5 Way to Shake Back-to-School Blues
Guest Author: Deidra L. Tolliver
It amazes me that even home schoolers are no more excited about going “back” to school than traditional students! They seem to suffer from back-to-school blues like most kids. Maybe parents are no more excited about the official first day of school than traditional teachers. So what do you do!? Whelp, AFTER you’ve gathered all items on the school supplies list and completed all the typical “ten things to do to prepare for back-to-school” stuff, how about turning your frown upside down. We have five (5) fun, exciting, home school-style, back-to-school activities to get your spirits energized and ready for the new school year!
In the beginning of any home school journey, of course the younger students don’t really grasp the concept of when school stops or starts because everyday is generally a day of learning. But once assignments and lessons are more regularly scheduled, or more “work” is required, and after kids pick up on other kids talking about “back-to-school” blues, our homeschoolers sometimes adopt the idea of back-to-school blues, too.
If the blues for parents and students all across the board is inevitable, what can we do to curb such melancholy auras while we still have time?
Here are just a few ideas that may work for you that only require a day (and a half) of your time:
1. NOTHING DAY
Just as it says. Plan a day for you and the kids to do NOTHING! (If this isn’t exciting, or you generally do this already, then skip to number two.) The key word is “plan” (unfortunately for some), but plan on doing nothing except impromptu-ness… Let the wind guide your sail, just for a day, or more like let the kids guide your sail.
- Stay at home and lounge around, eating unplanned meals and snacks
- Take a walk to the park or around the block together with no set plan; saunter (see more about one of our favorite daily Dilly Days, “World Sauntering Day“)
- Play board games and then more “bored” games (as kids sometimes call them)
- Just no thinking, scheduling, coordinating, etc.
- This needs to be a day off for you (parents) as well, too! Don’t you deserve it!?
2. KID PLANNERS
Let the kids plan a few things they’ve been asking to squeeze in since the beginning of summer (within reason). There’s usually a museum or game room they’ve wanted to visit that you never managed to make time for. Maybe they’ve wanted to:
- Go on a specific field trip (for us it’s often the Porsche Dealership)
- Eat a certain food you’d rather them not (Baskin Robbin Ice Cream Cake)
- Hang with a friend one last time before school returns
3. SLUMBER PARTY
Have a “Back-in-Groove” Slumber Party, just you and the children!
- Choose a movie
- Pop some corn (or pre-popped)
- Grab some sweets & snacks
- Camp out all over the whole den
- Stay up as LATE as you all can handle
- Be sure to plan on a day when tomorrow doesn’t require a super early rise
4. MAKE OR BAKE FAVORITES
This is a great day and way to make some delicious dishes and/or dessert(s) together. My son LOVES sweets, and unless it’s a “school project,” we don’t bake as much as we used to. In celebration of getting back in the groove, we manage to make time to make at least one of his favorite desserts or dishes. Our signature homemade dishes include:
- Homemade frozen fruit pops
- Vanilla cake with custom-colored icing
- Homemade vanilla ice cream with the old fashion electric churner, too! (or the individual size seen here)
- Chocolate Acorns (his newest, easiest, crunchiest favorite as seen here)
- Homemade pizza, from the dough to all the fresh sliced, tasty toppings
- Snow cones or fresh fruit smoothies (see here)
5. RHYTHM, NO BLUES
We grew up when 8-track tapes were phasing out and vinyl records were “the in-thing.” I remember my parents picking up a few albums on the way home from work a few times, and unwrapping a new album was like MAGIC to me! Listening to the scratchy, fuzzy sound of the needle hitting the grooves was a sweet thing… ahhhhh the memories.
Fast forward to today, kids have digital EVERYTHING, including virtual music! But, for old times sake, my son thoroughly enjoys when we pull out old “albums” and “tapes” that we enjoyed long ago in our grade school days and throw listening, dancing, reminiscing sessions. This day could be one of the most magically memorable days you’ve shared in a while!
All you do is this…
- Choose a list of tracks from “back in the day” that your children may not be familiar with (or use Pandora, Spotify, or iTunes apps)
- Set up a dancing/social area for all participants to move around freely
- Have some simple snacks and lemonade available
- Play YOUR music until you run out of energy (or a voice)!
- Remember to sing along, lip sync, and/or dance to each upbeat track and rest on the slower ones because this could go on for hours!
- Don’t concern yourself with correct notes or lyrics, just LET LOOSE!
- Dance the “back-to-school” blues AWAY!
- Between a few tracks, share a fond, fun memory with your kids that the song brings… reminisce on the “good ole days”
- Grab those mics (pictured) and try a lip sync battle, parents versus the children!
- If you’re bold, let the kids snap a few pictures of you in your younger, freer self!
How about THAT for five exciting, relaxing, easy, affordable things for you and the kids to engage in for shaking off the back-to-school blues? If not all five, you HAVE to try at least one (my recommendation is number five because it’s a popular semi-annual event around here!). What do you have to lose other than back-to-school blues?
Be sure to let us know in the comments below how you shake the blues before getting back into the groove of school. We’d love to hear (or read) your thoughts.
Deidra L. Tolliver is a regular contributor for Homeschooling in Memphis blog. Before graduating summa cum laude from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree concentrating in Graphic Design, Deidra studied, tutored, and taught art lessons at her church, high school, and college. Since college, she has served as graphic artist at local firms, retired in 2005 to become a homeschool educator, met many homeschool supporters who encouraged her to share her passion for art & education with others, and now works on her family’s blog, “ArtEase123.com” in which she and her family share many ideas on how to incorporate both art and education into just about any item, project, subject, or activity.