Monday, June 4, 2012

* Wrapping Up Another School Year - Help Your Child Transition Between School and Vacation

It's that time of year again, time to wrap up another school year.
As with any ending it can be a bittersweet time and bring mixed feelings for your kids 
as they say goodbye to teachers and classmates and look ahead to a new school year.
While this is a time of celebration for many, it can also be a source of anxiety.

Every school year, my kids declare that it was the best year ever,
and their teacher from that year was their favorite and they're always worried
that next year's teacher or grade level won't be as fun.
It's also a time of transition for myself - getting used to having kids around 24/7. 

 I wanted to find some ways to help ease their anxiety.
I read an article on Mom's Homeroom about 
It had some really good suggestions for helping your kids transition
between school and vacation time. 

The article suggested that you 
Communicate and Connect with your child.

* Check in with your child about their feelings. *

While the girls are excited about starting summer and all that it entails 
with trips to the pool, play dates, and unstructured free time,
they are also creatures of habit and routine - 
the schedule they've followed for a school year
is ending and it's hard to say goodbye to friends and that familiar school routine.

One special teacher at my oldest daughter's school is battling cancer.
My daughter is very worried about her and afraid that she won't see her again. 
We're spending a lot of time talking about our feelings,
writing in journals, and drawing pictures to work through it.

"C" has just graduated from preschool, 
the same school she has attended for the past three years.
She is attached to her teachers and friends and will not see many of them again.
She is feeling nervous about starting Kindergarten this fall at a new school. 

We will be spending time playing and using our dolls for role-play
to talk about Kindergarten routines and riding the bus. 
Here's a post from my archives about our Play School In a Box.

* Help them stay in touch with classmates.

My own daughters are sad to be leaving their friends.
For "C" many of them will be attending different schools this fall,
only a handful of her classmates will attend the same Kindergarten.

We're trying to set up some play dates with classmates over the summer
as well as trying to play with some new neighborhood friends
so she'll have some familiar faces this fall in her Kindergarten classroom.

"E" is old enough to write letters with friends and plans
to be pen pals with a couple of friends who travel over summer break.

* Help your child say good-bye to their teacher.

We like to put together small gifts for our teachers
to show our appreciation of their hard work. 
It's usually something homemade or semi-homemade.

This year, we put together these little berry baskets
with some fruit themed soaps and lotions from Bath and Body Works.
We printed these (free download) cute gift tags from eighteen25 !

In the past, the girls have decorated liquid hand sanitizer
bottles with stickers and ribbon (and sealed with clear packing tape)

They're also made these cute little 
Fairy Dish Gardens as end of the year teacher gifts.

to say goodbye to a special school bus driver. 

 Celebrate and Bring Closure. 

* Encourage your child to participate in end of the year
school celebrations, rituals, and parties.

It will help them have a sense of closure and connect with classmates. 
Let them know how proud you are of all of their accomplishments 
from the past year and celebrate this as a family. 

* Spend Time Reflecting and Remembering

and I also have a few scrapbooks to help the girls remember 
all of their special memories and milestones from each school year. 
It's fun to sit down with them at the end of the year and look back 
at the past year (and previous school years.) 

It's fun to look back and re-read our All About Me Quizzes that 
the girls fill out at the beginning of each school year. 

Here's to the end of another year!
How do you celebrate and wrap up another year?

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

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