Mystic Journey Bookstore Venice Features The Vision Board & author Joyce Schwarz booksigning & workshop 8/27/09
Congratulations To New Certified Vision Board Counselors Graduating on Saturday 8/29/09 From Joyce Schwarz, author The Vision Board book

HOW TO MAKE A BACK TO SCHOOL VISION BOARD TO PICTURE SUCCESS From Joyce Schwarz, motivational speaker and author The Vision Board book

For most families with children this is the time to shop for clothes and to prepare for the new year ahead. But for many kids and even for adults (moms and dads and single people, even the thought of saying goodbye to the summer and heading back into the classroom causes jitters and nervousness.


WHAT WILL THE SCHOOL YEAR BE LIKE? Will I do well? What will the new classroom be like? Will it be different now that I'm starting high school or college? How will I deal with kids/people in my class?

Statistics on back-to-school students: more than 85 million in almost 100,000 different schools in the US alone:

All those questions are quite common for the approximately 85 million Americans going back to school ranging from nursery school through college this fall (statistics courtesy of the US Census Bureau and the National Retail Federation.


From data supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Retail Federation, here’s a look at back-to-school 2009, by the numbers.

Approximately 85 million: Children and adults enrolled in school - nursery school through college 
19 million: Number of students in colleges and universities this fall
$548.72: Amount the average family with students in kindergarten through high school will spend on school merchandise this season
$47.5 billion: 2009 back-to-school and back-to-college expenditure in the U.S.
98,793: Number of public schools in the U.S. in 2006-2007
7.2 million: Teachers in the U.S. in 2008


So with all that money being spent -- $47.5 billion in back-to-school and back-to-college shopping who is looking at how kids and adults can succeed in their upcoming school year? It's Joyce Schwarz, author of THE VISION BOARD: the secret to an extraordinary life, Harper Collins Publishing, Collins Design who is encouraging families and the more than 7.2 milliion teachers in teh more than 98,000 public schools nationwide to vision their best possible new year by creating a Back-to-School Vision Board.

Twitj Best-selling author Joyce Schwarz recommends you create a 'back-to-school' vision board for those students in your family heading back to the classroom this fall. She says, it works for any age from kindergarten to post-gradute work. Schwarz is a paid motivational speaker who conducts workshops for such diverse organizations as Boeing Corporation and the SBDC (Small Business Development Corporation) on visioning your best possible future. Joyce lives and works in Marina Del Rey, CA and you can see her websites at and

What's a Vision Board? A vision board, according to author Schwarz who is also a nationally known career strategist and author of another best-seller SUCCESSFUL RECAREERING, explains is a visual map of what you want to create in your life. With a back-to-school vision board you can actually immerse yourself into the school year and visualize the positive results you will create this semester.

Schwarz has taught more than 10,000 students in her STAR*COURSE classes on how to be a star in your own life and does corporate seminars for such diverse organizations as Boeing Corporation and the SBDC (Small Business Development Centers) and trains teachers and counselors around the world from London to Sydney Australia to become Certified Vision Board Counselors so that they can show groups how to create vision boards like the Back-to-School Vision Board focusing in on educational success and maximizing learning potential for kids, teens and adults of all ages.


In her talk this Thursday night at the Mystic Journey Bookstore in Venice, California, Joyce will demonstrate how to create a Back to School Vision Board but she agreed to share some of the key steps with us here too.

1) Get a poster board approx 17 x 22 of any color.

2) Gather together colored markers, and stickers and other embellishments that will make your board colorful.

3) Get your kids and family together and brainstorm about how to make this school year the best possible year. Have some juice and water and snacks available as treats during this session.

4) Come up with some "power words" that express your the results of your brainstorming session such as: Happy, Challenge, Wisdom, Productive, Great Fun and even teen phrases like Awesome! 

5) Add some favorite symbols such as a) happy face b) sunshine c)or even a new eco-lightbulb that is a bright color\

6) Look up 'school quotes' on the internet or in a quotation book fro your bookshelf and add some of inspirational quote such as these: 

 "When the student is ready, the master appears." ~Buddhist Proverb
  "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." ~Chinese Proverb

7) Have the kids or the adult students in your family rehearse the first day of school and the ideal scene that they want to experience and come up with some key words that express that vision such as: exciting, Welcoming and enjoyable

8) Thumb through some magazines and pick out pictures that represent your key words and power phrases but also add pictures that just 'seem right' to express how positive this school year can be for both parents and kids and their peers.

7) Cut or tear out those pictures. If you can't find any magazines -- go onto a major search engine online like Google or even Flickr and search for copyright free photos or for those covered by what's called the Creative Commons License so that you canuse them without violating anyone's rights.

8) Get a glue stick or white glue and begin to arrange  A) the pictures B) the quotations c) the phrases and power words on the board in a decorative and pleasing collage. It doesn't have to be fancy but it should be colorful and positive.

9) If your family is having trouble releasing any fears or negativity about the school year. Have the people experiencing those doubts write them down on little strips of paper and put them into a garbage pail and then make a ritual about disposing of them or under adult supervision even turning them into a small bonfire! Release that negativity before school starts.

10) If you have family pictures of the school you'll attend of fun pictures of school activites from last year's pix or your yearbook you can copy them at a copy center and add them to the mix too.

Going to a new school or starting college -- add some of the pix from the online websites (most schools have websites now or take a quick road trip to the area and add new photos to your Back to School Vision Board.

PUT YOU ON THE BOARD -- most people forget to put themselves on the board, explains best-selling author Joyce Schwarz, but she adds this is important for you can actually immerse yourself into the positive environment by adding your own happy, smiling picture. Don't have a picture then try on the new school clothes and take some digital pix and add those to the board.

DISPLAY YOUR BOARD -- display your board where you and the students can see it -- in their room or in the hallway or even in the kitchen. You can do one for the family or one for each child/adult going back to school. Parents anticipating empty nests for the first time can also create a vison board for their new life ahead.

Be sure to look and talk to your board. Read the positive quotes and power words.  After all you talk to your pets or even your plants-- why not rehearse how wonderful the school year can be.

MAKE A PORTABLE COPY OF YOUR BACK TO SCHOOL VISION BOARD -- take the vision board to a copy place and get some scans done if they are too large to do with your home computer. Be sure to get color copies so that you can have the kdis put theim into the knapsacks or the adults into their briefcases. You can even do mini-versions so that you can stick a mini-back-to-school vision board in your purse or wallet or even laminate it and add it to your keychain or as a charm to dangle from your cell phone!

For a free chapter on visioning from author Joyce Schwarz go to and to buy THE VISION BOARD book go to or get it at your local Barnes & Noble, Borders or Target shop or your favorite independent bookstore and in Canada at Costco stores.

FOR MORE HINTS ON MAKING VISION BOARDS: go to which is the official blog for Joyce Schwarz book THE VISION BOARD and you can also surf on over to the official website at

For more information on vision boards, contact Joyce Schwarz @ or call her at 310-822-3119 for her seminars, workshops or paid speaking engagements to your group or school. Schwarz can also provide information on how you can become a Certified Vision Board Counselor in 8 weeks or less.

To see Joyce in person and attend her workshop stop by THE MYSTIC JOURNEY BOOKSTORE, 1391 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA and to reserve your seat at her seminar, email her at


The comments to this entry are closed.