Summer is almost here, and it's a wonderful time to think back about all the triumphs of the school year!
It's so important that we celebrate these successes with our kids, and our favorite way to do that is with an end of the school year mommy child date!
And if we're homeschooling, it's also an excellent way to determine if the curriculum/topics really connected with your kids, and how to plan for back to school!
It's something that your kids will look forward to every year (mine do!).
I want to give you all the tools you need to plan an end of the school year date with your kids, too!
I'm going to share:
- why these end of the year dates are so important
- how to pick a location for your special mommy child date
- fun ways to invite them to the event
- how to set the tone for a wonderful time of connection
First, let's talk about the two key elements to a successful mother-child date.
2 Key Parts to a End of the School Year Date
First, what does every mother-child date need to be? FUN!!
And that definition of “fun” is what your child would think is fun.
Second, every mommy child date needs to be a one-on-one experience.
There's something magical to a child about being out by themselves with a parent!
My kids come back from our end of the year dates with a glow about them, and a big part of that is because we did something they thought incredibly fun, and it was special because they were alone with mommy without siblings.
Why Every Mom Should Host an End of the School Year Date
Every time I go on one of these dates I am blown away at how much I learn about what my kids like and don't like about school.
End of the school year dates are an excellent chance to hear firsthand from your kids what material they're really connecting with, and what they may want to learn about next year.
This is especially important for older kids who are beginning to formulate ideas for a future career! End of the year dates are an excellent opportunity for parents and children to talk together about how their strengths/interests may play into a specific career path.
If you're a homeschooler, these connection times are also important because there may be a homeschool curriculum that is no longer a good fit, and these conversations give you plenty of time to find something new for next year.
5 tips for Planning an End of the School Year Date With Your Child
End of the year dates don't have to be expensive or super-involved. Here's how to plan a wonderful mommy child date that your kids will look forward to every year too!
1) Make the invitation fun.
About a week before the date, put together a fun invite for each child.
You can go hog-wild here (if you want): a computer designed invitation, a handwritten invite, an email, a card, a scavenger hunt, a note with a picture of the child—you name it. Include the day, time and location of the date.
Some years my invites have been fancier than others (depending on my time and creativity level)!
GIFT CARD INVITE IDEA: One year I invited my boys to their end-of-the-year dates via two cleverly packaged gift cards:
- I purchased a gift card for the approximate cost of the date, grabbed an actual plastic cup from the coffee shop along with a lid, straw and logo- themed napkins.
- I scrunched the napkins up inside the see-through cup so that it looked like the cup was filled with a yummy frozen beverage.
- I stuck the gift card in the middle of the napkins, put on the lid and stuck a straw through.
- Then, on the side of the cup I used a black permanent marker to write the actual invitation, listing the date and time.
I did something similar for an invitation to a frozen yogurt place (filling an empty yogurt container with logo-themed napkins and the gift card, and writing the invitation in black permanent marker on the side of the container). Both were a hit!
2) Choose a fun location.
First and foremost, choose a place that the child would enjoy (hint: that place they keep asking you about!).
My eight-year-old daughter is in love with our local cupcakery and gets googly-eyed when we drive by (I think it’s all the pink frills and frosting…I get a sugar high just walking in the place!). So it’s a no-brainer where her end-of-the-year-date will be this year.
- frozen yogurt
- coffee shop
- out to lunch/dinner
- sitting on a bench at the park
- time at the beach or other scenic location
- a special “tea time” in the backyard, or
- wherever your child would love to go!
Wherever you choose, make sure the location allows for conversation and possibly has a table or desk so you can share papers and projects together as you talk.
3) Mentally prepare for the date.
Write down some loose thoughts about the child's school year. What was most successful? How did you see your child shine?
Most of all, bathe the meeting time in prayer. You can ask God:
- for ideas in how to steer the conversation;
- a spirit of openness (for both you and your child) that respects the other’s point of view;
- ears to pick up on any potentially hidden frustrations; and
- wisdom for coming up with solutions to issues presented.
4) Develop a meeting agenda.
This can be as formal or informal as you feel necessary. For example, you may decide to talk about one subject at a time or about overall topics that need to be addressed (or a combo of both).
There you go! I'm excited for you to plan your mommy child date(s)!
Enjoy this special time of connection with your kids while on your end of the school year date!