21 more days of school … and we might not make it

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dyc staar 05I don’t know about your kids, by my kids have mentally checked out of school and we still have 21 more school days left.

Once the STAAR tests were done, they, especially my fifth-grader, were done. And, I’m thinking they are not the only kids who feel that way. I’m also betting that some parents are also done as well as some teachers. After all, how many more movie days, track and field days, field trips and crazy-silly-activities-just-because days can we have?

I asked mom friends for some ideas to keep us all motivated to plug away at school. Here’s what they shared and some of my own thoughts:

Create a countdown calendar. Just getting to mark off the days could be thrilling and let everyone know that the end is near. Really it is.

Create a sticker chart for good behavior with some great end-of-school rewards. I have to say, we’ve done our time on Sticker Chart, Chore Chart, Filling the Jar with Marbles Drive. It works great for a short period of time, until everyone loses interest. So, guess, what? This is a short period of time. Bring on the stickers and the rewards.

Spend a lot of time outside. The weather is great! Time to eat dinner and do homework outside. You also can negotiate using outside as the reward. You get the homework done? We go ride bikes or walk to the park or walk to get ice cream.

Create an end-of-school activities calendar for you. Who hasn’t been caught by the end of school ceremonies and parties that your presence is now requested at (ie: you need to take off work for this) or the last minute requests for stuff like 30 cupcakes and juice boxes? Ask teachers now what events are coming up and what things your child will need. Of course, they might not know exactly, but at least you’re going to have a better handle on it. You also can consult the school calendar online as well.

Buy your end-of-the year teacher gifts now. It never fails. I’m standing in the gift card aisle at the grocery store behind my house the night before the last day of class, trying to figure out how much of a Barnes & Noble or Starbucks card I should get. You would think I would know school’s going to end. I’ve been counting on that for months now.

Wine, not whine, for you, not the kids. I can’t tell you how many alcohol suggestions I received. Chocolate also seems to be a popular coping strategy.

We’d love to hear your ideas. Share them in the comments box or email me at nvillalpando@statesman.com.


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