Our news feeds are full of pictures of everyone’s first day of school, little ones meeting new teachers, and cute backpacks. Homeschoolers can easily snap those pictures too…well, meeting the teacher is kind of old news…but the others, YES! However, we have a few others things we can do to launch us into the best school year yet.
Party at the beach
Each year, on the day when the public school kids go back to school, droves of homeschoolers head to the beach. It’s a fun time of celebrating and pushing fall back for a little bit longer. Many of these kids started school a few weeks back, but look forward to this day to enjoy friends, the sand and the sun. If you aren’t near the ocean, you can do the same thing at a pool, lake, or some place equally fun without water entirely.
Carve out a few moments to help your kids fill out a little interview sheet to document their likes, dreams, height, and favorite hobbies. These are fun to file away with their yearly records or to compile into a yearbook-style memory book. Also, this is a fun way to include grandparents as you can mail them a copy of the kids’ answers, along with the classic first-day picture. Taking the interview idea one step farther, I would encourage your students to interview someone else they know locally. Ask an older person about their first days of school, favorite memories from school days, whether they packed a lunch or bought food daily, and other interesting facts about schooling “back then.” Without giving them an assignment to write up a big report, the kids can still learn a lot just from their conversation with an older person in the community.
Give Your Schedule a Facelift
With a younger kid in our house, the schedule my older kids follow gets shifted frequently. I find myself mentally rearranging our schedule to see if we could possibly do our schoolwork in a way that would provide more quiet time or offer a bit more flexibility to all involved. Other than math being hard to accomplish after 2:30 in the afternoon, my older kids are fairly malleable to changing our days around. However, it’s always great just to change the day around for fun reasons, too. If you know that math must be done first when the day is fresh, then keep that there; but ask the kids what THEY would like the order of the day to be. Give their ideas a try to see how things work. If they don’t work, go back to the regular way.
If you were a public school kid in the 80‘s and 90‘s, do you remember walking into your elementary classrooms to find textbooks and a pack of 8 Crayolas in the orange and green box on your mini desk, clearly identified with your name in big print letters? I loved that feeling of newness and those little crayons made me feel like my teacher was the best in the world. (Even if she turned out to be grumpy old Ms. Ellis!) So, if your kids are anything like mine, setting up some new things for them to find in the morning is super exciting. While collecting the school supplies, books, tools, new games, and perhaps even a new pair of shoes are necessities, we can use those purchases to set up some early morning surprises. Set your purchases out in kid-specific piles on the dining room table or their school desks. It’s easy to forget how fun a new pack of markers or big bright pink erasers makes you feel.
What is one way you can launch your homeschool year in a new and fun way?
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.