Back to School Traditions

Backpack

Backpack (Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360)

I really never thought about traditions being part of the back to school experience, but truth be told we have a few.  Most are pretty ordinary, but here goes:

1. Favorite outfit and a Fall photo shoot by mom.  There are rules to this tradition.  With this economy, it is just me, the kids, golden hour, and a camera.  The outfit(s) is clean, new-looking and displays a classy representation of their style.  Last year, my 9-year-old made a load of bracelets and belts by hand and we picked the ones out that went with her outfit.  It makes for an opportunity to bond over fashion even though I hate shopping.

2. Shopping. I do hate shopping… except for back to school shopping.  I love it–actually I’m kinda weird about it.  You might have seen me, snobbishly examining the price tags and occasionally sniffing new pencil packs euphorically.  My kids look at me like I’m an alien, but they come home thrilled and ready for the next tradition.

3. Packing the Backpack.  We reuse back packs here, but we do clean them up first.  In addition to the lists of supplies the school gives out, we also add rights of passage items.  My daughter hitting puberty soon has a secret emergency girly item bag I prepared with her, explaining what they are for and what to do when the time comes.  She also has a thin hoodie to tie around her waist if needed on the way to the phone.  The 3rd grader, has her usual hand sanitizer, but also chapstick this year in the form of cutsie lip gloss.  They all have Hand Sanitizer that hangs from their back pack at the ready.  For the child with Raynaud’s syndrom, there is always a pair of gloves, and extra Hotties for chilly mornings.

4. The talks. Every year, my husband and I go on one on one “dates” with our girls and do our best to help them feel confident and open to talking about nerves and social issues.  This year, bullying, what not to wear, making the right friends and boys are big topics.  We are LDS, so they also get a Father’s Blessing before school starts as well.

5. The Schedule, chore lists, and homework routines. This year’s is on the fridge already anticipating the beginning of the year for the girls and I.  The command centers have been reorganized, the clutter out of the bedrooms and chores when they come home from school are to take a whopping 5 min.  –I know right?  Well, it works.  I have a stack of their clothes to hang up and put away everyday.  They do that, tidy one bathroom a day together and spend 45 minutes on homework before dinner.  Before School starts, everything has to be tidied, or we all fall off the wagon.

6. Back to School breakfast. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just more than I normally do.  This year I made homemade Zucchini bread with bananas and chocolate chips added to the batter.

7. Walk to school. We are close enough, we can walk.  It always seems like a right of passage to me.  I go with the kids and make sure they know what to do.

8. Home lunch and a cheesy note. Self explanatory.

9. Pick up and a treat. We walk back home, and I have a fresh-baked treat.  (I know, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Meh, it’s the first day.)

10.  I go to bed earlier than I normally do.

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