The last school term always seems to arrive in the blink of an eye. It only seems like yesterday that we were celebrating the start of a new school year, waving goodbye to our children as they joined their friends and wondering what learning experiences they would encounter in the year to come.
We are now reaching the end of the school year and it is often a bittersweet time for both parents and children. There is usually the growing anticipation of Christmas approaching, with the excitement of festive arts and crafts, preparations for end-of-year concerts and the promise of summer holidays that conjure up images of lazy mornings, splashing in the pool and playing on the beach. On the other hand, we also start to think about saying goodbye to much-loved teachers, treasured friends and a school routine that has brought comfort and a certain level of predictability to our little students. So, before the year finishes, take some time to make the last term of the school year a memorable one!
Take your child on a date
This is a special time in the lives of our children. They have worked hard, played hard and should now have the opportunity to reflect upon, and celebrate, all that has been achieved over the past year. Ask your child to go on a special end of year date with you so you can:
- Encourage your child to recall some of their most enjoyable moments at school.
- Ask them about some of the challenges they have faced and how they were overcome.
- Share your own stories about what you have enjoyed about the school year — because certainly this is a very much a journey that you have embarked on with them.
Don’t be a stranger at school
I’m sure by now you are enjoying the chance to drop your child at the classroom door, with no long, drawn-out goodbyes! But don’t be in such a rush to leave. Instead:
- Spend some time in the classroom and explore the work that has been completed.
- Visit the displays in the libraries or in other specialist classrooms — see which ones your child contributed to, and ask your child to tell you more about what each piece means, or what they have learned.
- Look through your child’s learning journals and portfolios.
- Don’t leave it until the last day or even the last week to do this as displays tend to be taken down and work is packed away so that the teachers can prepare the classroom for holiday maintenance. Make sure you see the classroom in all its glory, and I challenge you to feel anything but awe as you come to appreciate what the children have achieved and learned.
Capture the moments
Often we spend a lot of time capturing the excitement of a new school year, but we tend to overlook this time when the year comes to a close. Pick up your camera and start snapping!
- Take a photo of your child with his or her teachers.
- Snap a picture of your child with their friends.
- Choose a special piece of work from the year, frame it and display it in your home with pride.
- Conduct a mini-interview with your child and ask them to share their thoughts about their classroom, a normal day in their school life, what subjects they have enjoyed and a little about their teachers and friends. Capture their responses on paper and keep it with the school yearbook or with their class photo.
By doing these simple things, you are showing your child that you value their education, what they have learned and the friendships they have nurtured. Our children’s school days pass us by so quickly. Make them memorable!