Soooo…I know it’s only been 2 weeks since I said goodbye to blogging, but…I FINALLY implemented an idea I came up with back in December and I must share! So I guess that means I’m back again, even if only for today.
What is this idea that made me come back, you might ask? Well, to be as excited about it as I am, it probably would have to do with Harry Potter. And it does. Of course it does.
I’m pretty sure it’s a law that you can’t be related to my mother and not love Harry Potter. (My husband is a law breaker, but we just pretend not to know.) Since my kids are right now quite into Harry Potter (Side note – just this morning my 8 year old asked how old you have to be to go to Hogwarts, and when I told him 11, he said “I hope I get to go!”)…anyway, as I was saying, since my kids are way into the books, I thought it would be fun to let them earn house points. I have 4 kids, so I could have easily assigned them each a house, but…I didn’t really want to make it a competition, and surely whomever ended up in Slytherin would cry about it. And then a lightbulb went on – we could earn points together, as a family team effort. For our points, each house has 2 POSITIVE traits that we can try to exhibit or practice or develop or whatever it is you want to call it. They are as follows:
Gryffindor – Courage and Integrity
Hufflepuff – Teamwork and Kindness
Slytherin – Achievement and Determination
Ravenclaw – Knowledge and Creativity
With the whole points system, there are a few things I wanted to avoid – bragging, nagging, and having to stop what I’m doing to put points in an hourglass (because, unfortunately, I’m a muggle and they don’t just magically fall in when I say so).
So this is what we do. Two or three times a week, at dinner, we talk about house points that may have been earned in the past few days. The biggest rule is that you’re not allowed to talk about yourself. You can bring up things that you saw or know of other people in the family doing, but not yourself. Only Mom and Dad get to award points. (It’s strangely satisfying to get to yell out “Five points for Gryffindor!” at dinner.) I love that this also helps my kids (and us) to recognize and praise the good of others instead of just focusing on ourselves. Because I want to keep it positive, we cannot lose points.
The “hourglasses” sit on a shelf in the kitchen next to the giant chalkboard where we can always see them.
When one gets filled up, we will go do a family activity that would appeal to the members of that house. So maybe we’ll go on a hike when Hufflepuff fills up or visit the children’s museum when Ravenclaw does. We’ll decide when the time comes what the activities will be. And then we’ll empty that jar out and start over again.
What I used to make the hourglasses:
Salsa jars (this is why it took me so long – had to eat 4 jars of salsa first)
Printed Hogwarts House crests, cut out, and glued on w/mod podge
Gold vinyl traits cut out with my Silhouette Portrait
Beads – I love the look of the seed beads, because they look more like jewels, but they’re small and it would have cost about $40 just to fill up each jar, so I only got a few of each of those to add some sparkle, and then pony beads
We keep the unused beads in individual sandwich bags inside of one big gallon size bag in an inconspicuous place in the kitchen.
And that’s it! Easy peasy lemon squeezey and the kids love it! (As do I, but we’ve already established that.)