The following is a post from contributing writer, Kris Bales, of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.
Way back at the beginning of the school year, I offered suggestions for 10 Ways to Celebrate the First Day of School. Today, I give you 5 ways to celebrate the end of the school year.
Wait. Five, you wonder. Why aren’t there 10? Well, let’s just face it. By the end of the school year, my family is so happy that it’s time for summer break that confetti and back-flips couldn’t make the day any more celebratory than it already is. Somehow, the last day just doesn’t require as much effort to get excited about.
Still, it’s no fun for the school year to just stop, so I offer you five suggestions for ending the school year with a bang.
1. End-0f-the-Year Party. Our homeschool group always has an end-of-the-year party. Just like out (Not) Back-to-School party, the end of year party is low-key. We reserve a pavilion at a local playground, ask everyone to bring drinks and a covered dish, slap on some sunscreen, and have a blast with our friends (moms and kids, alike).
2. Recognition Ceremony. Each year, one of the moms in our group plans a recognition ceremony. I have never participated because I’m lame like that, but I love the idea. Kids can be recognized for whatever the parents like: promotion to the next grade or middle/high school, mastering reading, academic improvement – we’ve even honored several graduates over the years.
The recognition ceremony is usually held at a local church. There is a guest speaker/emcee and students are given ribbons, certificates, or even trophies. All the parents bring finger foods and invite the aunts, uncles, and grandparents. The organizer has even arranged to have a professional photographer at the event the last several years.
One comment I always hear from those who attend is how much they love the ceremony because it’s so personal, with the parents addressing the group to recognize their own children.
3. Show-and-Tell Fair. Another enjoyable way to wrap up the school year is to have a show-and-tell fair where students can set up displays highlighting what they’ve done over the course of the school year. Displays can include work sample, portfolios, arts and crafts projects, models, salt dough maps, photographs – whatever the kids would like to share with friends and family.
This is another finger food/invite-the-grandparents event.
4. Extended Field Trip. An extended family field trip (also known as “vacation”) is a fun-for-the-whole-family, educational way to close out the school year. Is there a particular place your family has studied this school year? Washington D.C.? The Grand Canyon? Mount Rushmore?
Maybe you enjoyed a particular period in history? Could you go visit Colonial Williamsburg? Jamestown? Mount Vernon?
I still remember visiting St. Augustine and the living Spanish history museum with the kids one year. Creating memories and cementing facts by actually visiting places you’ve only read about makes an incredible way to end the school year.
5. Special Meal. Somehow, with me, there’s always got to be food. A family date night – at home or out – is always a special way to cap off the school year. Whether it’s a meal that fits into an educational theme or just some special family time at a place you don’t enjoy often, this family time can create wonderful memories for the family.
Use the time to reflect on the highlights of the school year – favorite people or places studied, the most memorable projects, or the best field trips.
What do you and your family or your homeschool group do to celebrate the end of the school year?
Kris is the sweet-tea-drinking, classically eclectic, slightly Charlotte Mason mom to her three Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She chronicles her nearly 90 pound weight loss and transformation from morbidly obese couch potato to half-marathon runner on her fitness blog, Eclipsed.