Involve the whole family - We were surprised at the number of people that asked if the adventures could also be used to motivate themselves or their spouse as well as their kids. At first we thought people were just being funny, but more and more families have been telling us that one or both of the parents are doing the adventure too - and the kids love it! Some adventures, like Summer Olympics or Winter Olympics, can easily be done by the whole family. Mom and Dad are also required to earn points for things they have difficulty doing so as to be on par with their kids. Great idea! Thanks to those who shared it with us.

Surprise bonus rewards - So the first week is done and I am truly amazed! The kids worked really hard, but yet we had so much fun. We had some notes posted around for different kids at different times that instructed them to "meet in a room" and then they got, for example, a piece of candy. - Loree H.

Mystery Credit Chores!! - The kids did everything required (for their 100 credits each day) so we came up with some chores that were called "Mystery Credit Chores" - and they could earn bonus credits. - Loree

Mid-adventure reward idea - "We try to do the adventure every night after supper but if one or more of the kids are gone, we often aren't able to do it. That means we might skip doing the adventure 2-3 times a week!! Then we went on vacation. So we are going to have a mid-adventure reward for those who have stayed consistent". - J. S.

Teaching the kids additional responsibility - We tied in winning the gold, silver, bronze with a little money. So they must also keep track of their earnings and then divide it out between church, savings, and spending. - Loree

Silence is golden! One of the goals of Moti-Venture is to help kids do what they should without parents having to say a word. "Now we are all excited to jump into this adventure. So far, the boys have been doing everything they are supposed to do without me saying a word. It's been VERY difficult for me to keep my mouth shut, but the silence seems to have a powerful effect in and of itself." - Erin

Older child doing well, younger one discouraged - A couple asked this question, "One of our daughters is doing very well but her younger sister seems to have given up. Do you have any ideas?"  As we discussed it, we learned that both daughters had been given the same goals. The objectives were far easier for the older sibling to accomplish than the younger one. We suggested that each girl be given different goals so that she would be challenged at her own level. We also recommended the parents join the adventure (with appropriately difficult goals) as an additional incentive for the kids.

Getting to pick from a list of possible chores
- I was truly amazed... as one of the items listed on their application forms, we had the kids do three chores by 4:00pm. There was a list to pick from, and they had to have it approved with me first - and after they were done I had to check. Then they could initial the chore. There were days I had kids coming to me to ask if they could sort laundry, vacuum, or clean the bathroom. The whole week we really had a nice, clean, organized home! - Loree H.

Using a US or World wall map - "Many general or office supply stores carry wall maps for either the United States or the World. It's a fun idea to use one of these and put colored pins in it to identify areas where you are doing or have done one of the adventures." - Rachael

Unique ideas on how to earn points - We had our kids earn credits for showing respect, reading 30 minutes, and also up to three bonus credits for drinking up to three glasses of water. We had a lot of water drinking! - Loree H.

A great way to begin an adventure - Many parents have been using the passport, visas and tickets found in the Travel Kit to pre-start an adventure. For example, a number of families doing the African Safari adventure have had their kids earn the necessary points to get a passport and visa to go to Africa. Then the kids had to earn the points needed to get an airplane ticket. Once they had the required items, the parents would take the kids somewhere special as if they were going to Africa. At that point they would begin the adventure.

Questions and Answers

Can you describe what you mean when you talk about kids "working together"?
All of our adventures have been designed to work with single child families. Therefore, if you have multiple children, they may each work on the same adventure totally independently. However, most of the adventures have also been designed to encourage children to work together to achieve their goals more quickly or easily.

Can these adventures be done in a co-op setting or by more than one family?
The simple answer to that question is "yes"; however, there are some serious considerations! In a co-op setting it is frequently the custom to meet once or twice a week. This makes it difficult to do the adventure daily as is recommended. When done at home, if a day or two are missed, the adventure will take more time when resumed as the kids use up the points they've accumulated. This could pose a problem in a co-op setting where "doing" the adventure could use up most of your available time (depending on the number of kids you have). Another thing to consider when doing the adventure with more than one family is that each family will use different standards with their own children. Therefore although it might be agreed, for example, that to earn 50 points a child has to complete their assignment each day by 7:00pm. One family might be strict about this (recommended!) while another might be more lax (not recommended!). With uneven standards, it can be more difficult to create a fair point system. The same is true for rewards. If one family provides elaborate rewards for their kids, while another family cannot, it can create discouragement rather than encouragement! So although some families are successfully doing adventures this way, just be sure to consider the above points if you plan to do the same.

Any recommendations on which adventure would be best to get everyone in this family involved and having fun? Kids 3, 5, 11, 16, 18 and a mom and dad.
Although it can be somewhat difficult to find a single adventure that will work with a wide range of ages, the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics adventures have worked well in those conditions. The advantage to those two adventures is that there is no strategy or problem solving, making it easier for younger participants. But what, then, will keep the interest of the older kids? The answer lies in what you 'attach' to the various medals. For example, a three or five year old who wins the gold might get a privilege like a later bedtime - a worthy prize for that age. However, for an 18 year old, that prize would be worthless. But what if for that age, the gold medal represented the privilege of being able to do something like use the family car one night in the coming week? Or perhaps a ticket to a sporting event or shopping trip? Only you know your kids and what will inspire them to work hard toward the gold - but you want to make it worth their effort! It's always good to ask the question - if my kids were doing everything I asked of them without being reminded, would that make my week considerably better? Of course it would! So we recommend making the rewards age appropriate and worth working hard for!  And, of course, rewards don't necessarily have to cost you money. Another advantage to the Olympics adventures is that Mom and Dad can also be included (see "Involve the Whole Family" above)!

I'm looking for a simple Moti-Venture for a homeschool Co-op setting. I have 8 busy/fun 9 - 11 year old boys in my IEW writing class. We meet once a week for 16 weeks. Suggestions?
The adventure that might work well would be either the Summer or Winter Olympics. Your co-op kids would earn their points doing their assignments, have correct spelling, etc, but each week you'd update a particular Olympic event with the new standings for each of the kids. For example, let's say you're using "Downhill Skiing" as one of your events. At the beginning of the week, you'd place all the boys at the top of the hill and print out the page. Then each session, you'd award points to each boy and update the chart showing each boy's new position skiing down the hill. At the end of a certain number of weeks, you would award gold, silver and bronze medals (with associated rewards / benefits / privileges / etc) to the kids based on their final standings. A contestant needs to get a minimum number of points to simply qualify for a medal. Typically when done at home, an Olympic event lasts one week (six days), but rather than making an event last 6 weeks, you could change the time so that you'd do an event for say, 3 sessions and then begin a new event. One advantage of the Olympic events is that if one child does poorly for one event, a new one will begin soon with everyone on equal standing again.

General ideas and suggestions.