1. Maintain Your Evening Routine: It can be tempting to let kids go to bed later as the daylight extends longer, and it begins feeling more like summer. But keeping to the same routine and bed time helps keep children in the school year mindset.
2. Establish a Countdown: You might consider stapling twenty or so pieces of paper together and assigning each one with a number representing a remaining day of school. You can then ceremoniously tear each paper off day by day and maybe even burn it in the barbeque.
3. Stay Interested and Engaged: As it’s only natural for children to lose focus, so it is with parents. Keep asking them questions about classroom life, their friends and about upcoming end-of-year activities. Whenever possible, use the names of their friends and ask specific questions. Don’t expect them to share unsolicited information.
4. Cater to and Capitalize on their Interests and Yours: If you’re home schooling, don’t be afraid to be flexible with the curriculum in the final days. One such mom said she sits down with the kids and makes a list of things they are interested in. She then comes up with ways to play to those strengths in their reading assignments or field trips.
But even if your children attend school outside the home, this tip still applies. By cultivating a home environment that stimulates their intellect and interests, you’ll find that summer can be an educational season, too, not just a time to play Farmville on Facebook.
5. Incentives Always Work Well: Working toward a big goal can be made more exciting for a child if there’s a reward attached to its ultimate completion. A trip to Sonic (especially when the drinks are half-price!) always seems to work well. Dairy Queen is another popular destination. And no, it’s not bribery – it’s calculated encouragement.