‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’
What a year we’ve had! Pandemic, Killer Bees, Uncertainty, Online Schooling, Homeschooling, Masks, Hand Sanitizer…Toilet Paper shortages! So Much Craziness! Our world has certainly been turned upside down and put on hold, and there is so much we cannot control at this time. This is precisely why, more than ever, we have tried to focus on what it is that we can control….easier said than done, I know, but we are trying!. We have felt the need for grounding and stability at home, and our back-to-school traditions do this for us every year!
Some years ago we started them with the purpose of motivating and encouraging our little ones. This is something we all look forward to! It’s our official ‘back to school’ celebration that gets us all excited and ready to tackle the school year! :
1. We choose a theme for the school year
The husband and I think about the…(ahem) many areas our family could focus on, areas of improvement, or a habit we would like to develop. Some of our previous themes have included: Have courage and be kind, We can do hard things!, Let’s plan and get organized, and Work Hard Play Hard. In our family we encourage creativity and the development of talents. We love to start things…but we don’t always finish them…. so our theme for this 2020-2021 school year is: ‘Finish what you start,’ since we could all use a little bit of that at our house!
2. We hold a special back to school dinner (decorations and a special menu included)
The kids decide on what the menu will be, and then we all have a great feast! I have some decorations that I use (with a new one or two that I get every year), and use some fun printables as well (I used a free printable from ‘A Girl and a Glue Gun’ last year…check it out!). Also last year, our kids had the idea to eat our dinner in their lunch boxes…it ended up being super fun!
3. We talk about our dreams and goals for the year and set up a plan of action
If we fail to plan…we plan to fail. Our dreams and goals will not get materialized if we don’t have a set plan of action. During our special dinner, we talk about our dreams and goals and afterwards we write them down, along with the steps we will take to get us to our objectives. We make sure that our goals are not unrealistic…and not too easy to achieve. We also talk about our chores and responsibilities, and we get our updated charts. Now, here is one of the keys to success: We always decide on the rewards we will get when we achieve our goals…this keeps us motivated and focus!
4. All the kids get a special blessing from dad the night before school starts
We believe in the power of prayer and blessings, and we hold these special moments sacred, and very dear to our hearts. We have faith that if we do everything we can, our Heavenly Father will magnify our efforts from above 🙂
5. We have the traditional ‘first day of school’ photo
It is so fun to see how much they grow every year! I love to include what they want to be when they grow up in my IKEA blackboard. It has been fun to see those choices and their faces change throughout the years!
6. After school, we have a snack!
Our after-school snacks are usually pretty simple (usually fruits and vegetables); however we make the first one special. It is usually a back-to-school ‘themed’ or a super-delicious one! This is a tradition my mother-in-law had with her kids (and that my husband remembers fondly). When I asked her about it, she said that the time her kids wanted to talk the most was right after school….so she thought she would try and extend those times with a delicious snack!
That’s it! These are our back-to-school traditions that we love and look forward to every year. I have tried to find the balance in my life to make this celebration feel fun..yet not too overwhelming. I have learned the hard way that you don’t want to start a tradition that you can’t keep up with! I make sure to decide on the theme and menu in advance to make the necessary preparations and not feel (too) rushed. I also keep all of my decorations for this occasion in a plastic bin in my basement, so it’s easy to get them out when I need it.
Do you have any back-to-school traditions that you hold dear? Let me know in the comments!
I wish for a happy, healthy, and not-too-stressful school year for all of you!