Growing up, the first day of school was one of the most exciting days of the year. I remember the thrill of new clothes, new school supplies, and first-day pictures.
When we began homeschooling, I wanted to recreate that same excitement for our children. I wanted to create that anticipation for a new year, for learning, for reading, for all of it. Our traditions began simply, but over the years, they have become something the children, and I, really look forward to.
I begin preparing the month before. Purchases include a new outfit or two per child, new school supplies, curricula, books, games, and projects. I also pay close attention during that time, looking for any new interests that I can cultivate further, such as wanting to learn how to play the harmonica, electric guitar, or jacks.
I also take a moment to print name labels and grade-level signs for each child (FREE Printable in Member Access.) I hide everything until the night before, and then, I get to work.
I place each child’s curricula, books, and school supplies in their school area. I place the name labels and grade-level signs on the very top and then decorate the table with balloons or streamers or anything else I can find.
I tie a ribbon around their new outfits, and place these on each of their chairs.
I then display the group study books and resources, including history, science, art, and games. Sometimes, this can also include library books I’ve checked out. Just having them out gets them so excited for all the learning we will do.
I then place a simple centerpiece on our kitchen table, including candles and party plates and napkins.
The next morning, the children come running, ready to explore their new items and materials. They flip through the books, explore the games, try on their new clothes, and place their name labels on each of their notebooks and supplies.
I, then, prepare waffles or pancakes for a special back-to-school breakfast. We begin the day with prayer for our homeschool, then head outside with the grade-level signs for pictures and poses.
The rest of the day, and week, are relatively relaxed, as we ease in with a few subjects each day. By the following week, we're ready to dive into our new routines fully and enjoy the rest of our homeschool year.
What are some of your favorite back-to-homeschool traditions?