The school year is beginning the countdown of the lasts. Last trip to the library as first graders. Last PE class as a third-grade class. Last pizza lunch to served to fifth graders before they head off to middle school. Even the teachers are in on it sending home the ABC countdown for the end of the year. Or the notes home that say only 6 more Mondays until we reach summer break. Only five more spelling tests, so please be sure to keep working hard! I get it –teachers are just as excited (if not more) for summer vacation. I mean seriously, I get it, it’s a huge deal to get down to single digits of the last everything. With the ups and downs over the course of the year, the laughter, the tears, those moments that make you question your sanity, and those moments that you think your heart will burst with pride. Over the course of the nine months, the class has shared their personalities their likes and dislikes. At times, those nine months seem never-ending, yet it is over in the blink of an eye.
However, this is the time of year that I like to call “end of the year fatigue.” Please, not one more book report. Not one more vocab poster. And I am always on the hunt for that one library book that I was sure was returned in March. That is just me as a mom trying to stay on top of the dress up days, the homework, the therapies, the practices, etc. etc. All the kids in class feel the end of the year fatigue. For kids, it seems to come out a little differently. For the kid who whistles while they work–it’s super annoying now! Or the girl who likes to make bracelets during free read time–it’s so distracting! Or the boy who can’t quite figure out how to just do the work without talking for ten minutes–it’s super frustrating! It’s nothing personal, really. After eight and half months together with the same behaviors, everyone is over it. Patience is wearing thin. Chances have long run out. Nit-picking, bickering, and arguing are on the rise.
For us at our605story, end of the year fatigue takes a little bit different twist. End of the school year feels like a marathon where we are stuck at mile 15. At first, I notice it with P’s attitude. We have a one-mile car ride from school to home each day where I can usually judge how the day went with a few simple questions. I like to ask the question of both of my boys, “Can you tell me two things about school today?” When the end of the year fatigue is striking, I might hear an “I dunno” or “I don’t want to talk about it.” That transitions into homework being done after supper instead of in the afternoon hours. School period has been a double-edged sword for P. He loves the routine, structure, and predictability that school brings, but school is hard socially and academically for him.
With the attitude shifting into cruise control, I know the end of the year fatigue is in full swing. That is when we know the dreaded call will be coming. The one phone call that causes my heart to work double overtime. The school is calling to discuss P’s recent behaviors. It usually starts something like this, “Hi, Heather this is _______________ (fill in the blank for whoever has to make the phone call this year). Do you have a minute to talk? I wanted to let you know that P has been acting out in class. Not that he is 100% at fault those kids sure know how to get under his skin. But, we have kids and parents upset about the behavior. P has apologized to the kids. If he continues to act out, he will be _________________ (fill in the blank with missing recess, spending time in the office, or whatever punishment they can do with the least amount of work to them).
I am a firm believer that if my child has chosen to act poorly, then there should be consequences. However, I don’t blame P for the end of the year fatigue. This marathon of getting ready for the end of the year testing by taking numerous practice tests, plus trying to celebrate the end of the school year, added in with the day to day routine of school that now is monotonous, homework that is growing each night, talk about what will happen next year for middle school, spring activities outside of school, and the chatter of summer vacation is only 24 days away.
I think our family will celebrate and do a victory dance when our end of the year fatigue is over! Homework, testing, therapies, dress up days, vocab posters, math review, assessments, and transition meetings will fill my days. See you all at mile 26!
All my best to you,