A FAMILY Learning Task

Pause. I’ve decided to take a pause from unpacking Learning Intentions and Success Criteria as my communication with ALL educators; parents, teachers and children alike have a similar emotion in common. Overwhelm.

Appreciate = recognise worth and understand the value of.

Assessment = to evaluate or consider.

So here is a task. A mood generating task. For the WHOLE family. Yes, Dads, male caregivers and big brothers, you need to model this ‘stop and smell the roses’ behaviour. The research says we learn it best by seeing YOU do it too. A 5-minute research-based, mood cultivating task; you can do it!

There are two rules that apply to both parents and children when creating an ‘Appreciation Assessment;’

  • Perfection is not required – the assessment is completed on a blank piece of paper and presentation, handwriting, colours, creativity, etc. are left to the individual. #NoJudgement (not even on spelling, grammar, title, etc.)
  • You must ask before questioning, “Can I ask you a question about this point?” And the response may be “Yes” or “Not today.”

Here’s how we begin. Each person gets a piece of paper, physical or virtual. This can be done with pen and paper or digitally.

Now, some of us may have heard of ‘Gratitude Journaling,’ this is similar, but research-based and the focus is refined. Research says that there are ‘magic’ ratios. We have 3:1 and 5:1. Generally, it is a measure of positively interactions. To balance ourselves we reflect on three positives, but to build ourselves we reflect on FIVE.

In this task, you have two success criteria; write three things you appreciate OR write five things you appreciate. If you only write three, you need to collaborate to make five; “What do you appreciate in me,” you may ask OR “What do you appreciate? I might appreciate one of yours too.”

You have a whole page to write them. However and wherever you choose. Draw pictures or don’t. Use colour or don’t. It is YOURS.

Once the ‘Appreciation Assessment’ is explained, collaboratively set a time limit.

  • “Now we only have 5 minutes to do this today because we are popping out for a bike ride.” OR
  • “You will have all day to complete this at whatever point you like, when Dad gets home at 6pm, we will share each others.” OR
  • “Yesterday, we spent 30 minutes on Writing, this could be your Writing session today, do you think it will take the same amount of time?”

In small children, it starts simple and surface, that’s fine, it’s a conversation starter. Adults tend to do the opposite, it starts very intricate and deep. That’s why the discussion is so important, it may take 2 minutes. Perfect. You may bring it to the dinner table. Even better.

Don’t set your expectation too high, this is not ‘happiology,’ you will not necessarily feel ‘happier’ afterwards. This builds a positively-skewed mindset, so like anything it takes time. I could throw you a non-research based number like 21 days, but the reality is that this is a reflection, pause and see if you feel the shift afterwards. Lift.

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