BACK TO SCHOOL: three words that cause the widest range of emotions for both moms and kids. Even when the school supplies hit the shelves in late June replacing the summer water guns and slip n slides, I feel this weird mix of dread (endless summer, people!), excitement (new backpacks! freshly sharpened pencils!), and sadness (how are my kids a whole year older already?).
Somehow the last few weeks of summer pass quickly, and ready or not, the school year seems to come faster each year, and time ticks away. When my son walked the halls of his elementary school for the last time as a 6th grader last May, I saw senior graduates returning to say their goodbyes to their elementary teachers, and I consciously stared, and blinked, knowing it will feel that short until he is back in cap and gown as well. The years fly by once our kids hit school age, but there are many intentional traditions we can institute in our homes to truly cherish and remember these moments.
back to school CELEBRATION
One of my favorite Back to School traditions is hosting a Back to School Celebration. I decorate the kitchen table with apples and rulers and pencils, and we eat a special dinner together as a family. We usually do this the night before school starts, but it can be after the first day if nerves are too high the night before. At this dinner, I introduce our theme for the school year for our family. I usually have the theme printed out, or on a felt or chalk board, and we keep that out for the entire school year as a reminder. I also try to buy them a bracelet, keychain, t-shirt or water bottle sticker with the theme to help remind them.
Some of the themes we have focused on for a school year include:
Be the Light
Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Kind
I Can Do All Things Through Christ
Remember Who You Are
I Am Who You Say I Am
Having a theme for our year helps us stay focused when the year gets crazy, as it inevitably does.
Here are some cute printables and other ideas for your back to school celebration:
prayer walk the school
Another Back to School tradition we love is going to prayer walk around my children’s schools. I usually organize a prayer meeting with other parents also, but even if it is just my family, it is so very special to teach my children what it means to walk and pray out loud. We also have met other families at the school to Chalk the Walk, leaving encouraging messages to the students for the first day of school on the sidewalk in chalk. One time we gathered with other friends for a Back to School breakfast with the kids where the moms prayed over the kids and it still is one of my most favorite memories!
Making intentional memories is what it is all about- it doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive. Just pointing your kids to the Lord and starting the year in prayer is a great way to kick off a great year.
(And if any fellow You’ve Got Mail fans want to send me a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils, I will gladly receive them and pretend to be in NYC in the fall) 😊