It’s summertime! Now what?
June is the month when school is out for the year and often our kids can get a little down.
Saying goodbye to friends, a favorite teacher, and a stable routine can be difficult for many kids. Here are a few practical ideas to help your child transition out of the school year.
1. Set up Summer Playdates
Knowing they won’t have to wait several months to see classroom friends can help alleviate sadness. Make sure you grab contact info of a few parents you know and trust before the end of the school year. If you’re not comfortable having your child play at someone else’s house, make plans to meet at a local park instead.
2. Plan a Summer Bucket List
Give your child something to look forward to with a summer bucket list! Sit down and plan a list of things to accomplish, places to visit, and fun activities you’d like to do. You can include things like day trips, local attractions, art projects, water play, and reading goals. Hang up your completed list and cross off the items as you complete them.
3. Look Ahead
Do a little investigating and find out some of the interesting things about the grade your child is heading into in the fall. Will they observe butterflies? Take a field trip to the zoo? Learn all about magnets? Find a friend with a child in that grade and ask questions. Find out what the “highlights” of the next grade are for students. If possible, schedule to meet with one of the next grade’s teachers or ask to peek inside one of the classrooms. Knowing there are fun things in store may help your child feel better about moving on.
4. Summer Recess
Many students find themselves missing the school playground during the summer months. Visit your school in the summer, and spend the morning playing. Your child will probably love showing you their favorite things to do during recess. If you’re close enough, walk or take a bike ride to the school!
5. Summer Learning
Let your child choose something she wants to learn about over the summer. Find a variety of books on the topic and help your child become an expert. Do experiments. Research online. Not only will your child enjoy learning a new skill or finding out more about a topic of interest, you’ll be preventing summer slide by providing opportunities to read and learn!
6. 3 Things
Spend some time talking with your child about the year he just completed and the year to come. Have your child list his top three moments from the past year and three things to anticipate in the next year. Allowing your child to remember the positive memories from the year honors the past and validates any feelings of grief or loss he may be feeling. He will have a lot to remember and look back on! At the same time, help your child look forward by getting him to come up with three things to look forward to in the next year. We remember the past, but we keep moving forward.
Plan a fun celebration to mark the end of the school year. Go out to dinner (or let your child pick her favorite home-cooked meal), see a movie, bake a cake, visit a favorite local attraction, or choose something FUN to do with your child. She made it through a whole year of school! Think of all the books she read, assignments she completed, problems she solved, and things she learned! Celebrate those accomplishments together as a family!