We need a good party, don’t you think? I mean, it’s late May. Late May! And despite the time warp that many of us have felt like we’ve been in for the last couple of months, we are, in fact nearing the end of the 2019-2020 school year. I know for some of you, the end is coming up very fast (like this week!), if it hasn’t wrapped already. Others, you still have a while.
We all have students who definitely deserve to be celebrated this year, whatever the exact date any of us finish this school year. Of course, some of us have more restrictions on us than usual, so I wanted to share a few ideas that might help you plan the perfect reward for all that hard work.
What about a keepsake marking all they have done? Your phone probably holds a lot of the pictures of projects, memories, and moments they will want to remember. Putting them in a book can help them (and you) have a tangible way to mark the end of this school year. Companies like Shutterfly and Blurb make it easy to take your digital memories physical for a great keepsake.
Ice cream party
Give them a different topping for each “thing” they did. A different flavor for Reading, Writing, and Math. A topping of their choice for each big project, extracurricular, or milestone. It all makes a super-fun mess of a celebration that will be a great memory of all the work they’ve done this year.
Outside Open House
Drive-by birthdays are all the rage; why not an outdoor open house for the folks who love your kids? Set out a table with year-end reports, photos and awards or certificates and invite a few people who care about them over to look, from a distance. Showing off the hard work they’ve done can be a real confidence boost as kids wrap a year and a season that was likely devoid of the usual pomp and circumstance.
Virtual Achievement Presentation Night
Grandparents far away? Aunts and uncles want to get in on the year-end fun? Schedule a Zoom call or Facebook chat, get your student dressed up, and present your student with a year-end summary and any special presentations you’d like to make. It’s not the same, but it shows them what they’ve done matters and that their people are proud of them.
Has your student been overloaded with digital work? Give them a break and help them engage with the tangible. A little outside or dedicated time with you means even more right now. It can feel like a celebration even when it’s not fancy.
Summer Bucket List
These are pretty common each summer, but it’s worth revisiting in this strange year. Make a list of the things you’d like to do before school starts back. Who knows? When your student focused on all that they CAN do this summer, not what they can’t, you both may find that there’s more to look forward to than you thought.
A Yes Day
This is a great idea I got from a subscriber. To celebrate the end of school, give your kid a day where you say “yes!” to every request they make (within reason). Breakfast for every meal? Sure. Water guns and sprinkler time? Absolutely. Evening hike? Why not? Once in a while, everyone deserves to let loose. A “yes” day makes a great memory for hard-working students.
Hopefully, this list gives you some good ideas, or at least a jumping off point to make a plan of your own. Whatever you decide to do, I know you’ll make it special for your students. They deserve it. (And so do you, so plan one for yourself, okay?)