What are your special back-to-school traditions?

I remember growing up that my mom would always take off from work on school registration day. We would register then she would take us out to lunch and then we would go pick out our school supplies. And even though it wasn’t anything fancy, it was a tradition that we looked forward to each year.

I don’t really think that I have developed a back-to-school or first-day-of-school tradition with my kids so I am looking for ideas of ways to make the first day back to school very special.

I am looking for ideas for a special breakfast. (but it’s always hectic and hard to get up the first morning so it would need to be easy).

Do you have a special lunch tradition — like going to school for lunch? Or do you send special food or notes in?

What about immediately after school? A special activity or treat?

Or how about dinner?

I am so sad about the summer ending and I do want to start their school year on a cheerful, happy note and make it special. I would appreciate any ideas you guys have and would love to hear about all of your traditions.

(Sorry I am so late posting. My dog is sick and we are having to take him to a special doggie eye doctor!!!)

70 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

August 5th, 2010
6:17 pm

I always told the teachers I would NOT be sending in the things on the first day but a few weeks later. They usually smile and thanked me. You could also e-mail them this news.

JATL….good luck! I remember that when my 23 year old ( whose occupation I will not share :0)
got on the bus for Kinder, I felt like my arm was wripped off. I wondered about him all day long.
Now, his sister will be leaving for college next week…it will be quiet at our house!

Mrs. G….we have lots of friends who moved to Gwinnett County from the north and their kids struggled with school here. We also had a friend ( college professor) who moved to Minneapolis and they asked their real estate agent to show them houses in the best school districts. Their son enrolled as a Senior in HS and the school told him that they did not have a clue where to put him in classes, as he was WAY ahead of anything they could offer them.

Not sure how long ago you went to school but things are pretty competitive in our county. When my daughter went to college orientation, there were kids from all over the country who had not taken near the academic rigor of classes she had taken. Not sure how they got in except I KNOW they try to fill quotas from states where not many kids apply.

Exaxmple, you may have a 3.6 GPA from Cobb County but if someone has a 3.25 from say from Nevada, that will bump that kid ahead of you if he/she is the only child from Nevada with the same major. This happens at lots of colleges.

JATL

August 5th, 2010
10:37 pm

@MJG -it’s hard to believe we’re already at this point with one of them! Maybe it was on here, but someone told me or I read a week or so ago that raising children made for the longest days and shortest years you will ever spend! I couldn’t agree more. Whenever I get frustrated, I really try to remind myself that we’ll be packing a car for UGA or who-knows-where in 14 years. WOW-only 14 years? That suddenly seems like a very short time! Good luck to your daughter!

DB

August 6th, 2010
2:02 am

First day was always exciting for my kids — even though they went to the same school for 13 years, there was always wondering about schedule, who would be in what class, etc. I’d always make “short order breakfast” — take orders the night before, and it was usually either omelets, muffins and bacon, or homemade waffles (NO Eggos), etc. I’d cook while they dressed, they’d eat, I’d snap a few pics, and off we’d go. (I never permitted TV in the mornings, so that was never a distraction, etc.)

This year, I’m driving my son up to school out-of-state for a couple of reasons — one, he has a new (to him) car with somewhat limited cargo capacity, and two, he’s moving from one place to another, and wanted some help with his new place. My daughter has to go back to UGA on Sunday early because of work, and can’t move into her new dorm until Monday, so she’s taking a load of stuff in her small car, and I’m bringing the heavy stuff in the van on Monday afternoon.

In other words, it’s still back-to-school time . . . the execution is just a little different! I’m out of the school supply business — they do their own books and supplies, etc.

@MJG: Good luck with the move-in! I’ll give you a call next week when we’re back in town.

Re: Same-sex grades. Our (private) school switched to same-sex classes for middle school English and Math classes, the classes where it seemed to make the most difference. It made a huge difference in terms of attention, behavior, and ability for the teachers to shape lesson plans to a specific group. Most families and kids seemed to really like it.

smh

August 6th, 2010
5:57 am

@ digalittledeeper – thanks o’ so much for the words of encouragement! LOL It is a big club I know.

PhotoMomof4

August 6th, 2010
9:09 am

I always buy school supplies when they are on clearance the year before or at other times of the year when there’s a deal. So, the kids do their shopping for school supplies in “Mom’s store”. Each one brings their shopping list and gets to shop without the craziness at the retail store. I save money and my sanity.

For the first day, they always get their picture made before they leave the house to get on the bus.

TinaTeach

August 6th, 2010
9:37 am

My grandmother would always take us to buy a new outfit for the first day of school. Then we’d go to the Dixie Diner in Choctaw, Oklahoma for lunch. She did that every year until we hit middle school. It’s one of my fondest memories of her. I look forward to doing something similar with my son and eventual grandkids!

JJ

August 6th, 2010
10:01 am

Publix has a bunch of 2 for 1, and 50% off school supplies. Not much of a selection, but fiskar scissors, notebook paper, pens, pencils, highlighters, sharpies, etc.

Mrs. G

August 6th, 2010
11:50 am

motherjanegoose – Makes me wish I’d gone to school in Gwinnett because I was a little bored (I went to school in Cobb (Harrison) and graduated in ‘01)! ;)

When we moved to GA, the school looked at my transcript and had me re-take certain classes (for example, I had taken world history in ninth grade, but they wanted me to take THEIR world history class; they wanted to make sure that I took their English sequence, so I was put in tenth grade English in eleventh grade and, therefore, never made it to AP English, which, having taken all honors English throughout high school, I had been on track to take). Maybe they wanted to make sure that I was well-rounded (by their standards), but I felt that making me re-take those classes (which I had passed! It would be different had I failed!) was redundant and kind of defeated the purpose.

What you said (about Gwinnett) makes sense, I suppose – a close friend went to school in Gwinnett and he seemed to be more challenged when it came to academics than I was (I always liked to pretend that it was just because I was smarter, haha, just joking).

I live in upstate NY now (yet I can’t stay away from AJC.com, haha); my husband is a teacher and the standards for teachers seem to be much higher here. All teachers have to get their masters within a certain amount of time in order to continue teaching (is that the case in GA?). My husband and our teacher friends have told me that teachers with NYS certification have a very easy time getting jobs in other states. I’m not sure how much of a difference the standards here make, though, as I’m not sure where NY ranks (say, relative to GA).

JATL

August 6th, 2010
12:36 pm

@Mrs. G -you’re correct about higher standards for teachers in many northern states than in southern states! NO, you do not have to get your master’s -ever -with the state of GA. Part of the problem is that teachers are often paid far more in northern states than here (I’m not saying they’re paid a lot, but more), and that automatically attracts an overall higher quality of job-seeker. I’m also not saying that we don’t have extremely intelligent, qualified and highly educated teachers here, because we do and I know many of them, but overall there is a big disparity.

JJ

August 6th, 2010
12:40 pm

As for Gwinnett schools, some of my daughter’s professors down at Middle Georgia College are VERY excited to see a Gwinnett student in their classes.

party

August 6th, 2010
1:36 pm

Well, once we drop the little monsters off at school, we usually pop open a couple bottles of champagne! Then we wallow around in a drunken orgy of sweat and fornication. We eat a light lunch. Then we hit up the strip club and try to pick up a third party for our afternoon delight session. The school bus drops the kids back home around 4. We introduce them to Aunt “Diamond” as she leaves, then we make dinner.

I guess as far as traditions go, its rather quaint, but it makes us happy, so…

LM

August 6th, 2010
2:11 pm

We moved here from Michigan in the early 80’s. Several of the classes I took before moving to Georgia would not make the cross over. I had a Physical Science class and a english class on minority lit and neigher were creditited at Wheeler. It was not until my senior year that the school (I went to 5 high schools) figured out I never took US history or World History. My world history teacher was the coach and didn’t know the diffeence between Prussia and Persia or Austria and Australia. What a joke of a class.

LM

August 6th, 2010
2:16 pm

oops, sorry for typos, didn’t have a chance to look over before posting.

motherjanegoose

August 6th, 2010
10:12 pm

Mrs. G …your blog name cracks me up….I am 50 and never sign my name Mrs. anything. You are 4 years older than my son, if you graduated in 01 from HS. Interesting. To each his/her own.

Mary

August 7th, 2010
7:20 am

@motherjanegoose: all the moms at my son’s school know my husband, too. It’s almost like he has a harem….lol. He has a very flexible schedule, so is able to volunteer at school quite a bit (one of the only dads who is able to do this). He knows everyone, including the kids, and they all know him. The principal even refers to him as an honorary staff member….perhaps because he’s not too proud to practice sight words with kindergarteners!

It makes me a little sad, because as a teacher myself, I don’t have the opportunity to be there doing those things myself. On the other hand, I love that these kids are seeing a dad volunteer at school.

motherjanegoose

August 8th, 2010
7:45 am

@ Mary…that is so lucky for you and your son will be close to him and remember all the times they spent together, My husband was home with my son from 0-2, as he worked midnights and when he came home, I left to teach Kinder. They had a special bond! He also made time to get to school and help out several times per year and that was something I was quite proud of.

If you are the same Mary as August 3 at 2:00, thanks for a nicer tone on the blog…I appreciate it!

Mary

August 8th, 2010
1:01 pm

@mjg: that wasn’t me. This is my second time responding to this blog. Haven’t read that post. I have seen another Mary on here a time or two.

motherjanegoose

August 8th, 2010
5:54 pm

@ Mary…good to have you…I especially enjoy comments from those who are teachers. We tend to look at things a bit differently than those who do not work with dozens of children each day.

catlady and I are meeting for lunch in a few weeks to trade stories….should be fun! We are both teachers!

My daughter’s elementary school called my husband in to do a blurb on the morning announcements on Veteran’s Day, as he was Navy. You would have thought he was going to be on GOOD MORNING AMERICA…it was a hoot! He loved it.

Mrs. G

August 9th, 2010
8:10 am

motherjanegoose – I’m a newlywed and I’m having a blast flaunting it, LOL! :)

www.honeyfern.org

August 9th, 2010
9:13 pm

We are homeschooling, so we went Not-Back-to-School jammie shopping and have planned breakfast at the Biscuit House on Stilesboro the Friday of th efirst week so we can talk about the week and make suggestions for any changes.