I know lots of people homeschool year round, but we always find that we need a break, mentally and physically, from the tasks of learning. We love lazy summer days at the pool, trips to the theme park, and weeks spent with cousins just having fun.
But Labor Day is fast approaching, and with it comes our “first day of school”– homeschool style.
Every year, I love to find and make fun things to celebrate our first day back to school. All the kids get new school supplies, some which they pick out and some which I buy to surprise them.
We get the normal stuff–paper, pencils, colored pencils, glue, folders, etc. But I also like to gift each child with age-appropriate extras like stickers, washi tape, more expensive colored pencils or drawing pencils, a sketchbook, or something extra I know will really resonate with that child.
It doesn’t have to be much, just a little something fun. Last year I picked up some Scratch-Art paper for the little kids and that was a big hit!
Here are some fun ways to celebrate your first day back-to-homeschool, or “not-back-to-school” day as they say.
Create a Portfolio for Last Year
Every year on our first day back-to-homeschool, we go back through all of our supplies and books and work to purge the old. We gather up our favorite pages from each subject and create portfolios to save for posterity. We put them all in a 3-ring folder, and the kids create covers using full-sheet sticker paper. It’s a fun way to debrief from the year before and also gives us a chance to consider what we need to work harder on in the year ahead.
On our first day of homeschool each year, I sit down with each child and discuss any expectations I have for the year. We go over which subjects they will cover, how much work they need to do each day for each subject, what strengths and weaknesses we will focus on, and talk about each of the books or materials they have.
One of our favorite traditions for our first day “back-to-homeschool” is a trip to Chick-fil-A for our “faux” school lunch experience. We all get shakes to celebrate a new year and new beginnings.
Head to a Playground to Celebrate Back to Homeschool
If there is one thing my kids kinda “miss” from public school, it’s daily time on the playground. Whenever I can, I pack up the littles and head to a nearby jungle gym to play. What a great way to enjoy the first day everyone else is back at school and the playgrounds are mostly empty–especially when the pre-k crowd is napping in the afternoon.