As a teacher, back to school is like my Super Bowl. I love all the new supplies, backpacks, cute new outfits and shoes, excitement, shiny gym floors, and the promise of a new year and the fact that Fall is around the corner. This is my jam. We don’t go back to school for a couple more weeks, but we are already getting geared up.
Favorite Back to School traditions…
We love traditions in our house. Anything to celebrate or make a little special and back to school time is no different.
- Supply Shopping. My kids pick out their own supplies. They love picking everything out by themselves (folders, markers, crayons, pencil boxes, glue). We also get backpacks (every other year) and a new lunchbox each year.
- School clothes. School clothes shopping is fun for me and Maddi but Guy comes along simply because we always go to lunch after (they usually pick Panda Express).
- Open House. Open House is the night before school starts. While I don’t get to go with my kids (I am meeting my own students) Brandon takes the kids to their classes to meet their teacher and see their rooms.
- Back to school swim night. Each summer our PTO rents out the water park for students and families. This is always so much fun and Maddi and Guy love seeing their friends.
- Pictures. Each year I get a first day of school picture of the kids and a last day of school picture.
Maddi’s first and last day of First Grade (2014)
Guy’s fist and last day of Preschool (2015)
- First week dinner. The first week of school is CRAZY for all of us. To celebrate the end (and to motivate me to finish strong) we go out as a family to dinner on Friday. I don’t feel like cooking, and my kids love going out because it is a rare occasion. We all love going out as a family and celebrating school starting, the beginning of the year, and Mama is happy because she is not having to cook after a long week! We also end the year going out to dinner to celebrate!
Tips and Tricks…
- Night Owls into Early Birds- In the summer my kids are professional “sleeper-inners”. They wake up at 9:00 AM most days during the summer and do not enjoy getting up early. The last few weeks of summer break I slowly start waking them up a little earlier each day so they are used to waking up each morning before school starts.
- Plan, plan, plan. What are you wearing? What are you eating for breakfast? How are you getting to school? What are you doing after school? Are you packing a lunch or buying lunch? I try to plan as much of the first days (the whole week) as much as possible and I make sure to remind my kids often. They are excited and anxious, they forget, we are always reminding.
- Prepare for paperwork. I don’t know about you, but we get a TON of forms and important papers sent home that first week. It is really helpful to check folders each day and return the forms as soon as possible. Just know, it is coming.
- Establish routines. That first day, establish the routines. Don’t want your kids to drop their backpacks in front of the door, teach them where to hang them. You can see our Our After School Routine here. This routine starts on the first day of school.
- Sleep. Kids need A LOT of sleep. A LOT. I would say that sleep or lack there of is a large contributing factor to behaviors in my classroom. Make sure your kids get to bed early enough. Maddi and Guy are in bed between 7:30 and 8 each night on school nights. Guy also came home from kindergarten last year and would take naps and he hadn’t napped in over a year so if they are tired, let them sleep if possible.
What are your back to school traditions? Any tips and tricks for back to school? How do you calm yours and your kid’s nerves before the big day?