August 11, 2016

Our 5 First Day of HOMEschool Traditions {5 Days of Homeschool 101}

Yesterday was the first day of school for our local school district and everywhere I went I saw "Welcome back!" signs, and parents posting First Day of School photos. I remember the feeling of going back to school in a new grade with a new teacher. I had my backpack (new!) full of all my new supplies. I had a new outfit on. I was ready to conquer...3rd grade! LOL. There is so much fun involved with the first day of school, that it's only fitting that I try to make our first day back to HOMEschool special too. While we don't start back to our new school year until September, I have been thinking and planning it out now. I hope that my traditions might give YOU some new ideas for making your first day back to HOMEschool something special too!
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The first day of school is exciting for us, even though we are a homeschooling. Because I want to set it apart from the rest of the year, I always try to have traditions to make it memorable and fun. None of these are really unique, and I don't do anything fancy. This is just how we celebrate the first day of new year of homeschooling.

1. I make their favorite breakfast

The boys favorite breakfast hands down is pancakes, so the first day of school begins with pancakes, toppings, and even...WHIPPED CREAM! I also get a bit creative with the pancakes for some fun. The day definitely gets off to a great start with a favorite breakfast in their belly!


2. We take first day of school photos

I LOVE taking our school photos! It is a great way for me to see how my boys have grown and changed over the years and the grandparents LOVE it! Sometimes I have printed off a nifty sign, but other times I have handwritten one instead.




This year I am going to be printing off a form again like we did another year for pictures. I can't believe that it's going to say 1ST grade and 5TH grade this year! (sob). I have saved several of the forms I'm considering into my Homeschooling: First day/Last Day board on Pinterest.


We always take group pictures, and a silly picture with mommy to cap it off. It's a great start to the year AND I let them pick their favorite outfit that they own. I predict one of mine will pick his Minions shirt this year and the other his The Flash shirt...we shall see.

3. We fill out our school goals

I started this last year and it was a great thing to have on hand throughout the year. We kept them visible so they could see them at all times. If a behavior wasn't reflecting one of the goals, I would direct them to read the goal again.
I found these to be very beneficial mostly because I had the boys write them up themselves. I gave them guidance, but really encouraged them to think about what kind of goals would be beneficial for them. It's easy to do goals--just some posterboard cut in half and then give them stickers to decorate once they wrote it out!

4. We go to the library and have a scavenger hunt

It's only fitting that we spend a portion of our first day of school at our local library which is just about 5 minutes away. Something new that I started doing is creating a scavenger hunt at the library for the boys. I had them explore different sections, finding the non-fictions. Using the Dewey Decimal System. Using the computers. Finding the encyclopedias. The librarians really enjoyed watching us and helped out Little Britches when he got stuck.
This year I am going to make another scavenger hunt and I will try to make it so I can share it with you. And will come back and add it here when I'm done.

5. We go to a park or just outside, have a special lunch, and then just play


What's one of the best things about homeschooling? Being able to spend a LOT of time outside! So on the first day, we treat ourselves to a lunch from the local dairy bar, eat it outside, and then go play at the park or play games at home!
Yum!
We made marshmallow shooters!
Now that you've seen some of our traditions, here are some traditions from other homeschooling families:

Elaine: This year I'm starting our first official day with a treasure hunt through our house, ending with ice cream in the freezer. I'm making the clues using our vocabulary words, history and geography facts from our summer readings.

Joy: This year I would like to start our year with a field trip. We have completed reading aloud the Little House on the Prairie series and DeSmet, SD, where the Ingalls family homesteaded and settled, is only an hour west of us. That will be our kick off to the first day of school.

Dee Dee: I don't have any yet but my sister does. The kids get their hair dyed crazy colors. They do this because regular school kids can't have crazy colors.

The main thing about our first day of school is that we celebrate the joy of homeschooling and the freedom we have. I also like to decorate the classroom with streamers and balloons to remind them that it's a fun place for us. Throughout the first day, we will also talk about any new things we will be doing and will open any new supplies we have. We don't actually do much (if any!) "school"...there are plenty more of days for that. Let's just have a day of spending time together to kick it off!

Do you have a tradition similar to mine?

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5 Days of Homeschool 101
Today was the fourth day in our 5 Days of Homeschool 101 Blog Hop for the Schoolhouse Review Crew! Monday was all about curriculum, Tuesday was focused on planning, and yesterday was all about home management, and today all about homeschool traditions--so make sure you go and visit the posts of other contributors to our fabulous hop today! Stay tuned the rest of the week as we dive into one last aspect of basic homeschooling stuff.

Here are the posts I've already shared this week in case you missed them!




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