Celebrate Back to School
Teachers are struggling to transition out of summer mode, too, and a little token of appreciation up front can set a positive tone for the coming year. We brainstorm ideas together and have given everything from flowers in a crayon vase to a Yeti cup to keep coffee hot. The kids love the idea of taking a gift in on that first morning and thinking of someone else seems to take a little of the focus off of any jitters they may be experiencing.
We get dressed up and go out for steak the night before school begins, but a delivery pizza or a breakfast for dinner tradition would work just as well. As we eat, we encourage each of the kids to set goals regarding academics, sports, and friendships. We discuss any fears or anxieties they may have about the upcoming year, and we say a prayer for their safety and success. After dinner we give them a Schultüte (German word meaning ‘school cone’) filled with a few school related gifts, from a new pair of school shoes or uniform piece to a shiny pencil box. They look forward to this tradition each year.
Getting the day started on a positive and happy note goes a long way to ensure that the first day back will be a success. I decorate a little table for them and choose a simple menu that I know won’t add any stress to an already hectic morning. (Hint: school supplies can double as place setting decor.)
In our family, this looks like taking turns from youngest to oldest, each sharing something, until they run out of things to share!