Homeschooling Friend, I know you want to make the first day of school as special as can be, but if you try to plan a gourmet breakfast, set up a professional-looking chalkboard photo shoot, tackle all of the subjects for all of your children, and anticipate doing all of this in one day without any hiccups, you might just end up slightly overwhelmed.
In this post, I want to share with you some ideas for how to make some of those as special things possible – but in a way that keeps things calm and peaceful as you kick off your new school year.
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First Day of School Photos
Okay, do these really have to be on the first day of school? How about snapping them the weekend before? The evening before? And who says you need a printed sign or chalkboard in the photo? If you enjoy that, go for it – but if it’s become a stressor for you, let it go. Just snap a few images of them smiling for the camera – at a time that’s fun and relaxed for everyone!
A Special Breakfast
I love being able to serve a little something special on our first day back to a full school schedule, but if I thought I had to get up early to make that happen…well, I feel tired just thinking about it. How about putting something together the day before your first day? You could make something special and then simply warm and serve it in the morning. Here are some simple prep-ahead ideas:
- Ham and Spinach Quiche
- Pancake Muffins
- Peanut Butter and Banana Pancakes on a Stick
- Pancake Coffee Cake
- Pumpkin Muffins
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
No matter what is served for breakfast that day, I do like to have a little something ready-to-go next to each child’s plate – a small gift that encourages them to feel excited about the months ahead.
First Day of School Gifts
This has looked different every year, and I’ll include some of the ideas that were a hit, but no matter what you choose, maybe also place a note next to it – something that lets your child know you are excited about learning with them this year!
- new school supplies
- a new book or book series they’ve been excited about reading
- a subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Club – Print out a little something that lets them know they’re a new member!
- an engaging STEM toy or activity
- tickets to an upcoming field trip
A sweet way to kick off a first day of school – or maybe you’d want to do this over dinner the night before school starts, is to have a story time together. Maybe do it at a time when dad – or even the grandparents – can be around to join in the fun. This is My Home, This is My School is a sweet read we’ve enjoyed over the years.
This is also a great time to have a special devotional where you focus on a verse for the year and have prayer together for the months ahead. If Daddy’s around, what a great time for the kids to see him lead!
Ease Into Your Curriculum
You don’t have to tackle all the subjects – with all of the kids – on day one. Give yourself a soft start. Ease into things a little bit. Maybe spend a week or two only doing language arts and math and then adding in additional subjects as you settle in to your routine.
If you’re new to homeschooling – and you’re nervous about it – getting started might be the trickiest part for you. Then from there, you will settle in to what is working well and continue being brave as you make changes where you feel adjustments are needed. You can do this!
Need a little help figuring out how to let go of a typical school schedule and embrace flexibility in your family’s learning lifestyle? I can help!