'Twas the night before the first day of school,
and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even the pool.
The back packs were hung by the door with care,
in the hopes that school would soon be there...
I know, I know, it's bad, BUT here in our house the night before the first day of school is very special to us. It is an ending of summer vacation, and beginning a new school year. It is a time in which we gather together over a good meal, talk, dream and celebrate.
Here's what we do...
1. First hubby and I prepare a festive last barbecue of summer- hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, baked beans-you know, the works! Over dinner my husband and I prompt questions to the children to reminisce over the summer -what was special, fun, and memorable. Questions slowly move toward thinking ahead-what classes they will be taking, what they are looking forward to and even what they might be nervous about. We are purposefully taking time to help our children transition into school days. (If this is something you'd like to do, but feel you won't be able to think of questions on the spot, then write out questions on index cards before hand to keep the conversation focused. Thinking about what you want or need to discuss as a family will help the flow of conversation produce a good family time. You can even write out 'school week rules' if you need to change things. Talk about bedtime, video time, wake up time...a routine that will work for everyone in the family). We also review our home school mission statement.
2. After dinner we clean up and move to the den. My husband leads us into a time of worship. A time for all of us to settle down and focus on the Lord. When worship time ends we pray for each child. Seeking the Lord's wisdom, and blessing for each child. It is a wonderful time to stop, think and pray. I love praying over each child, individually. I love to think about all their God given gifts and talents, blessing them and encouraging them. (If you don't know how to have a family worship time or don't have someone in the family who can lead it, you can put in a CD or make a special CD of songs just for this night).
3. Finally, we return to the dining room where dessert is waiting...cake and ice cream! Also, the table has a present before each child's place setting. The excitement is bubbling over. The gift bags are not only filled with new school supplies, but candy, some new school clothes, and little things that are unique presents for each child.
Saying goodbye to summer is hard, but even harder is facing a new school year- why not face it with Jesus and celebration? We love it.
Blessings to you and your family for a new school year with God at the helm!