We’re so grateful to Julie, of The Girl in the Red Shoes, for partnering with us to share her family’s story! Read her full blog post here.

It’s back to school time! Also known as my most favorite time of the year! I love getting back into a routine, meeting our new teachers, fall sports schedules, cozy weather, and I could go on and on! My kids are pretty excited to go back to school and I still can’t believe we have a 1st grader and a 3rd grader….and a preschooler! Although depending on which day you ask, Belle is either exited for preschool or refusing to go. Luckily she still has a few more weeks at home before it’s her turn to go to school.

In the weeks leading up to school we always plan a special shopping trip to pick up our school supplies, pick out new clothes and shoes for school, practice making and eating our lunches, and write a get to know you letter to our new teacher. But this year I’m really trying to take it one step further and incorporate some back to school traditions into our family routine during the week leading up to starting school. I think it will be a fun way to say goodbye to summer and get my kids pumped for the school year.

Here are our simple traditions for back to school. I promise you it’s never too late to start these traditions and you can make them super simple!

Make sure we are up to date on our vaccinations.

Vaccines are important to me. I feel like there is so much misinformation about vaccines on the internet that can cloud our judgment as parents. For me and for my family, what has worked best is to talk to our pediatrician and explore credible recourses like IVaccinate. Vaccines are safe, effective, and help protect everyone. I have decided to vaccinate myself and my children against preventable diseases and feel confident that I am doing the absolute best to protect my family.

As parents, we always want to make decisions that are the best for our kids. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for these people. And that is why I vaccinate my kids. I’ve done a lot of research and talked to our doctor at length about what is best for my family. It’s normal to have questions—it makes you a good parent! But make sure you are getting answers from credible sources and not someone claiming “new information!” on facebook. Remember, vaccines are continually monitored for safety. Ultimately I decided to vaccinate my children because not doing so puts them at risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease. I want the best for my children. As a mom I want to do everything in my power to protect my kids and it breaks my heart to see others suffering from a disease that could have been prevented with a vaccine.

If you are looking for reliable and credible information about vaccines, be sure to check out I Vaccinate. I Vaccinate provides information and tools based on real medical science and research to help Michigan parents protect their kids from vaccine-preventable diseases.