First Day of School Traditions
On Monday, I shared with you how we get back into our routine during the weeks leading up to the first day of school. I promised you I would share our first day traditions, so here we go.
We started these traditions a few years ago when Tabitha started Kindergarten. We have continued the initial activities and have added some new ones over the years.
I remember shopping with my mother for new school outfits when I was a child. It was always so special to have those spiffy new clothes. While we don't get the children a whole new wardrobe, we thought it would be nice for them to have one new outfit to start school with. We purchased them each 1 new outfit for school and 1 for church. They were allowed to wear the church outfit right away; however, they have to wait until the first day of school to wear the other one.
Out For Breakfast
The children will wake up, make their beds, and get dressed in their spiffy new outfits. Then daddy will take them out to eat. They get to go to McDonald's, which is about 20 minutes away, giving me time to get stuff ready at the house. In the past, only the children who were school-aged went out for breakfast while the younger children stayed home to help me. This year, I think daddy is planning to take little Harold as well, because we believe he will be devastated to be the only one left at home (judging by his reaction to not being able to go to summer camp this year).
Decorating the House
We like to make the first day of school a big celebration, not something to dread. I want them to have good memories of school, though the older girls do throw fits when they have work to do. I figure party decorations will help with the mood. I make a banner to go across the top of our living room doorway. Plus I add balloons, which the children will be able to play with later in the day.
New School Supplies
While the children are gone, I set out their school supplies by their spot at the table. When they were younger, it was sort of a surprise to see what they got. These days, they know what will be waiting for them. However, we have found a fun way to make things new. Last year I reviewed a book called The First Day of Homeschool by Michelle Fredrickson. There is a homeschool elf in the book who hides the children's school supplies. Of course, I knew the children would love adding a scavenger hunt to their first day traditions, so I had the homeschool elf hide the supplies (all of one kind of supply were together in the hiding spot) and they had to follow the clues to find all of them. They get to find a box of crayons, colored pencils, pencils, glue sticks and scissors. They then put them in their pencil boxes (which were at the spot at the table).
Each year I take the children's pictures next to our easel. I write their grade on the board so we can see how much they have grown from year to year. The children will first pose nicely, then I allow them to dance around (it is a celebration after all) and when I say stop, they freeze in a funny pose for me to capture. I love seeing how much they have grown from year to year:
Later in the day, when daddy is available again, he will take a picture of me with the children. That is our class picture. In fact, the picture in my header will need to be updated soon, as that is last years class picture.
"About Me" pages
I have the children fill out an "About Me" page which includes a nice list of their favorite things, plus a self-portrait. Then they list or draw a picture of what they are good at, what they are scared of, what they want to be when they grow up, and where they would go if they could go anywhere.
Light School Day
We continue our day with a light school day.
That is what our first day of school looks like. Do you have any first day traditions? I'd love to hear about them!
It's a blog hop!
Don't forget to stop by to visit my fellow Crew Mates. We are all sharing Back to Homeschool from our own perspective, so enjoy the varied subjects and views this week. Below is a list of 11 of my friends with links to their blogs. Each day I will be sharing a different group of bloggers. If you would like to see the full list of participating blogs, I encourage you to check out my Back to Homeschool Blog Hop introduction post.
Joanie @ Simple Living Mama
Aurie @ Our Good Life
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Jenn @ Treasuring Life's Blessings
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Wendy @ Life at Rossmont
Katie @ DailyLife
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Kim @ Homestead Acres
Melissa @ Mom's Plans
Annette @ A Net In Time
Let's Celebrate Back to Homeschool with some giveaways:
I happen to be hosting what I feel are some great back to homeschool giveaways. Each of these giveaways feature products related to school and learning. Just click on the link and you will be directed the the giveaway.
Enter to win:
A 3-month membership to A+ Interactive Math's Adaptive Placement Test w/ Individualized Lesson Plans
A copy of The Reading Game