Springtime is here! Having Fun and Looking Ahead

The first day of spring was actually a couple of weeks ago but for many schools across the region the first week of April marks the period of Spring Break. It feels a little strange to mark the arrival of spring after the (mostly) mild winter we had here in Southeast Michigan. While our region didn’t receive much snowfall this season, many households had to go without power during some below-freezing days. However, with temperatures gradually beginning to rise and a week off school now is the perfect opportunity for everyone to take some time to reset their minds and bodies for the final quarter of the school year.

Have Fun

Ally Learning understands that we won’t be seeing some of our students this week but this doesn’t mean we will stop offering some free and helpful advice. The first and most important piece of guidance we would like to offer is for everyone to go out and have fun. There is no school to attend but that does not mean all time should be spent inside the house on the Internet, watching TV, or playing video games. As mentioned above, the temperature outside is mild and now is a great time of year to spend outside riding bikes or going on small hikes. Take advantage of the longer days to arrange outdoor activities with family and friends.

This might also be a good week to visit a museum or local attraction in the community. Ally Learning continues to keep our families up to date via social media on all the various events taking place in Metro Detroit. While schools may be closed, libraries are open. This week is an opportune time to possibly sign up for a library program or check out a book to read. We have commented on the issue of leisurely reading several times in the past. Many students don’t find the time to read for fun while they’re off stressing about school work. Fortunately, reading during the break is an optimal activity to keep the mind active and engaged. (See our recent review of the book Station Eleven).

We also encourage students and their families to keep up on current events. We have discussed this issue in a previous journal entry. A week off of school is not equal to a week off of from the local and global communities. Sometimes people receive the greatest education of their lives by discovering what is happening in the world they live in. Like with reading, we know that it can be difficult to integrate new habits into students’ lives with so much on their plates. Spring Break is good chance to try something new with a less hectic schedule.

School Will Return

Obviously the last thing on students’ minds during the first official day of break is schoolwork. One significant detail to be mindful of during this weeklong break is what is taking place when classes resumes. Next week (Tuesday, April 11) the PSAT (10th Graders) and SATs (11th Graders) will be held statewide. Taking an exam of this magnitude immediately following a vacation isn’t an ideal situation. Of course, many students approach these exams with various levels of preparation*. Some have been preparing for weeks or even months while others have not been regarding the SAT (or PSAT) as a high priority. Whatever the amount of time studied, all 10thand 11th graders need to be cognizant that this big test day awaits them immediately after vacation.

*(FYI: Ally Learning hopes to have Test Prep Courses set up for the SATs during the 2017-18 school year).

Students of other grade levels may have been given homework assignments during break. Parents and students need to be on the same page when it comes to scheduling time to complete this homework. If all homework is held off until next Sunday then Spring Break could potentially end on a sour note.

When classes resume next week, it will mark the beginning of the final two months of the school year. This can be a difficult time of year for students with all that will take place both inside and outside of school. However, if some our advice is heeded and this break is approached in a proactive manner then all will be well moving forward. Now go ahead and enjoy this well-earned week respite and we’ll see you in the weeks to come.

Happy Springtime!


–Christopher Kwiecien

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