Winding Down as the School Year Dwindles

school calendarWow, how is it possible that the school year is quickly unraveling into summer? It feels like a few pages on the calendar must have stuck together when they were flipped over, even though we know that’s not the case.

Each year that I worked at Hawthorne School it seemed that things sped up as the weeks left in the school year wound down. Those last weeks were always jam-packed with activities and projects that needed to be completed before the final bell.

I remember end-of-year activities such as field trips, classroom plays, classroom art receptions, and track and field days that all competed for a slot on the calendar. Of course this was all in addition to the normal busy academic life of the students.

As the activity level picked up I often thought it was possible to feel the pulse of the building beating faster. And the faster it beat, the quicker we all had to move just to keep up.

Now we are coming to the end of another school year and the burning question is: Are your kids hanging in there as they race to the finish?

Your kiddos- and you, too- may need some survival tips to help you land on your feet at the end of the whirlwind we call “The Last Weeks of School”.

With this in mind I’ve put together a few tips to help ease the way into summer for your family. Read on to learn how to tame the whirlwind.

Miss Cathie’s Survive and Thrive Tips

Make sure your kids are getting enough sleep.

Of course, we know this is easier said than done with all the springtime after school activities that keep families hopping well into the evening hours.

Having dinner in the crockpot and a streamlined bedtime routine will help you keep your kids’ routine on an even keel. Add to that a streamlined morning routine and you can actually let your child sleep an extra ten minutes.

We all know how that morning sleep right before you get up feels so good. So who knows? Your child may get up in a better mood and be more ready to face the day after that extra ten minutes of sleep.

For a treasure trove of yummy crock pot recipes that will help with the evening routine click here.

Make sure breakfast is chock-full of healthy, energy producing foods.

Several times in previous posts, I’ve mentioned how busy kids are from the moment they arrive at school each day. It takes a lot of energy to get through a normal school day, but even more energy is needed during those busy last weeks of school.

Giving your child an energy packed breakfast is an important way to help him be a participant in the school day rather than just a bystander. Click here for some quick and easy breakfast ideas for your child courtesy of and the Dairy Council of California.

Do what you can to help your child maintain a positive attitude.

It’s a proven fact that negative emotions are a drain on a person’s energy. According to career coach, Joyce Russell, positive emotional energy is critical to our well-being at home and at work. Obviously, this holds true for our child’s home and school life, too.

So how can you help your child maintain a positive attitude?  There are many ways to strengthen positive emotions in your child. Here’s a short list of ideas:

  • Let them engage in enjoyable activities whenever possible
  • Make it a point to model positive behavior and attitudes
  • Slip a note telling them how special they are into their lunchbox
  • Play background music they like during breakfast and dinner each day
  • Put fun-to-read books in the car for commutes to school or activities
  • Encourage frequent interaction with your pet or your friend’s pet
  • Help your child connect with friends for a play date if time allows

Obviously, the list can go on but you’ll notice that the main idea is to help your child connect with friends, pets and activities they enjoy as often as possible. The end result will be a more positive attitude for your child and less energy lost due to feeling grumpy and out-of-sorts.

Revisit and reinforce the Check-the-Backpack-Each-Day Rule.

Think of your child’s backpack as a great communication tool between home and school. Important notes from the teacher, permission slips for field trips, instructions and due dates for special class projects and many more things find their way into the backpack at the end of the school day.

Or they should. If this isn’t happening with your child, check with her teacher so you both can find a way to make it happen.

And then be sure to do your part and check the backpack each night. The end result will be a more organized and prepared student. You’ll soon see that less stress for your child will ensure an easier path through the last weeks of the school year.

So there you have it- my simple ideas on how to help your child manage the whirlwind of the last few weeks of school. I hope you’ll find something that rings true with you as read through my tips.

In closing, I’ll just mention that the race to the finish isn’t for the faint-of-heart. So dig in, renew your sense of purpose and help your child ease in to summer.

Oh, and maybe mix up a big pitcher of lemonade to remind you of summer and help start the decompression process.




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