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The School Year’s Almost Over, Are You Ready for Summer?

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Summer’s almost here! Birds are chirping, grass is growing (faster than I can mow it), and students are coming down with Summer-itis. As the end of the school year approaches it can be nearly impossible for student’s to stay focused and make the most out of the home stretch. The school year is looooong, they’ve earned a break. Before it’s all said and done, here are a few things to consider to help ensure that they get the most out of all of the hard work they’ve put in.

Have a chat with teachers about your child’s progress – See where their strengths are as well as where they may need a little help. Go over this year’s progress with your child and help them decide where they would like to focus their efforts in the coming weeks. This can be a good exercise to help them stay engaged as summer fever sets in.

Consider what can be done to help with retention – I love summer break. Staying out till the streetlights come on, drinking straight from the hose, climbing trees (trees are getting harder to climb, but I’m allowed to stay out a little past the street lights now). While summer is great for family time and for students to decompress, it can wreak havoc on retention of this school years progress. As hard as kid’s have to work to cram all of that new information into their heads, it would be a shame to see any of it go to waste. Have a brief chat with this year’s teacher, and if possible, next year’s teacher as well. This is a great opportunity to get suggestions for some light summer reading or projects that may help ensure that they retain the knowledge they’ve gained, and are able to hit the ground running in the fall.

Include your children in the planning process – Planning for their educational success is a long term process. Including them in these planning sessions can help reinforce these goals for them and remind them that their education is an investment, and that you believe in their inevitable success. A recent study from the Center of Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis found that children with a college savings account are six times more likely to attend a four year college. As the school year concludes, it’s a great time to consider your college savings options. This year’s enrollment period for the GET Program is open until May 31.

And of course, don’t forget to have fun! – Summer break is a crucial time for students to de-stress and be reminded of what it means to be a kid. Most of my best family memories were formed during summer breaks. It’s a great chance to take advantage of the weather and enjoy some family time. Maybe take a few hiking trips. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to live in beautiful Washington.

Best of luck in all of your planning, and congratulations to all the soon to be graduates out there! Enjoy the summer!

Written by Dan Payne

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