How about some supplies. There was a thread earlier about a mom filling up a backpack for her child--she was going to give it to him/her on the first day of homeschool. Perhaps, instead of standard supplies, you could have a book about local nature (field guide to birds, bugs, etc) and a nature journal.
Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
For me homeschooling isn't about changing the parent-child relationship into a teacher-student relationship, it's about freedom to learn and live outside a school-like model, and flexibility. So in your situation I would give gifts of vouchers, passes or cards that emphasize the freedom and flexibility: a pool pass, a library card, ice cream vouchers, gift certificate for zoo admission, that sort of thing.
Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
Are you thinking of something like the German practice of a schultute?
Thanks for the link, heket! What a neat custom!
May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you! :-)
I had never thought of a ceremony or anything like this; but I really like the idea; something to mark the milestone of being "school-age" especially since peers will be going off to class, and my son won't be going to school, we'll be homeschooling.
just to say, yk, in waldorf its 7 not 5 that is significant. Not that you shouldn't do 5 at all. For us 7 has always been a much bigger deal because it starts to become possible to give them a lot more freedom. Also, I wouldn't give a 5 year old a knife but in our family the kids get a good carving knife at age 7.
Also, for each of mine, when they left their Waldorf kindergarten they each got a small Osteheimer animal which they tend to carry around when they need extra support. It was the animal I thought was right for them then. So dd1 whose name has some mythological association with cats got a cat. Etc.
I'm always quite anti big beginnings to HS becuase I think its something you have to find your way in, you can't plan til you've been doing it a while. Even now for me, 5 years in, its still more unexpected than not. So I'd go small and symbolic.
Oh the only other thing might be specifically outdoors stuff. At age 5 ds had a ceramic firebowl which he loved.
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