It’s that time of year where we are doing all of the practical things like buying school supplies and uniforms, going to doctor visits, signing up for after school activities and so on to prepare our kids for the upcoming school year. Going from an unstructured (or less structured) summer straight into a highly structured school year can be a difficult transition for little ones (and even some of us big ones *raises hand*). With all of this in mind, I like to find meaningful ways to ‘mark the moment’ and help our family close out one period of time as we welcome the next.
To do this I have adopted a concept I heard on the Lazy Genius Podcast called ‘Opening (and Closing) Ceremonies.’ As this relates to the summer and school year, our family will do a closing ceremony at the end of each school year. We go out for frozen yogurt and each share our favorite memories from the year and the things we learned. This process helps us to mark the end of the year and shift focus into summer. After we’ve talked through all of the things from that school year we then shift into discussing what we are looking forward to in summer and what each of us most wants to do that summer. This is also the time I set clear expectations for chores, snacks and meal schedules and cover all of the practical things. We do the same thing at the end of the summer to share and remember the moments we enjoyed and to talk about all the feelings we have and the necessary logistics regarding the upcoming school year.
I know all of us moms are busy, and this time of year is particularly crazy with all of the things. I know none of us need one more thing to do right now. That’s why these ceremonies don’t need to be anything fancy, you can do it as dinner conversation one evening, or while you drive in the car one morning. The point is to take a moment to pause and reflect, easing the transition and increasing the connection of your family.
Here are a few ideas of questions to ask to get the conversation started:
What is your favorite memory from this summer?
What did you enjoy most about this summer?
What are you looking forward to this school year?
How are you feeling going into this school year?
Is there anything worrying you about this school year?