Making the First Day of School Special

by Sally Matheny


     There are many “Back-to-School” sales taking place. Parents are buying new clothes and supplies in hopes of mustering up some back-to-school enthusiasm in their kids. Whether you have a kindergartener or a college student, there are a variety of ways to make the first day of school special.
     Kindergarteners are not a hard bunch to please. Everything is new (and hopefully exciting) to them. 
     Older students are more of a challenge. Here are a few ideas:

       Host a back-to-school party for your child and his friends. Get your child in on the planning. Here are a few themes to consider:

-      “Fun Day for First-Graders!” Join us for a
day of field games & contests.

-      “S’more Second Graders Wanted!” Come
join us as we roast in a new school year.

-      “Theme Park Rolls in Third-Graders!” Meet
us for a day at Six Flags as we coast into third grade.

-      “Four!” Heads Up to all fourth graders—
Join us for a game of Frisbee golf.

        Consider hosting a “Back-to-School” tea party
 or an overnight campout.

     Make a treat bag for your student that
 includes school supplies and some of their favorite candy
 or a gift certificate to their favorite ice cream shop.  
 How about a scavenger hunt for kids to find their goodies?

     Gather your kids around a campfire or fire pit one evening. There’s
something about relaxing around a fire that generates conversations. This
is a great time to offer encouragement if your child shares any concerns 
about the upcoming year.

     No matter what your child’s age, make time to share ideas of ways to
make school mornings go smoothly. Make a list. Implement a plan to
reduce everyone’s stress.

   Also, talk about the student’s expectations for the year and your
expectations. What will the morning routine be like? What are the goals for
behavior, schoolwork, friends, transportation, and extracurricular activities?
Communication and devising a plan will make a clearer path to success. 
         Prepare a special breakfast for the first day of school. There are    
    several cute ideas on Pinterest, or simply make what your child likes best.
      Include something special for their lunch. If your student takes a
 lunch box slip in a note, stickers, or a special dessert. For older students,
 consider giving them a little extra cash to buy something special at
       Take time to pray with your child the night before, or the morning of,
 his first day of school. Talking to the Giver of all good things and the One
 who comforts and protects is essential for the day. 

     Perhaps one way to make your child’s first day unique is encouraging
him to think of others on this day. What can he do to help others have a
great day?

         Take school supplies for
   students in need.

       Make the teacher a card.

        Surprise the bus driver with 
   a breakfast biscuit.

       Speak kindly to someone 
  who looks discouraged.

     Sit beside the new kid at

      Secretly place a miniature candy bar or other treat in someone’s
  locker or desk with a note telling them to have a great day.

     There are many creative ways to get your student’s first day of school off to a good start. It does not guarantee an entire day of happiness. However, no matter what transpires, your child will ponder on your act of love the rest of the day.

     How do you make the first day of school special for your children?