As the school year draws to a close, it is time to celebrate success! As a family, create a list of accomplishments for this school year. Look beyond honor roll and perfect attendance to celebrate even the little improvements being sure that each child in the family has a list of successes. Accomplishments worthy of family recognition can include:
- Improving grades
- Reading for pleasure
- No or fewer behavior referrals
- Completion of the year
- Working hard
- Good peer relationships – being a friend
- Serving others through volunteering or service learning opportunities
- Finishing the year
- Trying a new extracurricular activity
Your family may want to use the list to do some goal setting for the upcoming school year. This could be done when the list is created. It might be even better to save it for review a few days or weeks before school begins and talk about goal setting at that time.
With the closing of a year, comes the anticipation of what comes next. Whether your child will be transitioning from pre-school to kindergarten, from elementary to middle school or from high school to college or trade school, it is important to keep in mind that change is challenging for all of us including kids. Just as your family celebrates together this spring, you can plan together for the new venture.
Whether your child is changing buildings within the same school district or moving to a new school district, look for opportunities to visit the campus before school starts. There may be building tours during registration or an open house before school starts. If these opportunities are not available, call and ask if you can visit. While at the school, ask for suggestions of things to practice or to read over the summer. Try virtual visits too by checking the district and building website. Try to meet and share ideas with other families whose children will be in the same building and grade.
Look for little ways to practice new skills, talk about new routines and answer unspoken questions and fears. Older siblings, extended family and neighborhood friends can help with this too. If moving to a new district, try to sign up for youth sports or summer enrichment activities during the summer as a way to make new friends before school starts. Most of all create a relaxing and fun summer as free as possible of anxiety about the new school year!
The Parent Page is prepared by Practical Parenting Partnerships for distribution by schools to family and community members.