Summer break for kids is getting shorter and shorter it seems. Many states and their school districts give the children between kindergarten and graduation from twelfth grade two to three months off school in the warm months of June, July and August. But in recent years the children have been going back to school in mid-August.
The whole family has become used to a more relaxed schedule at home. Even if both parents work and the kids are in daycare or at the babysitters for part of the day, there is a different, more casual atmosphere during summer break.
But the summer days move toward the fall and getting back to school comes either too quickly or too slowly depending on who is looking at the calendar. Your children may be dreading the change, you may be also. School time involves much more driving and hectic scheduling to work out for the whole family. Maybe you and your family need some special traditions to make this transition a special and meaningful passage. Here are some ideas.
• End of Summer Dinner – The night before the first day of school celebrate the new school year with a dinner out for the whole family. If finances make dinner out difficult, then create a special dinner at home that includes the favorite foods of each school child in your family.
• Spend the weekend before school begins at a theme park or favorite swimming park.
• Allow your school age kids to have a sleep-over to commemorate the end of summer. Of course this would not be on a “school night” but the weekend before school begins.
• Have your child give you a fashion show of all her new school clothes and help her or him match things into great outfits.
• Ask your kids to create a fun video of the best memories of summer to show you and your mate.
The idea is to make a big deal of going back to school as a rite of passage into the next level. Make them feel important and valuable. This will give them confidence to face a new environment that can be very frightening and overwhelming, even for a junior higher.
Do you have special and encouraging memories of your school days? Share them with your children; it will help them know that they are not alone. Hopefully these traditions will become important enough that your kids may be telling their kids about them someday!