13 July 2012

The Excellent 11: Enthusiasm

Rollerskating in S. Amboy with mommy and daddy
"Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children"--Ron Clark

 Enthusiasm is Contagious

 "Children are impressionable, and when they look to adults for guidance, we must inspire them and motivate them to want to learn, to have a desire to achieve, and to want to be the best person they can be."

One of the reasons I parent the way I do is because of all the wonderful reading materials and practice I've had my classroom students over the years, not to mention years of babysitting friends from church!

One summer I read a book by Ron Clark called the Essential 55 and it was awesome! It was 55 ways to inspire your students and basically be a great teacher.  Ron Clark was a young, Caucasian, teacher in an inner city poverty stricken school, where teachers had pretty much given up on their students.  But he was determined to have a successful school year and he poured everything he got into his students and the results were amazing!  His class even went on a field trip to Washington, D.C.!  

His next book was this one, The Excellent 11, and I love this book because it inspires me to want to be a good teacher and a great parent.  Feel free to read the chapters along with me or just follow along.

I wanted to re read this book as I venture ahead on another homeschooling year with Julia and Marky.  I wanted to spark the flame and inspire myself to be EXCELLENT and at my best, because my children DESERVE the best.

 Do you get excited about teaching something new to your kids?  Can they see your excitement?  Do they feel it?  Are you happy to share new things...or are you dull and uninterested?  I'm just kidding no one sets out to be dull and uninteresting to their kids, but I think if we all carefully planned something new to teach our kids and did it with enthusiasm, it would be awesome for our kids!

This past weekend John planned another rollerskating outing with the kids (yes, there were tears after two hours of skating).  I was very reluctant to go.  I was tired.  It was Saturday.  All I personally wanted to do was clean or window shop.  But John was determined to get moving and do something fun.  All I could think about was how tiring this was going to be.  But once I saw his enthusiasm and how excited he was to go, that was it, I was hooked.  And you better believe Mark and Julia were!

We laced up our skates and we headed out to the silky wood, slippery floor.  "Oh brother." I thought to myself.  Here we go... But really...we had fun...John took one, I took the other...we practiced on the carpet a few times and then we took them on the main floor. 

John worked with Julia a lot because she falls a lot, and by her third time around I was able to just hold one hand and skate with her!  She is getting the hang of it!

Marky is pretty amazing on skates.  He has a knack for it.  But Julia needed a lot of encouragement, enthusiasm, and practice...and John did a great job.

John used his enthusiasm for skating to motivate all of us that day.  We even skated during the couples round and the kids cheered for us by the benches...I think they were proud of us!

Enthusiasm affects all the people around you.  When you are patient and happy with your child it makes other parents around you at ease and do the same.

John took time to tell the kids what he expected of them and taught them and practiced with them and I was surprised to see such quick results.  And no boo boos!

"I believe that as teachers we must set the bar as high as possible.  I am a firm believer that we can get out of students what we expect, and if we aren't setting our expectations extremely high, students aren't going to perform extremely high."

It's true.  The more opportunities we present to our children the more awesome things they can learn and tackle.  I'm a firm believer in limiting T.V. and NO video games (I personally hate video games...I know I know I'm strange, but I'd much rather read a book or cook a meal, or clean than sit in front of a video game).  I want my kids to be exposed to different sports, different languages and cultures, and be active.  And trust me Julia is HIGH energy...Mark is on the mellow side, but his boyish adventure side is coming out!

So even though our kids are only 3 and 4 we like them to try new things like roller skating for fun, for learning, for exercise, and for our family enjoyment (although mommy needed some nudging.)


 "And finally, I praise the class as a whole and individuals as often as possible."

Words of affirmation are so important.  John and I really try to praise as much as we can so that it balances out the times that we have to correct and discipline.  I want my children to remember my praise and pats on the back as well as our talks on the time out step.  Both are important for growth.

Praise sparks kids to want to do MORE and do BETTER and I love that!  If someone compliments my blog or my children's behavior or my home, you better believe I want to blog more, continue to be a consistent parent, and continue to be a good home maker.  Words are so powerful. 

It's our job as parents to push our children to reach their potential and encourage them all along the way.  I want to be my child's biggest fan!

Have a wonderful weekend being the awesome parents you already are!  I can't wait to see what God has in store for us as we continue to pour into our children with enthusiasm and loads of love!


  1. Aawesome post! Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. I loved this post babe. It was so much fun being together and enjoying the smiles and laughter and seeing the kids improve. What a blessing.


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