When talking about transitions and school, we often think about getting back into the school routine. However, transitioning out of school for the summer can also be an important process to do with intentionality. Since the end of August 2017, your daughter or son has been regularly connected to a defined group of people, including one or more teachers that have hopefully helped them grow academically, socially, and emotionally. They have learned the social dynamics of their class, and there is a comfort we all find in familiarity. As they now enter summer camps, clubs, or just spend more time with kids in the neighborhood, they will have to navigate new social settings that may be intimidating or anxiety provoking. The classroom itself has hopefully been a place of comfort and routine for your child, and this space will no longer be part of their weekly scaffold to help them learn and manage the ups and downs of childhood and adolescence.
As your child anticipates the start of summer, here are some ways you can help them end well and plan for the transition in to summer:
- Spend time reflecting on areas of growth, including academic, social, and emotional.
- Talk about what challenges they faced this year, and what they can be thankful for about them, such as learning something new or practicing perseverance.
- Ask who they have grown closer to and want to continue spending time with during the summer.
- Find out what they will miss about school. Whether it be lunch with friends everyday or the encouragement of a teacher, validate this loss and talk about ways they can continue receiving that positive connection or experience in a similar way during the summer and next school year.
- Share everyone’s ideas and expectations for what a good summer week will look like. Gain everyone’s input then work together to develop a flexible plan that will provide structured and unstructured time, social opportunities, experiences that may be challenging, and time to pursue things they are good at and passionate about.