Coping with the Back-to-School Frenzy

Sue-Patterson-adviceI want to share a few quick thoughts about this Back-to-School season. It’s almost a rite of passage here, isn’t it? New shoes, new backpack, new class schedule – so much hope and promise. Yet, we’re all too aware of how this will fade fairly quickly. The backpack zipper rips, the shoes aren’t just right, the bullies rear their ugly heads, and the schedule is more of the same… year after year. But people have to do something to get everyone to forget how they felt about the whole thing last year and buy into the idea that THIS time, it’s all going to be different.

Sigh. Disappointing.

Yet, even as we KNOW that, some of us get a little twinge. We allow ourselves to get swept up in feelings and memories that may not even be accurate! We feel a little left out or like a little fish swimming upstream alone. Or maybe we feel a little jealous of the moms who go for coffee together after they’ve dropped the kids off. We KNOW we’re doing the right thing, so why are we having these weird feelings about this time period that is so clearly manufactured by marketing and hype?

It could be because…
…It’s that rite of passage thing. And we went through it year after year.
…We’re having some doubts about how our home educating path has gone recently.
…We’re mere mortals against the marketing machine at work on us!
But I have a solution!

Bring your own motivations back to the front of your mind. No drifting. Pull out your journal and write your own answers:

1. List the reasons your family chose to homeschool/unschool.
2. Describe examples of your own school experience where it did NOT go as you had hoped.
3. Describe examples of times in your own or your child’s school experience that you will be able to avoid because now you’re homeschooling/unschooling.Next, make a list of new traditions you can create during this time of year. You might be a week or two into the local school year, but seeing what could work and what kind of flops would be good to do – even now.Ryan-Gosling-hey-girl

Here are some suggestions:

  • Get away from it all! Family trips, camping, heading to the beach all can be fun ways to remind you that you have flexibility and fun ahead!
  • Go school shopping! Once school starts in your neighborhood, so many of those supplies go on sale. Stock up on notebooks, pens, calendars – whatever looks fun!
  • Sleep in! And then start the day with a yummy brunch full of everone’s favorite foods. No rush, no hurrying. Put some fun upbeat music on and ponder what you’d like to do ALL.Day.Long.
  • Take photos! Posing near the same tree each year is cool, or even in the same living room chair. It can be fun to look back at the growth. Pinterest is full of all kinds of awesome ways to commemorate special days. If you’re uneasy sharing your photos openly on social media – or you just want to join in on the fun – we have a fabulous thread FULL of kids and their first NOT Back to School photos on our closed group.

Not-Back-to-school

Post your photos here

(at the UnschoolingMom2Mom FB group)

The link will work if you’re a member of Unschooling Mom2Mom
Or use the hashtags
#UnschoolingMom2Mom or #NotBacktoSchool

And don’t miss my collection of funny (and sometimes quite irreverant)
Not-Back-to-school memes. 

About Sue Patterson

Wife. Mom. Daughter. Nana. Mentor. Coach. Writer. Editor. Speaker. Activist. Find me also at: Instagram: @UnschoolingMom2Mom Twitter: @Sue5 Pinterest: /umom2mom Facebook: /UnschoolingMom2Mom AND /SuePattersonCoaching
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