8 Traditions That Add Excitement to a New School Year

The following post is from Jennifer, a lifelong educator:

Back to school bus
source: Cast A Line

Traditions communicate significance and can greatly impact a child’s view of the upcoming school year.  Since a positive attitude is so critical to learning, it’s important that students begin the year with healthy anticipation.  Your encouragement and input can make all the difference in your family.

To help your children get more excited about the new year, establish some traditions that ramp up the anticipation.  You can tweak the details as your children grow up, but these traditions will help make each school start a memorable one.

1.  Hang a string with seven envelopes, with descending numbers on the front.  Put some change inside each envelope, with the highest amount in the envelope that will be opened last.  Keep the envelopes in a place that catches your child’s eye during the day.  On the day before school starts, after the last envelope is opened, go to the dollar store or wherever your child would like to spend their new-found wealth.

source:  Jennifer Burke
source: Jennifer Burke

2.  It doesn’t happen as much in our culture as it used to, but we still dress up for important events.  If your budget allows and your school doesn’t require uniforms, purchase a first day of school shirt or outfit.  A new tee shirt or blouse can increase your child’s confidence when they enter a new classroom.

3.  Use a countdown chain of activities or add a different twist:  Make a paper chain for each child, with one ring for each of the seven days before school starts.  On the inside of each paper, reinforce a  characteristic that contributes to your child’s educational success.  Here are some ideas to get your started:

  • “You are such a hard worker!  I know you’ll do a great job this year!”
  • “You have become such a good reader this summer.  Your teacher is going to be so impressed!”
  • “You are such a nice five year old!  You will make so many friends in kindergarten!”
source:  Jennifer Burke
source: Jennifer Burke

4.  Serve breakfast in bed on the first day.  Make sure that you include some protein, that will provide sustained energy that lasts until lunch, but this is a great time to include their favorite donut or sweet treat.  A new, fun, kid-friendly breakfast might enhance your tradition.

5.  If you pack their lunches, add some pizzazz with these budget-friendly ideas.  Include an encouraging note or put a smiley face on the napkin.

6.  Go out for dinner on the first day of school.  This will free you up to really listen to the details of your children’s day.

7.  Krystal has some great photo ideas to add excitement to the start of a new year.

8.  A first day of school gift to the other students can open the door to a lifelong friendship.  Handing a fun pencil or bright bookmark to a classmate can be the start of a solid connection.  And, these gift ideas will add to your child’s excitement about the upcoming year!

How do you add excitement to the start of a new school year?

Jennifer is passionate about children and education. She homeschooled her two sons for five years, established and directed a Christian school in Maryland for 20 years, and currently teaches in a public school in a Chicago suburb. She loves investing in relationships and delights in every moment that she spends with her family.
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