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Rabbi gave my 10 year old a 5$, sounds spooky to me
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 10:30 am
amother [ Goldenrod ] wrote:
Teaneck.
In early elementary school they did get tickets which they could redeem 2-3 times a year for oriental trading prizes at the prize fair. But the tickets were given to everyone usually for behavior or ideally to when the teacher was asking questions and each child got called on once to participate and got one for participation.
I remember my child being disappointed because she has 42 tickets and her friend had 44 because she was absent a few days and tickets were given out in those. (The prizes were pencils, stickers, erasers, bracelets and bouncy balls that you could redeem the for)

My children never got money or a prize bigger than above.


How does your school motivate middle and upper elementary school kids to do repetitive review that's really important but really boring? Reviewing Chumash and gemara? Multiplication tables?
Your school doesn't have any optional programs with prizes - learning the Parsha? Going to shul on Shabbos? Summer reading? Summer homework?
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amother




Bronze
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 10:32 am
My oldest is in first grade, OOT school, and we haven't seen any cash prizes so far. Only little toys.

Our shul does learning programs over school breaks, and the prize for completing is an Amazon gift card, with the amount dependent on how much learning was completed. I was really surprised to find out that was the prize, but I think it will be a good motivator. My DD was certainly pleased.

I am OK with money being used as a motivator, but I prefer to see it being done in a somewhat structured way, rather than a teacher just giving random amounts at random times when they feel like it.
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Bnei Berak 10




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 10:35 am
amother [ Coral ] wrote:
It's very normal - boys value monetary prizes more than chatchkes at that age.
My 12 year old got 100 shekalim from his rebbi for memorizing a daf of gemarah.
The rebbi knew that it would make my son feel very accomplished but that he also needed a big motivator to do it.

Wow! Surprised. A very very respectable incentive I say
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Sesame




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 10:36 am
amother [ Bronze ] wrote:
My oldest is in first grade, OOT school, and we haven't seen any cash prizes so far. Only little toys.

Our shul does learning programs over school breaks, and the prize for completing is an Amazon gift card, with the amount dependent on how much learning was completed. I was really surprised to find out that was the prize, but I think it will be a good motivator. My DD was certainly pleased.

I am OK with money being used as a motivator, but I prefer to see it being done in a somewhat structured way, rather than a teacher just giving random amounts at random times when they feel like it.

Ya first grade is a bit young for that, so little things are perfectly fine IMO.
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amother




Indigo
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 10:39 am
I don't allow my children to keep any incentive money, I don't care if this has been normalized, but this is leaving kids open and vulnerable.

The reward for getting a good answer is the answer itself. My parents also didn't allow me to keep any money unless it was a clear gift, like a birthday or a grandparent giving.
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 10:48 am
keym wrote:
How does your school motivate middle and upper elementary school kids to do repetitive review that's really important but really boring? Reviewing Chumash and gemara? Multiplication tables?
Your school doesn't have any optional programs with prizes - learning the Parsha? Going to shul on Shabbos? Summer reading? Summer homework?

Because you have a test and / or it is expected of you.
This is so foreign and bazaar to me.
I know of parents who bribe their own children to do well on tests, but not the schools.
Summer homework? I sit on them and it gets done.
There is often a test the first week and you don’t want to make a bad impression on your new teacher.
Mishmar does have an incentive. If you miss 2 or less for the year you don’t need to take your Gemara final. (But your average from all the tests count to make up your grade so it’s not like you are blowing off class.)
Going to shul-you go because I say get dressed, we are going. Why wouldn’t they want to go. They see their friends, have snacks/kiddush. I never thought of it as optional.

Does such an incentive program truly incentivize kids who are unmotivated? Would they really do the work for even $100 if they have no interest or motivation otherwise?
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amother




Vermilion
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 11:02 am
From lo lishma to lishma is a Jewish concept.
Most kids in MS and HS aren’t at lishma.

I think most kids are motivated to do summer homework or vacation homework for a prize. Is my son sitting 1/2 hr to learn each day of vacation to hand in a chart and get a congratulation? Probably not. (It depends on the kid)
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amother




Wine
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 11:17 am
amother [ Goldenrod ] wrote:


Does such an incentive program truly incentivize kids who are unmotivated? Would they really do the work for even $100 if they have no interest or motivation otherwise?


Yes, it really can work with the right Rebbe and in a structured way, at the right age. Not throwing dollar bills around the classroom, but as part of system for chazara, for example, monetary rewards can very much motivate a reluctant child. When my son was in 8th grade his Rebbe did this and told the parents about it at orientation at the beginning of the year. He said this is what he uses his Maaser for. He gave out hundreds of dollars over the course of the year, but it really worked to incentivize the boys.

To those who have never heard of giving out cash as a reward for learning, the national Masmid Govoha program, run by Pirchei Agudas Yisrael, has a learning program to incentivize boys in grades 6-8 to do extra learning outside of school. My sons was thrilled when Masmid Govoha had raffles in school for cash to all those who participated in this voluntary program.
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amother




Wine
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 11:21 am
keym wrote:
I feel like Rebbeim can't win. When they're 6 and 7, flashlights and erasers work. But kids want more.
Parents complain about the soda cans and danishes so the Rebbeim are giving the money.
But now parents are complaining about money.
My son's Rebbi offers class hikes and baseball games as big rewards and parents complain.


I totally agree with this and as a mother of overweight kids due to genetics, I so much appreciate when Rebbeim and teachers give out anything other than junk food. I B"H have a very bright and motivated son. He will "earn" multiple cans of soda and donuts/danishes a week and he comes home so happy, but it makes me cringe from a health and weight perspective and there is nothing I can do about it.
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amother




Orchid
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 11:25 am
I didn’t read the entire thread
Make sure to teach your child personal safety
I think kids have a gut feeling when something is wrong, but they don’t want to “disappoint”
Please encourage him to speak out when something seems strange to him
And that he can always come to you no matter what
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 11:25 am
amother [ Goldenrod ] wrote:
Because you have a test and / or it is expected of you.
This is so foreign and bazaar to me.
I know of parents who bribe their own children to do well on tests, but not the schools.
Summer homework? I sit on them and it gets done.
There is often a test the first week and you don’t want to make a bad impression on your new teacher.
Mishmar does have an incentive. If you miss 2 or less for the year you don’t need to take your Gemara final. (But your average from all the tests count to make up your grade so it’s not like you are blowing off class.)
Going to shul-you go because I say get dressed, we are going. Why wouldn’t they want to go. They see their friends, have snacks/kiddush. I never thought of it as optional.

Does such an incentive program truly incentivize kids who are unmotivated? Would they really do the work for even $100 if they have no interest or motivation otherwise?


My boys schools have programs and contests beyond the test.
They encourage Chazara of the Gemara for retention after the test. So my son in 7th grade gets points for independent Chazering of the Gemara he learned last year (each Daf is a point). At the end of the year, they earn big ticket sefarim and prizes.
Does it motivate? Yes, at least my boys. There is no way my 12 year old would sit and review his 6th grade Gemara just to remember it. But a prize makes it worth it.
They have a Shnayim Mikra program that's not mandatory, but boys who participate get a Sefer.
And every summer, they have a reading contest. The boys are encouraged to read a certain amount of pages (each grade is different) over vacation. Any books or magazines. They get books and toys as rewards.
My kids are readers so they'd read anyways. But their friends who hate reading, push themselves to read the 600 or 1000 pages to get the Bop-it game or whatever.
I don't think it's bad.
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mommyhood




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 11:39 am
amother [ Goldenrod ] wrote:
Because you have a test and / or it is expected of you.
This is so foreign and bazaar to me.
I know of parents who bribe their own children to do well on tests, but not the schools.
Summer homework? I sit on them and it gets done.
There is often a test the first week and you don’t want to make a bad impression on your new teacher.
Mishmar does have an incentive. If you miss 2 or less for the year you don’t need to take your Gemara final. (But your average from all the tests count to make up your grade so it’s not like you are blowing off class.)
Going to shul-you go because I say get dressed, we are going. Why wouldn’t they want to go. They see their friends, have snacks/kiddush. I never thought of it as optional.

Does such an incentive program truly incentivize kids who are unmotivated? Would they really do the work for even $100 if they have no interest or motivation otherwise?

It won't work for a kid that's truly unmotivated but it works for the middle of the road kids. I look at it as a reward for working hard I think that has a different flavor than a bribe.
I have kids in 2 schools, school A gives a nice prize for completing summer homework. School B does not. My kids in School A do the homework happily, School B not so much.
With your shul example, what would happen if you didn't have a kiddush or friends and shul was objectively boring? Shul attendance is a requirement for big boys so you have to work with that and get them excited to go for other reasons until they're really old enough to be able to self motivate and it becomes a habit.
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amother




Orange
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 11:39 am
Observation - the parents that are 'blown away' by the cash for learning concept, are probably the same ones 'blown away' but the tipping the Rebbe concept.
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amother




Aubergine
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 11:49 am
amother [ Indigo ] wrote:
I don't allow my children to keep any incentive money, I don't care if this has been normalized, but this is leaving kids open and vulnerable.

The reward for getting a good answer is the answer itself. My parents also didn't allow me to keep any money unless it was a clear gift, like a birthday or a grandparent giving.


What if it wasn't money, but a little toy flashlight? Or a laffy taffy? Or...a danish given by the yeshiva to anyone who did a set amount of learning over shabbos?

Any of these prizes can also be used by predators same as money. The main thing is to reinforce in children proper boundaries by discussing it and modeling it by always respecting their boundaries and feelings.
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 12:12 pm
amother [ Orange ] wrote:
Observation - the parents that are 'blown away' by the cash for learning concept, are probably the same ones 'blown away' but the tipping the Rebbe concept.

Very true. We do not tip Rebbeyim in my community. (At least not to my knowledge. I had never heard of it until this site.)
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amother




Indigo
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 2:12 pm
amother [ Aubergine ] wrote:
What if it wasn't money, but a little toy flashlight? Or a laffy taffy? Or...a danish given by the yeshiva to anyone who did a set amount of learning over shabbos?

Any of these prizes can also be used by predators same as money. The main thing is to reinforce in children proper boundaries by discussing it and modeling it by always respecting their boundaries and feelings.
Yeah but I feel like that's more normal. Money feels like they are being paid to study, they should study getting money or not.
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amother




Aubergine
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 2:41 pm
amother [ Indigo ] wrote:
Yeah but I feel like that's more normal. Money feels like they are being paid to study, they should study getting money or not.


Ok, but that's a different concern than keeping safe from predators.

I actually kind of agree with you on this. Money works, but I have mixed feelings about it.
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amother




Indigo
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 3:15 pm
amother [ Aubergine ] wrote:
Ok, but that's a different concern than keeping safe from predators.

I actually kind of agree with you on this. Money works, but I have mixed feelings about it.

Yes it's not just about predators, but about the principal.
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amother




Burlywood
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 3:26 pm
My kids often get $ from their Rebbeim but they tell me about it. Question is why he didn't want to tell you.
I definitely wouldn't tell him to return it, he will be embarrassed and it will negatively affect the communication and trust between the two of you. Tell him that every time he tells you when his Rebbe gave him $ you will give him something (money? treat?). And if their Rebbe ever tells him something that's a secret or makes him feel uncomfortable and he tells you then you will give him something extra...
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pinkpeonies




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 25 2021, 4:30 pm
amother [ Indigo ] wrote:
I don't allow my children to keep any incentive money, I don't care if this has been normalized, but this is leaving kids open and vulnerable.

The reward for getting a good answer is the answer itself. My parents also didn't allow me to keep any money unless it was a clear gift, like a birthday or a grandparent giving.


R matisyahu Solomon in his chinch book "With Hearts full of Love" writes that we should be giving prizes etc to children WHILE they are learning Torah. This sweetens Torah to them. Learning Torah is not the same as getting the answer right in a science class. This is something that is essential to keep sweet and good in the child's eyes, it's a lifelong endeavor. It starts with young children "shelo lishma" and ends "bo lishma" for adults.
This is why rebbes give prizes, sweets, and yes, monetary incentives.
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