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Today's Parent

Excerpted from TodaysParent.com

Tips to get your kids through the end of the school year

~Cheryl Embrett

Stick to Routine

Regular routines, including healthy snacks and lunches, also help kids cope with the excitement of movie days, field trips and other end-of-school treats and activities. “I’ve seen some kids who are just ‘Woo-hoo!’ out-of-control this time of year,” says Mayne. “It helps to reinforce that although things may be a little more free-form at school, your expectations and the teacher’s expectations for behavior are still the same.”

Take It Outside

Research shows that spending more time outdoors improves children’s concentration in school, lessens aggression and improves their ability to cooperate. It’s “a giant relief valve for everyone in the family,” writes outdoor lifestyle expert Rebecca Cohen in 15 Minutes Outside, a month-by-month collection of 365 easy and enjoyable ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids.  Try moving homework outside whenever possible—your kids will enjoy the novelty and be less likely to complain. All that fresh air and the opportunity to let off steam also makes tackling any remaining after-dinner homework and bedtime easier.

Acknowledge Progress

Encourage your child to reflect back on her school year and think about what she’s learned, what was challenging, how she dealt with it and what she’s proud of.

As the kids count down (and you do, too!), start planning something special to mark the last day of class. It’s important to end the year on an upbeat note, says Smith, whether it’s a school’s-out scavenger hunt, a class picnic in the park or a backyard barbecue complete with cake and balloons. “School isn’t just about academics, it’s very much a social thing, too. Kids need a chance to celebrate the friendships and relationships they’ve made in the classroom all year.” And after a year of packing lunches, overseeing homework and getting little dawdlers out the door on time, parents deserve to join in the celebration, too.