7 Principles for Finishing the School Year Strong

April 2, 2024

Rob & Joanna Teigen

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” – Deuteronomy 6:6-7

As we find ourselves at the midpoint of the spring semester, many families are returning from Spring Break, facing the often-overwhelming task of settling back into the swing of daily life. The nearness of summer is already felt deeply, bringing with it a mix of anticipation and anxiety for many kids (and let’s be honest, for us as parents too as we look at all that’s left to accomplish this semester).

The pull for many of us when we hit this point is to just bunker down, grit our teeth, and muscle through to the end. We settle back into routines. Work stress piles up. Activities fill the schedule. We go through the motions.

But this is a crucial opportunity for parents to shepherd their families through the final leg of the academic year with intentionality and grace. As we navigate these next few months, let’s reflect on how we can embody the passage from Deuteronomy above in our daily lives, particularly as we strive to finish the school year strong.

Here are a few places to start:

#1: Protect Family Time to Connect and Worship

As basketball, gymnastics, and swimming close their seasons, baseball, softball, soccer, and more begin to emerge. Whether your child is involved in sports or other extracurriculars that occupy a lot of time, these seasons can easily encroach on precious family time, making it challenging to connect and worship together.

This is a great time of the year to reset how you prioritize setting aside specific times each week for family devotionals, prayer, and simply being together.

These moments of connection are crucial for nurturing the soul of your family and keeping God at the center of how you connect and grow together.

#2: Pray for Your Kids Daily

As the school year winds down, many children face the stress of upcoming transitions and the anticipated sadness of goodbyes. This is a great reason to make it a daily practice to lift your children up in prayer, asking God to guide them, give them strength, and protect their hearts during expected transitions.

Even more, we can pray with our kids. No matter their age, this is a great time of year to make sure we are asking them questions like what’s bringing them joy, what’s weighing heavily on their hearts and minds, or what they’re excited or nervous for. Then we can bring each of those things to the Lord together.

#3: Look for Ways to Bless Your Kids

Simple gestures can mean so much to a child, and be the energizer they need for a jump back into their routines.

Consider including encouraging notes in their lunchboxes (check out the fun notes in our shop here!), surprising them with a takeout lunch at school, or even treating them to a manicure/pedicure or special day with mom or dad.

So often we feel like our gestures have to be grand. But little moments of kindness remind your child that you care about them, they are loved, and that their lives matter.

#4: Celebrate the Small Wins

Every win matters.

A good day at school when it’s been a struggle. A good grade on a test. A kind act towards another student. Persistence in a challenging subject.

Celebrate these moments! Have fun and make a bigger deal than you “need” to! This can help your child feel seen and be a huge boost to their motivation and confidence.

#5: Make the Most of Routines

Routines are such a big part of providing a sense of security and reassurance to children, especially during times of expected transition (back into school after Spring Break or preparing for it to end for the summer).

Little things like regular meal times whenever possible, bedtime routines, rhythms they can expect with screen time boundaries, and homework schedules are part of providing a stable environment where your children can thrive and feel at ease. Is there anywhere you can more closely follow a routine in your day-to-day?

#6: Buddy Up With Your Kids for Summer Planning

Are your kids feeling a little nervous for the school year to end? Now is the time to start buddying up with your kids in making a plan they feel excited for as you look ahead to the summer!

This could look like signing up for camps, picking out some special summer reading and devotional materials that excites them (this is a great way to make their faith feel fun!), setting goals for the summer together, or even dreaming up a new summer business idea if you have older kids. Having something to look forward to can make big transitional periods feel a little less overwhelming.

#7: Watch for Signs of Anxiety or Fatigue

Stay vigilant for any signs of anxiety or fatigue in your children, as these can escalate towards the end of the school year. Open lines of communication. Ensure they’re getting enough rest. Don’t be afraid to step back from responsibilities if a child needs it. And seek professional help whenever needed.

Remember, caring for your child’s mental and emotional well-being is just as important as promoting their physical health!


As we press on towards the end of the school year, let’s cling to the promise found in Ephesians 3:20. Our God truly is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” Let this be a time where we lean on Him to guide our steps, strengthen our families, and bless our efforts to end the school year with grace, strength, and intentionality.

What about you? What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

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