Strokes and Props for Mad Skillz

I'm not going to brag, well heck, sure I am. Why else would I have a blog? My kids are pretty together. They bring home good grades frequently, far more frequently then I ever did as a kid (like maybe 100% more frequently) and each test and homework assignment represents quiet, steady dedication and pride in their work.

However each test and homework assignment also represents one more piece of paper to add to The Paper Mound That Never Goes Away. When I sort through The Mound every week or so, with the goal of tossing most of it in recycling, I will often find a 100% test score just shoved in with a bunch of worksheets and newsletters, totally ignored and unacknowledged.

Fortunately my kids take after their father in brain power, and the fact that they are not needy in the praise arena, so they never complain about this, (which really is only fair, since they are the ones that shove them there.) That's cool and all, but I think that acknowledging and appropriately praising good things begets more good things. I also think it is dangerous to fall into the trap of taking good habits for granted. I have been in enough school classrooms to know that the struggling kids get the lion's share of the attention.

Now of course we can't have a special dinner each time someone gets 100% on a spelling test, nor should we methinks, but I do think we should show our kids that we see, and care, that they are plugging along diligently, and we are proud of them for that. Which is why I made the:

poster for the trusty pantry door. Sure we could use a magnet to stick that test score on the fridge, but does this not seem that little bit more celebratory? It also puts that photo I take into a little more context, when it is time to replace that masterpiece. (I take a photo so that I feel less heartless when I relegate the current one to go the way of all things of the earth....I have issues, of this I am well aware.)

There is room for more then one honourable mention on the pantry door. One kid's accomplishment does not replace another's (ack!-holy quick 'n easy recipe for some hot sibling rivalry!)and usually there are 3 or 4 things up there at the same time.

Make it work for you, but keep it meaningful by moving things around with some regularity. It won't mean quite so much if it becomes a dusty dumping ground and Jimmy's 3rd grade report card is still on there when he graduates elementary school.

Simple and a bit silly but it works for us!

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MemeGRL said...

Love love love this idea and can't wait to implement in our home! Thanks!

Sandy Toes said...

Wonderful idea! I have plate that says "Happy Everything!"...we do something similar!
Works for me!
-sandy toes

Janet said...

I love this idea. I put the girls up on a bulletin board but this does make it more special. I'll have to do this. :)

Denise said...

What a great idea!!! We do the magnet on the fridge thing & I agree it isn't quite as special. My kids are going to LOVE this!

Wani said...

What a great way to give recognition to our kids for a job well done!

april kennedy said...

great crafty lady!!!

shoutingforha said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea! I am going to make one for my house.

RainyPM said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea. My oldest is too young to be bringing home graded work, but am definitely going to use this idea to reinforce good behavior.

Claire said...

I learn SOOOO much from you Kirsty. You don't give yourself enough credit....I KNOW that your children get their brains from you as well...and I'm sure that your compassion is learned by them as well.