As students of all ages head back to school, there are some simple ways that parents, grandparents, and caretakers can mark the beginning of another year of school. Whether it is the first year of pre-school, or the final year of college or graduate school, taking pictures to mark the stage of their life is a simple and wonderful way to create a timeline for them.

One thing that can be helpful is to take the pressure off regarding the first day of school. If there is time, a picture on the first day can be fun. But, if things are rushed or filled with issues and anxieties, then taking a picture on the second, third, or fourth day is essentially the same picture. It will be an accurate representation of them at this age and stage of life. I can tell you there were times I forgot to take the photos until the 2nd or third day of school.  These photos are just as memorable!

Another thing that can be fun is to find different places around your home to take the pictures. These pictures will be looked at for many years, as you, your student, your student’s friends, partners, children, etc. remember how things were at this time. If the pictures over the years include different rooms in your home, around the yard, or even in different homes, it will serve as a reminder to everyone of the setting at the time of the photo. 

Another thing you might try is making a short video interview with your student. This allows you to have a record of how they looked, the sound of their voice, and the way they communicated ideas. 

Here are our suggestions about video making:

  1. Don’t worry about the sound or the production value. Think more like the old 8 mm family videos. It is not about quality – it is about capturing the memory of your child.
  2. Consider including a shot of yourself and other family members, if possible. These memories will mean so much to all of you when you are all in the short video.
  3. Keep the video short and sweet. A couple of minutes is plenty of time to help you remember the day and this season of life.
  4. Have a couple of questions prepared to ask your student. Try some of these or feel free to create your own
    1. What are you excited about as school starts this year?
    2. Which subjects do you like? Which ones make you concerned?
    3. What do you think will be different after this year of school?

Finally, think about whether it is necessary to share these memories with the social media universe. There is nothing wrong with sharing them, but make sure everyone, including your child, feels good about having them out there for everyone to see,

Have some fun making memories of the beginning of the school year! Have a back to school party. Eat a meal dressed in silly outfits. Do something together that makes everyone laugh. And take some pictures. Make some videos. And keep those memories forever!