I have a personal problem with our sports programs' (like AYSO) policy on trophies. I understand what they are trying to do. I think it is a great idea to build self esteem and help the kids gain confidence. I think that there are many ways to do that. I like to think that the hard work and seeing personal improvement would have the desired effect. I worry that rewarding the kids too greatly for just showing up, in the long run short changes the rewards that they really had to work for.
This last month of school had brought many trophies and certificates and even a scholarship into our house. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that kids can discern for themselves whether or not they did something worth rewarding.
Some of the things that I was proud to watch in my children's lives this year have been:
Christian took a math class from a "killer" of a teacher. He learned a lot of math, but even more importantly he learned much more about himself, and life.
Truman learned to juggle, as in finding balance in life. He joined clubs and extra activities, played sports, became social and managed to pull it all off!
Sydney discovered the drama of junior high girls and secured herself a nice group of drama-free (mostly) friends. She won't go wrong when the friends get together over spring break to go to the temple together. She has also blossomed as a patient and generous older sister.
Abigail overcame her alter-ego (Anti-Practice girl). She started practicing her flute with determination and discovered a passion and a talent. Abby has also stepped up to be my jogging buddy (everyone else is too fast for me, actually Abby is probably faster than me but is kind enough to humor me) and we are really enjoying the time together.
Rebekah let passion overcome caution, which is huge for her. She is head over heels for her french horn. Ever a good practicer, she has started taking lessons and is exceeding all expectations. Her french horn lessons are at the high school and I am amazed with her new level of confidence. She walks through the band room full of high school students and knows that she is their equal.
Nate is not finding literature to be one of his strengths. He has worked really really hard and has kept a positive attitude. He is convinced that he loves to read, even if he isn't fast and it is hard work.
Hazel has learned to ride a bike and is quite proud of this symbol of her independence. She breezed through kindergarten and is worried that first grade might be hard. She also restrained herself from cutting her own hair this year (a milestone).
Here are a couple of photos from the awards ceremony at the junior high. I think Snug is my favorite part of the pictures. The assemblies happened on a Thursday, which is Truman's day to have the dog at school with him. He knew I was in the audience and so I figured he would bring her to me if he didn't want her. I saw on the program that the jazz band was going to be playing. I was enjoying the festivities and then it was time for the Jazz Band to play. The curtain opened and there on the stage in front of the band sitting calmly was Snug. There are risers in front of her. You can see her in the middle picture if you look carefully.