The end of the school year is coming faster than you think! While it’s fine to rejoice at the prospect of summer break, it’s worth your effort to make the end of the school year positive. By making the end of the year a celebration of accomplishments rather than a party celebrating a release from prison, you not only end on a good note but, getting back into a routine next fall will be less painful.
4 Simple Hacks To End The School Year Successfully
1. It’s never too early to start a countdown. Use scrapbook or construction paper to make a simple paper link chain – one link for each remaining day until summer break. (Include weekends and holidays to keep it simple.) At the end of the day, tear a link from the chain. The chain serves as a strong visual reminder for the entire family. The shorter it gets, the more exciting it is to tear off a link!
2. Do a year-in-review. No doubt your child has made a lot of progress over the school year. Set up an end-of-the-year party to celebrate that progress. It can be a family party with fun certificates, maybe a slideshow of pictures and, of course, cake. If you are part of a close circle, make it a multi-family party. If you are really not party people, write up a list of achievements and special memories from the school year and start a special notebook for upcoming years. Include obvious AND crazy things like: learned to tie shoes; set family record for unloading the dishwasher; grew four inches in two months; mastered multiplication tables; or even, happily ate peanut butter/banana sandwiches for 180 school days. Make it fun and memorable. And, make a point to store those memories – you’ll want them as your child approaches high school graduation!
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3. Make a plan to keep learning throughout the summer. Maybe your child has a learning disability or struggles in one particular area. Take advantage of the summer months to plan some fun activities that will reinforce or bolster their skills. Start with a quick internet search for special education resources and for special education homeschool resources. You will find plenty of ideas to make summer learning fun -whether your child falls into the special education designation or not. If you are not confident in your abilities to help your child, look into special needs tutoring. You’ll find abundant resources to help your child maintain skills, expound on skills or do some remedial learning. Special education tutoring can make a massive impact in children, especially if used as part of an ESY (extended school year) program. Involve your child in the planning process. Set some goals with specific, fun rewards for each goal met to keep learning fun.
4. Talk to your child’s teacher(s). Ask if they would be willing to write a letter to your child outlining the great things about the past year and what they hope your child will achieve in the years to come. If you do this, be certain to start a folder or a scrapbook to save each letter. Also, if you can, thank the teacher(s) with an appropriate gift card to acknowledge their above and beyond effort to help your child. If a gift card is not in your budget, a handwritten note will be equally appreciated.
Celebrate the year just finished. Avoid demonizing the year ahead. Instead, embrace the break and do your best to keep the learning going through the summer.