Simple First Day of Homeschool TraditionsValerie Mcclintick
You’ve spent hours planning and days shopping for curriculum supplies. Now, the first day of homeschool is right around the corner! So, how are you feeling? Excited? Nervous? Back to school is a special time for everyone, including homeschool families. Make your first day memorable and exciting for your family this year. Whether this is your first year or your tenth, that first day of homeschool is something to celebrate. Here are ten ideas for your first day of homeschooling.
First Day of Homeschool Photos
First day of school photos are an iconic tradition. So, why not continue it in your home. Establish a tradition of when, how, and where you take your photos. They can be individual pictures of each child or a group shot in your schoolroom. Either way, these will be precious keepsakes for years to come. Try these free, editable Back to School Photo Signs!
Also, you can use this time to do a one-on-one interview with each child. Record the answers on a sign and include it in the photo or add it to a scrapbook with the photos. However you choose to memorialize these precious moment, it is sure to be treasured for decades to come. Some ideas for interview questions include:
- What’s your favorite subject?
- What do you hope to learn this year?
- What are you most looking forward to?
- What’s your favorite color?
- What is your favorite food?
- What was the best memory from summer vacation?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What’s the best book you read this summer?
Have a Special Breakfast
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So, the first breakfast of the homeschool year must be the most important breakfast of the year! Gather the family and jump start your home education year with a special and delicious breakfast. Pick favorite foods, or establish a food tradition for First Day Breakfast. Also, take your time at breakfast. Connect with each other, chat and laugh. Let this meal set the tone for the rest of the year.
Go on a Field Trip
The beauty of homeschooling is that school happens wherever you are! Mark the start of the homeschool year with a field trip. Local field trips or a special “not back to school” long weekend are both possibilities. Also, you could do something educational or something that is just plain fun. This is another way to build memories and family bonds. So, get a little creative and get out of the classroom!
Take Your School on the Road—or to the Backyard
Maybe a field trip just isn’t practical for the first day. That doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day! Take your school somewhere fun. Do your lessons in the backyard or maybe on the beach. Pack up your books, and let your children complete their work at the playground. The possibilities are endless. So, make your first day back a school day to remember.
Celebrate with Friends
Life is better with friends. So, everyone is always asking homeschool families about socialization. Why not take the matter into your own hands and make your first day of homeschooling a socialization celebration. Invite friends over for a picnic lunch and games, or plan a field trip together. Whether you are hard at work with STEM projects, or just burning off energy on a bike ride, connect with loved ones to mark the day.
Thrill them with Surprises
Who doesn’t love surprises? So, plan a special surprise for your children on the first day of homeschool. Pick a small gift or surprise them with special snacks. Also, you could create a little homeschool survival kit with snacks, school supplies, small quiet toys, and a new book. The surprises do not have to be big and expensive. In fact, just having a little surprise waiting for them in the morning will make the day memorable.
Show Some School Spirit
Do you have a school name, colors, and/or mascot? If you do, make a sign, purchase school spirit t-shirt, or decorate your school room with your colors and mascot. Maybe, get each child an eraser with the mascot or decorate their notebooks with printouts showing your homeschool pride.
If you don’t have any of these, now is a perfect time to start. Decide together on a school name, choose your homeschool spirit colors, and pick a mascot. Then you can create a special sign for your school room door.
Have an Opening Prayer Ceremony
Offer your year to God. Start the year off right by praying as a family. You could even invite your pastor over for a special blessing together. Pray over your books and materials, ask God to bless your school space. Offer up all your efforts for His Glory and remember than He is the ultimate teacher. Then, read about learning and wisdom in the Bible. Perhaps, you could even pick a verse for the year to memorize. Establish your homeschooling year in faith and hope, then watch the fruit begin to grow!
So, just because it is the first day of homeschooling, doesn’t mean it has to be the first day of everything. Gently ease into school work. Pick a couple of subjects to begin, and gradually add in the rest. Create an atmosphere of restful learning by dipping in your toes instead of diving head long into all the lessons. There will be plenty of time to get it done, enjoy this transition time together.
Family Fun Night
After a busy day of lessons and exploration, come back together as a family. Take the time to remember why you are homeschooling, to begin with. Have fun as a family and close out the first day with laughter and love. You can play some games, have a family movie night, or anything your family enjoys. Family is the backbone of homeschooling, nurture it.