kids, literacy, parenting
Comment 1

A Little Literacy, Please: “Last Day Blues”

The end-of-the-school year has come.  Busy little bodies can’t wait to get out of the classroom and into fresh air.  Tired, over-worked teachers are ready to set loose from the drudgery of lesson plans and managing chaos.  (I don’t blame them).  But, what about those tired, over-worked parents?  Ahgh! 

Last Day Blues


When I saw this book, “The Last Day Blues,” (Julie Danneberg) propped up at my local independent bookstore, (Anderson’s in Naperville, IL) I could totally relate.  Yep–I–“mommy dearest” has the last day blues. 

Am I sad because my  spritely daughter is no longer a kindergartner?  Yeah, a little bit. 

Am I feeling blue because she will soon be joining the ranks of other “big kids” at her local elementary school.  Yep. 

I am a bit bummed that I have to do the pick-up and drop-off everyday via minivan in lieu of bus?  You bet! 

Most of all–I am sad that my “free time” is coming to an end. 

But with summer comes warmer weather, swimming pools, sunshine, picnics, and travel…all of which I love.  So, okay…I’ll suck it up and deal. 

I nabbed the book, by-the-way.  I had been wondering what to give to my daughter’s classroom teacher as an end-of-year gift, something a) relatively inexpensive, b) cute c) functional/practical and d) not requiring a lot of time/effort/headache from me.  “Last Day Blues,” proved to meet all of my criteria. (A cute story in which the kids in Mrs. Hartwell’s classroom try to come up with the best gift; illustrations by Judy Love are adorable, too).  Done!  I will inscribe it with a little note of appreciation, add a photo of Kate and present it to her teacher. 

Here are some other ideas:

  • Have your child make a scrapbook of her favorite memories of the school year.  She can talk to you first about what they are (were) and then draw pictures to go with them in a timeline fashion.  Add real photographs if you have them.
  • Make a “book” together.  A storybook, that is.  Pick a special day or event (1st tooth lost, 100th day, field day, a class play, silly sock day, etc,) that occured over the school year and have your child write and illustrate it. 
  • Flowers, cookie/fruit bouquet
  • Make a gift basket of things your teacher could use in her classroom.  Visit the teacher’s store in your area for inspiration. (Or just a gift card to a teacher’s store will do, too)
  • A giftcard to Starbucks, Caribou, Borders, Barnes & Noble…
  • Personalized stationary…”From the desk of Mrs. Teacher-of-the-year”–her initials wiil do, too : )
  • Magnetized list pad for a filing cabinet
  • Books for the classroom
  • Keep in mind, the more functional and unique your gift is, the better.  Just think of how many pencils and coffee mugs she must have??  Hummm…

Most of all–do something that shows your appreciation for your child’s specific teacher.  If you know she loves the Chicago Cubs, why not get her something fan-related?  Or, add to her penguin collection?  A heartfelt letter will do the trick, too. 

Have fun–be crafty–and read while you’re at it!   

First Day Jitters

 I knew this author/illustrator seemed familiar–here’s the same “teacher” on her first day of school.  We checked this out from the library back in September…

1 Comment

  1. I think I spend at least 50% of my day, for nearly all of the week’s seven, van-driving my three to various school and non-school (although, many “non-school” activities end up being homeschool-related ones) events. Yes, it can get tiring, but I’ve found that some of our best conversations and life lessons have been in the van. My oldest will graduate high school next year, with the boys finishing up two years later. I’m going to miss the van.

    Kaukab’s daughter

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