Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last Day of School!!!

No more classes! No more books! No more teacher's dirty looks! Well, not really, but it seemed to fit with the topic. Today is the last day of school for my own kiddos. They were so excited that they were ready for the bus 30 minutes early. They were awake, bubbly, and cooperative. Why couldn't every morning have gone so smoothly? Ha!

Teachers are just as excited. All over cyberworld I have seen the countdowns. Some may miss their students, but all of them can't wait for that last day. And who can blame them? Teaching is such demanding work in all aspects, it's only normal to need breaks.

How I feel about it depends on the hat I am wearing at the time. As a mom I have mixed feelings about the end of school. The last day marks another milestone that my babies are growing up, and that brings feelings of pride and sadness. However, I love having my children home where we do lots of family activities. We live in a city where it is easy and pretty awesome to have a staycation or daytrips. We love the outdoors so we go to the beach, river, lake, or just spend time at the pool. I look forward to laid back mornings without the rushing and the lack of alarms jolting me awake at ungodly hours.

But I also worry about the summer slide and boredom setting in. My approach to preventing that slide is very informal and casual. I am lucky that both my children are successful in school and love to read, so weekly trips to the library are a must. With my 8-year-old we also let him play educational games on the computer and iPad. Other than that, I just work education into everyday things. They help me with the budget and grocery list. They save their money for items they want to buy. They keep vacation journals to practice writing and go to summer camps that focus on their interests. This year, my teenager is going to a creative writing camp, and the youngest is going to a nature camp that focuses on things that fly.

Finally, as a substitute teacher the end of school means no work, and that's not so good. On my Facebook page, fans shared this sentiment. Most have some alternate way of making some money during the summer... many of those tutoring or holding a part-time summer job. However, even as a substitute with the prospect of money down, I am excited for summer. The stress of wondering if and when you will work is gone. And again, the rushing is done.

So, no matter the ups and downs, I will sit by the pool, icy beverage in hand, book under my nose, and enjoy the lazy days of summer.

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