Christmas Count Homework Challenge

Looking for new ideas to get your child motivated to practice? Looking for different ways to motivate your child to do their homework during the last weeks before Christmas? Hmmm... not so easy when we are all so busy with holiday preparations and so tired of the school year at the same time.

Try this Christmas Count Challenge and gear it toward your child's educational needs!

Once a year I do a music practice challenge that works VERY well with all of my students. Even though I use it in my music studio, the same idea can be used for any aspect of learning. The last week of November, I buy Christmas Count Chocolate Bars. I purchase mine from Trader Joe's. However, you can find these in many stores. It has 24 boxes an each box has a small chocolate inside.  The kids get to count off the days until Christmas by eating a small treat every day.

My students are instructed to practice for 24 days in a roll starting December 1st. After each practice session, they can have one chocolate. If they miss a day, they are not allowed to continue and make up for the time. I assign different things to all my students. They can only open the chocolate box after practicing a particular skill,  review, etc. If the student is a reluctant practicer or if they have a specific technical issue they are working on, then I make the practice specific to their own needs.

Do I give them "chocolate practice challenges" all the time? Absolutely not!!! I do not want my students to associate practicing with getting something material. I want to motivate them, not condition them. I do this only once a year around the Holidays. My parents have "reported" that their kids are very excited to practice after completing the activity. I am happy because this challenge keeps the consistency of practice during the Holiday Season! It also incorporates fun with learning which is always a good recipe for retention of information.

Try this with your child! Find a task that they have a harder time with. That can be math, house chores, or practicing a musical instrument. Work on developing consistency through a game!

Now it's your turn! 

Has your child experienced difficulties keeping up with school during the last weeks before Christmas? 
What strategies have you used to help them learn and be consistent with school work? 

12 comments:

It has worked great for us! Thank you for this post!

Anonymous
December 1, 2011 at 10:00 PM comment-delete

Great idea - I wish I had seen this a few days earlier!

December 3, 2011 at 10:59 AM comment-delete

Hello,
You can still start now and make up for the few days we missed in December :) Let me know how it goes!

December 3, 2011 at 12:27 PM comment-delete

This is a wonderful idea. I have done it with my kids for two years now and it has greatly motivated them to practice! Thank you for posting it so that other teachers and parents can take advantage!

Anonymous
November 23, 2012 at 1:03 PM comment-delete

My Mom just bought my sister one of these chocolate countdowns--she's so excited to start using it today! But I've never seen it associated with a chore or task before--that's a fun idea!

December 1, 2013 at 4:40 AM comment-delete

Hey Rachel, yes it could be a neat idea to get a child motivated to study, practice, or do house chores. Funnily, I had one leftover last year and I used it on myself....to count the days I do stretches after violin practice, I would eat a small chocolate every time I do it. And guess what...it worked!

December 1, 2013 at 9:48 AM comment-delete

This does sound like a great idea. I was concerned at first while I was reading that it was done all the time, but it is just once I year so I agree that the momentum can still be there and the kids can stay motivated without conditions. Thanks for sharing this one with us Countdown in Style as well. xo

December 1, 2013 at 9:13 PM comment-delete

Brittnei, this is a great observation and helpful for me to point out. Thank you.

December 1, 2013 at 10:24 PM comment-delete

This is a really good idea, I might have a think and try it.

December 2, 2013 at 1:02 AM comment-delete

Thankfully my son likes school enough to do the work and has no problem practicing. But I will keep this in mind for other things like chores!Thanks for sharing and linking up with Countdown in Style! Don’t forget to come back on Friday to see if you were featured!~~April~~100lbCountdown.com

December 5, 2013 at 5:24 AM comment-delete

Ava is not enjoying violin anymore. In fact, she has decided to quit and try art. Well, what can I say. I really wish i could find a way to motivate her again.

December 10, 2013 at 3:24 PM comment-delete

Lisa, let's talk...

December 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM comment-delete

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