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© Gail Underwood Parker

Monday, April 16, 2012

School Bell: Celebrating School!

I don't know about your kids, but the last thing my kiddos want to do during vacations is school work.  So what do you do to use your spring vacation most effectively? Whether they are doing well in school so far or they are struggling, try this idea to inspire them to a good finish to the school year"

       Name and celebrate their successes, efforts, and hard work!  

Every single night of vacation as the family gathers around the table find a way to celebrate and name what they have done or are doing that contributes to school success.  They will not only see that you notice what they are doing, they will hear exactly what it is that you are honoring and valuing. Best of all they will be receiving positive attention for the good, rather than more typical disappointment or frustration with their challenges. Ideas:

--Celebrate a memory of the school year that demonstrates their efforts and their progress. Make up little trophies [or get from novelty store], or a certificate etc. to make the honor concrete.

--Share an assignment that they worked hard on and talk about how proud you were to see their effort.  If you remember what strategies they used, talk about them. [Ex: flashcards, drill, doing a bit at a time, etc.]

--Decorate a big mirror or door or fridge front with an array of positive papers and comments from the school year.

If your child is really struggling.... if none of the above seem feasible, try one or more of these:

--Buy a medal or blue ribbon from a party/novelty store [or make one!] and award it during dinner one night to celebrate a risk your child made or something new they tried, focusing on the courage it took to try regardless of the level of success.

--Celebrate the fact that your child is_______ [getting to school on time each morning, being polite in class, participating in chorus/band/sports/whatever, telling you the truth about how school is going, coming to you for help on homework or prepping for tests, etc.]  As long as your child is still in school they have not given up completely and you CAN find something to honor!

--Think about what previous struggles have been conquered. Bring them up and point out how easy they are now, celebrate! Ex: Talk about how long it took to learn to [tie shoes, or name colors, tell time, or write their name, etc.]  yet how simple the task is now. Compare that to things that you once struggled with, but keep the emphasis on what they have already worked through and conquered.

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