A back-to-school feast and family theme is a great way to kick off the school year for your kids. This tradition is something they look forward to every year and helps them to be excited to go back to school.
Sending my girls back to school each year is always bittersweet for me. Watching them grow older has always been hard for me, and going back to school every year is just a big reminder of the fact that they aren’t babies anymore.
Still, some of the pain is eased because we get to celebrate the event by holding our annual Back-to-School Feast—one of our favorite family traditions.
We usher in the new school year by throwing a fancy meal, complete with crowns for the girls to wear. They are princesses on this day—princesses excited for a new school year!
In years past I have sewn crowns (one year I actually sewed bonnets) or made them out of paper, but this year I cheated and bought them Disney tiaras. I just covered up the princesses with their names and grades.
I kind of love that my girls still look forward to—and even demand—wearing their back-to-school princess crowns.
Still, I don’t even want to tell you how long it took me to get the ovals and fonts just the right size to glue into these crowns. I may as well have sewn them something for all the time it took!
I consider the most important part of our feast to be the introduction of the new school year’s family theme.
Each year, my husband and I discuss what we think would best benefit our family and come up with a theme. We try to base it on scripture, or at least a hymn or church Primary song of some sort, and then we do our best to make it a focus of our Family Home Evenings and other family meetings.
I always create a printable of the theme to display in our home, and I often make smaller versions for the girls to put in their lockers, on their mirrors, or wherever will allow them to see it often and remind them.
(Scroll to the end of this post to download the printable)
This year our theme is Do What is Right Let the Consequence Follow.
My husband actually came up with the whole thing, including the scriptures that we are using to flesh out its meaning. Our focus is on the blessings that come when we are diligent in doing our duty, whatever our duties may be. We are focusing on doing the right thing, no matter how much we don’t really want to do it.
I feel that this was the perfect theme for our family right now, if just for me personally. I have huge struggles lately doing the things that are my duty. Whether that be my church calling, going to work every day, or just keeping the house clean.
It’s hard! And I really don’t feel like being diligent right now. I feel like going to bed and ignoring my duties completely. (Although, taking care of me right now is a HUGE duty, so going to bed might not be as bad as I make it out to be!)
(Scroll to the bottom of this post to download this printable)
We talked a lot about how being diligent in things like homework and working on their church assignments will bring them the blessings of knowledge, virtue, faith, and many more things. Things that are much more important in the long run than just good grades or a Personal Progress medallion.
We also talked quite a bit about what not doing our duty looks like. What wasting time on electronic devices and getting sucked into the unimportant stuff does to our spirits. Not to mention our grades or our ability to concentrate on what’s truly important.
Related: Easy Autumn Themed Placecard Holders
The girls get it. They really, really do.
I was so pleased to see that they each took their little pocket-sized theme and hung it in their lockers this morning. I didn’t even tell them to do it. I’m tickled that they aren’t embarrassed of a family theme that is obviously religious hanging where all their friends can see it.
They are amazing girls, they really are.
But then they came home from school today. And while they mean well, and they didn’t get on their electronics, they weren’t exactly diligent about doing chores or practicing or anything like that. We may have even had a temper tantrum or two.
It reminded me that the family feast and theme idea isn’t a magical thing that makes my children suddenly change into perfectly diligent angels. But that’s why we do it.
Because we all need the daily reminder to be just a little bit better than we were yesterday.
And they definitely were a little bit better than they were yesterday, so to me that means what we are doing here is a gigantic success.
My husband made Chicken Cordon Bleu over rice and served with steamed squash. We all loved it, of course.
Here is my oldest little princess. She is going to be a SOPHOMORE. I don’t even know how that is possible because I think I was a sophomore in high school five years ago.
I’m pretty impressed she was willing to put on a tiara, but she looks forward to it every year! (PS She was 9 when we started this tradition. Sigh.)
Princess Middle Daughter is entering 7th grade.
She is such a delight to be around lately. I have a lot to blog about the reasons why, but I haven’t had a real chance to sit down and formulate a thoughtful post. Let’s just say 6th grade was hard for her—really hard—and this summer has been a growing experience, but I haven’t seen her this happy in a long time. I’m so thankful.
Update: A bullying situation was the thing that made 6th grade hard. Read about that here: 10 Signs Your Child’s Best Friend is a Bully
My youngest princess is entering 4th grade this year.
She is such a fun kid, even if she is the most strong-willed kid to ever live.
She makes me laugh hard every single day, and she also makes my hair turn grey every single day. It’s a balance. But I’m sure thankful she’s mine, even though it is totally unbelievable that my baby is in fourth grade. I don’t know what is happening to my life!
After the feast, the girls modeled their outfits for the first day of school and The Maestro gave each of them a Father’s Blessing jam packed with wonderful advice and promises for this school year.
That is my favorite part, as it gives each of us (he gives me a blessing, too) a wonderful start full of peace and God’s love.
Here’s to an amazing new school year, filled with diligence and doing what is right. I’m excited to see what we learn this year as we focus on this theme!
Feel free to download my printables if you would like to use them in your own home or church lessons: