From School to Summer
"How are you going to help your kids make the transition from the end of school to summer?" I asked a carpooling mom.
"How am I going to help THEM?" she wailed. "How are they going to help ME? With one in riding camp, one at baseball camp, and another hanging around my knee like it's a may pole, I'm already stressed out."
Okay, that's extreme. Me? I just make sure that during the summer there are playdates with old friends. I think it creates a sense of security for the coming year and that's very important. Still, I polled a bunch of other friends.
"I'm excited. Really," says Linda. "It seems that winter is a blur of activities; early dinner, then to bed. Do it all again the next day. Summer is a break from that. We just relax."
Loretta from Virginia has the opposite concern. "I think these kids lose all their skills in math and English over the summer. Rich is 8 now and I've just caught on to this. Each year I buy the Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills (from American Education Publishing). He does the workbook over the summer."
"He must love that," I say sarcastically.
"Actually he does. The exercises seem like games. There are colorful characters, crossword puzzles. Stuff like that. It's also good for long summer car trips. Since the answers are in the back, he doesn't get upset."
And then, of course, there's my dear friend and role model, Mimi Doe, author of 10 Principles of Spiritual Parenting, who really does have a plan for the last day of school.
"I create rituals, traditions and ceremonies to mark the transitions from the end of school to the freedom of summer. On the last day of school my two daughters and I get out our bikes and decorate them with streamers. We bang pots and pans and ride around the neighborhood collecting kids for our 'Last Day of School Parade.' We make a lot of noise and celebrate like crazy."
Before the last day of school, my daughter and I talk about changes that have taken place over the year. We always discuss what's different and what's the same since school began. It feels good.
My motto, "constant change is here to stay," is once again on target.
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