Use Them Yearly
Whether you’re a parent, teacher, administrator, family member, or friend, commit to making an annual ritual out of completing and using the Family Commitment Contracts. Revisit the contract during the school year with the student to evaluate their progress, celebrate accomplishments, and set new goals.
Make it Fun. Make it a Celebration
Make completing your child’s Family Commitment Contract fun, like a birthday party. We celebrate getting older each year; why not celebrate a new year of learning? Make a cake or serve your student’s favorite dinner. If completed in a school, teachers can celebrate with special classroom events. This will get students excited about learning!
Make it Special. Customize!
By customizing the contract, you can share in the process and teach a student the value of setting goals. When families and teachers get involved, students grow in confidence as they see, firsthand, others believe in them and in their future. By helping to create their own commitments, students are more likely to take ownership in the process and gain skills that will benefit them for life. When you customize a 6th-grade through 12th-grade contract, you will notice each of the four commitments for the student and parent(s) follow a certain theme. You can follow these themes when you customize the document, or you can really make it your own and customize it as you see fit. The four themes are as follows;
1st paragraph – Academic Development
2nd paragraph – Social Development
3rd paragraph – Personal Safety
4th paragraph – The Future (life after high school)
Hang It and Share It
Hang the Family Commitment Contract in a prominent place as a reminder to your student of their commitments. Some families will place the contracts on their refrigerator. Some will frame their contracts. Many will hang the contract by itself each year, while others, will place them side by side on a wall over the years. The simple act of completing and hanging a contract with a student shows your commitment to their education. Some students will have a contract at home and in the classroom. Many families will share the contracts on social media to announce their commitment and inspire others.
Make Changes to Keep it Relevant
As a student navigates through the school year, goals are accomplished and new priorities are set. Revisit the contract to add new goals and hold the student accountable. By modifying the contract during the school year, you inspire and motivate!
Create a Time Vault
As the school year comes to a close, celebrate their commitments and acknowledge their accomplishments. Some families choose to hang the contracts next to each other over the years. Many families will store the contracts, pictures, and other keepsakes from each year in a simple binder. Families that take the time to do this will one day have all of these wonderful keepsakes in one place. This Academic Time Vault will be treasured forever.