While the school calendar doesn't have much of an impact in my household just yet, I overheard a group of high schoolers discussing their lazy approach to what they dubbed "fourth-quarter outfits" in line at Starbucks the other day and was reminded of just how quickly all of that school-year enthusiasm goes out the window once Summer's within sight. Depending on where you live in the country, your kids may have a few weeks or almost two months remaining before school's out for the Summer. Here, five ways to keep that school year mojo up in the homestretch. They've come this far — why blow it now?!
Let Them Enjoy the Warmer Weather — After Hours
We totally get it. Even as adults, sunny days are the ultimate temptress to take a longer lunch break or cut out of work a little early. But for kids in school, that's not an option, and staring out the window and daydreaming about recess won't get them anywhere.
Make sure that they're getting the outdoor fun that they so crave after the dismissal bell rings. Barbecue and eat dinner on the patio. Encourage them to play with the neighborhood kids. Ensuring that they get their daily dose of fun in the sun (even if it's technically dusk) after school means that they won't feel like they're missing out as much between 9 to 3.
Lead by Example
If all you can talk about is how great Summer break is going to be, and how you can't wait for this year to come to an end, then what do you expect your kids' mind-set to be? Even if you're counting the days till a more lax schedule sets in, maintain a solid poker face and stay serious about school, until that much-anticipated very last day!
Find Excitement in Every Day
Rather than viewing this phase as the "final countdown," continue to encourage enthusiasm in each and every day. Whether it's anticipation over a field trip, a surprise note in their lunchbox, or a classmate's birthday, make sure that they have something to look forward to every day as they head off to school.
Keep Up the Good Eats
While it may be tempting to indulge their whims of hitting up the ice cream truck on a nightly basis, warm weather shouldn't be synonymous with junk food. Make sure that they're still getting their fruits, veggies, and a good night's sleep to ensure they have the energy to stay awake and alert throughout the school day (sugar rushes don't count!).
Continue to Praise Good Work
A job well done counts as much in May as it did back in October, so continue to maintain your own enthusiasm over your kids' good grades. And if positive reinforcement in the form of a treat here and there is your thing, go ahead and keep 'em coming — we won't judge!