Why the End of the School Year Matters

Eliza Clark
April 17, 2011

A big change is coming up soon for families everywhere -- the end of the school year is almost upon us. Hard to believe, but the months have marched by, and here we are. Sometime soon, the familiar routine you've so carefully constructed for your child will be coming apart at the seams. An unsettling prospect, to say the least!

And yet, the older we are, the more we realize that life is all about change. Change never stops. The moment we feel settled into one phase of life, something shifts and it's time to look toward the next thing.  Parents tend to feel this acutely, but really, it's true for us all.

And as much as we may wish that our small children would remain as the same exact darling age that they are right now, change is one of the things for which we must continually prepare them (and ourselves!). That is why parents and teachers put so much focus on guiding preschool children through small daily "transitions" such as getting dressed, going to school, moving through the activities on the schedule, saying goodbye, and on and on. Learning to keep up with all of these transitions is one of big achievements of preschool children.

The end of the school year, then, is just another step in the long parade of transitions that our very young children adapt to day in and day out. It's a bit bigger of a change than usual, but nothing they can't take in stride with an extra bit of support. In the best case, it's a time when kids themselves can reflect consciously on change, and on how much they've grown during the year. 

Most schools organize some sort of end-of-the-year celebration -- a school picnic or party. There will be moments to say goodbye to beloved teachers and friends, or see you in September. Perhaps there will be visit to the "big kid classroom" for those who are moving up, or even a "Pre-K graduation." 

Prepare our kids as we may, we also need to prepare ourselves! For chances are it's the parents who will have tears in their eyes when that last day of school arrives.  In truth, our kids may understand change better than we do -- it's in the marrow of those fast-growing bones of theirs.

From the Parents

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