First day of school notes

For many of you, the 2008-2009 school year begins any day. Some start right after Labor Day, some right before.

I remember when my kids were small, I used to write little notes to each child on colored paper about what we would get to do that year. I’d feature the strengths they had, their achievements from the previous year and then look forward to what they would learn and achieve during the coming year. I often put stickers or wrote in colored pens. I’d sit these on their plates at breakfast (the one day a year I bothered to set the table at breakfast). That’s how we’d begin “school” – that official start date.

As the kids got older, I stopped being as deliberate about a “first day.” I would sort of feather routines into our lives as August came along. We’d perhaps have a teatime on some Tuesday and then we’d start going to our co-op and then the math book would arrive from UPS and we’d add math and over the course of a couple of weeks, we’d get into a groove again. It seemed so abrupt to go from slides and summer to a “day of school.”

This has been the style of re-entry we’ve adopted as our routine. But I found out something from the older kids recently. They loved those little notes. And the older three have saved them. They were comparing them last year as Johannah cleaned out her room to go off to college. My younger kids asked, “Why don’t we get school notes?”

So this year, the day after Labor Day, we will be “starting” the routines of what our school life looks like. And I plan to kick things off with tea, muffins and notes. I bought some colored pens yesterday and I’m already thinking about what I’ll write to my 14 and nearly 12 year old.

How do you kick off your year? Any traditions? Special memories to share? Let’s make this year the year of affirmation: noticing how truly amazing our kids are and telling them so in as many ways as we can.

4 Responses to “First day of school notes”

  1. Jewel says:

    This is exactly what has been stirring in me as I deal with my 16yo dd. I hadn’t thought of notes. How perfect, as we are focusing on writing this year. Thank you again for honing and stretching my own thoughts.

  2. Kay says:

    A perfect muffin to start the celebration
    Apple-Lavendar Muffins
    (If you don’t tell them about the lavendar you can get them guessing. We had so much fun this summer getting folks to really “taste” their muffin by having them try to guess the secret ingredient – lavendar.


    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup milk
    1 tablespoon lavender flowers
    1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 cup apple, peeled and diced, divided use
    1Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2Coat 12 muffin tins with cooking spray or line with muffin cups.
    3In large bowl, sift together flour; sugar; baking powder and salt. Make a well in center.
    4In separate bowl, whisk together milk, lavender; butter and egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir by hand just until batter is evenly moistened. Fold in 1/2 cup of the apples.
    5Fill prepared muffin tins about three-quarters full. Gently tap filled tins to release any air bubbles.
    6Sprinkle remaining diced apple over muffins. Bake until skewer inserted into center of a muffin comes our clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan about 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

    We are finally on a two week break from a very busy summer. Summer businesses for the kids, lawn mowing and butterfly raising, and community theatre plus dance, piano, two 4-H Clubs and One Thing – Art. We are not start again until Sept 8th scheduled classes put us back into a routine.
    Teatime sounds great.

    Kids are starting 9th and 5th grade.

  3. Julie Bogart says:

    Yum! That sounds like a wonderful recipe!

  4. Jean says:

    We used to have lovely traditions, too, that involved mom baking cookies and taking lots of pictures while everyone shorter than me eagerly snatched up their favorite colors from the pile of new spirals and folders. Now, with the kiddos 10, 12 and 15, we just sort of pick up books and start reading.

    Yesterday, my two oldest spent most of the day desperately finishing summer school co-op projects they’d volunteered for when summer was fresh, new and infinite (and which they’ve sworn they’ll never do again!). At the end of a long day studying, my oldest son grabbed a dvd from the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum and snuck off to the computer to sneak a peek. This morning he asked if he could get started on it now. The fantasy novels that live in his brain are itching to come out. Does that count as the first day of school? lol I didn’t snap any pictures!