Just because you homeschool doesn't mean you can't experience all of those fun first day of school traditions. I personally love back to school season, and I want my kids to love it too! I've rounded up my favorite traditions for making that first day of homeschool special. I prefer simple traditions that don't require a lot of fuss. Take what you like, put your own spin on it, and make it special!
1. MAKE A SPECIAL BREAKFAST
I'm definitely not reinventing the wheel here! We did this before we started homeschooling too! But, truly there is nothing quite like waking up to the smell of cinnamon rolls, eggs and bacon! Go a little above and beyond for the first day, and fill those bellies.
An easy way to do this is to buy a colorful plastic table cover for the kitchen table. It really adds a "pop" to your decorating. Maybe blow up some balloons or hang a banner. Again, it doesn't have to be amazing, just special. Your kids will love it!
3. FIRST DAY OF HOMESCHOOL PICS (of course!)
Choose a spot that you can use every year for the first/last day of school picture. The front door or porch, is typically easiest for good lighting. Print out a first day of school sign or make your own. I love our felt letter board, but chalkboards are cute too!
4. START THE DAY WITH A FUN PICTURE BOOK OR NEW READ ALOUD
Instead of jumping into math first thing, ease into school with reading to everyone at the table. Give them an activity to keep them busy and quiet, like brand new play dough, puzzles, blocks or coloring books.
5. SPRUCE UP BOOKS AND SUPPLIES
Everyone gets excited about a fresh pack of crayons and markers, but as homeschoolers it's not always necessary to buy new supplies each year. Instead, simply spruce up your homeschool area. You can do this by organizing the crayons in a new way, tidying up the homeschool closet, putting your read alouds for the year on display, and writing each child's name on their new workbooks.
6. ONE SPECIAL ACTIVITY
Again, keep it SIMPLE. This could be a craft kit from Joann Fabrics, or something you found on Pinterest...either way! You can also print off a simple muffin or cookie recipe to bake together. We typically have beautiful fall weather around the first day of school, so we really enjoy a nature walk or bike ride.
7. KEEP THE FIRST DAY LIGHT AND FUN
Getting back into a routine is challenging for everyone after a care free summer. Don't try to tackle a normal load of schoolwork on the first day. You will have a more successful start to the school year if you just get your toes wet on the first day, and ease back into school over the next week.
For us, this means that we will begin the year with only math and language arts. On the first day, we might not even finish a whole lesson for these subjects. As everyone begins to settle in to the school year, we will add in more work and more subjects. That is the beauty of homeschool!
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