Half way through the summer holidays already! I remember as a child the signal that we were midway in to the holiday was the sudden appearance of all things ‘Back to School’ in the shops. Uniforms, school bags, lunch boxes, stationary etc. As a kid I hated seeing it all as it meant that all too soon it would be back to early mornings, homework, and dark, cold evenings.
Nowadays though, ‘Back to School’ stuff appears in the shops pretty much immediately! In fact the new uniforms were in the entrance to Asda before schools had even broken up for the holidays!
Really, the only tradition we have done each year is around the purchase of new stuff for the new term – and thats just because its an essential activity, rather than a tradition as such.
Historically I’ve done this the the last week of the summer holidays – but I found last year that I’d gone to do the whole back to school shop and there was almost nothing left. Getting jumpers in the right colour was a nightmare, the choice of pinafores and skirts non existent and the queues at Clarkes for new shoes was interminable.
To not get caught out this year – we are starting early. However, I absolutely, categorically refuse to start any earlier that week 4 of the holidays. It just doesn’t seem right or fair to be thinking and focussing on the end of the holidays when it feels they’ve not long begun.
But also this year, I thought we’d start a couple of new traditions. As much as the summer holidays are great, its awful that the last couple of weeks of them, and certainly the few days are plagued with that feeling of dread (for both me and the kids to be honest) that the holidays are ending and the return to school is looming.
I want this year, and the years that follow to bring some positivity to the prospect of the new term starting for all of us. A few things that will ease the pain so to speak, and that form family traditions over the coming years. After checking out Pintrest, blogs and the like I decided not to go overboard, but choose 3 – keep it simple ideas
1.A super shopping date – aka purchasing of new uniform etc
Ok, so not original, but something that has to be one each year. However rather than it just being me that does a mad dash to the shops, grabs an armful of clothes and shoves it in drawers and wardrobes on my return home. This year I’m going to take the kids with me on the shopping trip – make a bit of a treat out of it. Let them choose their own (oh heavens!), make it a bit more special with lunch out etc
2. Last Supper of Summer – a themed meal
Something that I read on a blog The Larson Lingo that one of their traditions was to have a theme for their school year – things like ‘Grow’, ‘Love’, ‘Be Brave’. It was the Be Brave one that caught me. This is going to be a big year for Jess and Nat. The move of house, new school, new friends, new routines. All major changes. They really are going to have to be brave, show courage and determination.
So, we are going to take on the tradition of an annual theme and introduce it through a Last Supper of Summer. A special dinner on the last day of the holidays. Theme – we deffo have to go with ‘Be Brave’ – I’m working through ideas, will include them, and update on a future blog.
3. Knowing you – knowing me
One of their concerns each year of returning to school is having a new teacher. They have spent a whole year getting to know the last one. They have built a bond with their teacher, they know what they expect, how they will react, and will rightly so miss them a great deal. Then all of a sudden they’ve to start all over again. For both the children its something they have talked about regularly and I feel that its what causes them the most anxiety when thinking about starting the new school term. Yet another good idea on The Larson Lingo blog which I’m going to adopt and adapt was ‘My favourite things’ questionnaire. A list of simple questions they give to their teacher to answer along with a gift to help them get to know her.
I think this is a wonderful idea. A little gift for the teacher at the end of their first week to show a bit of appreciation (I do admire teachers, and I can imagine that the first week back for them is a total nightmare). And what a great way for the kids to get to know their teacher, feel more comfortable around them and start a strong teacher pupil relationship. I’m adapting it a bit as I’m going to get the girls to fill our their own questionnaire to give to their teacher with the small gift so the teacher can know some things about them and one for the teacher to then complete and return back to the girls.
An example of one from Pintrest – check it out for lots of fab ideas on teacher questionnaires
So, 3 new Back to School traditions in our ‘Daly Life’ – can’t wait!
I’d love to know other family traditions people have – back to school ones or others
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