This year I was reminded of the importance of celebrating milestones when our oldest daughter moved up from the children’s group at our church into the teen group. The Children’s Pastor prepared a few words to bless and affirm each child in front of the families gathered for a special luncheon. I was so thankful for this sweet time with our daughter and her friends of the same age. Children who attend school have built-in ceremonies for certain accomplishments but as a homeschooler, you might forget to honor your child’s passage from one level to the next. Here are a few dates to remember for your homeschooled child.
Kindergarten to First Grade
Starting out in elementary school is a big deal! Your little one is getting closer to feeling like a big kid. As hard as it is sometimes to see our kids grow, this can be a perfect time to make your child feel special for entering a new phase and ease your own bittersweet emotions.
Completing a Difficult Subject
What does your child struggle with right now? Maybe reading or times tables are tricky. Instead of bribing your child to learn that subject, let him know that when he reaches a certain level you are going to celebrate as a family with a dinner out or a trip to his favorite place.
Overcoming Social Issues
Does your child have a hard time in social settings? If you see your child coming out of a shy phase, learning to share, or making friends more easily then take time to praise him for that growth.
There are certain parts of your child’s character that you will see improvement over time. At school, a student may receive a character award in their class. What are some positive qualities you can honor as milestones in your own homeschooling? How about patience, kindness, serving others, being more punctual, or taking initiative?
Every year your child will achieve many things in his schooling and the activities that accompany academics such as sports, clubs, and music lessons. Take time to honor the achievements that your child holds dear.
Facing a Challenge
What are some challenges that your child is facing? Did she attend sleep-away camp for the first time? Did your older child go through the job application process or conquer the fear of taking the SAT’s? We all face challenges. The courage to accept a challenge is certainly a milestone!
Completing a Grade Level
My kids love the last day of school and so do I! We have the tradition of hitting the beach rain or shine to mark the completion of a year well done, a grade level checked off and the hard work it took us to get to June. I love how this family celebrated their high school graduate: https://firstthings.org/5-reasons-you-should-celebrate-milestones.
Has your child stepped into a leadership role lately? Maybe he or she started teaching a class, leading a Bible study, or coaching a sport. New maturity can be recognized.
These are just a few ideas of milestones you can shine a light on for your kids. Children want to be the stars in family life. They crave admiration and worthiness just like adults do. While you are honoring your kids why not take time to celebrate your own milestones too as a parent and a teacher? You are making homeschooling happen every day! Celebrate your achievements! Share your ideas and photos!
Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might find her training for a half marathon, escaping for a morning at the beach, or chatting on the phone with one of her four siblings. Sarah loves writing on her blog sarahswritingcafe.blogspot.com and currently teaches creative writing at her kids’ weekly co-op.