Parenting is a tough job – and, contrary to common belief, is not a task that can be logged off from when the final bell rings, or when the school year ends.
The last day of school is always an emotional time for teachers, parents, and students; It’s the end of the year, which means it’s also the beginning of summer vacation, and this means that there can be a lot of admin and chaos to take care of!
The last day of school is an opportunity to deal with all the things that come up during the course of the year, and it is easy to feel lost and overwhelmed.
Fortunately for you, we have put together all that you need to know to survive the last day of school (see also “How To Prepare For The First Day Of School (Supplies, Tips & More)“) with your sanity (relatively) intact, and make sure that you get your summer break off to the best possible start!
Prepare Breakfast In Advance
The last day of school usually comes with a whirlwind of emotions from your kids, and the final morning is likely to be full of chaos, energy, and excitement.
To help, try and make sure that you have a very simple, healthy breakfast to hand – think toast and a banana rather than pancakes or homemade waffles – so that you are ready to go as soon as the kids wake up.
Then, simply hand them their breakfast, and whisk them out the door for their final day.
Take Time For Yourself That Morning
As we mentioned, the last day of school can be chaotic – your kids will be facing the prospect of leaving friends behind, and they may be feeling anxious about what lies ahead.
If you can, give yourself some space that morning, and spend some time doing something that helps you relax and unwind.
This could mean taking a quick walk in the park, having a quick workout alone before everyone else wakes up, reading a few pages of a book, or even just sitting quietly with a cup of tea.
Whatever works for you, do whatever makes you feel good, and then you’ll be able to focus on getting through the rest of the day.
This is a chance to get your day off to the right start and will help you feel calm, focused, and confident that you can handle any stresses that come your way!
Make Sure You Have Everything Ready For Your Kids
It’s important that you don’t leave anything until the last minute, because if you’re rushing around trying to find everything, you won’t be able to enjoy the moment.
So, make sure that you have packed all of your kids’ bags, and have everything ready to go by the time they wake up.
This includes anything that they may need for their final day, such as gifts for teachers, contact details for friends, and reports or final assignments, as well as the everyday lunch boxes, homework folders, etc.
Prepare For The Paperwork Avalanche
The final day of school means that students are usually given their workbooks, exercise books, projects, and notes to bring home – and this can result in a lot of paperwork!
If you’ve been preparing for this day for weeks now, you should be pretty prepared for the avalanche of paper that is coming your way – but the sheer mass of “stuff” should not be underestimated.
You can prepare in advance by making sure that you have space for new items and memories to live in; perhaps clear out and declutter a set of drawers or a cupboard, or create a special place where you can store all of these papers safely.
It is also a good idea to have a system in mind before the kids arrive home – are you going to keep every single item, or choose a few?
Are you keen to keep report cards and notes, but happy to get rid of workbooks?
Consider whether your child will need to revisit the material in future grades or study – their notes could be useful to hang onto in certain subjects.
Make a mental note of your plan before the final day, and then have a clear system to sort and organize paperwork as it comes through the door -try not to make the fatal mistake of allowing your children to simply dump their items on a table or stuff them in a drawer; this is a one-way street to stress and clutter.
Instead, consider using boxes or baskets to separate different types of materials, so that you can easily see what belongs where, and organize as you go.
Give Them A Chance To Say Goodbye
This might sound like an obvious tip, but many parents forget about this part.
Depending on the age of your child or children, this could be the last chance that they have to see many of their friends and companions before everyone parts ways and heads off to new schools.
This can be particularly significant when it comes to key milestones, such as the end of elementary school, the end of middle school, and, of course, on the final day of high school.
To help, make sure that your children have a real chance to say goodbye to their peers – particularly those who are headed off in opposite directions.
If possible, try to arrange some kind of farewell party with food, games, prizes, and entertainment.
Make sure that you take plenty of photos to capture those precious moments, give your children something to remember the event by, and encourage everyone to swap social media and contact details to stay in touch.
This is also a chance to say a goodbye to any baby memories or less-than-friendly peers -encourage your child to see this as a fresh start, and a chance to cut ties with bullies or negativity and begin a fresh, exciting new path.
The final days of school are always emotional, and often stressful – but if you’re organized and prepared, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy the process.
Remember to celebrate the successes, and look forward to the next chapter of your child’s life – there is plenty to come!