If you have children in school, then you most likely received their report card in the past week. This is an exciting time and I remember waiting to see my report card too. As we looked at my daughter's grades, comments, and average...tears of joy attempted to escape. It isn't the first time to have such wonderful comments about her character and work ethic.
It isn't the first time she's made the honor roll BUT it is the first report card in a few years to show the exciting growth we witnessed on a daily basis. Sometimes, our kids are making gains and moving mountains in ways a school and the state are unable to measure. It's important to remember, not everything about your child is reflected at the ten week marking period. Some of the most exciting growth is often not listed due to the report card template yet these are the successes, teachers and parents, MUST celebrate often.
As a parent, our daughter faced health obstacles in sixth grade. Some resolved within a couple years, while others were left undiagnosed until the end of tenth grade. If you are a parent, the hardest thing you will do in life is watch your child suffer, experience constant illness, and in some cases, you may need to say "until we meet again". This is why it's so important to celebrate all growth, not just the ones documented in your child's report card. I like a beautiful, color-coded, and organized chart as much as the next person, if not more BUT when it comes to our children...I find ways to celebrate growth in each and every child, especially my own.
For instance, while our daughter is a healthy and vibrant junior in high school, she has worked hard to reach this point. If you only view her high school report cards, it appears she only attended school about 50% of the time in ninth and tenth grade. Her grades were average. This is what a report card shows you yet our child is more than these numbers and facts on paper. It doesn't reflect the weekly doctor appointments, the magnitude of testing, and failed attempts to walk out the door in order to attend school. A report card doesn't reflect hours spent with tutors, her parents, or a friend trying to understand all the curriculum she missed. What if we only focused on the numbers for two years?
Thankfully, we don't know the answer to this question. We prayed she passed her regents, which she did, but the other numbers are just that...numbers. We celebrated each time she made it another hour into the school day before having to come home. We recognized a new concept learned without the assistance of the tutor or the school. We encouraged her to look to the future rather than dwelling in the illness and inabilities she was living. Once God brought the right doctor into our daughter's life, measurable growth started to be recorded but for a few years...her success and growth was measured by the little things. In our case, the journey produced a report card reflecting her strength, determination, and ability to overcome adversity. These are life skills not measured or reported on.
Don't throw out the report cards, they are valuable and one way colleges, military, and even employers use to determine how we fit with their needs. My hope is that when you look at your child's report card, if their trend lines are low or they aren't quite making the "aim line"...please stop before speaking because some of the greatest growth isn't measured by this moving target. We must still encourage our students to strive for the goal but when we know a goal might be near impossible for our child, find the positives. Celebrate the growth your child made and one day, you may see the product of years of encouragement, support, hard work, determination, and desire.
To some, writing their name and forming letters for the first time is a huge success yet one you won't see as a success at thirty weeks. Another child's success might be making it to school almost daily while battling illness. The next child might have no home support, so their success is they arrive to school with a smile on their face ready to learn. As you read your child or grandchild's report card, don't start with the negatives or lack of growth. First, find a positive and celebrate this. A little encouragement will go a long way, our kids need to know we see their growth, especially when it's the hardest to find or recognize.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."
How do you measure growth when you see your child's report card?
While the Ride for Missing and Exploited Children isn't new, each year's energy and passion is new and renewed. Riders, volunteers, and sponsors gear up and finalize preparations for the 2015 ride with commitment rides, school visits, and interviews. Each of these raise awareness for this mission and educate the public and especially, our children. Last month, Dick Jordan and John Hemmel Jr. joined Joe Kelly for an interview on the "Joe Kelly Show".
Each photo below is a link to the three part video interview. A special thanks to Otto Isenberg for sharing the links on the ride page for those of us who live out of town to be able to view it.
Dick and John explain how the ride started, the mission of the ride, and discuss a little about "The Ride of Hope" that will start the morning after this year's annual ride in the Mohawk Valley. If you'd like to learn more about this ride and mission, click on the photos, they are labeled.
These are photos I took last summer during one of their summer rides. Men, women, and teens dedicated to educating our children and bringing the missing and exploited home.
During the interview, Joe Kelly, who was one of the initial seven to participate in The Ride of Hope, asks how people can donate to help support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and their Ride for Missing Children. As part of this online form you can make your gift in honor or memory of someone, like our sweet Heidi Allen. You can also designate it for The Ride for Missing Children or The Ride of Hope in memory of someone.
Thank you in advance if you click on the link to give a gift to the center. My sister, Heidi Allen, hoped to work with children one day, especially those who needed a little extra love and support.
To support this organization and these two events in memory of Heidi, is one way her name and desire is carried forward. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is, and will always, be a blessing we count.
To volunteer, share, and give back to them is one way we are able to show appreciation. Thank you NCMEC and all involved in the rides, you make a difference each and every day...may your mission to "Make our children safer, one child at a time." continue to be a reality!
Thank you NCMEC, Ride for Missing & Exploited Children,
Melting snow meant it was time to start throwing the softball around, practicing my pitch, and hitting some balls. Regardless of the length of Dad's work day, he would point at me through the kitchen window to meet him out back. Even if it was only a half hour, it was a couple hours each week spent bonding with my Dad while warming up some mad softball skills. Okay, they weren't mad but a girl can dream.
What does this have to do with coloring Easter eggs you are wondering? Both were time well spent with my Dad and some of my fondest memories. Mom was the scientist of the egg decorating, whereas we just dunked them, but Mom...oh my. If Easter egg coloring is a reflection of one's patience, then we should have known she could wait and endure anything. Her eggs were the prettiest but at the end of the day, they all tasted the same. LOL
I shared of this hope and joy with a couple years ago, with Dr. Mary Starr, before she moved away. I had the honor to be a guest on her blog and Vimeo for an interview. An interview I shared on my blog also, so as to highlight each other in the process. As I looked through blogs of past Easters, I was reminded of my friend and our last meeting. Since this, Dr. Mary has established herself in Florida and is changing lives there as she shares the benefits of Young Living and healthy living.
Why do I share about decorating Easter eggs and an interview with Dr. Mary in the same blog? To be honest, I found the above interview as I searched my blog for another blog and realized there are many new followers and you might be interested in an interview from two years ago. Both a memory. Decorating eggs and sharing time with a friend as we talked about a mutual friend, my sister, Heidi M Allen. One thing I've learned in life, sometimes the oddest things will trigger a memory of something completely random and not on one's mind. It's often these memories that touch our hearts the most.
What does decorating Easter eggs remind you of? A person? Place? Tradition?
Will you share below? Thank you in advance.
Are you the trickster of the family
or the one being tricked?
Will you share your favorite
"April Fool's Day" prank with us?
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