Abbey Lou, Taking Style To Class

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Back to School...Ready or Not!

Jennifer Smith - Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The phrase "back to school" can illicit different reactions in different people.  Some people may feel excited to go back - to see their friends and start something new.  Others may feel nervous or scared.  Many students just feel dread - the homework, the schedule, the stress!  Whichever category you fit into, the one thing you all if in common is this - it is here, and what you make of this school year is entirely up to you!

Starting a new year can feel a little like New Years, er, in August.  It is a chance to reassess yourself.  To look at how you did last year and make new goals for this year.  Think you could do better on your grades?  Need to be more organized?  Want to try out for something new?  Well, here is that chance to start fresh and have a better year!  

At the beginning of each new school year, we sit down as a family and talk about what is ahead.  We encourage the kids to set goals and to "start strong."  Emphasizing that it is a lot easier to start on top then to try to pull yourself up after a bad start.  We are full of all kinds of wisdom like that.  Having said that, we didn't start so strong this year.  

We started school on August 5.  Yep, here in blazing Arizona, we start school early!  I'm not sure why that is (and if there are any member of the Arizona Dept. of Education reading my blog, feel free to pass my sentiments on at the next board meeting).  On August 5 we are still in summer vacation mode.  Frankly, we are just too hot and lazy to take school seriously.  This year in particular we were still at the lake until a day before school started.  Come monday morning, I threw some pencils in a backpack and sent my kids out the door.  The week pretty much stayed that way - chaotic, unorganized, frenzied.  And with 3 out of the 4 kids now with raging colds.  

Lesson learned?  I'm a bad mom.  Another lesson learned?  School is here - whether I think it is too early or not - and you have the power to make it a great (or not so great) year.  I encourage you to sit down and think about what you want this year to bring...and how to get it!  I found a saying on Pinterest (because Pinterest knows everything) that outlined 7*UP lifting goals for starting back to school:

1. Wake up - and decide to have a good day

2.  Dress up - the best way to dress up is to put on a smile!

3.  Cheer up - say nice things and have a positive attitude

4.  Stand up - for what you believe in.  

5.  Look up - to the Lord.  He is only a prayer away

6.  Reach up - for something higher.  Set some good goals

7.  Lift up - be a good friend and help those around you

Well said unknown author on Pinterest, well said!  Now get out there and make it a great year.  Set some goals, try something new, be confident, make a new friend!  And for heaven's sake...start STRONG!

Being glad to be back at school (Is that even possible?)

Jennifer Smith - Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Girl's Chance to Go to School

As the first bell of the first day of school rings, it may be hard to think positive thoughts. As you walk into your classroom and leave your long summer days behind you, there may be reason to celebrate. Celebrate!? That’s right. CEL-A-BRATE!

Did you know that in some countries around the world, girls aren’t allowed to go to school? It may sound like a dream come true, until you realize what their days are filled of instead of school. As a female in one of these countries you are usually expected to participate in hard labor throughout the day. Fetching water, scrubbing floors, taking care of children and cooking over a hot stove could be what takes up an entire day.

Educating girls in school has taken time to become a norm. It is easy to take it for granted here, because the United States values the education of women. In developing countries, educating women has a direct and positive correlation with that woman’s ability to provide for herself, with her health levels and with her ability to care for her children.

There are many amazing pioneers in education that have taken their belief, that women should be educated, to third world countries. Slowly, but surely, progress is being made around the world.

So, walk into school with your head held high this year. Succeed in your classes, work hard and learn all that you can. Maybe, when you grow up, you will be able to take your education to those many women that are not as privileged as you around the world and share with them what you are going to learn today, tomorrow and for the rest of your time as a student.