Preparing for the End of the School Year
Sustaining Momentum and College Applications
The school year is coming to a close and two emotions come to mind: Teachers cheer longing for a break and parents worry what to do with the kids all summer. What do you do to keep the momentum going and combat Spring Fever? Read on for a few ideas on how to keep your students on track and you looking like a superhero ready to save the day!
Don’t slide from the normal routines you’ve upheld all year. Keep those homework rules going and make sure your host student and your own children are turning in their homework on time. You want them to finish the year just as strong as you started. The more lax you become the more your family will feel it.
Getting to Bed on Time
Bedtime should stay the same. Nothing is worse than a student who is up and/or out too late on a school night. Production and personality will go downhill very fast without a good night’s rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Preschool through college age students need to have energy, the ability to focus, concentrate, retain information, and be creative problem solvers. Success at school also requires kids to control impulses and manage emotions and behavior to keep on track. All of these skills depend heavily on healthy, consistent sleep.”
Talk to the family and students about year-end stress. Be open about how you all feel and ways to help each other out during this time. Share the stresses at dinnertime which opens up communication and maybe, just maybe…someone will be able to offer advice.
Get a Job
If your student is staying over summer, perhaps looking and applying for jobs in the community would help cure the summertime blues. If they’re not old enough to have a job, give them a list of chores they can prepare for in the summer months. Make sure to get phone numbers of friends to spend time with over break. This may alleviate the doldrums of not seeing their friends for a long period of time. Plan some fun activities before school ends and put them on the calendar. Too often we say we’ll call to set something up, but we get too much into the summer and forget.
The Beautiful Outdoors
With the longer days and warmer nights, spend more time outside. Research shows that time outdoors can improve concentration. Why not spend time with the family playing a game of football or swimming in the pool after homework is done? The kids will fall right asleep! Spending time outdoors keeps everyone engaged and not glued to video games and TV.
Get a jumpstart on summer activities by doing your research early. Look for enriching summer activities that strengthen the mind. Check out your local library and see if they have a summer book club. Many libraries offer incentives for reading a certain amount of books in the summer. Visit local museums or take a trip to your local civic center to learn about your city or town government. Write stories with illustrations; this will keep the mind full of wonder and words.
Start thinking about a way to mark the last days of school. Make a paper circle chain and tear off a chain each day. Plan to have a celebration before the end of the year as a small taste of what is right around the corner. Allow the students to plan and help with the celebration. Include parents as well; we need a break too!
College Application Tips
For some of you, college is looming after this next summer. Start applying now for college. You have probably done most of this already, but if you haven’t, there is still time.
- Start building a resume to include in the college essay. Begin early on a draft of the essay to be ready when it’s time to apply. Have someone else besides the student edit and offer suggestions. Be sure to follow each college/university’s specific guidelines.
- Continue to motivate your student to keep up their grades. Many students slow down about now and can’t wait for high school to be over.
- Select colleges carefully. Have your student write down why they want to go to college and what they want to achieve. What do they want to do for their lifetime career? Is it better to start off at a community college to save money or will a 4-year school offer more towards their major? Do they want a college near you or back at home with their family? Small college or large university? Study.com lists the top 20 schools in the US that host students may want to consider. “Located in New York, NY, The New School tops U.S. News and World Report’s list of schools with the most international students, with 29% of its student population coming from other countries.” University of Arizona has a scholarship program that could award up to $10,000 per year to international students.
- Start preparing financially. Remember there are costs to applying. Some schools, like Harvard located in Massachusetts, require a $75.00 fee while others can be more or less. The University of Tennessee requires a $50.00 application fee.
- Have the necessary paperwork ready when applying.
- Official high school transcript
- Application fee
- College admissions test scores
- AP exam scores, if applicable
- Letters of recommendation
Talk to your academic counselor for specific exams required for international students, for example, The TOEFL is a test that measures the student’s ability to use and understand English at the university level. It evaluates how well you combine your reading, listening, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks. Twinn Palms offers ESL classes that will help with learning English.
Whatever you do, wherever you go, remember to enjoy this time of year. Your host student may be ending their stay with you and it may be awhile before you see them again. Make those memories last.
- Family Education: https://www.familyeducation.com/school/end-school-year/10-ways-prepare-end-school-year
- National Sleep Foundation: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep
- Today’s Parent: https://www.todaysparent.com/family/tips-to-get-your-kids-through-the-end-of-the-school-year
- Prudential: https://www.prudential.com/financial-education/fafsa
- US News: https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/twice-the-college-advice/2012/10/09/how-students-and-parents-can-prepare-for-college-applications
- Education.com: https://www.education.com/reference/article/10-ways-successfully-prepare-your-child/
- Study.com: https://study.com/articles/20_US_Colleges_that_Are_Great_for_International_Students.html