Encouragement

ALL students need encouragement about their successes and admonishment to keep going when it's been a tough day.  Here are some ideas for encouraging students.  Keep checking back as new ideas will be added occasionally.

*  For younger children, stickers and stars on the top of papers are a nice decoration and encouragement.  The stickers and stars will carry more meaning of used in conjunction with mastery levels.  A star or stamp for 90% correct and a sticker for 100% (or whatever criteria is used).

*  Use a stenographer's notebook to keep a running diaglogue with your child regarding attitude, behavior, work quality, work production.  Writing encouragement can be EXTREMELY powerful because it is there to keep.

*  When giving praise, keep your words separated from emotional expressions of love.  Love your child for who he is.  Praise your child for the work accomplished or effort put forth.  Examples:

     I can see you are concentrating hard.

     Your handwriting is touching the lines today.

     You were very accurate in math facts today.

     Your paper is organized neatly.  See how you lined the words up between the margins and you started on the top line.

     Your reading was smooth and accurate today.  It was a pleasure to listen to you read.

*  On those tough days when it is like pulling teeth to finish work or emotions are raw, pray for strength to make it through the day, take a deep breath, get away alone for a few minutes, and ask yourself what is really the most important thing to accomplish.  Whatever pops in your mind is what you should concentrate on.  It may mean ending academic school early to do extra physical education so your child can move.  It may mean changing subjects for awhile and returning to the problem area when things are calm again.  It may mean making your child sit at the table until the work is done, with an incentive for finishing by a certain time.  It may mean excusing the child from the assignment for today, but taking advantage of a more focused day to "catch up."

No matter how a school day is going, remember– tomorrow is a fresh day with a clean slate to start all over again.  If it has been a tough day, tomorrow will be better.

By the way, on those really tough days, sometimes parents and teachers need encouragement too.  If you ever need someone to pray for you or offer a listening ear or words of encouragement, feel free to e-mail or call.  We'll be happy to pray for you and get back with you if you request it.

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