The school year is officially in full swing! As students transition back into school mode, it can be a time that is both exciting and challenging. Getting to see friends daily, meeting new teachers, and participating in school clubs/sports are all aspects of the school year that can be enjoyable for many students. For students who love their summers, though, it can be hard to get back into the routine of waking up early, going to classes for several hours, and completing homework. Growing up, my family had many traditions that helped make the transition from summer to school more exciting.
The start of a new school year often brings about back-to-school shopping, whether it be clothes, shoes, backpacks, binders, etc. My family held a “fashion show” for us to model all of our new gear, and we absolutely loved it! Some years this consisted of many new outfits that we modeled for the family: cool T-shirts, fancy overalls, and sweet new shoes. In other years, we showed off our new backpacks and all of the new school supplies inside them. I highly recommend trying this out and that you get creative with it – take pictures, play music, put up scorecards, and more!
Being back in school may also mean packing lunches ahead of time. Growing up, my mom often placed notes in our lunchboxes that brightened our days in elementary school. These ranged from simple “hello” messages to more creative mini games. I remember my mom once put a paper maze in my lunchbox, and my friends and I sat around it trying to figure out how to go from point A to point B. Whenever she put games in my lunchbox, it made it a lot easier for me to talk to the person sitting next to me. Who doesn’t love connecting the dots, solving riddles, or playing tic-tac-toe?
A new school year also means that you aren’t with your family 24/7 the way that you might be during the summer. When I was younger, my family used dinner as a time to check in and ask each other about the day. We went around the table, and each family member talked about either the best part of their day or one thing that they learned. As we got older, we didn’t always have the opportunity to eat dinner together due to crazy sports schedules. When that happened, we tried to spend 20-30 minutes each evening playing a boardgame that gave us that time together and opportunity to talk as a family. My family often played Monopoly and set the timer for 30 minutes. This helped ensure that we got to spend time together without taking away from the need to do homework or get to bed on time. We also tried to have a monthly dinner out or special meal at home to celebrate each completed month of the school year!
Make this school year the best one yet for your family. Devise new family traditions and get your kids involved in the process!