Eight Things to do
End of the School Year
We are now entering into the final countdown for the school year! This year presented a lot of new challenges for teachers, parents, and students alike. While I was so glad to be able to send my child to school in person, this year was not without its rough patches for me either. But here we are. We made it to the final two weeks of school and I wanted to share with you eight things you can do for the end of this school year.
Take an End of the Year picture of Your Child
When the school year starts up, I usually take a picture of my daughter with a chalkboard that has her name, the school year, her teacher’s name, her grade, and some cool facts about herself like what she wants to be when she grows up, her favorite color, favorite thing to do (build with Legos!), and her favorite shows. Last year, I bought one that already had some wording and designs on it. At the beginning of this school year, I took a DIY approach. You can either freehand the design of your child’s chalkboard or do like I did and use a projector to project your design onto your chalkboard and trace away. These pictures taken at the beginning and end of each year are a good way to see how your child has changed over the course of the year. At the beginning of the year, my daughter wanted to be a makeup artist. Now, in addition to wanting to be a make-up artist, she wants to be a fashion designer and singer. Sheesh!
Send Your Child’s Teacher a nice Thank You Gift
We all know that this year has been especially challenging for teachers, so if you haven’t thanked your child’s teacher in the past, now would be a GREAT time to do so. Feel free to get creative with this gift idea, but if you already know some of your teacher’s favorite things, grab a basket and fill it up. Don’t forget the gift card! One thing I know about teachers is that we love a good gift card no matter the amount. I will be adding a picture of our family to this gift so that she knows she held a special place in all our hearts this year.
Create End of the Year Cards for Your Child’s Classmates
Again, you can take the DIY approach here and make handwritten notes for each child or if you are pressed for time, you can download these cute cards for free. And if your child’s classmates are all still in school virtually, you can ask your child’s teacher the best way to distribute your cards electronically. Maybe your student could record a video message saying, “Have a great summer” instead. The options are endless.
Make a Digital Portfolio of Your Child’s Art
There are so many ways to get this done, but since I already use Shutterfly for just about anything keepsake worthy, I will be scanning my daughter’s art into my computer and uploading it to my gallery on Shutterfly. This way, if I want to make a calendar, a mug, or a canvas of any of her art, it will already be there. You can also upload any of the digital files of your child’s art to a cloud drive and do with it what you want from there. My kid is a bonafide artist if I must say so myself; so, I will definitely be making some calendars.
Sort Through and Donate Clothes
In our parish, we have a uniform “recycling” program where we take our old, but still in good shape uniforms and drop them off at the school board office. They are later distributed to schools and schools are in charge of identifying families of students that may be in need of uniforms for the upcoming year. The schools also keep a few on hand just in case someone shows up with an article of clothing not in keeping with the school dress code.
If your school doesn’t do uniforms, then you can donate any gently worn clothing to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. If you are looking to get a little kickback from your child’s used clothing, places like Kid to Kid or Once Upon a Child are neat little consignment shops that specialize in children’s clothing.
Make a Plan for Summer Bridge Activities
Studies have shown that children can lose a significant amount of reading and math knowledge over the summer break and this can have a negative effect on them when they return for the following school year. To prevent what researchers refer to as the “Summer Slide”, you need to come up with a plan to keep your child reading throughout the break and practicing math skills learned while preparing for skills to be learned in the upcoming grade.
This summer, I will use a combination of original activities and activities pulled from a summer bridge resource. Even though we have tons of books at home and unlimited downloads on her tablet, we still plan on participating in our local library’s summer reading program.
For my toddler who is not school-age and won’t be attending school next year, I plan to use a toddler curriculum resource to help me create activities and learning experiences for him that will provide him with structured learning time throughout the summer.
Ask Your Kid
Make sure to ask your child or children what they would like to do over the summer. Make a Summer Bucket List and try to get everything done. You may get everything done and you may not, but you will have loads of fun trying. Most important of all, enjoy your kiddos! Summer break will go by quickly and your kids will grow up so fast.