As we get ready to start our school year, I’ve been thinking of ways to make it extra special — something our children can look forward to each year. I’m a big fan of family traditions, and I believe the advent of a new school year is definitely something worth celebrating as our children progress along their learning journeys.
Here are some of my favorite fun-filled ways to mark the first day of homeschooling each year:
Snap a traditional ‘First Day of School’ picture. This one’s a classic, right? I’ve seen some really creative and unique ways to document the start of a new school year. You could take a picture of your children sitting on their stack of school books for the year. Or get adult-size ‘Class of …’ shirts made and take a photo of your children wearing them every year to visually record their physical growth. Or it could be as simple as visiting a favorite park or playscape and snapping a few pictures of your kids having fun.
Prepare a special breakfast together. Take advantage of the time you have together to make a favorite breakfast, something like homemade cinnamon rolls or pancakes or French toast. Spread a tablecloth, set the table, light a candle. If you grew up amid the hustle and bustle of trying to get out of the door in time to catch the school bus, then you’ll know just how special waking up to a homemade meal can be. Just don’t forget about second breakfast, too. 😉
Fill out a special ‘All About Me’ page or book with your children. Yep, Mom or Dad, you’re included. Let’s be real — you’re on this homeschooling journey WITH your kids. And it’ll tickle them pink to see you participate in activities like these alongside them. So, grab a couple pencils and start thinking of your favorite food and what virtues you’d like to work on this year. P.S. No lying about your age either.
Gift your children a few fun and educational back-to-school gifts to celebrate the special day. Up the excitement factor by setting up a scavenger hunt where they need to solve the clues to find their school goodies.
Create a vision board together. Either make a giant one collaboratively as a family or have each person create their own. Challenge everyone to think about their goals for the upcoming school year and then record them on the vision board. Children can then look at the vision board throughout the year when they need a bit of inspiration or motivation and make changes as needed if their learning objectives change.
Opt to spend the day outside. I remember days and days trapped inside a stuffy schoolroom. Not so much fun, right? Pack a few card games, books, and snacks and head outdoors for a picnic instead. If you’re up for a more adventurous outing, you can always spend the day playing in a creek or hiking a forest trail.
Commit to a ‘gameschooling’ day. There’s no disputing the benefits of play in learning, and board games are one easy way to facilitate this. Gift your children a few new educational board games and spend the first day of school learning how to play them all together. At the end of the day, commit to making games a priority in your lives, establishing a set time each week for some family board game fun.
Have a backyard camping adventure. Cook meals over the campfire, eat some s’mores, watch the stars, and tell stories. Ask your children what other adventures they’d like to go on throughout the upcoming school year. Listen as they tell you about everything they’d like to learn and explore. Watch the excitement light up their eyes, and then pledge to do your best to support them in their endeavors throughout the year.