It’s the end of another school year, and those of us with kids know what that means — It’s a time to gear up for summer but also to reflect on the school year just completed.
For me, as a full-time teacher and a mom, I get the pleasure to not only think back about how my own children have done but also how my first grade students have come so far in only 10 short months.
For my own family, with three school-aged boys attending , I am feeling a bit melancholy. My kindergartener, Aiden, has grown up so much this year. He has become a reader, yes, a reader! As a teacher/mom, that makes me incredibly proud! He has made new friends and discovered himself, apart from his twin brothers. He is so ready for first grade.
My son Jack, a second grader and twin, has discovered a passion for books this year and can sit and read for an hour with a new book from the library. He has grown as a writer and has completed amazing projects, like a habitat book filled with amazing animal facts, and oil pastel pictures illustrating an animal from each region. He also chose to complete an independent research project about Indonesia, apart from his regular class work.
Drew, a second grader and twin, has flourished as well. He, too, can't put books down. He especially loves the Titanic, and is currently choosing to do his own research about other ships like the Titanic. Talk about taking initiative, even as the school year ends, to extend his own learning! He has made new friends and can't wait for summer playdates.
Often at our dinner table, all three boys have a book in hand as we eat! It doesn’t exactly promote great conversation, but it is awesome to see a six-year-old and two eight year olds discovering the love of reading and the inability to put a book down. Our conversations often include things like, “Mom, did you know one of the dogs that survived on the Titanic was a Pomeranian?” Or, “Dad, did you know a group of jellyfish is called a smack?” And of course, this leads to more research using Wikipedia to discover about dog breeds, types of cats, endangered species, and more.
Yes, school is out, but learning continues in our house. As I look back on the school year our boys have had, they have been blessed with caring teachers who have helped them thrive academically. Their learning doesn’t end at school, though, as Aiden, Drew, and Jack come home and read, do Raz-Kids reading programs on the computer, play board games with mom and dad, play outside, and so much more.
As summer starts and you begin to reflect on the year your own kids have had, take a moment to cherish what they have discovered, and think about continuing some of that at home. Instead of turning on the television or a video game, play what we call an “old-school” board game, go outside, take a hike, play with your kids—watch them thrive!