Back to School Feast

Guest Post by Courtney of A Work in Progress

Two years ago, I started a tradition with a nervous smile and fake confidence. I was sure my family would think I had read one too many blogs about crafty parenting. I am not the most creative person, but I am determined that even I, a non-scrapbooking mother, can create authentic and meaningful traditions for my little brood. So, I got brave and revealed my plan: a Back to School Feast.

I have read about this idea, or a version of it, in many places. Our tradition is this: We have a special dinner as a family the night before school starts, where we introduce a theme for Fall and a corresponding Bible verse. Our original Back to School Feast started a seasonal theme/verse tradition in our home, which was a pleasant surprise. I did not expect us to keep the “family theme/verse” going on a regular rotation, but we have, for two years now. This summer, our verse has been, Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8. I simply wrote it on our kitchen chalkboard and we have memorized it during meals. It is low pressure.

This year, we will have two Back to School Feasts, because our oldest starts Kindergarten two weeks before our youngest returns to preschool. With two different “first days” of school, the boys have insisted on two Feasts. They love this tradition, and have surprised me by remembering not only our themes and verses, but also exactly what we ate, and that we had pink lemonade. They want to milk this for all it’s worth! I have agreed to two Feasts this month, but they will share a common, new theme: Ask God for Help; I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13.

I will let each child help me plan his Feast, making decisions regarding the menu and décor. As you can see from the photos, we keep the menu simple and the table setting kid friendly.

My prayer is that this Feast sets the tone for a successful school year, rooted in faith and a strong family unit. I try to pick themes and verses that will encourage good behavior and build upon a foundation of faith, even when we are not there to provide encouragement and support. In addition, I hope that each Feast gets our children excited about school, and that we can continue to enjoy this tradition for many years to come.

Courtney Buxton is a former lawyer, who spends her days outnumbered and with the most challenging and rewarding of clients, her two young boys. In an effort to find peace with the whole stay-at-home-mom thing, she started blogging. She enjoys writing about all things motherhood and faith related at her blog, A Work in Progress.


  1. awesome idea! let me get this straight. the theme is Ask God for help. and the verse is Phi 4:13. and u memorize the verse. How long do u take to memorize the verse? a couple weeks or all year? thanks!

    1. Hi Melanie – Yes, our theme will be “Ask God for Help” and our verse will be Phil 4:13. We introduce the verse and theme during the dinner, and then work on memorizing it throughout the fall. I’ll write it on our (small) kitchen chalkboard as a reminder. So during meals, I might say, “Can anyone remember our verse?” and then we’ll say it together. My kids can’t really read yet, so it is all repetition at this point. It usually takes us at least a few weeks to get it memorized. Again – low pressure :) So glad you liked the idea!

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