School Year's Eve
Where did the Summer break go?
The new school year is just around the corner and with that comes jitters, excitement, and maybe even some relief (parents, anyone?).
In our family, we celebrate education. We celebrate the thirst for knowledge. We celebrate making new friends. In order to make the new school year exciting, we started a new tradition to ease those first day jitters that we call School Year's Eve.
Before my oldest started the first grade and officially went to a public school, I had the honor of homeschooling her during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we decided to celebrate. So we came up with the School Year's Eve! It was as much for me as it was for her. All the celebrating distracted me from the overwhelming emotions of my firstborn going to first grade (keep scrolling while I get a tissue).
In Lithuania, where I am from, the school year starts on September 1st. Every year. For every grade. And it's a day for celebration. The school has a big event, the principle gives a speech welcoming the students, then everyone goes into their classrooms, meets the teacher, and per custom - every student brings them flowers. The actual classes start the following day. I have not seen anything even close to this in the US. Hmmm... I had to do something about it!
Read on to find some cute ideas you can use in your own family.
A fun outing
It was only fitting that the last day of Summer we would spend at the pool. We chose a mini water park in our town that the girls love going to.
In addition to balloons or whatever else your child loves, you have to have a proper banner! Now, School Year's Eve is not an official holiday which means there are no banners for such occasion, so I recommend this DYI kit from Target.
If you prefer all things Amazon, try this kit.
A Cake for the Occasion
My daughter requested a rainbow cake for her special night. So she got one! I used simple food coloring to dye small amounts of cake batter, and then spooned one color at a time into a cake pan one on top of each other. Look how cute it turned out! To make it even sweeter, I cut it to the shape of a number "1" to symbolize the first grade. Topped it off with some vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles, and voila!
When my oldest started preschool a few years ago, she was so anxious to leave home... It broke my heart every morning. I would draw a small heart on her wrist and one on mine. I would tell her that when she feels sad or misses me, she can look down at the heart and know that I am looking at mine and thinking of her. She remembers it to this day! This year she will be in second grade. My middle daughter will be in kindergarten, and my youngest is starting preschool. To commemorate it, I decided to get actual bracelets. I know they will not wear the bracelets every day (definitely not the two-year-old), and at some point I will find them in their backpacks, or behind a dresser somewhere... But it's still worth it! It is worth the memory, it is worth the fuzzy feelings on the first day of school. And I intend to save these bracelets as a keepsake, and give them again to my girls when they turn 18.
If your child prefers something else other than a heart, these elephant bracelets are adorable!
And of course - don't forget the pictures in the morning! Have their awaited new backpacks ready, new outfits, and maybe a special breakfast?
I hope these ideas help you help your child get excited about school. I hope I was able to ease yours and your little's nerves about the new start, and make it memorable for the years to come.