Ahhh – the end of year is coming and while teachers, students and parents may all be feeling a little burnt out by this stage and you’re daydreaming of a deserted holiday getaway, here are a few simple ideas to keep both you and your child engaged in their learning so as to finish another learning year strong.
1. Encourage a Growth Mindset when Sharing your Child’s School Report
Sometimes report time can produce a lot of anxiety in children, so it’s important to approach your child’s report together in an encouraging way. Parenting expert Michael Grose suggests taking all the pressure off the academic performance by focusing on their strengths, effort and application first.
Skills of independence and cooperation should also be just as highly regarded as the final grade they may receive for a subject. Read more here
You can then discuss the report by asking your child how they think they went, where they think they made progress throughout the year and where they feel they might be able to improve. Encouraging a growth mind set helps keep them motivated and proud of the work they are doing.
2. Stay Involved and Engaged with your Child’s Learning
The end-of-year brings many more opportunities to be involved:if you can, consider joining your community at the Liturgies, Christmas plays & carols, open classes, or any other activities your school and parish celebrates with.
Despite the busy nature of the term, there is still much learning happening, so keep up that interest in what your child is doing in the classroom, even if they keep saying nothing, there are a variety of different questions you can ask them to get them involved into a conversation about school. Parent writer Sara Goldstein, offers 30 great questions you can ask your kids instead of How was your Day?
Use Christmas planning & preparations as an opportunity to practice their literacy skills – shopping lists, writing Christmas cards, wish lists! And lastly, keep making that effort to listen to their home reader even if the thought of it is making you twitch. If you stay excited in their reading, they just might too.
3. Communicate with your Child’s School.
If you know of any issues or challenges your child has had throughout the year whether it be with learning, teachers or friendship groups, then now is the time to put an action plan into place for the next year. Organise a meeting with your child, child’s teacher and principal if possible, and work together to create a plan to help your child feel more relaxed and positive before the long Christmas break.
4. Share Gratitude
The end of year teacher gift buying might seem like a tedious task when you are trying to think of a gift that you didn’t get last year and that 30 other kids aren’t going to get too. So to make the gift more meaningful, help your child reflect on what they learnt and liked about the teacher this year and have them write it in a card, make a poem or simple letter. This helps your child reflect on their year as well and take time to appreciate their teacher for all the hard work they have done. Teachers tell us how they enjoy the personal gestures.
5. Appreciate your Child’s Work
I know I have been guilty of this but when your child starts bringing home their workbooks and piles of paintings and projects, it’s very tempting to leave it in a pile for careful disposal later. However, it’s a great opportunity to sit with your child and appreciate the work they have done over the year. Point out how much they have improved, show them some of your favourite works, ask them if they want to share special pieces with their grandparents and other significant family members and encourage their creativity by hanging up a few “masterpieces” around the home. This will help give them a sense of pride and accomplishment.
6. Don’t Forget to have Fun!
While you are on the hustle of Term 4, don’t forget to take some time out! Do something different to break up the routine, go for a late night family stroll, take dinner to the park and watch the sun go down, head to the beach or pools for a swim to cool down. Watch Christmas movies and eat popcorn! Enjoy the lead up to this special season about a family long ago and celebrate your families accomplishments for the year together,