It's Back to School Time!!

After a long, hot summer vacation, it is time for students to head back to school! Going back to school is a big deal – not just for students but for parents as well. It is a very exciting time; most students will find themselves in a new grade, a new class and maybe even a new school. For language school students, back to school might seem like a weird concept because you do not have long summer holidays! However, back to school is about more than actually going back to school. It is an American tradition! In this blog we will look at what happens during the ‘back to school’ period and look at a few fun traditions for kids and adults! After that we will look at things going on at Zoni in the Fall.

For many of you, starting an English course is like going back to school, especially if it has been a long time since you were a student. However, when Americans talk about ‘back to school’ they are usually talking about the period of time from late-August to mid-September. Traditionally, the American school year starts in September and because of this you will see many ads and commercials for back-to-school deals from the middle of August on.

Summer holidays in the U.S. are very long. Depending on the state, this break can be between 8 – 12 weeks. However, in most states kids get around 10 weeks of vacation. The start date for summer break is also different depending on where you live and can be as early as May! At the end of Summer, schools in most states start again in September.

Back to School Traditions Although each family decides on their own back to school traditions, there are a few popular ones that are more well known, especially for younger children.

Check how much you’ve Grown One of the most common back to school traditions is measuring how tall your child has grown during the previous year. This is usually done in the morning before school, however there is no special time to do this – you can do it after school or before bed too!

First Day (and Second Day) Photos One of the most wide-spread traditions is the first day photo. This photo usually shows the child with their school bag, in front of their house or school bus. Recently it has also become popular for kids to have a sign with their name, grade, year and so on.

Taking another photo on the second day has also become quite popular. These two photos are usually placed side by side and show the difference between days 1 and 2. These photos are meant to be a funny comparison – Perhaps you have seen some on the internet?

First Day Gifts It is also common to give kids a gift on the first day of school. There are many ways of doing this ranging from simply giving the gift to more elaborate activities like a treasure hunt or games. Usually, first day gifts are things like school supplies; colored pens, books and so on but may also include a little candy for after school.

Grade Day Gifts Giving a grade day gift is another similar tradition. A grade day gift is a gift you receive on the day of school corresponding to your grade. So, for example if you were in fourth grade, you would receive your gift on the fourth day of the new school year. These gifts are usually things like a book, game, or other treat.

A tourist boat views the Niagara Falls from up close

Why Parents Love Back to School
Many parents send their children to Summer Camp for at least part of the vacation period. However, it is less common these days for children to be gone for the whole summer due to its cost. This means that kids are at home a lot during their vacation. This can be stressful for parents, especially managing work and entertaining children.

It is not unusual for parents to count down the days until September. When classes start again, they can return to their normal routines as well. In recent years a hilarious back to school tradition has taken the internet by storm – funny photographs of the parents/caregivers celebrating while the kids look sad or annoyed that their vacation is over.

If you haven’t seen these photos before, here are some examples.

A tourist boat views the Niagara Falls from up close

Things to Look Forward to at Zoni During the Back to School Period
As Fall approaches we have some exciting activities planned for our students. One of the highlights each year is Halloween. Across Zoni campuses students, teachers and support staff get dressed up in costume to celebrate this popular holiday. Halloween is celebrated in class and some campuses even hold their own Halloween contest for the best costume. It is always a lot of fun, especially the spooky atmosphere on campus!


Don’t forget…
Remember, for English language students back to school can be any time! If you are ready for a new challenge we can help. At Zoni you can make new friends from all over the world, learn about American culture, be part of a supportive community AND improve your language skills for immigration, further study, your career or simply for fun! New courses start regularly. Contact us for start dates and time and to chat about which of our courses would be the best fit for you. Luckily you don’t have to wait until September to go back to school!

If you have any questions about studying at Zoni, please contact us via email: or call us on +1 (212) 736-9000 – we are always happy to help!

535 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018