The completion of the school year is a good time to look at and celebrate
what your child has accomplished.
Also celebrate what you, as parents,
accomplished, either in
your childís education or furthering your own.
Children are used to having their birthday celebrated. As part of our
culture, we customarily
have a child blow out as many candles as he has lived
years. What about using
this familiar scene to extend toward the entire familyís
accomplishments at the completion
of the school year?
Let each child determine her or his accomplishments with one candle per
child: Katrinaís candle
symbolizes that she learned how to read, add, and
subtract; she made five
new friends. Josh learned his times tables, the capitals of
all the states, how to shoot
a basketball, and brought his homework to school on
time every week.
Parents can also celebrate their contributions toward the kidsí success
school. Dad went to every
School Site Council meeting. Mom worked hard
distributing and keeping
the books for the scrip program to raise money for the
school. They attended the
silent auction, authorsí night, the science fair, and all
the parent conferences.
They get candles, too!
Be sure to include any adult education that the parents completed. This
a clear message to the children
that education is a life-long persuit.
If you have the time to make the cake at home, have the children help
with this project. Getting
their involvement will not only heighten interest in the
event, but help them with
their measuring skills.
At celebration time, everyone gets a candle, takes a turn to talk about
the previous school year
and its accomplishments, and, after all the members of
the family have had a turn
to speak, everyone blows out the candles together.
Itís a fine time to have everyone listen to each other and not only
celebrate her own learning,
but that of everyone else in the family as well.
This column has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children
Well: A Teacherís Advice for Parents.