This school year is going to be very different for all of us.
Whether you’re sending your child back to school, doing full-time distance learning, or are getting started homeschooling, I know that you didn’t make the decision lightly and have chosen best for your family.
We have personally decided to homeschool. We have 4 children; Theo is 6.5 and in first grade, Josie and Margo are 4.5 and in pre-k, and Beckham is almost 4-months old.
I can only hope that by the time Beckham is old enough to attend school that we have some normalcy back! I cannot fathom still having to wear masks and socially distance years from now.
Anyways. Moving on. We have chosen to homeschool, and as we start school are moving forward with joy and excitement, which leads me to the point of this post!
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First Day of Homeschool Activities
While we can’t replace the excitement of walking through the doors on that first day of school, there are definitely things that we can do to make for a fun start to the new school year.
I think this is especially important if your kids are used to attending school in person and aren’t exactly pumped about learning at home.
These fun homeschool ideas will also work for the first day of distance learning if that’s the route you’re taking.
Back to School Shopping (even if it’s online)
Back to school shopping is so much fun and while you don’t technically need to do back to school shopping if you aren’t attending school in person, it makes for a fun start to the homeschool year.
I still plan to involve my kids in back to school shopping, even if it’s just having them sit at the computer with me and choose a few things.
Or, maybe I’ll take them shopping in person… with masks on, of course. Oh, what a world we live in!
First Day of School Outfit
You could do back to school pajamas, slippers, shoes, or whatever you think your child would enjoy.
Theo is 6 and doesn’t care too much about clothes. Josie and Margo are 4 and getting dressed is probably their favorite activity of the day! If I get them a “special” dress for the first day of school, they will be SO pumped!
First Day of School Pictures
I obviously love pictures and plan to do pictures on the first day of homeschool! Comparing first and last day of pictures is always so bittersweet.
It’s so fun to see how much my kids have grown in a year, but it also is a stark reminder at how fast the days go by.
You can make a letter board that says First Day of Homeschool, or get these super cute printables from my friend Christine!
Make Breakfast Special and FUN!
Donuts? Waffle and bacon bar? Fancy breakfast?
We have all the time in the world to have a nice breakfast.
In past years, I’ve tried to make a fun breakfast and it’s been difficult to fit it in before rushing out the door for school.
That is something I will definitely NOT miss this year!
We might even go out and pick up donuts and eat them by the water, to drive home the point that while we may miss some things about school, there are many benefits to homeschooling and we plan to take advantage of them!
Here are my tips for starting your day off right: Steps to My Stress Free Morning Routine
Name Your School and Set Goals
I plan to sit down with my kids and set goals for our school year. Setting goals will help them understand the fun things about homeschooling and get excited about the first week.
You could even make a vision board, but
Some of my goals for them will be:
- develop a love of learning
- get outside every day
- have field trips AT LEAST twice a month (field trips will definitely be beach days while the weather is still warm)
- have FUN
- be respectful and kind to their teacher (haha)
Once we have set our goals and gotten excited that way, I will suggest that we name our school and let the kids be involved in the process. I’ll update here when we come up with a name.
The Rogers Sunshine Academy? The Funnest Homeschool Ever? Hopefully the kids have better ideas than I do.
Have a School Supply Scavenger Hunt
I was kind of a nerd as a kid and LOVED school supplies. There is just something about fresh pencils and notebooks that’s so exciting!
We did a scavenger hunt awhile back to give the kids a surprise trip to Great Wold Lodge for their birthdays (pre-covid, obviously) and they LOVED it.
I plan to fill their backpacks with school supplies and do a scavenger hunt to find them.
I imagine it will be just as exciting as Christmas.
Set Out School Supplies Overnight
If a scavenger hunt isn’t your jam, you could set out all of the supplies overnight so when they go into their homeschool or distance learning area first thing in the morning, everything is ready to go.
Make an About Me Interview
Our first activity of the day will be an interview asking the kids their favorite color, what they want to be when they grow up, etc.
I know that they usually do them on the first day in actual school and so it will be really fun to do at home.
Dance Party Break
Once we have completed the work portion of back to school, we will have an epic dance party. Dance parties are one of my kids FAVORITE things to do.
If there is something else that your kiddos like, you could figure out a way to include that in your day.
Pizza and Ice Cream for Lunch
Or maybe dinner haha. Is this too much? Is it overkill?
But I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year with a lot of challenges and not a lot of fun.
Everyone has had to make sacrifices and miss out on things, including our children.
If I can make a really fun start to the school year, I will do it. And I mean hey, I love pizza and ice cream just as much as my kids!
I hope this post gives you hope and excitement as we start the new year of learning. If you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, know you aren’t alone because along with my excitement and joy, I am definitely also feeling overwhelmed and a tad nervous.
But you know what? We got this! It’s going to be a great year!