5 Ways to Welcome Your Child Home From School

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The following post is written by contributing writer, JessieLeigh:

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Ah, back to school. It’s a bittersweet time. With the excitement of new notebooks and pencils comes the worry about difficult subjects. With the joy of meeting new friends comes the fear of not fitting in. With the fresh new start of a school year comes the end of a glorious summer.

And don’t even get me started on my weepy mama heart as I prepare to send TWO off to full-day school this year for the first time ever!

As melancholy as I may feel about the whole thing at times, I want my kids to be upbeat and positive about heading out the door on their first day. I want them to look forward to wonderful new experiences. And I also want them to feel welcomed and cherished upon their arrival back home.

Here are a few simple ways to make your child’s homecoming a little extra special for both of you:

1) Write or draw a greeting in the road or driveway where your child is dropped off. You don’t have to be an artist– kids LOVE to see their names written out, and the bigger, the better. Whip out his favorite color and let loose with the sidewalk chalk… you may even find it’s relaxing for you!

2) Dance it out! Put on an upbeat tune and dance with your kiddo. This will help burn off the wiggles that might build up during the ride home and is sure to inspire lots of giggles and bonding.

3) Prepare a special snack. A rich coffee cake topped with raspberry sugar might not have the protein power (or ease) of string cheese, but it’s a fun treat. Serve up yogurt or applesauce in a pretty glass to make her feel like a queen. Serving a snack that requires actual dishes encourages your child to sit down, loosen up, and perhaps share about her day.

4) Set up a cozy nest. I love to heap pillows all around a bean bag to form a big, comfy landing spot. My little ones and I can easily pile on there and it’s a low-key, safe place for them to relax and open up about what all happened over the course of the day. Sometimes it’s easier to chat while piled on cushions than it is when someone’s looking you directly in the eye.

5) Plan a fun, but relaxing, evening. Those first few weeks of school often pass in a whirlwind. Getting used to a new schedule and routine is a lot of work in and of itself! Prepare a simple supper everyone enjoys, pop in a movie or some great music, and relax together. Unwind. Make sure your “home time” allows your child the opportunity to decompress and, honestly, do nothing for a bit each day. This will go a long way in making sure he’s refreshed and ready to start anew when the next day arrives!

How do you like to make your child’s homecoming special?

What are your favorite ways for reconnecting?

— JessieLeigh is the mother of a former 24-week micropreemie and two full-term blessings as well. She is a determined advocate for the tiniest of babies, including the unborn, and a firm believer in faith and miracles.

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  1. We have notebook agendas at school in which the kids have to write down their homework each day and bring it home. There’s a section included each day for “notes.” This is where I kind of journal what my child did that day in her life and write to her. It’s fun to go back at the end of school and look at it, and she loves to read it all the time.

  2. My oldest is in her first year of college (sniff, sniff), but my youngest, at 16, still looks forward to me opening the door every day when she gets off the bus. That’s all I do – open the door for her and ask how her day was – but it’s clear it’s important to her. On the infrequent days that I don’t hear the bus and get to the door a little later than usual, she’s disappointed.

    1. I love that, Elise, and find it so encouraging. My oldest is now 8, but your comment gives me hope that they might still enjoy seeing my smiling face for many years to come. 🙂

  3. I drive my kids too and from school, so it’s a little different. I get out of the car and give them a big smile and a big hug both at drop off and pick up rather than having them let themselves in and out of the car. This routine originally started because the door handle of our van stopped working, but it created such a valuable connection point that I’ve been doing it ever since.

  4. I love the idea of the homemade bread, such a comforting smell. I also love the sidewalk chalk idea. My daughters are only in nursery & preschool but what great traditions to start. I do remember my own Mom putting notes in my lunch box and them really making my day. Thanks for all of the great ideas.

  5. Those are such great ideas!!! I especially love the chalk idea. My daughter will be home for lunch every day this semester, so looking forward to some lunch dates. My son on the other hand won’t get home until dinner. Thinking I like the bean bag idea, some place for them to crash and we can hang out and talk.

  6. This is just in time for my girls’ homecoming from their first day of 6th grade. Love the snack idea. (I think they’d die of embarrassment if I wrote in chalk. They’ve outgrown that ‘silly’ stuff I guess. Great for little kids, though.)

  7. My oldest just left for his first day of first grade today (sniff, sniff). It’s also his first time being away all day; kindergarten was only 1/2 a day. I wrote a little note for his lunch box & now I’m trying to figure ut how to make the coming home special. if it wasn’t raining the sidewalk chalk is a GREAT idea. I’ve got meals planned out for the rest of the week (we will be so sick of chicken LOL) need to find an easy snack to make

    1. I’m sniffling with you, Cheryl! This “full day” stuff is all new for me this year. Lunch box notes are so special. (Even my husband likes to get those– but don’t tell him I revealed that in a blog comment! ;))

  8. In the mornings I program my bread machine so that I can have fresh baked bread coming out of the oven when the kids get home. I like to use the dough cycle so I’d have more flexibility for rolls, loaves, breadsticks etc. As high school kids involed in after school atheletic practices, they would come home starving, and I had no hesitation to serve fresh milled whole wheat baked items right out of the oven. Two of my kids are off at college now, but they still say coming home to the smell of fresh baked bread was an awesome welcome home everyday!

    1. I love this idea! Fresh baked bread is such a wonderful, homey smell and experience. I bet your kids miss it now that they’re at college, but it will make those homecomings even sweeter!

      1. Sometimes I send bread dough back to college with my daughter when she visits. She has made lots of friends in dorm by baking rolls in the hall kitchen. Seems like everyone on her hall comes out for the homey smell and warm rolls!

  9. Love the writing their name out in chalk idea! My son (almost 2) and I love to play with our sidewalk chalk. We always are writing big notes in the driveway to welcome Daddy home from work! My son loves to read off the letters to me and my husband always likes the handwritten note!