The 10th Tip for a Great School Year Start
We have a great list of tips for getting off to a great start for the new school year. But as I was reading the nine tips, I realized our list may be lacking. There is one nugget of back to school wisdom missing from the list.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe the list to be helpful and informative. It certainly provides a solid foundation of advice and, if followed with nothing else, will ensure a great start to the year. If my mother wasn’t the person who raised me, I might even think the list was complete. But she did raise me. And that’s how I know there’s something missing.
While Mom did practice tips 1 through 9, as suggested by teachers in our back-to-school article, routinely year after year, she also did one more thing. Here is the bit of wisdom Mom conveyed through action, which I tried to replicate as a mom.
No. 10: Surprise Them With a Special First Day Afterschool Snack
Mom was a stay-at-home-mom. As such, she made everything fun and loved to surprise us. One of the best surprises was the treat that awaited us in the kitchen upon our arrival home from that first day of school. Whether it was apples and peanut butter, marinara and bread or homemade brownies, we always enjoyed the special treat.
We came home, put our school stuff aside and then went straight to the kitchen. We excitedly recounted our first day adventures around the table while enjoying our special snack. Then we talked about all the great things that were in store for us, like field trips and talent shows. We reported on old friends who were placed in the same class as well as new friends we met that day.
At dinnertime, we rehashed the highlights for Dad. He barely had time to change out of his suit and tie before we were excitedly sitting back at the table awaiting the chance to repeat our first-day stories.
I was a working mom. To replicate this tradition, I had to be a little more creative. The boys received a special dessert in their packed lunches along with a note wishing them a great first day. Then, over a supper that included everyone’s favorites, the boys gave us the rundown on their first days. Over dessert — a novelty served on rare occasions like birthdays, holidays and the first day of school — Hubby and I dove into the folders of endless back-to-school paperwork.
That said, I suppose I need to re-write my tip. It’s not necessarily the snack that is important, but rather the tradition. Here’s how it should read:
No. 10: Create and Employ a Family First Day of School Tradition
That’s better! Because it is the tradition to which the kids — and parents — look forward. What are your first day traditions?