Time To Take Stock: Kwanzaa Midyear Assessment
Midyear Kwanzaa Assessment
Six months out from Kwanzaa (December 26, 2014), its time to take inventory of what has been accomplished relative to the Seven Principles. This is a time for the family to come together and to evaluate the progress of family members in achieving their Kwanzaa commitments.
For children and youth, assessing Kwanzaa commitments at this time of the year can be a potent way of recognizing and reinforcing desirable behavior and reinforce the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. Given that this is the end of the school year, this is a fitting time to assess and reward children and teens for their school achievement and other Kwanzaa commitments.
Retrieve your “Kwanzaa Set.” The Kwanzaa Set is central and essential to celebrating the Kwanzaa holiday. Ensure that you have black, red, and green candles, corn ears, heritage symbol and books as well as the other Kwanzaa symbols. Review or start a Kwanzaa journal.
Second, review the Swahili and English names of the symbols as well as the 7 Principles. Doing this as a family or with friends can be an enriching and instructive experience, especially for children and youth. In particular review the meaning and significance of the color of the Kwanzaa candles.
Kwanzaa ingathering activity brings the family together to reinforce the ties which bind family members and friends together. Similar to the Kwanzaa celebration, the family comes together to celebrate the love and joy of being a family and to take stock of what the family has accomplished measured against the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa.
Assessing Family Achievement
Here we are tailoring the assessment to focus on the family.
The black candle symbolizes each member of the family and the family as a whole. Here we want to stress the value of each family member and reinforce their relational value and importance to the family. And, we want to emphasize that each member of the family is obligated to honor the family by contributing to the family’s growth, strength, and development and to not engage in behavior that would bring harm to the family.
The red candle symbolizes practice characterized by effort, work, and continuous improvement, and diligence. The stress here is placed on how much has the child, youth, or adult applied him or herself. Even if the goal is not reached or progress has been slow, it is important to recognize effort as much as what has been achieved.
The lesson to punctate here is that effort, work, struggle, and diligence foreshows or is the prerequisite to achievement. Put another way, we ask, how much have I invested in my family, my future and myself?
The green candle symbolizes thriving and flourishing as evidenced by both individual and collective achievement of the family. For children and youth, assessing and recognizing school performance and achievement is paramount. So too is the collective achievements of the family.
In brief, this Kwanzaa activity is an indispensible aid to keeping the family focused on behavior and achievements that will assist the family in prospering and in functioning at a high level. This is a much a tool for high level family functioning as it is for monitoring of Kwanzaa commitments.