Target’s Onespot

I made the error of going to Target today when I didn’t really need anything.  I did need to make a quick return and pick up shampoo, so naturally I spent quite awhile at the onespot (where everything is $1).  Even though I am in the process of reading a book about how giving rewards to children doesn’t work…I purchased quite a few stickers and pencils.  There were BATMAN stickers!  And pencils!

I had a student today who came in with his mom and both were upset as they had been having a lot of trouble practicing.  Practicing is always the challenge–playing the violin is great and fun.  Practicing the violin can be super dull, like pulling teeth.  I didn’t have as much advice as I wished I did.  (This is a fairly new student for me, had three or four lessons).  I gave him one of my practice charts where you do the list, check it off, and then (though you can practice more) technically you are done.  I tried to be very specific with what he should do, in the hopes that, even if he didn’t enjoy the practice, the finality of the short list would make the practice session go by easier.  It seems that this student has never been “into” practicing, so this will be an ongoing project.  The student is (I hesitate to say it, but) very talented, and a quick learner. The problem is (naturally) he gets bored quickly, learns easily, and doesn’t want to spend extra time perfecting things.  I can see my challenge will be to keep him feeling like he is doing new things while continuing to work on old things.  My other challenge is to keep the family happy enough that they stay with me, as I am really enjoying this student.  (Of course I like all my students, but it’s nice to have a child who is not one of my beginners!)

The one thing I didn’t suggest was any form of bribery/rewards.

Any practice suggestions from my readers?

One thought on “Target’s Onespot”

  1. I love the short lists to help kiddos see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, but I also really love rolling the dice. We roll dice a lot in our lessons. Whatever they roll is how many times they practice it each day. (Ones don’t count). This way it is not me saying “do this 10 times” – it is the student rolling, and thereby in charge of their practice. Big kids get a pair of dice to roll so the number of reps is high enough- but little ones just might “get away with” a low number for the week. They just LOVE practicing it only 2 or 3 times a day- and usually tell me they loved it. We all know 2 or 3 joyous reps is likely a much better quality than what we would have gotten with a higher number….
    That said- I love silly bands. I only give them for an amazing feat-determined by me and not the child. But I do give rewards for hard work. The kids know the difference between a bribe and a reward and with the number of repetitions we require of young children, I think a reward is well worth it.
    Just some thoughts…..

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