Back-to-School Photo Fails (and Funnies and Fabs!)

Last week, I asked you to send me your Back-to-School Photo Fails. Maybe because our pics were less like the First Day of School and more like the First Day of the Zombie Apocalypse.

photo 2 (72)

Mm hm. I’ll be framing that one and nailing it to my entry way hall next to this self-portrait by my daughter. The one where she was supposed to replicate the other side of her real face.


That’s right. I’m putting these in a place of prominence so people coming into our house will know what they’re getting themselves into. It just feels right, you know?

And now, for your viewing pleasure, I proudly present…


Back to School Photo Fails and Funnies
by YOU


From Lara Risser: 5 years old. I begged her to smile.



From Gina Sampaio of Sister Serendip: 4 out of 5 headed to school. Preschooler pissed that she didn’t get to go yet and refused to participate. Dog is hoping someone spills their lunch.



From Serenity Dillaway: This is my husband, wearing a reindeer hat (not sure why), holding our twins, trying to explain to my new preschooler what to do.  She’s holding two signs – one I made with her age, and another she made, which says the same thing, apparently.  She refused to smile, even while I stood in the front yard yelling, “You can’t go to preschool unless you smile for a picture first!”



From Colleen Stout of Mommie Daze: I posted this picture of my husband on Facebook after I saw all these super-organized moms (I am so NOT one of them) posting adorable first day pictures of their kids holding up signs saying what grade they were in today.



From Jo Wagner: My oldest (almost 11 year old) hates having his pictures taken.  I told him to smile.  I threatened him.  I finally gave up…



From Aimee Stephens: My three smiling cherubs!  My 6 month old was just as happy that morning.

Aimee Stephens


From Jenn Goodwin: Clearly, my oldest is the studious type, while his sister is considering whether she will in fact acknowledge that he is her brother once they approach the playground.

Jenn Goodwin


From Jaclyn Butz: “It’s the first day of school. How do you feel about that?”



From Jacoba Alderink of A Yankee Mom in Texas: This was my version of “We can’t coordinate smiles to save our lives, so we’ll do the next best thing” that I made for Rob. Mastering the Art of Smile Timing…

Jacoba Alderink


From Carmen McAlister: These are a friend’s kids. They’re going into 6th and 8th grade and he was having a pity party for himself. They’re too cool for a regular picture with dad but this was ok…



From Carlie Nichols: My kids are reliable goofballs, and I’ve learned to just accept it.  We may not have photogenic milestones, but oh well!  I skip the dressy first day attire and am pleased if they are wearing not-too-obviously-stained clothing that they’ll easily be able to get on and off by themselves when using the bathroom.



From Ruth Davis: No way I’ll ever get a sensible photo out of these 2…

Ruth Davis


From Helen Abbott:



From Terri Sweetland: 



From Reinhard Hillefeld: Off they go! Ethan starting Third Grade, James in Fourth Grade, and Paige… apparently getting mugged.



From Carrie Cariello, author of What Color is Monday: This one looks decent….but don’t be fooled…check out Henry’s face all the way to the right.



Check out this picture we took at the beach.  That’s me, jumping for who only knows why.


(I bet I know why, Carrie! SCHOOL’S STARTING AGAIN. YIPPEE!)


And, finally, this one, which isn’t a fail or a funny but is incredibly joyful and heartwarming and fabulous…

From Heather of Team AidanThere’s nothing better than driving when waiting for your driver!



 So. Is school back in session for you? If yes, how’s it going? I ask because I care. And also because it’s kicking me in the teeth. HARD. So if it’s going super great for you, then hooray! YAY! Tell me all about it so I can live vicariously through you, please. And if it’s not, or if it is but you’re still oh-so-tired, then pull up a piece of mud, friend, and let’s sit here a while together.


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19 responses to “Back-to-School Photo Fails (and Funnies and Fabs!)”


    Since we can’t post pictures in the comments (what’s up with that?), here is a link to my favorite back to school picture of my kids. I know I’m late coming into this conversation, but Beth, I think you and your words and your kids and your honesty are a life preserver that Love has sent out to me in this time.
    Last year- 2014, my kids were all getting ready to *go* to school for the first time. My son had been in school for a couple years, but the girls had only ever been homeschooled. As of the day of this picture, my son was one month away from being pulled out of school before they kicked him out. My girls took off with ‘real’ school and haven’t looked back. My son, my son. He has a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which has only been recently (2 years ago) diagnosed. Plus, we’ve had some testing done and discovered other Special Powers that have been suspected but never confirmed. See the crutches? He has graduated from them to a borrowed wheelchair, to a his-for-keeps wheelchair. And he has blossomed. And I have guilted. Such a long story. Here’s a link for part of it:

    Thanks for letting me ramble. And laying in the mud with me. <3

  2. School is totally kicking my butt. Between back to school and Jewish holidays, the kids are on holiday AGAIN for 2 weeks with some of the time in day camp. I have just given up. I forgot to pack my 5 year old his sandwiches for today, I forgot to pack in a sleeping sheet for my 2yr old today (2nd time since the start of the school year). I just cannot get it together. So bring the mud my way, I need a bit of a roll in it – they say, mud is good for keeping the ,mosquitoes away…

  3. My kids grew up. I regret not taking first day of school photos of my homeschooled son and daughter… wish I could go back and enjoy those years all over again. Sometimes we were so busy I forgot to enjoy it. 🙂

    I now get my ‘kid fix’ by working a before/after school enrichment program.
    I have a great bunch this year. They all make me laugh. Every day I have a story to tell about them, I think.

    Some of them have been with me four years, starting our 5th together. Some are the younger siblings of kids I had in program years ago.

    I think continuity is so important for them, don’t you?

  4. So, we have started up our 5th year of homeschooling. The first few weeks were rough, as 1) I had mis-estimated my 9th grader’s workload, and 2) I had had a baby 2 weeks earlier. Last week, we were on Vacation, as we school for 5 weeks, then take a week off (it leaves a short summer, but hey, we went to the pool daily for PE after lunch); I love this schedule for our year!

    This was the first week of the second block, and things have gone really smoothly! I’m on my feet with the newborn (who just turned 2 months), the 9th & 7th graders’ tasks for this block were more appropriately planned, the 5th & 4th graders are really enjoying our history/language arts work, we’ve managed to figure out how to juggle the 2-yo, everyone loves the new drawing class I started, and our homeschool co-op classes started this week, which is always a lot of fun for everyone!

    And the _very_best_ part? The kids all wake up between 7 and 9, generally well-rested, with no pressure to get out the door at all (except for co-op days, and then the departure time is between 9:45 and 10). I really truly feel for the mamas who have posted here with their crazy early-morning schedules!

  5. I’m scared. School started on Monday. I’ll send you the pic my husband took because this mama leaves for work before Dad takes the kid to school, and even though I made a very special sign that said “class of 2021′ neither one of them “got it” and so they didn’t use it, and the picture is too dark and too far away, but I guess that it’ll fit right in, yes?
    Anyhoo. Back to I’m scared. This week there was NO HOMEWORK. Last night was Back-To-School night. Now I know all that is/will be expected of myself/my child. Next week will be HOMEWORK. I have barely kept it together THIS WEEK, with NO HOMEWORK. I did cook one night, so that was a win.

  6. Well, we’ve been in school a month and I’m exhausted! My husband was out of town right before school started for 10 days and again for 3 days just this week. I told him the last 3 days was so much harder than the 10, all because the kids were in school and their activities had started! I haven’t taken a breath this week and neither have the kids! I am trying to get a routine down but am not getting much cooperation. If only I could just manipulate them like little minions it would all be fine but NOOOOOOOO.
    We try to only have each kid in one activity at a time. With 5 kids this is plenty busy. It seems to be working fine for the 16 and 14 year old. They have Their crap down but the 8 year old and the 6 year old twins are still struggling. We have a little overlap with soccer and swimming and of course ballet has started too so this whole one activity thing has been blown out of the water. I am breathing tonight and not doing anything and will try to make the hamster wheel turn a little smoother next week. Wish me luck, I’m gonna need it. Also, if you have any tips or tricks, I’m all ears!

  7. Hahaha! These are great!!!! My mom cut our heads off in pictures up until I was about 7 or 8 years old, so I’m mostly headless (but smiling) in my first day of school pictures. I wish I had taken a picture of my wife when she started back last week to start her business degree. Oh well, maybe next semester?

  8. I’m homeschooling for the first time. We just started on Monday. Because we’re still trying to recover from moving halfway across the country over the summer. Plus, sometimes I’m a mess. Anyway. I completely forgot to take pictures until one of the cats sat down on top of my Kindergartner’s work in the middle of the table. Then I felt guilty that I was so motivated to get a picture of the cat but had not been motivated to take pictures of my children.

    I also completely missed the opportunity to take a picture of my husband’s first day of school. He’s using his GI Bill. And is a 30 year old Freshman. I bought him a t-shirt that says “Old Spice”. That’s a photo op I will never be getting back.

  9. I am wishing I had some kids to send to school again so that I could take some more great pictures. If only I knew where those pics were that I took then…..lost in the abyss of real photos in a box somewhere. …….someday……..

  10. Love that the grad school hubby let his picture be taken. That’s awesome. And thanks for sharing the fab pic of Aidan. Watching him drive brings me new joy everyday.

    I’m excited for Liam’s first cross country meet tomorrow. Back to school has been great, minus the early mornings and the occassional wandering around the house looking for meaning and purpose. Because, yes, I can miss my kids and love the quiet at the same time.

  11. School is killing me! I was so excited for them to go back, but we’ve had tears every single night over homework. And fights in the morning and missing socks and too much drama! I’m totally in the mud with you.

  12. Ok, I totally FAILED at posting a pic of my first day of schoolers. But what I do have for you is this little gem. My Kindergartener face planted the pavement the other day and spent the afternoon in the ER to ensure there was no concussion (it’s possible but he’s better now). Oh yeah and Fall picture day was… today. 🙂

  13. Oh Beth, you crack me up and your readers even more. Loved all the photos – I guess I must have perfect kids because we have no fail photos of back to school – or perhaps I just haven’t taken enough. I failed as a single mom, not taking a lot of those types of photos – my hubby is the memory making with photos! {Remembering him making sure he took our picture before the half-marathon??} Anyhoooooo……I pray things get better as school continues on. I am in a good season, all my kids are older and pretty darn self-sufficient, except for my 3 year old – who this year is in full day montessori 4 days a week and this mama is in heaven!! So thankful for the break, him getting the interaction with other kids and just the joy of it all!

  14. I have two middle school children in specialty programs so neither one is at their base school. This requires me driving them to the EXPRESS bus. For my son, 6th grade, he gets picked up at 7:20 for a 8:00 start time, requiring that we leave at 7 so he has to be up and functional at 6:15. This is not pretty. My daughter, 8th grade, has to get up at 6:45 to be conscious and getting ready and keeping an eye on the younger 3 while I spend 20 minutes running her brother to the bus. This is even less pretty as it takes her almost 20 minutes to get out of bed and downstairs with clothes thrown on. I get home and 15 – 20 minutes later load 4 kids into the car to take her to school since it is closer than driving her to the EXPRESS BUS. Then we come home and finish getting the middle two, 3rd grade boy and 1st grade girl, ready for Elementary school, leaving about 25 minutes after getting home for dropping big sister off. Then it is just me and the baby, 20 months.

    Our start of school has been rough. My 3rd grader sprained his wrist on the playground the second day of school. The 6th grader has cracked ribs from catching a football helmet worn by a burly 8th grader in them during tryouts. Then he found out he got cut. The next day the 20 month old pulled a shredder over and into his nose. It bled and swelled and he looks like he was in a prize fight. And we have been in school 7 days!


    • Ok. Reading your morning schedule I kept thinking “Phew! That was rough.” And then you’d mention another kid you had to get off to another school. And again I thought “Phew, glad that’s over!” And then another drop off. At which point I was so glad you got to go home and rest. Then I saw that you still had the 20 month old prize fighter. Holy guacamole! May God have mercy on you, blessed woman that you are. 🙂

  15. I was so nervous that my new kindergartner wouldn’t like school that I dug up some fellow nervous moms this summer and we did some playdates for our kids. It has totally paid off. He loves it and plays with a couple of kids he met this summer. The little girl he bonded with the most got into the full day program so they only see each other at recess but they enjoy playing. His teacher asked him to stay for lunch yesterday to help his friend get through her longer day easier and it too was a success. I’m so relieved and extra glad he stopped sleep walking… He was a bit anxious leading up to school starting too. Now if I can just get our toddler to stop calling mournfully for his big brother all morning, I’ll be golden.

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