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JoyKM

First Day of School Traditions/Fun

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What do you do or have you done on the first day of a homeschool year that makes it feel fun, special or distinct?  

Inspiration appreciated! So far I’m thinking a reduced number of subjects that day so we can finish fast and have lunch out somewhere with a playground. We also need time to go over the “rules” and how to manage their school stuff. 

We are set to begin either July 13, 20, or 27 depending on how unpacking goes. I left all of the date spaces blank in my lesson plans to fill in accordingly. 😅 

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We would take a "first day of school" picture.
Then we would get out the big pile of books and materials for the new year and look through everything.
We would sharpen new pencils and clean desks and get everything ready for the new year.
Then we'd go out and go swimming, or go for ice cream, or do some other fun outing. 😄 

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Similar to above. We'd do pictures, look at new books and supplies. I usually have some surprises with the new supplies- stickers or fun supplies they didn't know about. I plan to print coloring sheets for dd6 to color and decorate that will be the cover sheet for her school binder. This year she'll have a SOTW binder and a folder for her completed math to decorate, plus whatever she'll need for our new co-op. I'll also have a fun breakfast, something homebaked. 

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Well, we used to go to one of those movie places where they serve real food during the movie, and get nachos and chocolate chip cookies. That's not going to happen this year, unfortunately. 😞  

 

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It has varied over the years.  For both of my kids' first days of K, we were heading out on big interesting trips so we did 'car school' or 'airport school', starting with just the very basics (math and reading) because the trips were educational.  We hadn't planned them as big 'start of K' events, but that's how life worked and it turned out fun.  Normally we sit down and pull out all of our books and figure out what type of general schedule we should have to get through what we want to do - vocab 2 days a week, math 4 days, etc.  I write cards for whatever we decide, and then the kids sort them out by day so that they make their own weekly plan.  We used to start on a Monday and the kids would then do whatever subjects were on a weekly plan (like spelling) and a sampling of other things, and then we'd celebrate with lunch out, or ice cream, or maybe a trip to the zoo.  In the last 2 years we've started doing our first day on a Friday because it feels easier to do the planning and try out a few things (especially anything new) and then start Monday ready to work with a plan already in place.  This year will be interesting because my older is starting high school and has chosen to earn a credit or 2 over the summer.  He started when everything was still closed, and even now sports practices happen some evenings but there are no camps to take up daytime hours so he has made more progress than anticipated.  I'm not sure if he'll take a true break and then have a 'first day' or he'll just keep moving and the 'first day' will just be for my younger.  

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On the first day of school we go to Dunkin Donuts (or similar) and take breakfast up to one of our favorite parks ... we have breakfast at the park, read in the sun, take a few pics and go for a hike. 

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We take pictures of each kid holding a small whiteboard that has what grade they're entering. Also, ice cream. We also do ice cream for the last day of school, as well. Pretty much any excuse for ice cream will do. :biggrin:

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I do a first day of school interview and a last day of school interview. My kids love being interviewed. And they do seem to enjoy seeing how their favorites have stayed the same/changed, how they have met some goals, and how some of their wishes have come true. 

We also eat fairy bread (buttered toast with sprinkles) with our eggs because I want to be the kind of person that does a fun first day of school breakfast, but I never have had the wherewithal to get that part of the day together. Fairy bread is a good tradition because it is both "fancy" and I always have the ingredients on hand. 🙂

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We do pictures and I also give my kids presents. Not big stuff, but usually t-shirts and school supplies, maybe books they want, and a bunch of candy. 🙂

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So we just sort of gently start doing. subjects one at a time in August so we are in the groove when their other classes start.  Plus all the summer fun stuff is over ands it's so hot then.  

On the first official day of school we party.  It's our " not back to school celebration" . Special breakfast like crepes.  We may hit a aquatic center, paint your own ceramics, movie, maybe the escape room place, mini golf.  We get lunch out maybe do some shopping or get manicures.  Basically it's the biggest funnest day of the year. 

I'm sure it will look different this year but I'm sure we can find something to do.   

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They get some candy to snack on while doing school that day, and fill out an all about me page, like with writing their name, favorite color, etc. 

In the past, they've gotten their school supply box/pencil box wrapped up, and then they could organize it how they wanted. But they don't have special school supplies these days.

We've also done breakfast cupcakes (basically pancake batter in muffin tins with cream cheese mixed with jam for "frosting", 

Basically, our first day of school is a real day of school. Usually the day before, I take 10 minutes or so to go over each boys checklist and subjects and what's expected. 

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At our house the First Day of School Otter brings fancy new school supplies. Fun things, like snap bracelet rulers or cute erasers. We then have a big fancy breakfast. Lately it's been crepes with all the fillings. Then we go do something fun, like visit a bounce house place or a new children's museum. We do take pictures in front of our height-measuring ruler and mark how tall they are. We don't usually do any actual school that day. I may spend some time talking about any expectations that may change for that year (like someone needing to spend a half hour on their math rather than 25 minutes). But mostly it is a fun day. 

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Love reading these traditions!

I have them make personalized signs with name/grade/year, and then take a photo of them holding it. They fill out questionnaires with their fave color/best friend/fave song/etc.  We do an artsy, paint handprint (a carry over from their teensy days, but they still demand we do it).  Then I usually have them write about their fave memories from the summer. 

And sometimes we go to the "expensive bakery" and buy the fancy donuts. Also, sometimes we go to the zoo...but it's hot as heck here in August and I'm not wearing a mask outside in that humidity...so we'll probably skip that one. 

Edited by alisoncooks
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