Thursday, August 11, 2016

Help! How can I make our first day back to Homeschool special? #5dayshomeschool101

Hello, my friends. Welcome to the Schoolhouse Review Crew 5 Days of Homeschool 101 Blog Hop. Today the topic is Homeschool Traditions. If you have missed my post on making your curriculum work for you, read on over here. You can also check out my post on Planning. And don't forget to read my post on Home Management.

We sent Josiah off to Kindergarten 9 years ago. I can remember weeks before, carefully picking out his little outfits, purchasing new tennis shoes and letting him pick out a lunch box. We took pictures of him combing his little hair, eating breakfast at the table, standing up tall and big with his backpack and holding Daddy’s hand as he left for school.  I bawled and squalled like a baby.


My little boy is entering his Freshman year. Some things have changed. Home has become his school. His little outfits are not so little so more. In fact, I appropriated a pair of gray Converse tennis shoes he wore a few years ago for myself. I am still using his Spiderman lunch box as a medicine bag for me and his only backpack is a Speedo bag that he carries back and forth to swim team practices.

I remember my first day of High School vividly. We had just moved from a really small town to a bigger town out of state. This High School was huge compared to what I was used to. But, my momma had bought me two brand new pairs of cool jeans from JC Penney’s. I just knew everything would be okay.

I just had to share this picture. I think I was 16. I'm on the right. This was taken at Kid's Camp with my friends, Lavonna and Karen. We worked in the kitchen and dining hall. It was a great summer. Don't you just love those jeans? A girl could conquer the world with those jeans.

Now before I start throwing you my tips and tricks, I do need to let you in on a little not/so/secret fact. I really never stop homeschooling through the year. Granted, Josiah asked to have a little bit more a summer break this year, but for the most part we keep schooling year round. It just looks different. Our summer schedule is really light. He continues reviewing math. We have copywork and we read. We might work through a review product, but it is nothing like our fall/winter schedule.

To celebrate the full shebang, I always like to have some fun and special treats in store for my favorite boy. I generally set a date to begin our full schedule and let him have some time just to chill for a week or so previous.

Homeschoolers don’t have the same kind of anxiety issues approaching a new school year (at least not the kiddos).  I’ve heard of some homeschool mommas talk about the absolute exhilaration of their students ready to start a new year.

Umm. My student is not quite (nor has ever been) that excited.  I used to think it might be my delivery, but then decided it had more to do with his temperaments and priorities. My priority was to provide Josiah with an excellent education. His priority was to make the next level in Star Wars Battlefront.

I have discovered, however, that I can provide simple and fun experiences that are guaranteed to make memories.

Here are some ideas that you might use yourself.  I have to tell you that while going through my pics to find some for this post, I was a blubbering mess. I kept finding treasure after treasure of my baby boy. I am just a puddle. Really. 

1.     The First Day of Public School is a free day for us. In fact, we love to go about the town and hit our favorite spots without the crowds. I am already picking out the movie at our cheap movie house!

2.    On the day we actually start school ourselves, I will let Josiah make cupcakes for breakfast. This tradition started years ago when I was teaching him how to read directions on a cake mix box. It was a hit!  I've heard of some homeschoolers who celebrate with something like a pancake breakfast. A pancake breakfast at our house is like a Tuesday. Nothing exciting. Just a Tuesday. We have pancakes frequently. Cupcakes on the other hand....

3.   The whole trend of taking pictures with the little signs happened started well after we began homeschooling. I am going to do it this year to commemorate Josiah’s Freshman year. Hopefully, he will refrain from making Zombie faces.  The rest of the year we can expect pictures like this one to come out of our homeschool.

4   Josiah could care less about picking out his school supplies. I, however, am a school supply addict! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE school supplies. It makes me happy to pick up a cute notebook and a sparkly pen. Try a little sparkle in your homeschool day. I have a coupon ready to purchase a new set of sparkly pens to begin our new school year. I like the Gelly Roll pens by Sakura.. Hobby Lobby has them BTW. 

Since we enjoy a cupcake or two for breakfast, I will take Josiah out for his favorite Chinese Food dish on our first day. This is one of our little traditions for special occasions. A Mom and Son date for Chinese Food. You can’t get any better than that! There have been years, however, that we didn't have to plug nickles (or plug pennies for that matter) to rub together. We smeared some peanut butter on some bread, grabbed a couple of apples and headed to the park for a picnic. That was pretty special. 

     We always start a new book on the first day.  I’m thinking about taking it back to some old school favorites. I’m waffling between The Lemony Snicket series and the Harry Potter books. We’ve been experiencing some stressors as of late and we need some comfortable favorites. 

So those are some things we do that help make the first day of school special.

My best advice for starting out a "school year" right is to start the way you want to finish. With purpose. With optimism. Set a pace that you can keep. Learn to say no to unnecessary busyness.

For now, just enjoy the days. They go by quickly.

you can read more about Homeschool traditions by checking out more blogs below or clicking here. 

5 Days of Homeschool 101


  1. While I always enjoy reading what you write and this is not different (I smiled quite a bit), your last few sentences are the best. Begin with a purpost and with optimism. Probably the best, most straightforward advice that can be given. Thank you. - Lori

  2. Miss Barb in BoonvilleAugust 12, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    Oh, the memories - of homeschooling, of course. And, by the way - you STOLE MY JEANS!!!


Contact Form


Email *

Message *