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5 Ideas to Preserve Back to School Memories

Ardith Stephanson

7 min read

The days get shorter, the evenings cooler and the leaves are just starting to turn: it must be back to school time.

Heading back to school brings excitement for some children and a bit of sadness or anxiety for others. Parents often feel the same way when summer is over. And it’s OK to feel a mix of those emotions.

Back to school memories are worth saving, since the years pass quickly. And some research has shown a positive relationship between good memories and good health in young adults, giving you incentive to save memories for your children to enjoy later in life.

But you’re probably wondering how to preserve school memories in the best way? How can you share them with family and friends? And what school memories should you save beyond school start?

Here are 5 ideas to preserve back to school memories.

1. Create a School Memories Photo Album

The easiest way to save school memories is through photographs. That first day of school photo in the front yard is a popular one. Some parents get their kids to hold up a sign with their age, grade, school and teacher’s names.

What other photographs can be captured in a school memories photo album? Some kids love their new school supplies or their favorite outfit, so take photos of those. A picture with the new teacher is fun. A video of your child entering the school yard is a precious school memory. Get a shot with their friends and one of the classroom.

If you have a teenager, it might be a little more difficult to get them to consent to a photo or video of the first day of school. Since many teens have their own phone, ask your child to take some photos for you, impressing upon them that these memories will be valuable to them one day. Capturing the first day of school from their perspective will give you a different view into their day.

You could also add items on behalf of teenagers, like the recipe for their favourite dish at that age, a link to their favourite song that year, or a video of yourself telling them your feelings about their first day of school.

2. Add a Video and Audio Album

Videos are another easy way to collect school memories. With cameras on our smartphones, it’s easy to get a video of your child getting on the school bus, being greeted by the teacher, and coming home after school.

But consider going beyond a simple video and adding to your keepsake collection with some specific videos or audio files. How about interviewing your child with similar questions year after year? The answers will change and you’ll have a personal documentary of your child’s school years.

Here are some ideas of questions to ask:

  • What’s the best part of going back to school?

  • What’s your favorite part of the first day of school?

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?

  • What is your ideal school day?

  • Who is your best friend?

This type of video and/or audio interview time capsule will create a treasure trove of memories for years to come.

3. Write Down Memories

Another way to collect those special memories is by writing them down. A photograph or video doesn’t capture every facet of a memory. Ask your child to write their name each autumn, and you’ll have another time capsule item that will change over the years. Teenagers may prefer to write the answers to your interview questions instead of being recorded.

In fact, you may be helping your child to better remember the events by asking them to write. According to a study cited in Psychology Today, “the act of physically writing things down on paper is associated with more robust brain activation in multiple areas and better memory recall.”

Another way to capture their memories is by asking your child to draw a picture of their first day of school. Teenagers often like to draw or doodle. In fact, some studies show that drawing a picture is also a great way to help kids remember something more clearly.

Finally, you can write down your feelings about your child’s first day of school. Kindergarten, the first day of high school, the first day of Grade 12, will all bring different emotions for parents as well. Capturing how you and your child felt on those big days will become part of your children’s life’s stories, which is a valuable gift to give your kids.

4. Collect More Than the First Day Of School Memories

The school year is about more than the first day, so consider the best way to organize school memories all year long. There will be those works of art that land on the fridge, a special essay written by an older child, and mementoes from field trips.

You can also capture those not-so-big moments that are also an important part of our lives. Take a picture of your child doing homework, playing in the playground, participating in after-school activities, hanging out with their friends, or chatting with their teacher.

Remember to get a picture of the last day of school too, to wrap up that grade and complete your school memories scrapbook.

5. Organize Those School Memories

As you gather all the artwork, essays and other memories over the year, it can get overwhelming. Even on the first day of school, it’s easy to take so many photographs that you forget the intention and context of some of the pictures. Even if you share some of them on social media, you may not want to use that as the sole location to store your school memories.

Instead, use an easy digital tool like memoryKPR to organize all your memory collections in one place.

With memoryKPR, you can create a digital story “book” for each of your children, and even one for each grade. You can build an online album that brings together each of the components of your child’s school memory collection, from video to audio files, photographs, drawings, journals and more.

It’s easy to upload your memories as you collect them. Most formats are supported, including JPEG, PNG, MP4, MP3, WAV, and more. Add first-day-of-school photos, videos, audio files, and screenshots, and add to the book as the school year progresses. You can even record audio right into the story.

As your child brings home treasures in the form of artwork, A+ assignments and medals from the school track meet, you can take photographs to add to the book, helping to keep clutter at bay.

If you do post your child’s school photos to social media, you can add to your story book by importing directly from Facebook and Instagram. You can also choose to share from memoryKPR to social media. You can share the story book with whoever you choose, letting grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles and close friends share in the memories by sending a link via email.

By using memoryKPR you’ll get a full story book of your child’s back to school experience, as well as memories worth keeping from the entire school year. You can collect memories each year, or combine them into one story book for your child’s school years as a whole.

Then as you’re snapping photos at high school graduation, you’ll have the cap on a complete school memories story book, and will be able to share your child’s life story with them.

Epilogue

As your children grow up, the first day of school is a big occasion every year. From those first tentative steps into the kindergarten class to the walk across the stage to get their diploma at Grade 12 graduation, there are many special moments on the first day and throughout the school year.

While you likely don’t want to save every school drawing that comes home in your children’s backpacks, you do want to preserve special memories and mementoes of their school years.

The easy-to-use digital platform memoryKPR makes it simple and quick to preserve back to school memories and moments from throughout the school year, every year.

Ardith Stephanson is a freelance writer and journalist who shares some of her own stories at theardizan.com

Aug 25, 2021