* Teachers celebrate, parents navigate

dog jumping for joy“It’s that most wonderful time of the year….”  La la la!  As the last day of school approaches in my neck of the woods, teachers are running and stumbling to the finish line.  For most of them on a “traditional” school calendar, the last quarter has been all about testing, and in the past couple of weeks, stripping the classroom bare.  Kids’ projects and paperwork are filed in grocery bags outside classroom doors.  Some teachers are ready to lock and walk.  Others, like me before retirement, aren’t even close.

If parents have been smart (and have the resources), they’ve already lined up camps, tutoring, home schedules, babysitters, and vacations.  Many special needs kids need their summers carefully orchestrated, from being free of all school work to engaging in a steady schedule of predictable and interesting activities.  All kids should read and practice math facts during the summer.  Lots of schools provide year-round access to familiar learning sites, with links from their media center’s website.  Many excellent online resources are free, such as multiplication.com and ABCya.  Your local library may be a refreshing alternative to muggy summer days.  Audiobooks are a perfect resource for longer car rides or relaxing before bed.

Want to help?  Check out your community for opportunities to provide food for low income families.  Without school meals, kids may go hungry.  Some communities also offer opportunities to volunteer as a reader to students who might otherwise lack access to books during the summer.  Since stores usually start stocking school supplies early, buy extras this summer to donate to families who can’t afford that growing list of required supplies.

Enjoy your summer!

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