Q:

Are rewards ever appropriate as a way of encouraging good grades? My friends say "yes." I say "no." - Against Awards

A:

Recognition of accomplishment is always important, whether it's a special family dinner, a treat or simply saying, "Good job, you worked hard and it shows." Ideally, the best motivation for getting good grades comes from within the student. We are not too enthused about giving rewards; nevertheless, they might lead to children first earning grades for the reward and then turn into their wanting good grades for the satisfaction it brings.

Rewards for good grades aren't miracle workers. They must be tied to realistic goals. Not every child can be on the honor roll - no matter how hard he or she tries. And rewards can be more effective, especially for young children, if they are not to be given in the too distant future. It's better to reward this week's "A" on a spelling test than an improved spelling grade on the next report card.