Woohoo! Summer break is almost here, and it is time for a busy but beautiful season of vacations, pool parties, and lemonade stands. But before you can dive in and enjoy the fun that summer vacation brings for you and your kiddos, you must partake in the end-of-school-year Olympics and figure out how to survive year-end stress.
Yes, I am talking about the weeks after spring break and before summer vacation, when school tests the fortitude and dedication of every elementary school parent and beyond. You will be stretched to the limit some days, but the end result is worth it: watching your child’s face the day they walk out of school for the last time before summer break. What an exciting, squealing, ice cream-faced reward!
Manage Year-End Field Trip Stress
Is it just me, or do schools cram as many field trips as they can into the last 3 weeks of school? Aquarium, pizza arcade, Zoo, nature walk, CRAM IT IN! Oh and do not forget the permission slip. Or close-toed shoes. And the money for snacks on site. Or the sunscreen! While it may seem like a ton of extra stuff to cram into your pint-size child’s backpack, it’s all worth it to see their ruddy cheeks at the end of the day. Filled with stories and excitement from the trip. Remember your why!
Do Not Stress Report Cards & Grades
While the report cards and quarterly grades may not seem like a big part of how to survive year-end stress, they certainly are for your children – elementary school and beyond. When my daughter began 3rd grade, the report cards got a bit more serious. And so did she.
Reward all grades, as long as you know your child has done their best
Remind your kiddo that there are no bad grades as long as they have done their best work. Grades do not make a kind or empathetic spirit. Kick the stress and discipline when a disappointing report card rolls in. Celebrate the small victories!
Year-End Teacher Gifts – What To Give?
I am positive your kid’s teacher has some different ideas about how to survive year-end stress, which is why I always love to gift them something special at the end of the school year.
Here are some “how to survive year-end stress” gift ideas for teachers:
- Gift card to a local coffee shop or doughnut stop
- Bottle of wine
- Gift card to Target/Amazon
- Class gift (cash for summer vacay)
- Letter or card hand-written by student
- Low-maintenance plant for their classroom
How To Survive Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent-Teacher conferences can be intimidating and leave everyone feeling defeated if handled improperly. My daughter’s elementary school requires at least 2 conferences a year. But you can have a great conference with your child’s teacher!
Focus on the positive.
Do not hone in on your child’s worst but choose to focus on their best.
Do not begin the conference without a list of questions to ask your child’s teacher.
Request positive feedback to give your child.
Your child’s teacher wants them to succeed. They watch them learn and grow every day, so grab some of those compliments to share with your child.
Make Year-End Class Parties Fun
You might not be an over-achiever. You know what I’m talking about – a Pinterest-Perfect mom. One of those moms who set the table for every holiday and take the Christmas tree down by New Year’s. If you are, elementary class parties might not be your forte. That is okay momma! Take a chill pill and bring in the store-bough cupcakes. You do not have to cut the carrots into star shapes.
More than perfection, your child will remember your presence.
This is a hugely important part of how to survive year-end stress and school madness. Your child will not likely remember your perfectly styled hair or the cupcakes you stayed up until 2am baking. No, they will remember your smile as you laughed on the bus headed to the Zoo. They will remember your compassion when they got a 75% on their math test.
Choose to focus on the reason why you are running around like a chicken on mountain dew. Your children and the memories you are making amidst the madness. Do you have any tips for surviving the year-end stress of elementary school? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Howdy, Miranda here from planitmiranda.com
I am a full-time working mom and small business owner. I work for a local law firm while trying my best to juggle mom-sponsibilities, 40 hours of work for “the man”, and entrepreneurship. My days are spent meticulously planning what is to come so nothing falls through the cracks. My daughter Dorothy is 9 years old and my joy. We make a great planning team.