5 Ways to Celebrate Back-to-School as a Family
It feels like it’s 100 degrees at 7:00 am. I’m reminded that even though this late July sun has me sweating the minute I step outside, summer is almost a distant memory.
Those long, lazy days of summer are almost behind us as the calendar races towards August; the beginning of school.
Ironically, August is Family Fun Month, yet many families actually spend less time together as the school year gets underway. With the end of the season comes the opportunity for the family to unite for a grand finale celebration to say good-bye to summer. These easy ideas can be implemented into any family routine or budget, so have fun making one more big summer memory together!
Go on a “family date”.
Take your family out to dinner and a movie, or a picnic in the park. Do whatever your budget and schedule allows. Make it a point to spend time together and discuss hopes for the new school year. Talking it out will dispel anxieties your kids may have. This is a great opportunity to tell them stories about your own experience with fourth grade (or insert grade level here).
Don’t forget to pray with your kids and for their upcoming school year!
Join the 30 Days of Prayer for the New School Year Challenge and get a free prayer guide.
Learn more here.
Take a spontaneous family vacation or day trip.
Think low budget “babymoon” and don’t tell the kids about our surprise plans.
Go somewhere for only one night, or just for the weekend, as your last getaway before heading back to the daily grind back to the daily grind. Kids don’t care whether it’s a night at the hotel down the street or in the neighboring town.
The point is to stay up late, watch movies, go swimming, do whatever it is that they won’t be able to do while life is consumed with school.
Most importantly, do it together as a family. Making these memories will set the tone for excitement as children look forward to the annual tradition each August instead of dread.
Surprise the kids with an after school celebration.
My mom used to always have a cake or dessert of some kind waiting for us at the end of our first school day. She might have even thrown in an “I’m proud of you” card or a lunch box love note. You can take this idea and run with it, but don’t pressure yourself to turn this into a Pinterest-worthy event. Let the kids know you’re excited to hear all about their first day back over their favorite ice cream or treat.
Take a “just for fun” trip to the book store.
Create a ritual with your children where you take a trip to the bookstore at the beginning of the school year to shop for recreational books. Let them pick out their own books, with no expectations of which reading level they should choose or genre they should read. Encourage reading for fun, and consider this a back-to-school gift to spend time reading something they enjoy.
Pencil in a parents-only adult “planning date”.
This is a time for you and your spouse to celebrate your relationship while planning for the upcoming year! Take an evening to get on the same page in terms of communication and expectations for the school year. Hammer out scheduling details, carpooling, transportation, and the amount of school involvement you can safely agree to without flushing your marriage down the drain! Agree to say “no” to more commitments this year, in favor of more couple or family time. But after doing all of the above, make sure to do something fun and/or relaxing with your spouse…where you don’t talk about business!
You can’t go wrong with any or all of these ideas, but remember, the goal is not just to celebrate Family Fun Month, but to set the tone for a great school year. Kids look forward to parties and vacations, so giving summer a proper send off will create positive associations to an otherwise anxiety-inducing time of the year. Have fun and make memories!
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How does your family say good-bye to summer?
I love these. Even though we homeschool, we have little traditions that we do as we get ready to start back to school.
How fun, Leah! I think all families should have ways to say good-bye to summer!
Hi Sarah Ann, this is such a fun idea to celebrate back to school. We still have a couple of weeks to go so I’m trying to soak it all up. I’m definitely going to incorporate some of these tips.
I’m pinning this now to my back to school board on sunSPARKLEshine.