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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Women's Counseling

School to Summer Transition Guide: Keeping the Joy, Managing the Stress

The end of the school year and the start of summer can bring a mix of excitement and stress. So, what is the best way to manage all of this change? We reached out to our experts at Charlotte Women's Counseling for their top tips, tricks and advice for transitioning into summer successfully. A beautiful collaboration came together brought to you by Coach Cayme, Shawna Lauer, Tameka Whittlesey and Michelle Fernandez.

Successfully navigating the school to summer transistion.
We can do this!


As the school year wraps up and summer peeks around the corner, many of us feel both excitement and a little bit of dread. The transition from structured school routines to the freedom of summer can be overwhelming. Here is our School to Summer Transition Guide to help you glide into summer with grace and joy, ensuring you and your family thrive during this season.

1. Embrace the Change

Plan Ahead: Take a little time to map out the summer weeks. A loose schedule with planned activities can help manage expectations and keep everyone engaged.

Set Goals Together: Involve your kids in setting fun goals for the summer. This can range from learning a new skill to reading a certain number of books. It keeps them motivated and gives you some breathing room.

2. Talk to Your Kids About Summer Plans

This time of year can stir up a lot of emotions for both parents and kids. Open communication helps everyone feel heard and eases any anxiety. Before finalizing plans like summer camps or a week at grandma's, have a conversation with your kids. This approach provides them with a sense of safety and involvement in the planning process.

3. Create a Flexible Summer Routine

Aim for a balanced approach to summer activities. Try setting up a flexible routine that includes time for outdoor play, reading, screen time, and relaxation. A central station with a large calendar on the fridge or a shared Google calendar can keep everyone informed and help balance structured and free-standing parts of your schedule.

4. Kick Off Summer with a Behavior Management Program

Implement a simple and manageable behavior management program, such as the rainbow chart popular in elementary schools. Engage your children in deciding what prizes they can earn for positive behavior, making it more fun for everyone.

5. Stay Connected to Your Body

Acknowledge the range of emotions that summer can bring and set aside time to relax, reset, and pause. Activities like family yoga, mindful walking, or deep breathing exercises can help everyone stay grounded and calm.

6. Prioritize Self-Care

Parents often get caught up in keeping their kids entertained all summer, but your own self-care is crucial too. Make sure you’re carving out time for self-care, whether at the start or end of the day. Taking time for yourself helps you recharge and manage the demands of the season more effectively.

7. Embrace Flexibility and Fun

While some planning is helpful, leave room for spontaneous activities and adventures. Flexibility is key to creating a joyful and memorable summer. Simple activities like summer movie nights can keep the family engaged and having fun together.

8. Encourage Boredom and Creativity

Out of boredom breeds creativity. You don't have to fill every moment for your kids. You'll be surprised what they may come up with if given time to be bored. Lean into the slow moments and see what magic can be created with a little slowness added to each day.

9. Balance Screen Time

Digital Detox: Set specific times for social media and stick to it. Encourage your kids to do the same.

Tech-Free Zones: Designate certain areas of your home as tech-free zones to encourage more face-to-face interactions and creative play.

10. Foster Independence

Chore Charts: Create a summer chore chart for the kids. It helps them learn responsibility and gives you a bit of a break. Make it fun with rewards and incentives.

Independent Projects: Encourage your kids to take on projects that interest them. This keeps them busy and fuels their creativity.

11. Make Time for Fun

Mini-Vacations: Plan a few mini-vacations or day trips. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – a day at the beach, a picnic in the park, or a visit to a nearby museum can be refreshing.

Family Traditions: Create or continue family traditions. Movie nights, cooking together, or even a weekly game night can be wonderful ways to bond and create lasting memories.

12. Reflect and Recharge

Mid-Year Check-In: Take a moment to reflect on the first half of the year. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small, and set intentions for the rest of the year.

Plan for Yourself: Schedule time for your personal growth and relaxation. Whether it’s a class you’ve wanted to take, a hobby you want to rekindle, or simply some quiet time for yourself, make it a priority.


Transitions can be challenging, but they also offer opportunities for growth and connection. By using these tips, you can support your family through the end of the school year and into a wonderful summer. Remember, this summer is not just about surviving; it’s about thriving. Embrace the joy, the chaos, and the beauty of this season with open arms and a full heart. You’ve got this!


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