How to Brighten a Child’s Dull Summer

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. Here we are at the transition time when schools are getting out for the summer. When I was in middle school, I always hated the end of the school year. Actually, I felt that way during high school, as well. I’ve been telling all of my students here in Knoxville to be sure to get all their work turned in so that their grades will be top-notch. We are one weekend away from Memorial Day, so if you will travel, please be safe.

Quote of the Week: “The summer is like a perfection of thought.” –Wallace Stevens

Book of the Week: When I am not busy writing one of my own books, I like to read books by other authors, and since I work in a school library, I often get introduced to young adult (YA) fiction. Recently I’ve been reading The Inheritance Games trilogy by Jennifer Barnes, in which high-schooler Avery Grambs is accused of cheating on a math test. Before the situation gets resolved, she is summoned to the reading of a will of someone she has never met…or has she? If you liked the Knives Out movies, these books are in the same vein but feature teenagers and are much more intense. Sometimes when I read, I get wrapped up in the story and become a bit obsessed. I read these books in less than a week and definitely give them two thumbs way up. I hope you enjoy them.

Joke of the Week: Why was the teacher cross-eyed on the last day of school? She lost control of her pupils.

Nugget of Wisdom of the week:  Summer vacation…these two words used to send shivers down my spine every year. I mentioned having five children and feeling overwhelmed by the challenge of keeping them all entertained, making sure they didn’t lose skills before August, etc. Well, another aspect of summer I want to talk about is that many children become disconnected over the long break, which makes them very lonely. For example, some must spend most of their time alone because their parents work all of the time. Or maybe money is tight, and they aren’t able to travel or even to eat well during the summer. If you or your children know of such cases, consider including these kids in activities with your family. For example, take them to the park and have a picnic. Children with no siblings or those who have special needs also have a tendency to get isolated from their peers during the summer. Invite them to a movie or to play pickleball. They would probably love the opportunity for some friendly interaction.

Shout-Out of the Week: This week, I want to give a shout-out to all of the school nurses and security officers who make sure the students are well and safe. This week at my school, we had grade-level field trips. We are thankful for the nurses who tend to our children so they can enjoy representing our school in the community, and we are grateful for our security officers, who ensure that the school campus is free of threats. Be sure to express appreciation for your school’s support staff before the end of the year.

Have a great weekend. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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