As students return to classes this week, there seems to be extra excitement about the start of this school year. 

With the return of many normal routines, some parents are relieved. 

As summer holidays were coming to a close, Cristina Peters, a mother of four elementary school students, was still hesitant to consider that we might be able to start the school year with no restrictions. 

“I don’t plan ahead too much because that sets me up for disappointment,” Peters says. “We just go with the flow and see what happens. I wasn’t expecting anything just in case it was changing, and we can’t do anything about it.” 

This is the first time that all her children are in school, and Peters says they are excited. The girls are all looking forward to getting on the school bus and spending more time with other children. 

Another parent, Patti Lytwyn, says it is a relief to finally start a school year that closely resembles pre-pandemic routines. 

“I can’t imagine having to go back to the last two years and relive that again,” she admits. “I’m excited for school to go back [to normal].”

Patti Lytwyn with her husband and daughter enjoying nature during the summer.Patti Lytwyn with her husband and daughter enjoying nature during the summer. (Photo Credit: Patti Lytwyn)

For Mandy Buhler, there is extra excitement with the return of regular school activities. 

“It just feels nice to know you can sign up for sports and you can play with friends in other classes,” she says. “My kindergartener last year is in grade one this year. And he spent many times crying over summer how he thought he would never see his friends again. Going back, knowing that he’ll be able to play with kids in the other grade one classes, where they had cohorts in other years and wouldn’t be able to necessarily see those kids, was a big stress reliever for him.”

Mandy Buhler with her family, enjoying the summer holidays.Mandy Buhler and her family enjoying nature and a few laughs during summer holidays of 2022. (Photo submitted)

 Raelle Schoenrock is looking forward to the social opportunities for her child who is entering kindergarten this year. She says they spent the summer talking a lot about what the school experience might be like. 

“And we've been going to the school playground a lot, so he feels comfortable with going,” she says. “I've bought him a new lunch kit that I'll surprise him with the day before school starts!” 

With her only child entering the school years, Schoenrock says it will be an adjustment for her. 

“We've been together almost every day of his life, so it's definitely going to be a big transition, with many mixed emotions,” she admits. “I'm just going to go with the flow and follow his lead. I know he'll thrive being around so many people every day, and I will find ways to stay busy until 3pm!” 

This is also the first year for Peters to adjust to having the house to herself during school hours. She also says there are many things that will keep her busy while her kids are not home. From things like grocery shopping and housework, Peters says it will be different not having any children with her. 

While the school year might be a bit different for all these families, the excitement of getting back to normal routines is the same.