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Neatness counts

October 31st, 2007

I get lazy, do you?

I have half finished projects, a messy desk, and stacks of paperwork waiting for me.

Children are often lazy too. They scribble a few answers on their homework, write a paragraph or two, and consider their homework done.

When I was substituting at an after-school care center, I helped children do their school homework. Almost every student turns in sloppy work and I had to teach them to write neatly. One little girl’s scribbles were so messy I could barely read her writing. I sat down with her and had her rewrite her answers as neat as possible. To my surprise, this little third-grader’s writing was beautiful. She was perfectly capable of doing a good job; she was just lazy or didn’t care. When she took the time to write carefully, her paper looked great.

One of the ways we can help our children succeed in school is to encourage our children to do neat work. We can check their work to make sure they have put in their best effort in not only putting the correct answers, but neatness counts as well. If you were the teacher, wouldn’t you rather read a neat paper than one that you have to decipher?

Oftentimes we tell our children, “It doesn’t matter what your grade is just as long as you do your best,” isn’t that right? Doing their best is the value we want our children to learn. Taking a little more effort to produce a neat paper helps our children to do their best and to take pride in their work.

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