M&Ms. M&M = Memory Master (just in case you weren’t sure). Some communities do a trophy as well.
The public recognition part is important. In first grade, my son, Andrew, was the only one in his class to achieve a reading award. He was not a well-behaved student in class, so that was pretty much the only reward he received, and again – he was the only one to achieve it. His teacher decided since it was just him that she would hand it out in class instead of at the assembly, which we had taken off work to attend. You can imagine my frustration when I discovered that she had taken away from him this one chance at recognition for something he was good at and had worked hard to achieve. Plus, we missed out on seeing the recognition and his special moment.
Sometimes people struggle with singling out children for a special achievement, especially when others may not be capable of trying for that achievement. They also might struggle with the idea that CC does not provide for any awards for learning a portion of the memory work. After directing Foundations, and proofing these students, I understand. This achievement is just remarkable, and it is important to treat it as such. There are great ideas for you to use in rewarding your students at home, but that’s for another post.
#3 Motivator – Monetary Reward
Again, this might not be up your alley, and that’s ok. No one requires anyone to reward their student in this fashion. I will say that a student might put pressure on his parent when he finds out a friend is receiving something, but stand your ground. It’s your classroom, and it’s your reward system. If you do choose money, make it something that recognizes his achievement. $20 says you did your chores for a month maybe. How about spending money for your upcoming vacation? What says you achieved Memory Master to you?
#4 Motivator – Toy/Tangible Item
Is there a new lego set your student wanted for Christmas, but you just weren’t going to spend that amount on one item? Is there a local theme park or water park she has been wanting a pass to? Is there a robotics camp that she is begging you to attend? If a direct payment of money isn’t up your alley for a motivator, you can still use it to purchase an item that will bring her hours and hours or days and weeks of satisfaction. Giving destination items is a popular Christmas present these days. I think it makes a great Memory Master gift too!
#5 Motivator – Self-Confidence
This may not be so tangible to the student, but that does not diminish it’s true importance. Achievement of a goal such as Memory Work takes hours/days/weeks/months of effort for most students.
#6 Motivator – Hard Work, Character
It’s the same as #5. Don’t underestimate the impact this experience will have on your student. Even if he doesn’t see it today or this year, he will look back and treasure his success as Memory Master!
You agree all this sounds great, but what if my student doesn’t achieve Memory Master, or what if we decide at the last minute that we aren’t ready? My answer is don’t just “drop it.” There are other ways to reward your student. And we’ll take a look at some of them soon.
- 10000Dear mom or dad, is it your first year in Classical Conversations (CC)? Did you come fresh from public school with your seven and ten year-olds and jump right in? Have you been homeschooling awhile but only now decided that classical education was the best path for your children and your…