There’s no better way to commemorate holidays and special days than with your own personal family traditions. The first day of school should be no exception! There’s comfort in knowing that certain family rituals will come along at the same time every year. It’s the stuff of what families are made of, it bonds us, strengthens us and makes us, us!
About this time every year I start combing my files, the internet, and my brain for ideas to make the first day of homeschool special. Below is the result of said seach.
Have a “Back to Homeschool” (or Not Back to School) Party
Many homeschool groups will get together for one last hurrah to celebrate the end of summer and the start of a new school year. If you are not a member of a local support group, I highly recommend finding one in your area. Or just throw a private “Back to Homeschool” party invite friends or just make it a family celebration. This could be a pool party, a back yard BBQ, bowling party – really anything!
Take First Day Videos or Photos
Take a first day photo in front of the same tree or other spot each year. Or go to a studio or even Wal-Mart’s photo center on the first day.
Make a Special Breakfast Casserole
Go out to a restaurant or do a Donuts and Dad Date that first morning! Or if cold cereal is a treat, serve that.
Present Your Students with Back to School Gifts
You could have new outfits – or even take them back to school shopping for clothes/supplies.
Have all their new supplies gift wrapped and waiting at their desks the first morning. (It doesn’t have to be big – you just have the right attitude and they will think it’s the best thing ever! The first year when my oldest was 5, all I had was a cereal box prize and she still talks about that.)
Start with Arts and Crafts
After breakfast dishes are cleared away pull out some arts and craft kits and when the children come back from brushing their teeth they will see their surprise!
Spend the Day Doing Fun Science Experiments or History Projects
Just do your favorite subjects or the some of the extra stuff you never seem to get to during the rest of the year.
Have a Kitchen Table Pep Rally
Display all the textbooks and materials and spend time going over what you will be teaching and get excited about it! Have a theme verse for the year and share your goals. Encourage your students to make goals. Discuss all the field trips and extra fun things you will be doing throughout the year. Maybe take the entire day just making plans for different fun projects or unit studies.
Invite a Surprise Guest
This could be a relative, friend, or even the Principal (Dad) if he’s able to get off work.
Do an “All about Me” Page or Book
Make a personal timeline, scrapbook, or poster. Have your student do a sample copywork page, self-portrait, record weight and height, or do a video interview.
Begin This Year’s Scrapbook or Keepsake Box
If you have a yearly scrapbook or keepsake box, take the time to personalize it.
Organize/Decorate Your School Area
Remember going in to school to decorate your locker? Take advantage of the sales on all the cool organizational supplies this time of year. Why not provide your student with a new bulletin board or new fun push pins or stickers? Or redecorate your school room? Get a new desk or pencil holder even. Find a way to make the area seem fresh and different. Allow your student to help choose new posters. You could even print some personal organizers off the internet – for free!
Go on a Field Trip!
Go as a family or go as a group!Sometimes family traditions evolve or even disappear or are replaced over time; but the important thing is to make memories and build relationships by the special things you do to create a warm loving environment for your family. Make it fun for you, too! If you aren’t having fun then how can you expect your children to have fun? That goes for curriculum, too. There are too many choices out there for you to have to endure homeschooling. Keep praying and keep seeking His will!
FOR ADITIONAL FIRST DAY IDEAS:
Check out this forum
Sign up for this 6 week “Back to HomeSchool” newsletter from http://homeschooling.about.com/
Teri Maxwell’s First Day of School tips http://www.titus2. com/corners/ 9-03-m.htm
Flylady.net Homeschool tips (bottom of page) http://www.flylady.net/
Each of the following webpages contain lists of helpful links:
http://www.momsmenu .com/dir/ Kids_in_the_ Kitchen/Back_ to_School/
Ideas for the first day of school – ttp://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/back_to_school.htm
Back to School Theme (mostly classroom stuff) – http://atozteacherstuff.com/Themes/Back_to_School/