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Getting Ready for School

>> Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's that time of year!!  School is either quickly approaching or in some cases, your kids are already starting.  My son's first day of school was August 10th.

I thought I'd share some special ways to capture memories of that first day of school with you.  Like many moms I really try to record the milestones.

The "first day of school" photo is pretty much mandatory.  :)  Some moms like to take the photo in the same place every year, like their front porch.  I'll probably try to do that in the future, but this year we are in an apartment while our house is being built so I took ours at the bus stop instead.  I found some great printable signs on  To get them, you need to sign up with your email address and after confirming your email address you will receive the printables.

Another thing I like to do is make a special treat to be enjoyed by the whole family after dinner the first day of school.  It gives us a chance to talk about school and reinforce excitement about the day.  This year my son requested strawberry cupcakes.  This photo is from last year.

Personally I think the excitement about school is key.  It is a scary time for the kids and parents, but it's important to keep your nervousness to yourself!!!  Your kids really need to hear how fun it will be to learn and make new friends.  We talk about what to expect and how exciting it is to be a big kid, but we don't talk about how mom will miss the school boy or how scary it is.  I try to talk to my son about how new situations can be frightening, but after discussing ways to deal with that fear we focus on the positive aspects of the unknown. 

A great way to record your feelings on that emotional day is by writing a letter to your child.  After you drop them off at school or the bus picks them up, THEN you can think about how you're feeling.  In my case, you can cry a little at how big your child is getting and pray about all the unknowns of the situation and loss of control you're feeling.  You can write all those things in a letter to your child that you keep for later in their life.  Wouldn't a high school or college graduation present of handwritten letters to your child on their first day of school every year be such a treasure?

And finally, this year I am starting an idea I saw online (although this is more of an end of school idea).  I have always loved the Dr. Suess book, "Oh, The Places You'll Go".  If you've never read it, pick it up immediately.  It's so great for all ages.  This year I plan on getting my son his own copy and having his teacher sign it with a little note at the end of the year.  I plan to do that every year, so that when he graduates he'll have a great, inspiring book with notes from all of his teachers.  A good teacher makes such a difference in a student's life and I think the book is a great way to celebrate that.

What traditions do/did you incorporate for the first day of school?  How do make that transition exciting for everyone?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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