Making the Most of the Home Stretch
- Keep up with your routine. Although the sun is setting late into the evening hours, don’t let time get away from you. Insist that your kids go to bed at the same time that you’ve enforced all year long. Once summer vacation starts, you can relax that a little bit, but don’t give them the impression that they don’t actually have to follow the rules for the rest of the year. Keep mealtimes and homework time relatively consistent, as well.
- Have a conference with your child’s teacher before school ends to find out what he needs to work on for next year. If math is not his strong suit, for example, find out what topics you can help him with over the summer so that he’ll be on grade level when school starts back up in the fall.
- Continue checking your child’s homework each night. This is the time of year when kids start slacking off; don’t let yours get away with it. Whether you have a first grader or a high schooler make sure your child knows that his continued success is expected through the entire school year.
- Start planning for an educational and fun summer. Look into the programs offered in your community, and make decisions based on what your child wants and needs. Your local library is likely planning their summer programs; find out if you can help or when you can sign your child up for reading incentives, camps and other fun activities. This will help you alleviate parental panic centered on what on earth you will be doing with the children once summer vacation begins!
- Take advantage of the time after the season finales of your child’s favorite television shows. Once reruns start playing, it’s time to fill that time with something else, preferably something more educational than more television! Try board games, catching fireflies, read-alouds or springtime sports: anything to keep the brain moving!
- Start making plans for the next school year. Will your child switch schools? Do you already know who his teacher will be? Are you planning a move across town? Before school ends this year, take care of any last-minute housekeeping, such as meeting his new teacher, updating registration forms or finding out the specifics about a new schedule.
Although the school year is winding to a close, don’t give up on the race just yet… set a good example by prodding your kids through the final weeks and making plans to keep their brains and bodies active through the long summer. You can do it!