Cover Photo & Fashion Credits:
A Letter to my Seventh-Grade Self
Camila Alves McConaughey: Courtesy of Camila Alves McConaughey
Tia Mowry-Hardrict: Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency
Tamera Mowry-Housley: Richarrd Shotwell/Invision/AP
Christina Milian: Dave Starbuck/ Geisler-Fotopress/
Nikki Reed: Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency
Vanessa Lachey: Faye Sadou/MediaPunch/IPx
Candice King: Birdie Thompson/MediaPunch/IPx
By Katherine Speller
& Reshma Gopaldas
Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez
Busts 10 Common Myths
About the COVID-19 Vaccine
By Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs
What I Wish I Knew Earlier About the American School System as an Immigrant Mother
“I genuinely believe that we asked more of our kids than we did of ourselves over the last year.”
By Erika Janes
The actress, entrepreneur, and mom of two talks
about being a Zoom-school dropout, pandemic family
dance parties, and preparing for kindergarten.
Brooklyn Decker Is
Ready for Change
The Essential Guide to Going Back to School
By Sarene Leeds
The Cost of Preschool Nearly Broke Us — & It’s a Symptom of What Is Wrong in Our Country
By Anna Davies
My Daughter Is Going Back to School & It's a New World
for Both of Us
Eugenia Miranda Richman
he start of a new school year brings the usual mix of jitters and excitement, but returning to the classroom this fall, in the middle of an enduring global pandemic, is giving families an added layer of uncertainty and trepidation. And so, we bring you our second back-to-school digital issue.
In part II of our Essential Guide to Going Back to School, brought to you with our partner Athleta Girl, we’re taking
a deeper dive into acclimating to this new world of
Speaking of a new world, the social circumstances your kids will be facing this fall will likely be a different ball game. Check out our feature on how COVID-19 has changed kids’ friendships — and what you can do to help them navigate new social situations. Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, a pediatrician based in New York, discusses everything you need to know about vaccines. And catch up with our cover star Brooklyn Decker, who shares how she’s readying for the return with her two kids. Plus, we’re bringing you the cutest sustainable clothing, locker accessories, and more to shop. We hope this issue helps you and your family kick off a great year.
Letter From Our Editor
ON THE COVER
Brooklyn Decker Is Ready for Change
Clothing Color Trends That
Will Rule the Halls
3 Moms Share Their Stories
How COVID-19 Has Complicated
Busting Vaccine Myths with
Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez
8 Parents & Teachers Sound Off on
Going Back to the Classroom
Busy Philipps on
Letters to My 7th-Grade Self
Sustainable Clothing for Kids
Best Bras for Teens
Must-Have Personal Care Items for Kids
10 Fun Locker Accessories
Kids Face Mask Straps, Lanyards, & More
12 Make-Ahead Lunches
Style & Confidence with
Upbeat Bra 2.0
By Kweli Wright
5 Girls' Clothing Color Trends That'll Rule the School Hallways This Fall
Speed Racer Bra
Up for the
Edited By Katherine Speller
It’s safe to say that back-to-school 2021 is still a very different experience than previous years. While communities around the country are shifting back to in-person models and setting standards for masks, vaccination, and testing, there’s the expected excitement of getting a little bit of “normal” (whatever that means) back but also anxiety for everyone involved.
Because even though we still get the excitement of kids finding out who’s in their classes or picking out school supplies, it’s coming after more than a year of upheaval, remote learning challenges and moving through the world trying to make the most responsible decisions for our families and for public health. TL;DR: It’s a lot.
To get a read on how people are really feeling about going back to in-person school, SheKnows caught up with parents and teachers from around the country to share what’s on their minds and how they’re approaching the unique situation of back-to-school 2021.
8 Teachers & Moms Share How
They Really Feel About
Going Back to the Classroom
I was lucky in that they got to go back to school in April of last year, so I’m thankful for the few months they had there. We talked a lot about how even though life is different now, we're still acting as we did then — so we incorporate new masks and hand sanitizer as part of our back-to-school shopping. My daughter loves to shop for back-to-school clothes. And we have had one really fun shopping trip, and it was soul-affirming. Having that bonding time and thatexcitement — nothing can take that away from her.
Tamara Bowman, Parent,
By Erika Janes
Busy Philipps On the Pandemic Parenting Lesson She’s Taking Back to School
By alicia kort
Sustainable Back-to-School Clothing for Kids That’s Long-Lasting & Cute
By Kweli Wright &
The Best Bras for Your Teen — & How to Shop Together Without Dying of Embarrassment
By alicia kort
Personalize Your Teen’s Locker With
These 10 Fun Accessories
By alicia kort
We Love These Kids Face Mask Straps, Lanyards, & Chains for Practicality & Style
By Kenzie Mastroe
12 Make-Ahead School Lunch Ideas
to Make Mornings Less Stressful
By Erika Janes
& Reshma Gopaldas
Self-Care & Back-to-School Momming With Busy Philipps
By SheKnows Editors
Camila Alves McConaughey, Candice King, Christina Milian, and more celebrities share their wisdom.
A Letter to My
Actress & Cookbook Author
"You got this!
everything has a plan."
Camila Alves McConaughey,
Entrepreneur and Founder of Women of Today
Don't try to fit in. Be happy experiencing the
things you love even, if it is
not the popular choice. Following your own
interests will help you get closer
to the right things and the right people for your own joy, rather than trying to fit into a mold that was not meant for you!
Accept the beauty that your individuality brings. Not until later in life did I understand that my appearance represents my family, my ancestors.
If I understood this at a young age, I would have
embraced how I looked so much more,
my curly hair, big eyes, bold lips, strong features.
Embrace what makes you beautiful and unique.
Actress & Podcaster
There is nothing wrong with crushes. Feel all the butterflies. Let your cheeks get rosy. Enjoy the daydreams and Slow-motion moments, as you walk past your crush down the hall. Just don't let your self-worth be dependent on whether he [or she] likes you back or not.
It's just a tampon. Don't be embarrassed if it falls out of your bag! Half of the freaking world bleeds every month!
Adults aren't always right. It's okay to question them.
Friendships should be fun. If it's not, then why are you trying so hard to make it work?
There are a ton of amazing people in the world!
Don't learn about flirting or sex from your Mom's "Cosmopolitan" magazine. Just trust me.
Being creative is ALWAYS cool. Popularity in a school is incredibly overrated.
Repeat after me . . . You are enough!
TV host & Author Life From Scratch
You ARE enough.
Life will give you tough lessons.
It will be Okay.
And it's good for your soul. It helps you have empathy and teach you to care. You will learn to accept faults, and
understand that someone may be going through something you have no
idea about, so be kind.
Keep your head up girl and know it gets better. Life’s hard lessons prep you for a full and happy future.
Also, wear your damn head gear because it truly helps your crowded teeth!
Enjoy being a kid for
as long as possible.
Actress & Singer
Stay confident. Stay sure of yourself.
Keep focusing on your education because you never know what choices you want to have in the future — you might think you might know something now or not know
something now but someday all of this is going to add up to so many possibilities.
In life, there are so many opportunities to change and evolve, so don’t be afraid and have fun. Don’t let them break your spirit, either.
When you're in middle school, there are kids that try to break your happy spirit. If you're naturally happy, they make you feel like you're a little kid. But, no, if you're happy, don't stop being happy because people don't want you to be happy.
It gets better, and you are kind of just,
this is part of the process of growing up.
You are going through physical changes. You are realizingrelationships -- you are not going to marry the first guy that you like. Most likely, they may not even like you.
And that’s okay -- not to take it personal. Just because the person you may have a crush on doesn’t like you, it isn’t a reflection of who you are as a person. It’s just that it wasn’t a great fit.
And that is okay. It doesn’t mean you’re weird. It doesn’t mean you’re not pretty. It doesn’t mean you’re not a good person. There are so many more fish in the sea.
Kristina C., High School Teacher,
I want to hear more about the plans in general. I think it would be helpful to see what they're thinking about in terms of masks and social distancing. Also, the expectations around technology. We spent so much time last year adapting to a digital curriculum, and the idea is to continue that into this year, but the question I have is how is it going to look full time in school?
LA Dunn, Parent,
We have talked about the fact that not everyone will return to the building as excited and hopeful as she is. She understands that there has been a lot of loss, grief, and confusion. The one word in our house is actually a phrase. We all have promised to ‘pay attention.’ We have asked her to pay attention to her surroundings, pay attention to the rules regarding masks, distance, washing hands and most importantly we have asked her to pay attention to how she is feeling emotionally and physically. Our antidote to stress is lots of hugs and lots of love.
Ashli F., Grade School Parent,
Masks were still optional at the time we registered, and the girls were excited. I was a little worried. When they found out they were required, they were upset at first because the masks get uncomfortable. But we looked at different mask options, and they feel better about it now. They are highly adaptable. The messaging from the school we originally received was odd. The cited reasons to not mask up were questionable. Even if the masks only help slightly, it is better than nothing. The kids that choose to wear them do not need to feel uncomfortable, if the masks are optional. The new requirement for
masks makes me feel more comfortable.
LaToi Storr, Grade School Parent,
We are so nervous for back to school, as there are so many unanswered questions. For my daughter, she's more nervous about not seeing her friends for over two years and whether or not they will like her again. [There is] uneasiness as we step into [what] this new 'normal' will be, [and we're] hoping we are doing everything 'right.' ...Our school allowed us to tour the building to help facilitate what a day was like. The school is enforcing masks all day, as well as face shields as an added layer of protection. We are hoping that they are safe, as they need to be social to some extent. It’s like this is their first day ever.
Grade and High School Parent, California
Back to school 2021 is very different because our youngest is no longer doing distance learning. We went back and forth about it, especially because she contracted Covid-19, and there are still not vaccine options for children under 12. We were very nervous — still are, honestly. But she's gotten used to wearing her mask — and knowing to wash her hands frequently and sanitize were things we were already doing pre-pandemic, so they were ingrained in her to do. This all made the transition back to school a bit easier. It also helps that our district has taken this very seriously and [has] implemented all the necessary precautions.
Jenn Pennell, Grade School Parent,
We’re all excited about school this year. The kids are happy to be back with their friends, and I'm happy that we're heading back into a daily schedule. We're all a little nervous, as we
are every year, but happy to be getting back into the routine. Our school system was open all year last year, and we're praying that this
year will be the same, if not better.
By Elise Solé
The Pandemic Has Complicated Children’s Friendships — Here’s What Parents Should Know
These styles from Athleta Girl will give your daughter that extra confidence boost to excel.
Lined High Jump Jogger
High Rise Flocked Chit Chat Tight
Power Up Top
Chit Chat Tight
Warm Up Jogger
By tamara kraus
All the Personal Care Items Your Kid Never Knew They Needed In Their
Back-to-School Survival Kit
Lee Schreiber, Violin Teacher,
The safer the school environment the safer my students will be while they are in my studio. It also means I will be less likely to get sick and the same thing is true for my family and circle of friends. I am very concerned about the spread of COVID, especially through exposure to an asymptomatic carrier... I would be much happier if parents and students would wear their masks properly and use masks that actually protect them and me — as well as taking the washing of hands seriously. Because things related to COVID protection are so politicized it has become really tricky to navigate with some of my studio families. I wish we as a community would believe in