Thinking of new ways to celebrate the end of the school year can be tough. Having the energy to do them can be even rougher on parents. But it’s nonetheless important to create space for children and teens to leave one season behind them and begin a new one. These transition periods are so important to recognize, honor, and help students move into the future.
Ways We Celebrate in Times of Transition
The end of the school year brings a mixture of emotions for many students. They feel relieved that the hard work is over, maybe a little sad about friends they’re leaving behind, or even apprehensive about two to three months with a different schedule. Add to that any familial change such as a move, and you can have a recipe for big emotions. Here’s how to help students have a successful journey into the next stage.
Most students need milestones to be celebrated so that they can learn how to:
- Reflect on the previous season of life
- Recognize patterns they want to change and patterns they hope to repeat
- Feel proud of their achievements, work ethic, and progress made
- Face the future with confidence and hope
In times of transition, though, it can be easy to overlook simple ways to celebrate — especially if you’ve been hit with an onslaught of parties, class field trips, family birthdays or graduations, gifts to buy, and errands to run.
But a few simple traditions — decided upon with intention — can make the difference between a stressful change of seasons and a smooth one.
- Find a festival near you. One of the best things about seasonal changes is that festival promoters are usually trying to generate interest to draw families to their festivals. What is your child interested in? Does he or she love art, the medieval era, gardening, or camping? Look for a festival near you that celebrates one of these activities. It’s a great way to gather the family together and enjoy the start of a new season.
- Host a backyard or indoor limbo party. Invite some of your child’s best friends, and a few family members, and turn up the music. You can make your own limbo with a broom handle or purchase a kit that brings lots of joy. It doesn’t hurt to have some seasonal snacks that feel celebratory too.
- Hang a sign across the front yard between two trees, in the doorway of your front entry, or even in the backseat of your car. Wherever you hang it, make sure it’s congratulatory and it’s visible somewhere your child will see it and sense that you are proud. This can be a great way to get siblings involved if you have younger ones who want to take part in the celebration.
- Give a gift to your child that represents something he will need or want to have in the season ahead. You can brainstorm a list of ideas on your own or check out this list.
- Make a summer bucket list with your kids. Not only does this signify to your child that one season is over and another one is beginning, but it can also generate conversation around the table about things that were hard about this school year and what they enjoyed. It also helps you learn about your child’s interests as he or she grows and changes.
- Create a special dinner menu for the last day of school. Whether it’s s’mores, ice cream for dinner, pizza or tacos, having a special once-a-year dinner that’s unique to the last day of school is something you can carry with you no matter where you live, how old your kids are, or what season of life they’re in. You can even do this for grandkids and children you mentor. Invite neighbors or don’t, but let your kids help you design something they’ll love to eat and eat with joy. Slow down, take time to listen, and get your kids in the kitchen if they (and you) would enjoy that.
- Take a mini road trip or do a scavenger hunt in your own town. The mini road trip might involve giving the kids a time limit and a limit on the number of things they can pack, but it will be worth it when they find out where they are going. Perhaps it’s a one-day trip to a water park or an overnight trip to the hotel down the street. Maybe it’s just a short drive to Grandma’s house or to the local national park where you can set up a campsite. Make it work for your family and your budget. It could even be a backyard campout or a sleepover at a friend’s house. The key element here is the element of surprise. You can even join forces with other families in your neighborhood or apartment complex.
Are you thinking of making a change in your child’s education after summer break? If so, we’d love to talk. We have two programs — a hybrid school for students who live in and around the North Georgia area and our Navigator Program, a coaching program for parents who want to homeschool with the support of a teacher at their child’s grade level. Contact our admissions director for additional information.