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Back to School Rituals: Vision Boards

Admission: I get as excited about back-to-school time as I ever did as a student. I love back-to-school. I love how filled with potential it all is. I love the new clothes, the new backpack, the new school supplies, I love it all.

At first, my 8-year-old daughter, Alex, wasn’t nearly as excited as I was. But as of this weekend (the weekend before school officially starts tomorrow), she’s finally as full of anticipation about her coming third grade year as I am. Her backpack is already packed (and appropriately decorated with various colourful keychains), her new lunchbox has her name written in it in Sharpie, and she’s even laid out her clothes for tomorrow. But the thing that I think really sent her into the proper back-to-school mood was our annual Making of the Vision Board.

For the last few years, we’ve done this every year at the end of the summer:  we both buy pre-stretched canvases for ourselves, and together we make vision boards: her board representing what she wants for herself for the coming school year, mine for what I’d like for the coming months.  For the most part, I don’t help her:  we sit next to each other and pore through old magazines and catalogs (she has her own age-appropriate ones), pulling out images that represent for each of us what we’re hoping for.  We share with each other what the images mean for us.  Then we glue them to our boards, and decorate them however we’d like.

This year, I invited her to pick a word of the year — something that represents her overarching wish for third grade, and she chose FRIENDSHIP.  As you can see, above, she added it in glitter letters to her board.

Her board now hangs in a place of honour in her bedroom (and my board is in my office, with all my others of past years).  And I think we’re both officially grateful that the school year is about to begin.

How about you: do you have any back-to-school rituals you do with your kids?

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