September. The month of the annual back to school pandemic. It is easily one of the most talked about months of the year. For weeks, everywhere you look, you are bombarded with back to school this and back to school that. From snacks to socks; nothing is spared. Even those who cautiously hide away will sooner or later get caught up in the back to school madness. But fear not, for I have been observing this back to school phenomenon closely and thought I would kick-start REOLife with a blog post dedicated to this back to school craze. This post may help you hold it together this September.
The back to school build-up develops throughout three stages with a process I call filling. Filling? What is that I hear you ask? To put it simply, its when everything, everywhere begins to fill. A sudden growth of back to school everything! It all starts with a big bang. Each year, around the end of July, there is an instant explosion of excited children who suddenly fill the playgrounds. If you visit your regular peaceful, spacious playground and find yourself surrounded by a large number of squealing kids, there’s a good chance stage one has already started. It ALWAYS starts at the playgrounds. Within 7 days the filling process will have made its way over to all the neighboring parks, pools, museums and other attractions. A burst of new, fun holiday activities to fill the week appear. You quickly try to book on a brand-new, super-cool, your-kids-will-love it activity only to be told, “We’re sorry, but this is now fully booked!” I mean, really? It was only posted on Facebook five minutes ago! Car parking spaces also become vulnerable at this stage.
Survival tips: Keep calm and breathe. Although this is the longest phase it is very easy to manage with deep breathing techniques. Try to avoid the busiest areas and retreat back to nature. The woodlands, lakes and other heritage sites could be a safe choice. Most people manage to ‘ride it out’ although others may need a small glass of wine 🙂
The second stage spreads quite rapidly. No longer can you hide from the back to school fever as it enters our homes. Media is filled with advertisements for back to school shoes and back to school bags. Leaflets sneak through your door full of back to school boxes and back to school books. Retailers fill their shelves will all the back to school so-called essentials from pants to pens and bobbles to bottles. The list of items you NEED to buy for ‘back to school’ is ever-growing. Where will it end? Playgrounds, somehow, continue to fill.
Survival tips: Back to school fever may have surfaced by now. Increase your breathing exercises and practice whenever necessary. Invest in a stress ball and use as and when required. If all else fails, re-visit nature again…with the ball in one hand and a hip flask full of wine in the other. Maybe?
The last week of August is well known for the back to school rush. I found this to be the main symptom of the third phase. By this point, most people will find themselves completely caught up in the back to school craze. You may even be counting the days for back to school yourself! Cars fill the roads as parents do their big back to school haul. Strangers will ask if you are excited for the kids to go back to school. As the highly anticipated day draws closer, each child must go through the sacred back to school ritual. Hair must be cut, baths must be had and an early night is prescribed. After all, it is back to school the morning.
Survival tips: A full bottle of wine. Or vodka. Same difference, right?
Then it arrives. The big day everyone has been waiting for. Parents jump out of bed at the crack of dawn as back to school finally begins. Social media fills with the traditional back to school photos of children standing by their front door in their shiny new back to school shoes showing off their “you’ll-grow-into-it” jumpers.
Meanwhile, home educators everywhere slowly begin to peer outside again. The parks are now empty, the pools are free and the car parking spaces have made a full recovery.
Welcome back to homeschool everyone!! Hope you have enjoyed this fun post. Let me know what you thought by leaving me a comment below. Have a great year!