My Favorite Back To School Tradition

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I have loved back to school season since I was old enough to ride the bus. Well, actually I loved it even before that, and begged my mother when I was three to take me to school so I could learn to read! I find so much pleasure everything September stands for -  the fresh start, new academic year with limitless possibilities, the excitement of meeting new friends and teachers - I love literally everything about it (I even loved the homework).  One of my children feels the same - my daughter.  My son isn't so gung-ho about it, especially the clothes shopping, but he does really enjoy finding out who is in his class, the start of his football season, etc.  

For me, there are a lot of traditions involved with school (dinner out for good report cards, for example), but for us, most of them come in to play at the beginning and end of a new school year.  We do a big bonfire on the beach a day or two before school commences - the "last hurrah" if you will.  We buy the school supplies, we talk to everyone we know about the teacher we got, we clean our closets and get ready. 

But the most important tradition for me, the one that gives me something to hold on to as the years whip by, is the pictures.  I take the normal back to school photos, like these below, but I also do something that I think is really special.....

The fascination of seeing a worm

At least one really eager child!

Every year, I make sure I keep the clothes the kids wore on their first day of school, and have them re-wear them on the last day of school. I've even gone so far as to make sure my daughter's hair is the same, but I've relaxed about that over the years.

Then, after I take the end of the year photos, I make a little collage like this in my word processing app:

Sometimes, the kids have grown so much that it is clear that the photos are different days, even though the outfits are the same.  Some years, though, no one believes me that the photos were taken 10 months apart, and I have to prove it after I send it out to friends and family. In the ones above, for example, my daughter has on different shoes in June than she did in September.

In the one below, her hair is totally different (and they both look so much older, at least to me). It was a huge growth year, and I'm so glad I documented it:

 This one, the most recent one, is by far the family favorite, though.  Our daughter started the year with long hair and ended it with short.  If not for that, no one would believe that she is almost a year older in the June photo. In fact, her brother hasn't stopped teasing her that she got younger looking this year :0

My son is really starting to grumble about the staged photos (Mooooom, you're so embarrassing!), but I will never stop taking them. I treasure these little collages that document how my babies grow and excel ever year :)

 PS - I have a back to school outfit picked out already if it is cold enough, as it sometimes is where I live:

Back to school 2014

Like so many of the things I've bought already, I got the shoes and sweater for a steal at Zulily - the only place I am shopping for back to school items this year:

*If you click this ad and buy something, I will be compensated.

They have great things for men, home, and mom, too. I bought two of my favorite items ever for myself at one of the sales earlier this summer: 

*If you click this ad and buy something, I will be compensated.

Happy back to school everyone!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Such precious pictures, the children are both so cute and wow, are they growing.

Katherine said...

Cute idea to have the year photo mirror image the first day. And look how much your two kids grew each year.
Great idea.

Kristy Woodson Harveyy said...

What an adorable idea! Love it! And I just adore back to school time too. It always feels like a fresh start even though I'm not in school anymore!

The enchanted home said...
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The enchanted home said...

This is soooooo cute, of course it does help when you have cute subjects and your kids are CUTE!!!!! This post brought tears to my eyes, because it is the first year there will be no back to school festivities for me and trust me,I am in mourning over it. I will probably ball at the sight of the first school bus, bad enough a Staples school supply commercial brought me to tears.

On a funnier note, we would have been great chums, I too LOVED school and the whole going back to school rituals, laid everything out on my bed, got so into all my new notebooks, even couldn't wait for that first night of homework!

Enjoy your beautiful kids Stacy, I love your is going to be a keepsake they will treasure when they are older for sure!

Jennifer@ClassicStyleHome said...

They are so cute! I finally just started taking last day of school pictures. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. I always loved back to school time, too. Maybe it's a girl thing because my boys want no part of it!