Back to school time comes with so much excitement and anticipation, but sometimes, also, with a feeling of dread and anxiety.
For some, new classes, new teachers, new clothes, new friends, and a brand new year to grow and learn are reasons to wake up ready to go on the first day of school, while for other kids, those same reasons bring anxiety levels to a breaking point.
Going from 3rd to 4th grade was a bit of a transition for Addie (we homeschool using Classical Conversations). She knew the work load was going to increase as would the difficulty, so she was not particularly thrilled to start school this year. Ian, on the other hand, was starting Kindergarten- seriously, what’s not to love about Kindergarten! He couldn’t wait to start school!
I found that these four ideas, which have become traditions for us, help bring a sense of excitement to the first week of school. And, yes, we allow ourselves a week to celebrate.
I have always taken a photo of the first day of school (like every mother out there!), but this was the first time I printed out signs for it. It will be neat (and heartbreaking) to put Ian’s “First Day of Kindergarten” and “First Day of 12th Grade” photos side by side one day.
We took these photos the day before we began school (because it was Sunday and we were already dressed up) so we wouldn’t take any time away from our actual first day of school.
I love the idea of asking kids the same questions year after year. What better way to see their growth than by how their answers change!
This year, I scoured the internet looking for a few questions that the kids could answer, and I posted Ian’s answers on Facebook. These are the questions I chose to ask them:
- What is your favorite color?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What is your favorite food?
- What is your favorite book?
- What is your favorite show?
- What is your favorite sport?
- What is your favorite thing to do?
Every year, I will ask those same questions. And I am sure that every year the answers will change in some way.
One night during “Back to school” week we make an effort to either go out to dinner or have food brought in. It gives everyone something to look forward to (including Mom), and time around the table always lends itself to opportunities for great conversations.
My son goes to sleep asking “What’s for breakfast?”
Knowing how important it is for kids to have a great breakfast (especially on the first day of school), I try to make breakfast something they will really enjoy. Some years, I have made their toast look like a bear with cream cheese, a few banana slices, and raisins. but this year we went with cinnamon rolls… because I know it’s a family favorite.
However you choose to celebrate the first day or week of school, be sure to only take on what is comfortable and doable for you and your situation. Then, sit back and know you have added a brick to the foundation of love in your children’s hearts.