It’s hard to miss it when kids are getting ready to go back to school. A quick visit to Walmart will convince you if you’re unsure of this time of year. From aisles filled with back-to-school deals on school supplies to child-friendly themes in backpacks, it’s more than apparent.
I can remember back to my own first days of school. The smell of fresh loose leaf paper, all the new clothes folded neatly in the drawers, and the special breakfast Mom would make to mark the occasion are not all that distant after these many years. That tells me that back-to-school memories are, well . . . memorable for kids.
When we first began homeschooling, I wanted to mark the first day of school in special ways that Ben would be able to recollect in his adult years, also. And so, from the first day of preschool until now — his second year of high school — we have had a few traditions. If you’re looking for a way to commemorate this precious time, maybe some of these will work for you, too.
8 Ways to Celebrate the First Day of Homeschool
Have a Special Breakfast
We always go out for breakfast on the first day of school (to IHOP), but even if going out for breakfast won’t work for you, you can make breakfast special. Even something as silly as serving ice cream sundaes would be something your kids will always remember.
Go on a Field Trip
I have a confession to make — we don’t actually homeschool on the first day of school. Well, not with books anyway. But we do nearly always take a field trip. And whenever possible, we invite friends along.
Surprise Your Kids with a New Set of School Supplies
As they get older, you won’t need to buy colored pencils and glue sticks so much, but every student can use a new set of pencils or pens, some composition books, and drawing pads. A new backpack or book bag is fun, too. Having a big curriculum reveal is fun, too!
Buy a New Outfit
One of the beauties of homeschooling is that you don’t really have to buy back-to-school clothes, but most kids enjoy getting a special new outfit. The first day of school is a fun time to give your children something new and fun!
Take a First Day of School Photo
You will love looking back at your first-day-of-school photos of your kids. It’s so unbelievable to me some years to see just how much Ben has grown. I usually make a sign that reads: Today is the First Day of _________ Grade, so I don’t forget which grade each photo represents.
Measure Their Height and Weight
As our kids get older, it’s easy to forget to record changes in growth. But even big kids like to have their height marked on the door jam, or their weight recorded in a journal.
Record Their Favorite Things
This has been one of the most fun things we do. I have Ben create a list of his favorite things (like foods, friends, subjects, music, books, etc.) and also write his name. This also serves the next idea well . . .
Get a Handwriting Sample
You’ll especially want to do this for your little kids who are developing their handwriting. We also do this at the end of the school year to compare them and see the improvement.