Seeing shelves filling up for back-to-school season on my latest Target run was a big reminder that we’re just a few weeks from kicking off one of the more exciting school years in years. We love the structure of having our boys in school, but it’s always sad to see our late nights playing in the back yard coming to an end. Getting my boys geared up for success this fall had me thinking about so much more than which pack of crayons we’ll end up purchasing. Here’s a few reminders I think are essential for setting our little ones up for their best back to school season yet!
YOU’RE SO LUCKY TO BE “IN” SCHOOL
After a few years of virtual learning, masking up, hybrid schedules and all of the other unknowns, I think we can all agree to how excited we are for this year. An in-person school year is, without a doubt, a blessing in itself. Let this be a reminder to us, as parents, on the mornings where we’re struggling to get everyone dressed and to their designated drop offs on time. There was a time in the not-so-distant past where we were begging for the normalcy and structure of in-person learning!
IT’S NOT EASY TO BE NEW
It’s probably safe to assume our children are going to see more unfamiliar faces than usual this school year. What better time to expand their friend circle! Utilize this time to explain how important it is to make sure everyone feels included, welcome and apart of their community. New or returning, no one wants to feel like the odd one out. We are “challenging” our boys by asking them to tell us a new friends name and their favorite animal each day at pickup! No matter how silly it sounds, getting the conversation going is over half the battle.
THINGS AREN’T EVERYTHING
Picking out new school supplies and a trendy pair of shoes was always my favorite part of back-to-school season. No matter what came my way, no one could ruin my day when I walked in with those neon Nike shoes. As a mom, I live for the moments my boys light up with excitement. I also hope they’re learning lighting up with excitement shouldn’t come from things. Back to school is always a great time to remind them “stuff” is just stuff. Not everyone gets to grab a new pair of sneakers, bedazzled pencil pouch or brand-name backpack.
GRADES DON’T DETERMINE YOUR WORTH
My favorite lesson in the midst of virtual learning? Grades aren’t everything. Don’t get me wrong, doing their best and earning good grades is important. As parents, I think we all remember hitting a wall during virtual learning where grades felt secondary to making sure our kids were in a healthy mental and emotional space. Remember to remind your little ones that they have a value far exceeding whatever grade they earn. A great GPA is cool, but it doesn’t determine their worth. We can always hit the books together and study a little harder, but they’re loved and valuable regardless of how much they struggle with memorizing equations.
TEACHERS ARE SUPERHEROES
Wait, this might actually be the most important lesson. We all learned oh so quickly that we aren’t cut out to be teachers after a hot minute of virtual learning and hybrid schedules. Teachers, you deserve all the praise. We are so fortunate to have these individuals spending late nights, early mornings, weekends and summer breaks ensuring our children have all the tools to succeed in the classroom. Remind yourself and your kids: be kind, be gracious, be grateful.
A backpack filled with back-to-school supplies is probably important, but not the only necessity this year. I hope you’re a little more excited and a bit more equipped to send your crew back to school this fall! Here’s to making it the best school year yet.