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We started homeschooling the year my oldest child entered first grade and one of the things that worried me most was the loss of the fun back to school memories and moments. It sounds silly now, but I knew that we were going to do great academically; I had researched enough to be comfortable that socialization was not a problem, but I thought we were going to miss out on the ‘back to school’ pictures and such.
However, over the years we have created our own fun ‘back to homeschool’ traditions. We have done a variety of things to make the start of our school year fun and memorable.
First, we take each child that is entering kindergarten out to dinner a night or two before they begin. It is a date with just the new kindergartener, my husband, and myself. They get to choose a nice restaurant and have some special time.
We actually started that tradition before my son went into public school kindergarten but have continued it with our other children before we start what we call their kindergarten year in our homeschool.
Back to Homeschool Supplies
Next, we purchase our new school supplies. While I obviously don’t have a school supply list I have to purchase like public school parents, it is always nice to have a few new supplies. The back to school prices make it a great time to stock up on crayons, pencils, etc. You might even want to grab a backpack while the deals are good. You can learn more about why homeschoolers need backpacks in this post.
In addition, we love to get homeschool t-shirts. Sometimes we get new ones each year and sometimes they keep the same one for a couple of years. These are always fun and great conversation starters. Homeschool Style Co. has some great t-shirts that are really good quality! (This is a great reminder for me that I need to get this year’s shirts ordered because my little boys have outgrown their shirts from last year.)
First Day Traditions
While the public schools in our area go back in August, we like to wait until the day after Labor Day for our official start. On that day, I like to print out signs that say “First Day of ___ Grade” and we take pictures with our signs in our homeschool t-shirts or all dressed up.
We also love to have a big breakfast that morning. Typically we have chocolate chip pancakes and bacon on the first day, but I let them decide each year what they want for the special day. It is something we look forward to each year and helps them to get excited about the day ahead.
Over the years, I have learned that we gain far more than we miss by homeschooling. For everything memory I thought they would miss out on, we make dozens more at home. We enjoy doing these simple things at the beginning of the year to make the first day of school special and to make memories together as a family.
Do you have any special ‘Back to Homeschool’ traditions? How do you make memories at the beginning of the year? Be sure to click the graphic below and see how other Review Crew families make memories at the start of their homeschool year. There is also a fun giveaway for free printable first day of school signs.
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