How We Celebrate the First Day of School

Creating traditions in your homeschool journey is a fun way to show kids that we value both their education, and the privilege we have of spending these days together as a family.

Back-to-school is an exciting time. There is so much newness, but also accomplishments, achievements, goals, things to look forward to.

As homeschoolers we capture a bit of that back-to-school magic in different ways. We don’t buy a lot of new supplies or clothes, the kids don’t get a new classroom, they don’t need backpacks. Over the last several years we have found other ways to make the first day back memorable. A special breakfast, new pajamas, art supplies, books, board games, and a park meetup with friends are just a few ways we’ve celebrated the first day back.

We’ve also done lunch out with Dad, scavenger hunts, family art projects, and day trips. One of their favorite things was the year I filled a miniature pinata with fun school supplies.

The days leading up to the first day the kids are kept out of the classroom while I clean, reorganize, and make everything look new and fresh. They come into the classroom on the first day with new supplies, pajamas, clothes, curriculum, and equipment piled up on their desks and the main table.

This year they each got a handheld microscope, lots of books, and two new board games. We spent the day going over our plans for the year, coming up with a word of the year to focus on, and setting goals for ourselves.

We started a family painting that we will work on all week. We also played one of our new games and wrote autobiographies.

I make a big deal out of the first day because I want my kids to understand that what we do matters. School is important, and learning can be exciting and fun. They are entering a new grade which is an accomplishment they should feel proud about. When kids see how much we value education it becomes more valuable to them.

Other fun ideas you might consider for the first day of homeschooling: 

  • Make a special breakfast or lunch.
  • Meet up with friends for a joint activity or playtime.
  • Have a pajama day.
  • Explosive science experiments.
  • Messy Art Projects.
  • Go to the movies or bowling.
  • Have a board games and movie day.
  • Have a tea party.
  • Take photos.
  • Have a picnic. 
  • Do schoolwork somewhere different like a local creek or State Park
  • Make fudge or bake a back-to-school cake. Cinnamon Rolls are the favorite here. 
  • Learn a new craft together: Last year my kids learned to weave on both a regular and circular loom.
  • Paint rocks with cheerful messages and hide them around your town. 
  • Use up any leftover sparklers.I love seeing the back-to-school traditions families come up with. What does your family do on the first day back to school? Tell us in the comments below.

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