The end of the school year comes with two things—excitement and stress. There’s the excitement your child has for finishing up the school year and being ready to move onto the next grade level, the excitement of spring break, end of the year parties, testing (and lots of it), graduations, parties, gifts for teachers, students and everyone in between.
But on the other side there can be a whole lot of stress. Making sure your children are ready for all the tests, making sure you have plans for your child over the summer, checking grades, parent teacher conferences, the fear that just maybe your child isn’t ready to move onto the next grade level, forcing you to make a choice for your child.
This time of the year is madness, even though March madness has already passed.
My best advice: BREATHE and ENJOY IT. And that goes for all of us—teachers, parents, and students. The best thing we can do is BREATHE. This will be the last time many of our children are in the grade level they are in, the last time they might walk through the doors of the school they currently attend, the last time they will get to see their friends before the summer break, the last time they will wake up as a kindergartener or a senior and go to bed as a first grader or a college freshman. Every year brings different challenges, but if you and your child have made it through the year give yourself a serious pat on the back, because it wasn’t easy for any of us.
Let your child have fun this summer, travel, visit friends, family, hang out at the park, go to summer school if they need to, work, and play but also encourage them to read books, do math whenever possible, experiment (safely). These are easy things you can do anywhere and believe it or not just a little bit each day or a few times a week will prevent a great deal of summer slide.
Here is a list of fun, easy things you can do with your children no matter where you are.
›› Flashcards in the car or on a walk
›› Cook or bake—believe it or not, this uses so many math skills and promotes reading
›› Read the street signs
›› Read the newspaper
›› Go to the library
›› Play with chalk – incorporate math into hopscotch or practice writing letters
›› Go to the zoo (research all the animals you want to see)
›› Write about what you do each day
›› Make a summer bucket list
›› Walk around your neighborhood or ride bikes
›› Learn about your community
›› Read the junk mail (it may as well come in handy)
›› Take up a new hobby—fishing, drawing, photography