Ready for all of those back-to-school activities? 

Ready for the early mornings? 

Ready to rush out the door screaming for everyone to grab their backpacks, lunches, and water bottles? Oh wait, that’s just me?

Before we jump back into those early mornings and the school routine, let’s all take a moment to reflect on the best parts of summer. Completing a summer reflection and taking the time to say, “Goodbye summer!” as a family can help everyone prep for the next school year.

End of Summer Reflection

If you made a summer bucket list, go through and review everything you checked off. Add any other adventures you took this summer that maybe didn’t make the list at the beginning of summer!

If you didn’t make a list, you can make one together now or just verbally discuss your summer.

You may need to prompt your kids about little things that happened over the summer: 

  • “Remember that time you belly-flopped in the pool?” *giggles*
  • “Remember that time we played hide & seek and I scared you in the fort?” 
  • “Remember when we stayed up late playing games?” 

Chat about those memories and savor the last few moments of summer!

Reflection Rainbow

The first rule of the summer reflection rainbow is… there are no rules 😉 For those of you who may also have a type A personality, I know this stresses you out. Don’t let it. Simply print this reflection rainbow and see what your child wants to do with it!

  • Maybe they just want to color while you chat about your favorite parts of the summer.
  • Perhaps, they want to write their favorite activities on each part of the rainbow.
  • Maybe they want to write a complete sentence about their summer on each rainbow.
Preschoolers can participate in this activity too!

Remember, there are no rules here! Have fun with your reflection rainbow!

Dreaming about school at the end of summer

Maybe your child is dreading the school year. 

Maybe they are getting bored with summer and want to see their friends every day. 

Whatever their feelings about the start of the school year, they are valid. They could be both excited to see their friends and still dreading getting up early every day. If you’re looking for books to read on heading back to school, check out my list here.

When I taught third grade, we always did a back-to-school bulletin board featuring our hopes and dreams for this year. I know everything is much more goal-oriented these days in school.

Plant the seed for this school year by chatting about your child’s hopes and dreams!

However, it’s nice to just dream sometimes.

If you’re looking for a book to pair with this conversation, I LOVE Peter Reynold’s Happy Dreamer.

Ask your child, what do you hope will happen this year in school? What do you dream about <insert grade level here>?

  • They may surprise you and say they just want to make one best friend this year.
  • They might be math nerds like my kids and want to learn multiplication or division (this was their second-grade dream!).
  • They may want to read a certain book.
  • They may want to complete a specific challenge in P.E.

Whatever their hopes or dreams are, let them talk. They can write their dream on the back, draw a cloud and write in that, or just talk about it together as they color.

From summer reflection to back to school ideas

It’s always at this point in the summer that we all start to worry about that summer slide. I always have parents approach me and ask for my “favorite workbooks for <insert grade level.> My response is ALWAYS:

Don’t waste your time with any of those workbooks!

~Kim Creigh, M.Ed.

As a classroom teacher, there were workbooks I was told I “had” to use. Most of the time I used these for homework. If you know my stance on homework, you understand my feelings on workbooks 😉

Throw the workbooks away. Please. Don’t start this year with your kids already dreading schoolwork from a poorly created workbook.

If you want to set your kids up for a great school year, start putting reading back into your routine. Try to work that reading stamina up to 30 minutes a day.

If you really want to be an overachiever ;), you can review those reading and writing skills with my Virtual Zoo Camp. It will even buy you, busy mom, some extra time to yourself. Simply watch the parent video, print the worksheets, and let your child listen to my virtual lessons.

Your child will review research skills, read books, and take virtual field trips in Virtual Zoo Camp. Doesn’t that sound so much better than a boring ol’ workbook?!

I can’t emphasize enough that your child does not need a workbook to prep for back to school! Add reading into your days and they’ll be all set for this school year.

Goodbye summer~ Hello new school year

While I love a good pool or beach day, there is something exciting about the start of the school year. 

  • The newly sharpened pencils.
  • The blank notebooks waiting to be filled.
  • The neatly organized pencil pouches… ready for writing & drawing!

As you start to go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, and buy all those new school supplies, stop to take some time to chat about your summer. A family summer reflection wraps up summer nicely.

Before your child hops on that school bus and you raise that celebratory coffee as they leave the bus stop, take time to reflect on the summer before this new school year begins.

Kim Creigh, M.Ed