Today is our children's first day of the new school year. We have had a great summer, although way to short, and the kids are ready for school to start. I am glad they are so excited.
This is a big year for the kids, but also for us as parents. Our son will be starting 7th grade. Yikes! Junior High School? Were those years really good for anyone? On top of that, he will be attending junior high at the local high school. Not part time, but full time, just like if he was in 10th grade. I am nervous for what he will be exposed to. High school is a very big place for a barely twelve year old. Fingers crossed we have done our part to prepare him.Our 9 year old daughter is starting 4th grade. She is in a French emersion program and spends half the day speaking English and the other half of the day speaking French. No English allowed. She has loved it up to this point and am guessing, that although I took a lot of French in high school, she has the potential to pass me up this year.
Our 6 year old is going to be in 1st grade. That means she is starting the French program also and will be in school all day. I don't know what I am going to do without her around during the day.
I am going to miss them. A lot.
With all the changes, and the fact that I feel like I can't keep up with how fast our kids are growing up, we decided a few years ago to start documenting all the fun changes that take place each school year. The Back to School Time Capsules will help you keep track of your children's growth, without taking a lot of time or resources. And your kids will love it. Don't worry if school has already started. There is plenty of time and your kids will still be very willing.
The idea is to document the small things about your child that will change over the next school year. Things like height, weight, likes and dislikes, even handwriting.
You don't need much.
Rope or string or ribbon
First...decide what you want each child to keep their capsule in. Mason jar, #10 Can, She Box, anything will work.
Have your child stand up against a wall and lightly mark how tall they are. THEN...take your rope/string/ribbon and stretch it the length of your measurement. Cut the string to the right height length, and put it in your time capsule. They will love getting it out at the end of the school year and seeing how tall they have grown.
Write down how much your child weights. If you don't know, don't worry, skip this one.
On a piece of paper, have your child write down the following...
least favorite food
favorite TV show
favorite subject in school
You get the point. Add your own to the list.
Here is a Printable you can use for your own Back To School Time Capsules. Simply click on the picture, download, and print out one copy for each of your kids.
Have your child write down 3 goals they have for this school year. At the end of the year you can see if they accomplished those goals.
Have your child write their name. For even more fun. Have them write it on a piece of paper/chalkboard/whiteboard and then take of picture of them holding the piece of paper up. This way you will have a picture of them and see what their writing was like. It will be fun to see how their writing has changed at the end of the school year.
Trace your children's hands. Include the tracing in the capsule. Your kids will love to see how their hands have grown. We like to include feet also.
If you took a picture of your child holding up their name, then you can use that as your picture. If not, you probably took a picture the first day of school. Add a picture to the time capsule and you are set. If you are not really great at getting pictures from your camera/phone to the print shop, you can always wait until the school pictures come home and add one of those to the time capsule.
Once you have everything filled out and gathered, put it in your container of choice and seal it up. Bury them in the backyard, put them on a high shelf, under the bed, anywhere. Just tuck them away until the end of school, or the beginning of the next school year.
It will be so fun to have a special BACK TO SCHOOL PARTY next year when we open them up and see how the kids have grown and changed. And then start the tradition all over again for the new school year.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL
We have decided that we are going to do this every year until they graduate from high school. Each new school year, as we go through last years contents to see the kids growth and development, I take the contents of the capsules and put them in a regular old legal size envelope. I hole punch the envelopes and put them into a three ring binder for storage. Each child has their own binder, and that is all we have to store until they leave for college or get married and want to take their time capsules with them. What a great way to quickly and simply document all the growth and development that is happening.
Simple, fun, and memorable. It doesn't get better than that.
How do you keep your memories?
How do you ring in the new school year?
Anyone have kids in an emersion program? What language are they learning?