I’m pulled in so many directions these days, so ensuring quality time with my family is a big deal to me. I’m known around my house to schedule a big event, like a movie night or a game night and to make a big fuss over it for days leading up to the big night. So, in true Tiana Starks fashion I planned a Back To School Party, (but only for the residents of my house)! And because it was a party, there was much fanfare, and it started two weeks before the date (build anticipation - marketing 101)!
I got the idea for this party from the book, Make It Happen Blueprint by Michelle McCollough. First let me say, this book is THE BOMB! I love it, because it’s all about taking control of your life and understanding that nothing just happens to you. It reiterates my belief that you have the power to do whatever you want in life through the choices you make. I’ll likely be adding it to my yearly reading list, it is just that good. But, more on the book in a later blog post.
Back to the party… So in the book, there is a chapter called A Pattern For Raising Up Little High Performers, and in it she talks about a friends method for getting her kids ready for the upcoming school year. She describes how the whole family gets together to develop a family theme/motto for the school year that identifies their family values in their own words. Additionally each person has to come up with five goals for the year:
An educational goal
A relationship goal (friends & family)
A health goal
A spiritual goal
A personal goal
I LOVED IT! So I Made It Happen (see what I did there).
I’m always looking for ways to instill wholesome values and responsibility into my children, as we all know, they do not come with a training manual (I have my mom, but she didn’t have a manual either). So, this concept of a back to school party really resonated with me! In addition to the family theme and goals setting, I wanted to make the party a real Starks affair, so of course I added some family cooking. I’m also implementing a new methodology for making school lunches, so we started that too. Here’s what we did:
First, we made homemade chewy granola bars, because they are so freaking delicious and anytime I get to cook with my kids it’s a good time. Kinedy (my 6 year old daughter) loves helping in the kitchen and I love teaching her how to cook. And SERIOUSLY, THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING. Try it out as soon as possible.
Then, we tried something new! I’m so excited about this, as I believe it will change my life! We prepared 1-2 weeks of lunch for Kinedy, using the mix-n-match method. I bought refrigerator bins and baskets for the pantry, whose sole purpose will be to hold items that Kinedy can put in her lunch as she pleases. She will be responsible for making her lunch daily, because with first grade come much responsibility. And it frees up more time for me to take care of the toddler (Terrell) in the mornings. So, here’s the breakdown of the boxes/baskets that we put together.
Box #1: Proteins - She is allowed to take 2 items from this box
Laughing cow cheese
Zip bags with Salami & Cheese (a favorite in our house)
Homemade granola bars (because they are better when they are refrigerated)
(I would advise to include nuts in this box as well, we don’t have any because of allergies)
Box #2: Fruit & Veggies - 1 item from this box
Carrots w/ranch dip (the fancy kind made with greek yogurt)
Celery w/ranch dip
Box #3: Dry foods - 1 item from this box
Box #4: Treats - 1 item from this box
Finally, we started our goal setting. I added a little twist, by creating mini-vision boards. I bought some card stock, glitter glue, inspirational stickers, letter stickers, etc. and we went all craft mode on our goals.
Our 2017-2018 School Year Family Motto Is:
In our house we value FAMILY and FRIENDS.
But we can only keep family and friends if we treat them with RESPECT and KINDNESS.
We will maintain HEALTHY habits.
It is our RESPONSIBILITY to uphold these values, and to make each other HAPPY.
Everyday we will go BEASTMODE.
Of course we have to go BEASTMODE.
I hope you enjoyed what you read, or gleaned some insight/value. If you did please share.
Also, if you decide to have a back to school party at your home, let me know how it goes. I would love to hear about it.