An End-of-School-Year Guide for Parents
The end of the school year, and the transition to summer break, is an important time to take stock and review your child’s scholastic progress while still looking ahead to summer activities.
With so much to think about in the spring and summer, including family vacations and summer camps, it’s easy to get overwhelmed—but an end-of-year checklist can provide a valuable planning tool to help you organize and prioritize your family activities for the coming months. Here’s a basic to-do list which you can easily adapt to your own family’s lifestyle.
Help your child stay focused during the last weeks of school
The last month or two of school can be a stressful experience, as your child deals with final exams along with end-of-year music/theater performances and athletic competitions. This is the time to show support and encouragement while keeping household stress to a minimum.
Review your child’s report cards
You can make this into a positive experience by praising good grades and offering support (instead of criticism) for mediocre grades. If grades are unsatisfactory, calmly discuss them so that, together, you can identify the problem and find a solution.
Find out about next year’s teachers/curriculum
If possible, meet with next fall’s teacher(s) to discuss curriculum and any other issues you feel are important.
Look into schools for next year
If you’re planning to change schools, it’s crucial to start searching well in advance of the summer months. If you’ve already chosen the school, make appointments to talk to the new people in your child’s life—such as principal and teachers—during the current school year, before they leave for their summer break.
Send thank-you notes to teachers
It may seem trivial, but a gesture like a thank-you note can go a long way toward encouraging good teachers to continue the work they’re doing. And the end of the school year is a perfect time to send a letter, or find other ways, to express your gratitude. Teacher appreciation gifts can be helpful as well.
Make doctor and dentist appointments for your children
This is a good time of year to schedule those annual physicals—and don’t forget eye exams as well. It’s helpful to schedule them while the kids are on their summer break so they don’t miss any school time.
Talk to you children about any important health-related issues that need attention
This includes mental as well as physical health; so it’s also a good time to talk to them about their school life—are they happy with their teachers and friends? Is there anything that’s worrying them about the coming school year? The end of the school year is the best time think about changing schools, so speak to your kids about any issues that may warrant considering a new school. Visit K12.com if you think a virtual school might benefit your child.
Summer Planning Checklist
Look into summer camps
If you’re planning to send your child to summer camp, it’s a good idea to get a head start on your search at least a couple of months before summer starts.
Look into summer schools
As with camps, if summer school is part of your summer plan, be sure to start looking several months in advance. Online summer school courses are also a possibility.
Make your vacation plans
Of course, vacations are different for each family; but it helps to plan ahead. Whether you choose a road trip or a visit to Disney World, you’ll need to make plans early. Be sure to schedule important activities, such as medical appointments, so that they don’t conflict with your vacation plans.
Help with summer job searches
If your child is old enough for a summer job and expresses a desire to have one, the best thing you can do as a parent is participate in the search. You might even be able to help by talking to business friends and acquaintances who need extra summer help.
Look for enjoyable summer activities for your child
If you feel that your child needs extra summer activities added to his/her schedule, look into local summer learning programs. Ideas include swimming/athletics, craft lessons (such as pottery or drawing), theater, or music. Be sure to get your child’s input, and choose things your child will enjoy.
The end of the school year should give your child the opportunity to take a healthy break from the pressures and expectations of school. By planning ahead, you can help lower stress for your family while making the summer months a special season for everyone to anticipate and enjoy.