In case you’ve missed it, we are in back to school time! This time of year is rich with traditions and reliving our childhood memories. Who doesn’t think of their own favorite lunchbox as they search the stores for the latest style for their child. I know I have flashbacks of Holly Hobby every September. Kids are wandering the malls in search of that perfect outfit to present their “personal look”. Nervous energy fills the halls of the local school building as the staff battens down the hatches and prepares the classrooms. The students are giddy with anticipation of new grades, new teachers, new lunch periods to navigate. This phenomenon doesn’t escape homeschool families either. We may not get a list of must-have supplies to pick up at the local superstore, but we still wander those store aisles breathing in the smell of new binders and unsharpened pencils. The spiral notebooks all fresh and waiting for a child to fill with school work mixed with weird cartoon drawings get us all excited. I will find myself staring longingly at the display of new dry erase makers. I mean, TWELVE COLORS and they’re all sharp and moist. No more scraping last year’s useless marker on the white board with the hope of getting just one more math problem out of it before I am forced to throw it away.
And new clothes shopping, yes please. We still like to outfit the kids while the sales are good and the tax free days are happening. I love the tradition of getting some new clothes every fall. Even though we homeschool, we do have to wear something besides pajamas occasionally. Not only do some new duds help the kids look less like orphans, but also gives us a feeling of doing a little of what all of the other, normal families are doing. Normal….LOL! Who are we kidding…..none of us are normal no matter how nice we look or where we go to school. Each year our family starts school within a week (or three) of the local public school system. I will get little gifts for the kids, like a fresh eraser and some paper clips, to celebrate. ‘Cuz I’m that kind of fun mom.
Earlier in the summer I will have ordered all of our textbooks and made sure anything we are re-using from a previous child has all been cleared of marks and notes. The kids’ main task in preparing for school to start is to clean out their lockers. Yes, our kids each have a locker. I want them to have the full experience of trying to cram a history textbook into a messy locker while hoping nothing falls out. It’s a rite of passage.
As the self-declared “first day of school” approaches and I’ve got all of my supplies ready, I love to choose a few books that we will read together during lunch throughout the year. During the summer I let the kids watch a video with lunch, that is of course, if I can get them to come inside to eat. Many times it’s lunch by the pool. (Hint: sandwiches don’t do well for this….think mushy, water soaked bread) But during the school year we read aloud during lunchtime and I like to have a stack of books near the table so they can see what they have to look forward to. This is NOT educational reading (or at least I tell them it’s not). This is lifestyle or fiction time. I love books like “Rock Harbor Search and Rescue: Lost and Found” by Colleen Coble for this pile. Or “The Cooper Kids Adventure Series” by Frank Peretti. Yeah….those are good ones! The last thing I do to make the beginning of school special is plan some fun lunches. Pinterest is a great resource for ideas. Maybe a hot dog shaped like an octopus or sandwiches with smiley faces on them. I’ll add a little note under their paper plate letting them know how excited I am to grow and learn along with them this year. Getting ready for school to start, no matter what your educational choices are, involves planning and a little bit of creativity. It’s about reliving our childhood memories and creating new ones for our kids.
Happy back to school everyone! I think I will buy myself a new pair of pajamas for the occasion.