Welcome to the New Year! A great way to get back into your regular work pattern is to reconnect with why you are doing what you are doing and learning what you are learning this year. I have a super fun 2-part exercise you can do with your kids to boost the second half of their school year!
If you haven’t already, and even if you already have, celebrate everything that went well last year. The goal here is to come up with 30 to 50 different things that your kids learned last year―you know, those things that they are proud of! It can be little things or big things, but the goal is to get them to see how far they have come and everything they have learned.
Have the kids work with you or another partner that is encouraging. Or they could get out their journals and you could be a partner to all of them at the same time, guiding them through the exercise. Start with the phrase “I am proud of…” and have them start writing down a list. It could include anything big or small that they have learned in the last year. Have them think about what they were studying a year ago, or even at the beginning of the school year, and compare it to where they are today. What do they understand or know now that they didn’t before?
Take it a step further. What are they proud of in their lives that was hard for them? How about standing up for themselves or others? Or a tricky situation that they handled well or even not so well but learned from? How about new character traits that they have developed? Or even inches that they have grown in the past year? (That is hard work too!) Did they hit any goals this year? Read a particularly challenging book? Learn a new sport, instrument, or language?
As they are writing things down they will hit a block, often at around 5 items. This is where their partner should quietly ask “What else?” You can make general prompts if they truly get stuck from the list above, but try to refrain from telling them what you are proud of. You can always do that later.
They should write down anything that comes to mind that they were proud of over the year. Anything goes! This is their time to celebrate all of their accomplishments.
Now for the second part, take some time to cheer, congratulate, and really honor and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Here is where you can share things you have noticed in each other! Show them how wonderful 2015 really was.
This will totally get them pumped to keep moving and learning in 2016!