Since I have kids in public school, private school, and homeschooling, this will apply to everybody.
If your kids go to a school building:
Check out their clothes. This is the time of year where my kids seem to need a couple more uniform shirts to make it through the week. Whether they've grown to a new size, or stained the ones it feels like you just bought them, I found myself picking up a couple more polos for Sam at Target recently.
What about shoes? Too tight? Too worn? Lost at school?
Speaking of things getting lost, make the time to go check out the Lost & Found at your child's school. I'm still sad about the Hello Kitty jacket Hannah lost at school a couple years ago. Maybe your child has been taking containers in their school lunch, but not bringing them home, and you can find and recover them. (You may need to check their desk or locker, too!)
How's the lunch box looking? From time to time, I like to give Hannah's a good swipe with a wet wipe to get some of the ookies out of it. If yours can go through the dishwasher or the washing machine, how about giving it a bath over the weekend?
One of my kids is on their second backpack this year, because the straps broke just a few weeks into the school year. This is a good time to help your child clean out the backpack, and see if there's any areas you should reinforce to help it last until summer.
Remember all the supplies you sent in at the beginning of the school year? Those are mostly used up, lost, or broken at this point. Your elementary child's teacher would probably really appreciate a quick email saying, "Hey, is there anything the classroom has run out of that I can pick up for you?" Your older kids may need to re-stock their backpack or locker, too. Be sure you have binder paper, index cards, etc. on hand for them to do so.
If your kids are homeschooled:
Half way through! How are the curriculum choices you made for this year working out? Is there one subject that everyone just dreads every day? If it's math, there's not much you can do about that. Kids have to have math in some form. But if it's any other subject, it might be time to look at ways you can change up how you're teaching it. If you child struggles with writing, take the pressure off for a while and let them type or dictate their work. If the social studies or science curriculum you chose has been a flop, maybe it's time to change it up. Or supplement with interesting books and videos that cover the same materials.
For all school situations:
Now is a good time to start thinking about next school year. It will be here before we know it! Our family motto has always been, "Education is a year by year, child by child decision."
First, think about your family situation. Are you expecting a baby? In the process of adopting? Looking at an upcoming move? These issues will all affect the choices you make for next school year.
Next, evaluate where each child is now. Is this setting working for this child, socially and academically? Are they wilting or flourishing? Is it financially feasible to have them stay where they're at for next year? Will it work for the rest of the family? Can you work out a carpool with neighbors/friends?
If something is not working, and you're looking at making a change for next school year, now really is the time to be thinking about it. Just today, I got an email about 2015-2016 preschool registration at Luke's school. And the private high school my big kids go to starts registration in February. Be sure to call and schedule tours and/or testing at the schools you're interested in.
With about 4 months until summer break (for traditional schedule students), it might be time to brainstorm summer plans, too. I just heard about an aviation based summer camp coming up in June that sounds like a great fit for Eli. Homeschooled kids might have fun making a summer wish list or helping you plan a summer vacation.
Best wishes for finishing out the school year strong!
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