Back to School Series: Traditions & Celebrations for the New School Year

It's full-on August & some school districts are already a week into their new school year, can you believe it? For mostly everyone, this August looks vastly different from last August.

This week, I'm doing a series of simple, shorter posts in hopes that I can help you find some fresh excitement for the weeks & months ahead.

Here's a look at the posts:

  • First, we'll talk about traditions that can make the first days of school feel special no matter what the school year looks like.
  • Then, we'll look at the routines that we can do to refresh our mornings & evenings this school year.
  • And finally, I'll give you a brief rundown of our journey to homeschooling.


Back-to-School Traditions

We all know that we are obligated to post a cute picture of our kid in their school uniform or first day of school outfit. A chalkboard, letterboard, or other signage denoting at the very least their grade is also a requirement. Including what they want to be when they grow up is a great way to make the picture even more adorable. I always love seeing these first day pictures. Maybe it's the teacher in me, but I love seeing the smiling (& not smiling) kids on their first day!

But what other fun traditions can we incorporate to make that day a celebration? Let's take a look at a few super simple ones...

Before-School Celebrations

Let's bring some sunshine to that first morning of school!

  • Decorate - Blow up balloons, hang streamers, write special notes on the bathroom mirror. Make it a big deal that they're starting on a new journey. Even if that journey is just to the laptop at the kitchen table, help your kid remember how special it still is that they get to learn new things!
  • Breakfast - Even if it's just making some simple box-mix muffins, bowls of yogurt & some fruit, put a little extra effort into serving your family in this way. The smell of something yummy baking might make getting up early a tiny bit easier. (And getting something healthy into their bodies will help sustain them as their bodies adjust to the lack of snack times at school! Because summer snacking is real!!!)
  • Prayer - Nothing models the best way to calm those nervous jitters like leading them in prayer. Look up some specific Bible verses that you'd like to pray over your children. Speaking God's Word over them is a powerful way to send them into this new year. And maybe it can become a regular part of your routine!

After-School Celebrations

When they get home, plan some type of little surprise. You'll probably be at work or running errands all day, so this might take some advance planning. But it doesn't have to be anything too extravagant. Just something to let them know how much you missed them, how proud you are of them, and how much they are loved & cherished.

  • Sidewalk Chalk - I'm not talking any of those elaborately beautiful mosaics people were doing during lockdown. Just a few welcoming words & pictures (like stick figures & hearts & suns) on the sidewalk or driveway when they get home. Simple & sweet.
  • Special Treat &/or Dinner - For a lot of you, I know the day doesn't end with the school day, so see if you can squeeze a few minutes to swing by your favorite bakery for a sweet treat. Or maybe it's better for your family's schedule to make their favorite dinner (or grabbing takeout on the way home). Whatever it is, make the night a little more special & linger over dinner a little longer than usual.
  • Debriefing - Whether it's over dinner or as you're tucking them into bed, make sure you give them plenty of time to spill every little detail (if they're a talker) or give you the highlights (if they're less loquacious). If you tend to get monosyllabic answers from your child, look up some good questions to ask that might get a conversation started! So, set aside the devices & get talking!


I hope your mind is filling with even more ideas for how to start this school year off with a bang!

I'm also gathering some ideas over on Pinterest as always.

Check back tomorrow & we can talk routines!

Now it's your turn - what are some back-to-school traditions that your family has? Or maybe something you did as a kid? Let's hear it!

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