School’s out – reflections on the lessons learned

Thinking back, what did you learn?

As the school year finishes up, we're tempted to just hit the door and run as fast as we can. Teachers do this, kids do it, and parents do it as well. Now that every year ends with relentless test preparation followed by hours upon hours of filling in bubble sheets, the end of the school year is much more about muscling through something difficult than it is about summing up and reflecting upon learning.

But learning isn't about tests.

  • I hope you learned to be curious.
  • I hope you learned to stand up for yourself, but also for others.
  • I hope you learned to say yes to opportunity, and no to things that hurt you.
  • I hope you learned that you can do it.
  • I hope you learned that the world is wide, and wild, and wonderful.
  • I hope you learned to love learning.
  • Above all, this school year I hope you learned to be kind.

Reflecting on Learning

You can help your kids to discover what they've learned this school year simply through journaling. This is something that you can participate in as well - this is a perfect time for you to reflect on the year too. By participating with your child in the activity, it becomes a shared experience rather than a task for them to complete.

journaling

This activity doesn't have to be complex. All you need is some paper and something to write with. You might iike to get a journal where you can continue to have your child and you write reflections on learning and life, or you can just do it on loose leaf if that's what you've got. Form doesn't matter - content does.

Once you've each written your reflections, share them with each other and get the conversation started about what learning is and how it affects your lives. This activity instills not only a love of learning, but also a deep sense of self and the importance of recognizing personal growth. And these prompts can be easily amended at the end of summer to take some time to reflect before the coming school year.

Here are some prompts to get you started.

For Kids:

  • What's a moment that surprised you this year?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • What has changed about you this year?
  • What could you have done better?
  • What's a subject that you want to learn more about?
  • What's a subject that you don't want to learn more about?
  • What's a moment when a lesson "clicked" in your head?
  • What's the most important thing that you learned outside of the classroom?

For Parents:

  • What's a moment that surprised you this year?
  • What of your child's accomplishments are you most proud of?
  • What do you see that has changed about your child this year?
  • What could you have done better?
  • What's a moment when a lesson "clicked" in your head?
  • What's subject should your child investigate more deeply?
  • What's something that you saw "click" with your child?
  • What's the most important area that you child grew in outside of the classroom?
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