Traditions of Faith : Back to School FeastAugust 16, 2016
It’s that time of year again! The school year is coming upon us quickly…or if you’re like me you might already be a couple weeks in! So whether you have started school or soon will, whether your kids are homeschooled or attend a private school, this tradition is for you! It is the perfect way to help kids “put on the armor of God” before sending them off in the world.
I’m sure many of you have seen a few of these #backtoschoolfeasts floating around social media (and if you haven’t then I’m glad you are here!). With my first child starting his first year in a public school kindergarten I knew this was a tradition of faith I wanted to start for my family. And I also know there is nothing like a tutorial from the pros, so we are sending that straight to you today! Jamie Cook (@wander_and_scout) is our guest poster today telling us all about her family’s back to school feasts.
Five years ago, when my firstborn was headed off to kindergarten, we started the tradition of throwing a back-to-school feast the night before school started. They’d choose their favorite foods, I’d decorate the table with school supplies, we’d introduce a theme for that school year, and we’d end the night with each child receiving a father’s blessing (a special prayer given to each of them by their dad.)
Simple as this tradition is, our little Back to School Feasts have grown to become a very meaningful tradition for our family!
The themes have ranged from very simple: Work Hard and Be Kind was one of our very first mottos–to a little deeper as the kids have “grown” (although they’re still little at ages 9, 7, 4, and 2.) Last year’s theme was Stick to the Task and the kids memorized one of my husband’s favorite poems to go along with it. Watching them recite it throughout the year has pretty much been the world’s cutest thing! When they’ve wanted to quit their chores, homework, sports, etc we recite the poem and remind them to stick to the task:
Stick to the task ’til it sticks to you
Beginners are many but enders are few.
Honor, power, place and praise,
Will come at last to the one who stays.
Stick to the task ’til it sticks to you
Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it too
For our of that bend and that sweat and that smile
Will come life’s victories after awhile.
This year our theme is ‘Let Your Light Shine” with the accompanying scripture in Matthew 5:16 to go along with it:
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.”
Another favorite scripture to go along with the theme is the preceding verse Matthew 5:14:
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house.”
I want my kids to let their goodness and light and faith and work ethic and innocence shine. I want them to know that God loves them deeply. I want them to know that they have worth and value. And I want them to help their friends and classmates to see that light in themselves.
My hope is that introducing a theme at back-to-school time and reinforcing it throughout the year will help them to develop confidence and character and faith.
Jamie and her husband have raised their kids in Boston, San Francisco and most recently Salt Lake City. She shares all about their family adventures as she raises her kids and scouts out the best parks, hiking trails and seasonal activities. Follow along with her on instagram, @wander_and_scout or on her blog, ww.wanderandscout.co.
Thank you Jamie for giving us a peek into how this can be done! We would love to hear how others of you out there plan and carry out your back to school feast, and especially how it can become a tradition of strengthening faith in your family! So please share any tips or successes you have had in the comments below.