Celebrating Accomplishments

Kids love to celebrate. In our home, it would seem that we do not have to look far to find a reason of any kind to celebrate. Sometimes it is a big high-five. Sometimes it is a movie night. Sometimes it is just a sticker. We know that not everything warrants a big celebration, but there are times that nothing short of a hoo-rah will suffice.

We had one of these events last week.

celebration timeTo give a little background… The Boy has had a difficult time persevering through any sort of writing exercises. He loves math and has no problem writing answers in his workbook, but it’s a whole different story when it comes to letters. He is fully capable and knows how to write each letter. He just has no desire to do so.

I had finally decided that I was not going to push writing with him. For the time being, I was perfectly fine waiting until he showed a bit more interest. It just was not worth the fight for me. He has been excelling in math and reading so I decided that I would allow a little bit more time.

The time had finally arrived!

We have been given a wonderful opportunity to review Here to Help Learning with our homeschoolers (keep an eye out for my review coming soon). It had already proven to be a superb writing program and then the unthinkable happened! The program is designed to accommodate all levels of elementary age students from the non-writers to the more advanced writers. Those that are not yet writing can still complete the projects through dictation – which we did. The Boy has always been a wild story teller and he dictated a ten-sentence paragraph for his first project! When our revision was completed and we were ready to do the final copy, he dropped a bomb on me with his declaration that he was going to write it himself!

Keep in mind, this was a ten-sentence paragraph… some of those sentences were approaching run-on status. Up to this point, The Boy would hardly write more than a few letters in any one sitting. I helped him get set up and instead of having him copy directly from the second rough draft, I wrote one sentence at a time on a small white board that we kept at the table. This minimized distractions and kept him from losing his place. He erased each word as he went along (immediate reward). I stayed beside him through the whole process reminding him of the starting position for particular letters, or to remember the spacing between words. I also told him when his writing was getting sloppy and he needed a break. The whole process took nearly three hours over two days. I asked him if he wanted me to casa bonitafinish it up for him and he was adamant that he wanted to do his own final copy!

His work turned out simply beautiful (I may be biased). I felt that the completion of the project was a moment that deserved some celebration! We took The Boy, Bookworm Beauty and Sweetness to a surprise dinner and evening at Casa Bonita in Denver. Handsome was sure to take some time to acknowledge the accomplishments of all of the kids over the last several months including their hard work and dedication to their assignments. He finished by giving special attention to The Boy for his writing project.

Not everything needs to be rewarded. Not every reward needs to be a big ordeal. Some things, however, are simply worth celebrating! We enjoy taking the kids to a special evening on occasion and highlighting their recent accomplishments. They always enjoy their celebratory time and I always enjoy seeing the extra hop in their step in the days that follow. That “hop” was definitely evident these last few days as I noticed The Boy doing a lot more writing, by himself.

How is it in your homeschool… do you have a system or something special for celebrating school accomplishments?

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