A Great Start

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on September 17, 2009

My kiddos were eager to start lessons again and we’ve now almost completed our second week back at school. I must say that if we can maintain the momentum with which we began, this year will be lovely!

school suppliesI’d like to think that my children’s eagerness to get back to school was due to the fact that they love to learn, but I’m afraid it was more because their neighborhood friends began to disappear every day. At any rate, I’m hoping and praying that this enthusiasm will continue throughout the entire year as we memorize Scripture and as some of my kiddos learn the sounds of the letters, while others study fractions and explore how the human body functions.

Now, I’m not much of a list-maker, but I’ve always benefited by writing out my goals for a new year, whether it’s a new school year or a new calendar year. While my number one goal as a teacher is to instill a love of learning, there are many things I resolve to do every day to accomplish this goal and I’ve managed to keep my “school year’s resolutions”… I know that today only marks the eighth day of our school year, with many days left to go, but it is certainly a good start, right?

One thing I need to work on is encouragement. I suppose encouragement can show itself in many forms ::

  • Helping the kids through a rough problem, while ensuring them that they can indeed do it
  • Providing opportunities for them to excel in an area of interest
  • Allowing ways for them to encourage and uplift each other

Whatever form it takes, I need to remind myself that my kiddos need my encouragement, no matter how difficult it may seem at the moment.

There are so many great things in store for us this year…. I’m exhausted just thinking about it all! To stay refreshed and rejuvinated, I’ve finally connected with other homeschool families in our community, which was something my kids and I really need this year. We now plan to go on some fun field trips with this new group, connect with old friends who homeschool, and continue to learn about life and the world around us.

I am so excited!

Going back to school is an exciting, fun and sometimes, hectic time. To calm the butterflies and build your kids’ confidence, Hallmark has put together this great resource to encourage moms like you. Just for sharing a bit of advice, you’ll be entered to win a prize package valued at $500… Check it out!

You can also win a $50 Hallmark gift card, right here at From Dates to Diapers! Just leave a comment here about your kiddos’ first day, week or month of school. I would love to hear about any fun traditions you may have started this year. You may receive additional entries (up to one per day) by tweeting a link to this giveaway, using the hashtag #D2Dgvwy. Be sure you leave me a separate comment for each tweet. A winner will be chosen, and contacted via email, on September 30th.

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Hallmark. The views and opinions are mine.

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{ 167 comments… read them below or add one }

bobbie September 17, 2009 at 4:11 am

(Did you mean October 15th?)

Our kids were home-schooled years ago. Our eldest is now 40 and they are homeschooling their 8 children. I won’t give you all the details of our family (6 kids) but our 2nd child (38) also home-schools their 8 as well. Back ‘in the day’ we didn’t have all of the resources this generation has but one of things we did was buy new school clothes each fall for the children, set up a regular class room with desks for each, said the pledge of alliance, (to the American and also the Christian flags) each morning and we toured all kinds of businesses. Going shopping for school supplies also helped build excitement for them. It’s very rewarding to see all 22 of our grandchildren home-schooled and the difference it has made in the choices they make and their overall behavior.


Rebecca Orr September 17, 2009 at 4:26 am

I buy some clothes and school supplies for my step-son and step-daughter every year. I know that they love getting new clothing….but I truly think that I enjoy buying the school supplies more than they do. The notebooks, the pens, the smell of brand new binders!!! Ahhh…I love it. It makes me want to be back in school…okay, maybe I could just go back to college and get my degree!! I am thinking of homeschooling my two year old when he gets to be school age…or maybe a christian school. I went to public school until 9th grade. Then I spent 4 years at a christian academy that I loved. I have no say what schools my step-children go to considering that they don’t live with us…but I want to make the best choice for my son.


julie September 17, 2009 at 5:55 am

my kids first week has been good so far. already in contact with teachers about my children. we are discussing any problems that might arise or problems that I’m aware of.


Linda B September 17, 2009 at 10:33 am

Because of birthdate requirements my grandaughter cannot attend pre-K because she was born two weeks late. I care for her while her mother works and therefore I am going to do a pre-K homeschool. I have a lot of her older brothers books, cds and activities from pre-K to help. It’s going great! She is learning so fast and is really enjoying our “school” time.


Kristie September 17, 2009 at 11:21 am

School here in MI just started last week, so I decided to do a little homeschool preschool with my oldest who is 3. We do a few worksheets a day along with a few learning activities. A couple days a week we’re focusing on a letter/number of the day. Today we focused on the number 1. She did her worksheets then we baked ’1′ big cookie and we played her Clifford UNO card game. I think I’m having as much fun coming up with things to do as she is having fun doing them! LOL! :-)


Beth G September 17, 2009 at 11:35 am

I take the kids shopping a few wks before school to pick out their fav backpack and lunch box. They we pick some new shoes and clothes (not over kill, I garage sale all summer for winter wear). I take them into the school the first day (only day all year I go in with them to drop off) and of course take pictures and hide my tears, for I know that these years will go by so fast. I send little notes in their lunch boxes all year for encouragement. Thanks for the entry.


Heather September 17, 2009 at 11:43 am

We homeschool year around so nothing really changes in the fall except I get the crockpot out more :-)

Mostly I am in awe of the first responder! Six children – and two of your children have 8! What fun you must have at your house! I will definitely be checking out your blog next!


Soraya September 17, 2009 at 12:06 pm

The first month of school was par for the course for my kiddos. Now that they’re in middle school, their so self directed!


becca September 17, 2009 at 12:35 pm

My son goes to preschool 3 days a week and loves it. He doesn’t cry, but I do all the way home. Of course I am all smiles when I drop him off:)


carol September 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm

My granddaughter starts school next year. She already is well prepared to go to school. She knows her alphabet, numbers, How to print etc. She will be teaching the other kids how to do it!


Sandra September 17, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Have ten kids who have living and learning at home. An amazing journey where I wonder who actually learns more … the kids or momma.

Been an amazing adventure.


stacey moore September 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm
Wendy September 17, 2009 at 8:35 pm

I am thrilled to have found your blog. I have 7, 9 and under. Love the name of your blog! Wendy


Autumn Beck September 17, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Just found your blog by way of some random blog hop and really enjoy it! We homeschool year round so no “start of the year traditions”. But I did take school pics of the kids this year. They dressed up and then quickly turned the nice clothes into messy play clothes :)


ky2here September 18, 2009 at 6:45 pm

The grandkids first week was kind of frightening. Due to new security, several children were isolated from general population and held until parents/guardians could collect them from school. Many of the children were frightened and wondering if they would be singled out and detained. Kind of like Gitmo but without Lindy Englund and the leash.


Anne Taylor September 18, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I always loved the tradition of packing up all the kids, lists in hand and heading out to get everything in one trip! It was hectic, but it was fun too! The kids love the crisp, new books, the new pencils and pens!

Everyone would get a new pair of shoes, and a few clothes. We would wait for the weather to change before getting the colder weather necessities.


[email protected]
(in Canada)


Anne Taylor September 18, 2009 at 8:00 pm
Erin Mize September 18, 2009 at 10:28 pm

The first day of school was such a huge relief to me!
turned out she had alot of fun
With her new hellokitty outfit!

i love it~


Shannon Baas September 18, 2009 at 10:44 pm

We are homeschooling so it has been a gradual process and is going well.


Michelle Draveski September 18, 2009 at 11:02 pm

just getting new school supplies and clothes is fun but I also get them an educational video game ( like jump start) pertaining to whatever grade they are going into and the subjects they will learn that year. To them they are just playing a game but I know they are getting a chance to be ahead of the rest of the class and get better grades


Carol September 19, 2009 at 2:21 am

Our long-standing tradition is that my husband goes in later to work so he can cook a big breakfast to start the year off right.


Carol September 19, 2009 at 2:22 am
debi welbon September 19, 2009 at 3:14 am

My daughter was shy – so we both cried when she started to school, but my son was a real handfull and I was so excited when he started!!


Linda Fish September 19, 2009 at 4:09 am

well my kid daughter is in college and we had fun last year shopping for items for her student apartment.


Tari Lawson September 19, 2009 at 4:30 am

I felt a little bad about my son’s first day of school. He had a great day, however, I was not at the bus stop to meet him when he got home. Thankfully we had gone over what to do if that ever happened and he did it (he is in 2nd grade). I was actually headed out the door when the bus pulled up 8 minutes ahead of the scheduled dropoff time. Ugh.


adrienne Gordon September 19, 2009 at 4:45 am

My daughter insists on wearing a dress each and every day to Kindergarten


Margaret Smith September 19, 2009 at 5:36 am

For my kids first day of school, we have something of a tradition,whereby I bake a special cake. I bake something to do with school. In the past few years, I’ve done a school bus, box of crayons, book, and a ruler. The kids really look forward to these cakes each year.
Thanks so much.


Laura September 19, 2009 at 5:49 am

School is going well so far! We have a tradition of making a sign with what grade the kids are going in to, then they hold it for pictures on the first day of school. That way we can see how much they grow and change from the beginning of the year until the end.


Carol G September 19, 2009 at 6:24 am

This year the first month of school has been for my daughter, who has gone back to college after her kids were grown. She has been excited about it, but also felt that her brain had atrophied! I think this first semester will be the most stressful for her, since she doesn’t do well with math, and she is taking one of her required math courses, which has been fairly difficult for her.


Erica C. September 19, 2009 at 6:43 am

I just love when my girl comes home and talks so much about how exciting her first day was. I love it!


Sharon Harmon September 19, 2009 at 6:54 am

What I started doing this school year is making these small cards, decorated in paint or rhinestones or stickers, and writing positive affirmations on them, then hiding them in my kidlets’ lunch boxes, pockets, shoes, anywhere that will surprise them!! Thank you for the contest!


Denise B. September 19, 2009 at 7:22 am

We homeschool; and since we vacation during the year and not in the summer, we start homeschooling in June. I love the flexibility if gives us and the control over what she learns.


Patrice P September 19, 2009 at 7:26 am

The first week of school, we look over all the new textbooks and lesson plans, and make sure that we have all the needed supplies. We want learning to be fun and we are always glad to see the excitement about school.


Heather S September 19, 2009 at 8:07 am

When we back to school shop they each get a special outfit for the first day of school so they are always excited to get to wear their new outfit.


Autumn B. September 19, 2009 at 11:00 am

on my son’s first day of school he was so excited! until we got there…then he didn’t want me to leave & shed a few tears…ripped my heart out!

autumn398 @ yahoo.com


Anne Taylor September 19, 2009 at 11:28 am
Angela J September 19, 2009 at 11:44 am

My kids are grown, but I would always try to make their first day special and give them the idea this was a “good thing” so they would be enthusiastic.


Chris G. September 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm

On my daughter’s first day of school, the sitter took a picture of her getting on the school bus. Thanks for the giveaway!


Chris G. September 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm
Shilo Beedy September 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm

My daughter is loving school this year and she has the same teacher I had years ago. Shes in 4th grade and there now just basically going over all the stuff she learned the previous years of school.


Charlotte September 19, 2009 at 2:39 pm

My son loved preschool so much that when I went to pick him up he would run the other way. It used to hurt my feelings a little but I guess that was my way of knowing he was having a good time.


courtney s September 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm

my daughters first day of school was horrible because she was crying about how she didnt want to go.. LOl


courtney s September 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm
Jayne September 19, 2009 at 4:23 pm

When my daughter was in elementary school she was very excited, dressed up, and had her picture taken on the first day of school. Now, middle school age, it’s a low key excitement with jeans and sneakers, no pictures.


Pat Connors September 19, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Our fun tradition is to measure up in the hallway to mark the growth from each year. 12 months = two inches taller.


Dawn September 19, 2009 at 5:32 pm

My daughter’s first day of school was great for her. She was excited to meet new friends. It was a disaster for me since I cried all the way home about my baby growing up and starting school.


Djp September 19, 2009 at 5:42 pm

sign me up


Stacy September 19, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Just attended my daughter’s Open House last week. It’s important to get to know the teacher and their goals for the class. I’m aware of the expectations of her teacher so I can motivate her at home.


Angie September 19, 2009 at 8:44 pm

What a great blog.


Monique Rizzo September 19, 2009 at 11:39 pm
Anne Taylor September 20, 2009 at 10:12 am
Linda F September 20, 2009 at 11:21 am

School has been in seeion for three weeks. So far it has been uneventful except my son came home from school in the second week complaining that he had already been assigned a project. He didn’t think they should assign one so quickly.


Kate September 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm

My son started preschool this year. He is SO happy and proud of everything he is learning. We spend the whole ride home talking about all the things he learned and did.


Janna Johnson September 20, 2009 at 2:22 pm
Jessie C. September 20, 2009 at 2:29 pm

First day to school, DD actually didn’t want to go home since she loved her “school desk” and of course she asked if she could have the exact one at home.


Carol V. September 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm

When my son went to his first day middle school, he came out after school he got in the car and just broke down crying. He wasn’t use to changing classes every hour, and after his first period he left and went to second period. Only he forgot to take his binder (which had absolutely all his school supplies in it) with him. By the time he realized it and went back to the classroom, somebody had stolen his binder (yes it did have his name in it). He had to borrow paper and pencil from a friend to make it through the rest of the day.


joni September 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm

My daughter went to school for a whole two weeks and the teachers are now on strike (again!). Last year they went to school til the end of June due to a strike and here it goes again. Which means missing spring breaks and holiday breaks also.


Jo September 20, 2009 at 7:07 pm
Marjorie Whitney September 20, 2009 at 10:11 pm

I have to admit I cried when my grandson started school. Just as I had when each of my kids began. Some things never change, I guess.


Heather McDonough September 21, 2009 at 6:51 am

My son went “back to preschool” last week and he got to take a special lunch for that day.


McKim September 21, 2009 at 7:56 am

My son’s first day of kindergarten I walked up to the door with him, thinking he might be a little hesitant. Are you kidding? I didn’t even get a hug, a goodbye….nothing! He just took off inside, leaving me outside crying!


courtney s September 21, 2009 at 8:48 am
Anne Taylor September 21, 2009 at 10:51 am
pete September 21, 2009 at 11:51 am

He pretended being sick but it didn’t work.


Linda Lansford September 21, 2009 at 11:57 am

First day he got sick and he is sick every week. He does not like school


Kelly Ann T. September 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm

We shop on tax free weekend. The kids get so excited about the first day. We also go to lunch and talk about the upcoming year. The first day of school we always take a picture so the kids can see how they change from year to year.


Anne G September 21, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I am a long time homeschooler and this year for the first time one of my kids is going to public school, my 13 year old. It has been a big adjustment for her, especially the hours. She has to catch the bus at 6:55, so she is up before anyone else in the house. Her brother and sister and I start our homeschooling around 9 am. She is doing well so far, but already complaining she has no free time. We’ll see how the year goes, I’d love to have her back at home next year though, we miss her.


Anne G September 21, 2009 at 6:56 pm
jen September 21, 2009 at 7:24 pm

My girls started a new school about 3 weeks ago. So far so good but they were very nervous on the first day!


Harley September 21, 2009 at 8:15 pm

My brother always likes to get to school early on the first day of school.


Dana September 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm

My youngest is in 5th grade and taking the bus for the first time this year. The bus stop is just a block away, but he lets me drop him off on my way to work. We always end up with just a little time in the car together to share a few moments before we both start our day.


Courtney September 21, 2009 at 10:46 pm

My son loves that he’s back to school. He loves to help pack his lunch the night before.


Anne Taylor September 22, 2009 at 1:20 pm
Rebecca C September 22, 2009 at 4:02 pm

We had a sleepover on the last free night before school, kids really enjoyed it!


Rebecca C September 22, 2009 at 4:03 pm
Elizabeth J September 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm

My daughter loves school so her first day went well.


courtney s September 22, 2009 at 6:41 pm
Renski September 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm

My son started Kindergarten this year. He is SO happy and proud of everything he is learning.


Patricia Treskovich September 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm

no kuds to report about


Gail Crawford September 22, 2009 at 8:44 pm

We are getting ready for the fall festival.


Anne Taylor September 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm
Jay September 23, 2009 at 1:11 pm

We are still newbies (preK) but had fun getting all the needed gear ie backpack and lunchbag. We still are enjoying doing lessons at home and discerning homeschool for kindergarten! Glad we have one more yr. to pray and decide!


Anne G September 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm


From dates to diapers Hallmark GC giveaway #D2Dgvwy http://bit.ly/gf8JR


courtney s September 23, 2009 at 1:28 pm
Becky September 24, 2009 at 9:19 am

Let’s see I had to carry my kindergartener onto the bus and then pry him off of me.


Abby September 24, 2009 at 9:52 am

Read the book The Kissing Hand its awesome for back to school jitters!


Lori Sifuentes September 24, 2009 at 10:25 am

We make a big breakfast and have a dinner out, my son’s choice.

Thanks for the chance to win!


Linda September 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm

My grandson started school this fall and he loves going to school and seeing his friends again.


Anne Taylor September 24, 2009 at 8:14 pm
Anne Taylor September 25, 2009 at 9:56 am
Sheila Hickmon September 25, 2009 at 12:40 pm

My daughter started preschool this year, she comes home everyday telling me about what she did that day. I love that she is learning so much. We kind of started a tradition, when we went shopping for supplies and clothes, we took a whole day and had lunch and stuff. Just her and I. I would like to keep doing that, it was fun!


Anne G September 25, 2009 at 2:41 pm
Patricia Treskovich September 25, 2009 at 6:26 pm

tweeted Latest: http://bit.ly/gf8JRless than 5 seconds ago


courtney s September 26, 2009 at 8:50 am
Patricia Treskovich September 26, 2009 at 8:56 am

tweeted Latest: http://bit.ly/gf8JRless than 5 seconds agohttp://bit.ly/gf8JR less than 5 seconds ago from web


Anne Taylor September 26, 2009 at 10:18 am
Debra F September 26, 2009 at 12:37 pm

My youngest just started kindergarten this year and I drive him to a sitter who gets him on the bus every morning. He has 2 little friends he gets on the bus with there and he just loves it. It’s not a tradition or a ritual or anything, but the time we have driving to the sitter is special. We talk about our goals for the day – the little one obsesses over what he’ll have for breakfast, lunch and snack….boys are all about food! Its a fun time.


Jenny September 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm

We always take photos on the first day.


Jenny September 26, 2009 at 6:54 pm
Annette E September 27, 2009 at 7:13 am

My oldest started kindergarten this year. For the first few weeks he cried every day (when we dropped him off and during class). However, for the past week, he hasn’t cried at all!


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