Remember all the things you would get excited about when a new school year started? The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time for making memories that last a lifetime, but we homeschoolers have to be very intentional about creating traditions and memories.
When I was a little girl, the start of a new school year was an exciting time filled with anticipation for a fresh start. I would spend hours before the first day of school covering all of my textbooks with homemade book covers made of brown paper bags from the grocery store, and then writing the class subject on the front in colorful bubble letters. It was also one of only three times a year that we were allowed to buy a new outfit, complete with new shoes! As the days dragged on toward that first day of school, I couldn’t wait to see who would be in my classes and catch up with friends that I hadn’t seen all summer.
While back-to-homeschool looks a little different, there are still countless ways that we can create these kinds of memories for our children. This is a great time of year to start gathering ideas for creating traditions that are homeschool-friendly so that your kids can join in the fun with their public school friends.
The members of the Homeschool Review Crew are sharing their tips, ideas, and experience all week (find all their links at the end of this article), but here are a few ideas to kick things off and a special FREEBIE offer, too!!
Making Memories with Buying Traditions
There are LOTS of things that we need to buy at the beginning of the school year. Making those purchases extra special is a great way to make memories that last.
Pick out a new alarm clock and start using it a week or two before the first day of school. This will help add a little excitement to the not-so-fun task of having to wake up earlier than the kids have become accustomed to during the summer. Let the kids have fun with this and pick out whatever suits their fancy. If local stores don’t have a great selection, check out what’s available on Amazon.
Take the kids shopping for a new outfit or even new PJs! When I first introduced the idea of buying a new outfit to my kids they wanted to know whether they would also still be getting their new PJs. Until then, I hadn’t even realized that they thought of buying new necessary things as a back-to-school tradition! I just always used the new school year as a reminder to buy new PJs, socks, and underwear. They looked forward to that every year, so it was an annual back-to-school tradition for them.
We all have to buy school supplies, so take the opportunity to make getting them extra special and memorable. Fill a pretty container or basket with all of their new supplies and present it to them on the first day of school. If you want to get really fancy, make a Schultuete! A what?!? Trust me, it’s super fun, but it takes some planning! Skip to My Lou has all the details.
Making Memories with Activities
The final weeks before the beginning of a new school year are the perfect time to make lots of memories doing fun things.
Take a last-minute family vacation! Plan a quick weekend away, even if it’s just across town. Or just plan a few simple outings such as swimming, or going out for ice cream, or to the zoo.
If you’d rather stay in, there are lots of things you can do at home too!
Plan a fantastic back-to-homeschool party! This Bit of Life has some great ideas, and some free printables as well! If you need a few more ideas, Plain and Not So Plain has details and printables for things like bingo, conversation starters, and even a letter to mom. Schoolin Swag has lots of great ideas, too, like planning a special first day of school breakfast.
You could also plan a special dinner the night before the first day of school! Let the kids pick out their favorite foods and serve up a memorable meal. Don’t forget dessert! Make the meal extra special by ending it with an ice cream sundae party. Gather all their favorite ice creams and toppings and have a blast.
Making Memories with Printables
If you find that it’s down to the wire and you don’t have a lot of time left for elaborate plans . . . don’t fret!! We’ve got you covered!
You can make a new year time capsule. Record the thoughts, feelings, and goals of each child for the new year and lock them inside a container. Put it away, and then read them again at the end of the year! Giggles Galore has some great ideas for making a time capsule, and a colorful printable that you can use to get started.
Hop over to The Gunny Sack and print out some fantastic lunchbox jokes. While we don’t send our kids off with a lunchbox, we can serve up these cute little jokes with their lunch plates for a special giggle.
While you’re there, grab these delightful Brown Paper Candy Grams for a special after-lunch treat.
We have a special printable gift for you, too! A great first day of school tradition is to take photos to commemorate the day. We have some colorful signs that you can print off to include in your photos.
Thank you to Michelle W of Life in the Nerddom for writing this introductory post.
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Michelle began her homeschooling journey in 2009 when she pulled her oldest two children from public school as rising 7th and 10th graders. She understands what an overwhelming transition it can be to homeschool and has a real passion for bringing new homeschoolers together with the products and encouragement they need to be successful. She and her husband live in South Carolina where she continues to homeschool their two younger children.
These are just a few ideas to kick off a jam-packed week-long blog hop with all the members of the Homeschool Review Crew sharing their ideas to making memories this back-to-school season. Don’t miss out! Visit all of the links below, and come back throughout the week to find even more great ideas as they are added!