Tips for the End-of-the-School Year

The end of the school year can be a stressful time for children and parents, especially after this unusual year of hybrid virtual/in-person learning. It’s not uncommon for kids to be anxious about end of year tests, final grades, and making up missed assignments and class time.

Tips for supporting students at the end of the school year:

  • Talk to your child regularly and ask open-ended questions about how they are doing, and what is making them anxious or excited.
  • Remember that students want to be successful but sometimes they need help with goal setting.
  • By using SMART goals, you can set small, daily or weekly goals that are realistic and make tasks manageable. This will give them a confidence boost and offer a sense of purpose as they make progress toward their accomplishments. They can stay focused, which is especially challenging as we approach summer break.
  • SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. So if a student must make up 10 assignments by the end of the year, talk to them about what is realistic to accomplish each day. Be a cheerleader as they accomplish their daily goals.
  • You can even have small incentives to help encourage them – like picking the meal for Friday night dinner, or doing a favorite activity together as a reward.

Free and Inexpensive Family Fun Ideas

  1. Play board games together
  2. Schedule a weekly family dinner
  3. Have a family movie night
  4. Have a picnic in the park
  5. Take a free, self-guided historic walking tour from Preservation Austin and explore the Capitol building on Congress Avenue, iconic music venues, note-worthy African American sites and more.
  6. Visit Zilker Park,  Zilker Botanical Garden (advanced ticket purchase required) or Barton Springs Pool.
  7. Drive out to the Hill Country. Spend the day at picture perfect parks like Emma Long Metropolitan Park (reservations required), Reimers Ranch ParkLockhart State Park (reservations required) and more.
  8. Visit the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum (advance purchase tickets)
  9. Hike Mount Bonnell and get a panoramic view of the Austin area.
  10. Explore the Tejano Walking Trail, a self-guided tour of more than 20 culturally significant Hispanic sites in the East Cesar Chavez and Holly neighborhoods.
  11. Visit Congress Avenue Bridge to witness 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats fly into the sky from beneath the bridge nightly from spring through fall.
  12.  Go on a mural tour. Take a self-guided tour of Austin’s iconic murals, including Greetings from Austin at South First and Annie Streets; Hi, How Are You at Guadalupe and 21st Streets; and the “I love you so much” mural painted on the wall of Jo’s Coffee on South Congress.
  13. Visit the Mexic-Arte Museum
  14. Explore St. Edward’s Park
  15. Visit the Thinkery, Austin’s interactive children’s museum. During Wednesday Community Nights, admission is by donation ($1 is suggested).