Should You Pay Per Grade?

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Friday 23 January 2015

Should You Pay Per Grade?

A Facebook conversation the other day got me thinking about this. The question was about how much money should the parent pay their child if they obtained certain grades at school.

My immediate thought was nothing. I managed to pass my GCSE's perfectly fine without any financial carrot dangling under my nose. Surely you should want to get good grades? Infact I remember being really shocked that my parents bought me a gift after I received my grades as they were proud of me. (To be honest I think I would have got it no matter what grades I had got, as it was more of a you have worked hard present.) However, I had no knowledge I was getting it so it didn't affect how hard I had worked.

Having been a teacher myself, I know that lots of parents do this as an incentive, especially at GCSE's, but with other exams too. As a teacher I also know that most of the kids that brag about how much they will get if they get certain grades, probably haven't worked as hard as they should of throughout the year. Does this last minute bonus in a hope that they will do some revision make any difference on their score? I'm not sure.

So there you are. My answer is no you should not pay your child for each grade they obtain at GCSE as they should want to do it for themselves not for money.

Then I took big man to football. My friend and I sit outside with the kids while it is going on, doing homework. Her child is in year 2. She had done all her homework, but her mum was trying to get her to go the extra mile. "It's up to you, but you know you will only get extra stickers from your teacher if you do extra work." I sat there thinking,  I wouldn't bother for a few extra stickers love, you want some cold hard cash as an incentive! Which is when I realised that the whole topic isn't that simple.

From a really young age we use reward charts and reward positive behaviour with a treat. Is it any different to this? No. My husband works really hard in order to obtain his bonus. Same kind of thing. So is it wrong? No. It's a choice. Thankfully one that I don't have to make in the near future so can think about it more.

What is your view? Good idea or bad? How much would you even pay? Would you vary the rate depending on the ability of the child? Gosh I really hope that my boys just want to work hard for themselves as thinking about it all is just too confusing.

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