It has been a while since any of us have written in this column, but we are still here home-schooling each and every day! We decided to write about success and how we celebrate in this installment. We celebrate success in many ways, as you will see.
A little philosophical background would be in order, since the word “success” can be defined differently, depending on the person being evaluated, as well as the person doing the evaluating.
As far as I am concerned, if there is improvement, there is success. If there is struggle and then improvement, there is success, too. If there is failure and poor attitude, there is room for success. I hope I am making myself clear here!
We have attempted to provide small, special celebrations, as well as really big ones, throughout our home-school career. Small things may include a special meal, either at home or at a restaurant of choice.
It may also include a special dessert (we like home baked goodies, especially with chocolate, and also like to frequent places like the Dairy Bar at UConn or We-Li-Kit in Abbington or… ), time on the computer playing a game, renting and watching a movie at home (popcorn included), or doing something like a bike ride or hike outdoors. These celebrations occur frequently enough.
In the summer, we have often done a “math challenge.” This means that if the child completes all his or her math assignments he or she is given throughout the summer, everyone celebrates with a special event.
One year, we promised a go-carting outing at a place in Newington. It was a tough summer, since there was little desire to do math or any kind of school work, but the rewards were sweet when we all donned our helmets and got behind the wheel to enjoy a go-carting outing!
We did the same thing one summer as we were traveling/driving through Canada. We found a go-cart place and we had an awesome time!
Although we don’t say that we are celebrating academic success or even success based on attitude/behavior, we have given the kids opportunities to invite their friends along on a family outing.
Rosie enjoyed inviting Hannah to a Wolf Pack hockey game a while back. Jonathan invited friends over to play laser tag for his birthday. Getting together with friends is important for both of the kids and we try to do that when we can.
One of our goals is to develop greater levels of maturity. As the kids are faithful in smaller things, they can then go on to other responsibilities.
Both children have had opportunities to take care of neighbors’ lawns, plants, animals and mail while the neighbors have been traveling. They are entrusted with house keys and the animal’s human’s love. They are often paid for their services. Monetary rewards are sweet when you are saving up for something you would like to buy!
Being faithful in something you are responsible for is a success with almost immediate gratification!
This year, we have lots of opportunities to celebrate success. On June 21, I am providing the leg work for anyone who wishes to join home schoolers at Quassy Amusement Park for the day. The cost is under $15 per person, which includes an educational tour, as well as access to the park all day and with rides.
This will be the first time we do something like this as a family, since Jon will take the day off from work as we celebrate the first day of summer!
We also contributed funds towards Jonathan’s dream camera (a Canon EOS 50-D) and are fulfilling Rosie’s appetite for cooking by giving her the gift of a 5-day culinary camp at Manchester Community College this summer.
Although these opportunities are perhaps larger than you may be able to afford, know that they are carefully chosen months in advance so we can save up and be a blessing to the kids when it is possible to do so!
Celebrations take many forms; tasteful, fun, exciting, a new adventure, something one can’t see (like something that happens in your heart!), something tangible or not.
We try to celebrate when we can. And we LOVE joining others in their celebrations, too. So, if you need some experienced celebrators, let us know. We’ll be right over!
Success is one of my favorite things; isn’t it great to know you’ve succeeded in something? I believe it’s great.
Celebrating it is great, too. In this article I will discuss how my family and I celebrate success.
There are a lot of ways to celebrate, so I’ll list a few here. I could receive: money (from mowing the lawn and such as that, to weeding out the patio), food (cake, cookies, ice cream, etc.), prizes (i.e. a toy or going somewhere special), movie (usually non theater), computer time (game time or e-mail time), or time with my friends.
All of these things are great fun and usually require me to do my best in getting the work done so I can play.
One time, when my brother and I finished a math challenge, our mom and dad took us go-carting and that was so awesome!!!
Another time we went to the beach for a day-trip; I found a starfish!
Just to clue you in, ‘The Summer Math Challenge’ is what we have done in past summers; it’s a challenge that my mom gives me to finish by September. If I finish it, I get a prize, like going to the place where we go-carted.
All these things are, I think, really fun and very nice ways to celebrate success.
And after all the work I go through to get the prizes and such I think, “Wow! I feel successful because I now get to play!”
I hope you enjoy success and celebrating it. And happy Summer to those that have it because I don’t; it’s for my own good I think.
Celebrating success is a way of life to me. I am almost always celebrating something – whether it’s someone else’s successes or my own, there’s almost always something to celebrate.
And whether you celebrate victory-dance style or the football spike method, it’s still celebrating (personally, I prefer doing a victory dance, as I’m not much into sports).
We celebrate successes in home-schooling all the time, but at no time do we celebrate more than during our summer math challenge.
Our summer math challenge does, as its name implies, include math. We have a math book that we are assigned to finish before the end of the summer, and if we do so, we get a reward.
One year our reward was a trip to a really neat place where you can go go-carting. That was probably my favorite reward, because it was a lot of fun to race around in the little go-carts really fast and drift out on the curves. I still say I won the race, but there are others who disagree with me.
Another year, our reward was a trip to our cousin’s place in Wisconsin and then a trip to Niagara falls. That was a lot of fun, too, because our cousins live kind of far away and we don’t see them that often.
But on the whole, there is no certain “method” we have for celebrating. Anything we celebrate has its own merits, and you could say no two celebrations are exactly alike.
We do often celebrate the end of the school year by having dinner and ice cream out, but we may celebrate in any of the ways mentioned above.
I would have to say my favorite instance of celebration was the go-carting event, which we did in Canada before visiting Niagara Falls. The place was deserted, so we got the whole track to ourselves.
I liked how the track went in and out of the building, so that part of it was covered and part was not. It was really slippery and curvy, so we got a lot of chances to drift around the corners, which was pretty fun (I’ve only ever driven a lawnmower besides a go-cart, and you’re not allowed to drift on lawn mowers).
Another one of my favorite outings would be when we visited our cousins in Wisconsin. Our family is very spread out, so it’s very nice to get together every so often.
I like how we celebrate, more than just saying “yippee” for each other. It’s great to have supportive people around you, as science has proven numerous times. I think that celebrating each other’s successes not only boosts our confidence in how well we did, but also our self esteem, and esteem for others.
Posted June 19, 2010