The Byrds said it well in their song, Turn! Turn! Turn! “To everything there is a season…” This is true of almost everything that goes on in a school. There are monthly themes on the calendar and seasonal celebrations in the classroom. Holiday parties, Go-To-School Nights, and Graduations are big rites of passage for all of our students. One of the biggest seasonal celebrations is upon us now and that is The Season of Transition and we’re here to help kids with this transition.
As educators, we understand how important it is for students to be academically prepared for the year ahead when they walk out of the classroom door on the last day of school and head into summer vacation. Our goal is to help our students to end the school year on a positive note with suggestions!
Now that school is over for most kids, the rigorous routines and schedules are also a thing of the past. While we may be comforted by the freedom of not packing lunches, and not rushing to the car line on a rainy day, many children are comforted by the predictability of these routines. When summer comes, many kids feel lost. By 9:30 in the morning, they’re asking “What to do?” for the rest of the day. When one’s time is so structured into bus schedules, class schedules, and when one has snack, it can be a challenge to recalibrate for the lazy days of summer. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we prepare for helping kids with this transition.
Kids crave routine…and for some kids, the end of the school year means a change in or, more specifically, the end of routine, which can feel uncomfortable. To help kids with transition talk with your child about this openly and discuss ways to create and maintain a summer routine to help relieve anxiety and create a predictable structure.
Put a summer activity calendar up in the kitchen and include dates of camp, vacations, lessons, and more to help kids with transition. This will help your child understand and, hopefully, look forward to what is coming up and when to expect it! Be sure to leave some open time for “summer surprises,” too. Don’t forget to look for fireflies and savor the summer freedom of a later bedtime for some impromptu fun.
The year ahead is full of unknowns for students and much of the time spent in May and June was likely dedicated to talking about the coming school year in an effort to better prepare kids for next fall’s unknowns. Perhaps it means your child is moving to the middle school building in the fall and leaving behind the familiarity of the primary building. Talking with your child about their favorite parts of the recent school year, sharing stories, and even creating a memory book can help kids transition from the recent school year to the ever-present summer.
As you and your child work to process the past school year, don’t forget to talk about favorite books. If you can inspire your child to keep reading during the summer, this unstructured, less-pressured literary experience can invoke a love of reading to last many years to come.
Life is full of transitions for all of us, making this a very important life lesson for children. We must say good-bye to the old before we are able to fully greet the new! As your family talks about the recent school year, why not connect a special summer activity as a way to acknowledge a major school accomplishment. It helps all of us when there’s a clear connection between accomplishment and recognition.
Children will experience many endings in their lives. Good endings leave children with feelings of pride about their learning and, at the same time, they help set the tone for a good beginning again in the fall. We hope you enjoy a wondrous summer with your family. It’s not about the vacation, or which camp; it’s about spending time together and having snack—anytime.
Randi Brill founded her first company, Quarasan, in 1982 in her basement. Since then, Quarasan has grown into one of the nation’s leading educational product developers and content packagers. Randi’s entrepreneurial spirit and tireless passion for education sparks the Quarasan team to create high-caliber products for education. Randi believes that to truly help our nation’s students, we must help our nation’s teachers grow and flourish. In 2012, Randi launched a transformative company for teachers and other educators that puts the social and emotional needs of teachers first, Teacher Peach. Dubbed recently as an education entrepreneur, as the company’s Chief Peach and as Quarasan’s President, Randi is personally committed to tap into the passion that fuels educators, to create engaging, yet rigorous educational products that help transform learning and teaching, and to anticipate the ever-changing demands of our educational system—with solutions that work.. Until then, enjoy your summer and may all of your transitions be happy ones.