How do you celebrate the first day of homeschool? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 30 Old 07-21-2009, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 5 and we're planning on starting our first day of homeschool in August or September. How have you kicked off the first day of school for your child? Do you buy them a new backpack, school supplies, and take a picture on the front steps? I'd love ideas!

Busy mama to dd 6/04 and ds 9/07. Living the dream aboard s/v Convivia.
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#2 of 30 Old 07-21-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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We started homeschooling later, and we did a little kitchen science experiment that involved leaving out various ingredients in a few little cakes that were all tasty but different. But with a child that age, I think I'd go on a really fun little outing - the kind of thing she wouldn't be able to do if she were in school - and snuggle together later and read wonderful books to her. Some people like to go off on a little vacation when the school year starts - but little outings could set a similar same tone about being and learning in the larger world rather than in a classroom. Lillian
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#3 of 30 Old 07-21-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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We celebrate like Christmas.

I get up very early in the morning and arrange all the new supplies on the couch, with a schultuete right in the center. It's a German tradition that we've adapted and changed slightly, filling it with the smaller school supplies, toys, and a *little* bit of candy. I think last year I took a bag of gummy letters and wrapped up sets that spelled things like 'school', 'learn', and 'fun', putting them in tissue paper with little bows on them.

Anyway, that all is arranged bright and early. When The Kid gets up, it's time to rush over and look over everything little by little, play with the games, and find homes for it all. The schultuete is always first, of course! Then comes everything else. We usually start on labor day, too, so we can invite friends over to help us play.

I love the first day of school! It was such a great memory as a kid that I wanted to do something just as special for each year of homeschooling.:
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#4 of 30 Old 07-21-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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We go camping.
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#5 of 30 Old 07-21-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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What a fun idea! I was going to take ds shopping for some fun stuff to start the school year so he would not feel like he was missing out--A spiderman lunchbox for our outings, new art stuff,books, games,...I think I will make a cake and have a little party at a park too.

I love your idea LilyGrace!

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#6 of 30 Old 07-21-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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I'm planning to let them each pick out their favorite outfit to wear, and one of our crafts will be to decorate posters with their names, ages, and grades, so we can get a picture of them with it - something we could do each year.

I got them each a new folder (to hold their daily math, science and language arts worksheets), pencil box (to hold their slate, chalk, cool pencils and erasers, glue, crayons, scissors, pencil sharpener, glue stick, etc.), a sticker book, and writing pad. I'm going to gift wrap the new pencil boxes (labeled with their names), and then wrap their folders/writing pads and their first reader book/sticker book seperately, so when they walk in, their desks will have three gift-wrapped items and a new nametag.

We'll probably not do a TON of schoolwork that day, but treat it more like school orientation:

Start with our Circle time (Bible story/verse, pledge of allegiance/national anthem)
Open gifts
Do a fun craft
Have a snack
Learn about our new morning chore chart and workbox system
Put their name/picture into their timeline books
Play a few educational board games
Listen to a fun story
Take a nature walk outside
Take our first day of school pics with our posters
Then go to lunch/ice cream with Daddy! :

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#7 of 30 Old 07-21-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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i take a picture at the front door, we have pancakes for breakfast....do a little school and then something fun to celebrate.

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#8 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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We life learn year 'round, so there's really no end or beginning to our process. I remember doing first day of 'school' stuff when I first started, but honestly it's so much an entrenched lifestyle for us at this point, I can't imagine STOPPING long enough to start again! LOL

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#9 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 02:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
We celebrate like Christmas.

I get up very early in the morning and arrange all the new supplies on the couch, with a schultuete right in the center.
:
Ohhh, I LOVE this! Consider it totally stolen

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#10 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 05:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CariOfOz View Post
Ohhh, I LOVE this! Consider it totally stolen
Take it! I stole the schultuete idea after visiting Germany. Just have to say, though, if you're making your own cone, cutting a 70-80degree semi-circle makes a sleeker looking cone than the 130 degree one I made last year!
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#11 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 05:25 AM
 
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LOL I can imagine a somewhat fat cone, but it would sure hold a LOT of goodies!

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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#12 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 08:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
We life learn year 'round, so there's really no end or beginning to our process. I remember doing first day of 'school' stuff when I first started, but honestly it's so much an entrenched lifestyle for us at this point, I can't imagine STOPPING long enough to start again! LOL
we've kept it going this summer as well, with a break for summer camps and other stuff they are doing.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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#13 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 08:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onandon View Post
My daughter is 5 and we're planning on starting our first day of homeschool in August or September. How have you kicked off the first day of school for your child? Do you buy them a new backpack, school supplies, and take a picture on the front steps? I'd love ideas!
While we don't have a "first day" we used to be aware of when the local kids went back to school and we'd plan a trip to a museum, amusement park, science center, zoo or some other place we loved that was usually very crowded, but emptied out when school started.

We still go on vacation in September simply because it's less crowded and cheaper.

Our local hs group plans a "Not Back to School Picnic" in September at a local park.

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#14 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 10:20 AM
 
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The first "official" day, for us, is always the Monday after Aug 26th. (my DD's birthday) We do school over the summer, but it's a lighter load. End of Aug is when we pick back up full-speed and the outside classes all begin.

We get new supplies, intro to any new books, and we take a picture near a static object that we *should* have forever to show their growth. I do not plan a day's worth of school on top of everything else! I tried that for a few years and it just about killed me.

After the first day of school in 2003 and wanting to give up completely, drag the kids to the local school and forget homeschooling completely - I received this article forwarded to me: http://www.titus2.com/corners/9-03-m.htm

It was just what I needed on that crazy day.

Caefi
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#15 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 10:45 AM
 
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A few years ago my kids started wanting to go to school. But after questioning them I found out what they were missing was the excitement and shopping that accompanies back to school for the other kids.
So I figured we could do that also. So after the public schools go back, we get to go "school shopping" during what are normal school hours. New supplies and a new outfit for each child.
We also try to get in a last day at the beach when everyone else is back to school!

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#16 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 11:02 AM
 
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We have a picninc at the beach on the day the public schools start here. With all the propaganda trying to get kids to believe that school is wonderful and fun, I like to remind them of the fun we have by not going to school. It's really hard to overcome the whole "school is fun" stuff that is in all the kids books, etc.

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#17 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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There are a lot of great ideas here! Thanks!:

:
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#18 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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This will be our first year : We officially start in mid-August. I let older DD pick a day trip, and she decided that she wanted to go to "cowboy town" (her name for it). It's an old west town where the girls can pan for gold and then we'll ride in a stagecoach. Very fun
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#19 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
We celebrate like Christmas.

I get up very early in the morning and arrange all the new supplies on the couch, with a schultuete right in the center. It's a German tradition that we've adapted and changed slightly, filling it with the smaller school supplies, toys, and a *little* bit of candy. I think last year I took a bag of gummy letters and wrapped up sets that spelled things like 'school', 'learn', and 'fun', putting them in tissue paper with little bows on them.

Anyway, that all is arranged bright and early. When The Kid gets up, it's time to rush over and look over everything little by little, play with the games, and find homes for it all. The schultuete is always first, of course! Then comes everything else. We usually start on labor day, too, so we can invite friends over to help us play.

I love the first day of school! It was such a great memory as a kid that I wanted to do something just as special for each year of homeschooling.:
This is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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#20 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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We go year round, but our homeschool co-op takes the summer off, and on our first day back, we traditionally hit the beach. The kids pick out special first-day-of-coop outfits and get a little something new. Last year was backpacks, this year will be some supplies to put in the backpacks, now that they're a little older.
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#21 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm loving all of the ideas. We'll be in Maine visiting family soon so I think maybe we'll get to LL Bean and buy a back pack or a new pair of shoes for fall. I love all of the school supplies so I'll probably pick up some special ones. I was trying to decide whether to start during our summer vacation (when CA public school starts) or when we return. Since I grew up in Maine I don't think school should start in Summer, but one of our key reasons to homeschool is so we can travel on our own schedule. Keep the ideas coming!

Busy mama to dd 6/04 and ds 9/07. Living the dream aboard s/v Convivia.
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#22 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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I like the Labor Day idea. Dh is a professor and the college always starts classes on Labor Day so that works for us. As a double bonus it is as late as possible this year.

My second oldest started ps in February (other 4 are still at home) and she received a couple schultuete in the mail as we used to live/have friends in Munich. The tradition is alive and well!

Not all the kids took a break this summer but it will be fun to kick things into high gear again. I think turning it inot a celebration wil help us all.

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#23 of 30 Old 07-22-2009, 09:00 PM
 
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We never really stop anymore, it's become a lifestyle rather than a schedule by now; but we still do have an "official" first day, it's the same as our district ps first day. We get up(whenever we're ready to get up) and get dressed, I have lunch packed in the girls lunch boxes(usually the only time they are ever used, but it's a ritual and one that makes them feel like they don't miss out ) We pack up our books/materials which usually includes some new goodies(art supplies, pencils, books and fun little things) and head out the door pausing to take a first day picture. Then we walk to the park and spend all day there have lunch in the park, play, do some light school work in the fresh air and introduce our new material....but mostly play We'll take a nature walk too with the girls sketching in their nature journals...they love that part.

Even now, when we no longer really order ourselves by the "school" year it's a tradition that helps refresh us. It feels special for one thing, I remember always loving that "back-to-school" time with school supply shopping(my favorite part...still is) and new outfits and walking to school that first morning....since my girls mostly only envy ps kids silly things like lunchboxes and recess they still get those things this way and having a ritual gives us a psychological reboot what with the first day "excitement"....keeps us from getting burnt out on routine.

Plus the girls just love being reminded of the fact that they are free to be in the park all day while their ps friends are "stuck" in school for 6 hours
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#24 of 30 Old 07-23-2009, 04:28 AM
 
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great thread!!!! i love back to school time too and i missed it when i was being hsed myself. it's a great idea to keep that part of the school year for our LOs!!!!

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#25 of 30 Old 07-23-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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Princess Consuela, I LOVE your tradition! : I think we'll do that with the Schultuete, too. The kids are actually part German (from DH, not me) so that works perfectly. Now, traditionally, is Schultuete done every year or just for Kindergarteners?

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#26 of 30 Old 08-14-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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This is my 7th year to homeschool.  I now have a 10th, 8th, and 6th grader and we all LOVE the first day of school!!!   First thing, is my husband either takes the day off work or goes in later and we start out with reading the Bible, having a time of prayer together for the school year.  We also talk about the expectations, rules, etc.    I wrap their books and school supplies as presents to open!!!  They love opening presents - even if they are school books - lol!!  I try to get them some type of fun school supplies like maybe a favorite type of pencil that I wouldn't normally buy, etc.  We then do something FUN!!!  Things we have done in the past are go miniature golfing, field trip to a local museum, field trip to the zoo, picnic at the park, etc.  We usually start on a Monday or Tuesday - so we have the rest of the week to get into our daily schedule  - but the first day - is a day of memories.  And now, with so many years behind us, it is a treasure to listen as the kids share memories of the past "first days of school." 

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#27 of 30 Old 08-15-2011, 08:58 AM
 
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Daddy and Grandma take the day off from work and join us in everything we do!

 

First off, breakfast at a restaurant.  This is pretty much the only time in the entire year that we do this.  Next, traditional first day of school photos by the front door.  After that, some school work.  Finally, a field trip.

 

We do go supplies shopping ahead of time.  And I do let them pick out a new shirt at the store as well.  This year we'll get some new shoes too, because we need them.

 

Lot's of fun!

 

Something else we do - on the first day of school for our school district we take off to the beach.  We drive by the school and wave to it on our way out.  Ok - I'm a former school teacher and I admit, I revel in the idea of not being tied to the rules and schedule of the schools.  SO this last part is probably all about me! LOL!

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#28 of 30 Old 08-16-2011, 02:09 AM
 
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We dont have an official 1st day of school.  School happens in 'waves' around here.  3-4 months on, a couple months off.  DS is starting again after, actually just a few weeks off, but a few months of a lighter load.  We did some shopping for office supplies (he refuses to call them school supplies).  My child has an obsession with post it notes and post it flags!

 

The biggest thing is planning what classes he wants to take online.

 

FTR *I* dont like to start school until after Labor Day, but thats just me and when was the last time my opinion counted  LOL


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#29 of 30 Old 08-16-2011, 04:42 PM
 
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The big sell for learning at home was that DS1 could wear his pajamas. So I bought him new PJs and I will take a picture of him on the first day of school in his new school pajamas.


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#30 of 30 Old 08-21-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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I think we'll take DD to the lake and maybe for an ice cream to celebrate. We'll likely be starting in the next week or two.

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