Whether you’re returning to school virtually, a homeschool pro, or a newbie like me, the first day of school is kind of a big deal.
And just because we are learning from home, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the year ahead.
I absolutely LOVE celebrating with my girls. We usually go all out decorating for holidays and birthdays and are big on family traditions.
The first day of homeschool is no exception. It has to be an extra-special day to remember.
But, as a busy mom who is working a part-time job, trying to build my dream business, and doing all of the duties that come with being a mom of a toddler and preschooler, time is something that I’m a bit short on. As I’m sure most parents can relate.
That’s why I needed some simple, yet memorable ideas. Here are 10 easy things that you can do to make the first day of homeschool special for your family.
10 Ways to Make The First Day of Homeschool Special
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products I love and recommend. It costs you nothing extra if you purchase through my link, but I may get a small commission.
1- Make a Special Breakfast
One of the perks to learning from home is that there’s usually more time for a fun and hearty breakfast. You can start the day off with a special breakfast and sit down as a family to enjoy it. These grain and sugar-free pancakes are sure to be a hit with your little ones!
2- Decorate Your Learning Space
What child wouldn’t love to wake up to balloons and decorations on their first day of school?! Naturally, they will love walking into a decorated school area. It is sure to put a smile on their face and get them even more excited to learn!
You can head on over to my FREEBIE page for free printables to hang in your learning space.
3- Take Back to School Photos
Taking a photo on the first day of school is such a special tradition. You can buy a special board or use good old fashioned paper and marker to write down their age and grade.
Be sure to take photos on the last day of school as well so that you can see how much your child has changed throughout the school year.
4- Back to School Gifts
Back to school gifts don’t have to be expensive and extravagant. Colorful notebooks, pens, and pencils make fun gifts that your child will be excited to start using.
A book with a heartfelt message written in it or a new journal to reflect in each day, make extra special gifts.
Here are a few of my recommendations.
5- Special Lunch/ Snack/ Dinner
The fun foods don’t have to stop with breakfast. If the weather is nice, grab your food and head outside. The fresh air will be the perfect afternoon pick me up. You could even bring a blanket and your favorite books and continue learning outside while you have a snack, picnic style. These grain-free and refined sugar-free blender muffins are one of our favorite snacks.
6- Prep the Night Before
So this one isn’t necessarily something that you can physically give to your child, but I promise that it will work out in their favor. If you have all of your supplies ready to go and plan out your day ahead of time, you won’t feel rushed and overwhelmed in the morning. You’ll be able to focus on the task at hand and your child won’t become distracted by waiting for you to prepare for the next lesson. Instead, you will become a smooth-flowing team.
Preparation is an essential part of life. It is a skill that enhances self-discipline, flexibility, and resilience. Alexander Graham Bell said that “preparation is the key to success.”
We want to instill healthy habits onto our children, and preparation is key.
This wall calendar and dry erase board will help keep you organized and prepared for the week ahead. These file folders and boxes are the perfect way to store your lessons. You can number each folder to coordinate with the unit you are on so all you have to do is grab it and go. We also love this art storage center that’s perfect for putting the day’s supplies in.
7- Create An About Me Page
These All About Me posters are such a special way to remember all of your child’s favorite things. Fill one out at the beginning of the year and again at the end of the school year. It’s a neat comparison to see if their interests have changed. You can find a variety of colors and designs in my Freebie Library.
After you’ve completed your About Me page, be sure to put it somewhere safe. I suggest creating an All About Me binder that you and your child can look back on for years to come. You can use a 3-hole punch or page protectors to add them to your child’s binder. You can add the finishing touch to your child’s binder by printing out your FREE All About Me- Through the Years cover page.
8- Special Craft/ Activity
Hands-on activities are key factors in creating a life-long love of learning. Most children and adults, learn by doing, versus sitting and listening. Hands-on learning activities are more engaging and allow children to learn through creation. You can plan an art project, educational game, outdoor learning activity, or create masterpieces in the kitchen together. All of these hands-on activities will encourage a love of learning and are sure to make your first day more special.
9- Special Outing
If it fits into your schedule, you can start the school year off with a special outing. Even something as simple as an outdoor adventure through the woods provides endless opportunities to learn and explore while having fun.
10- Set Goals Together
Setting goals establishes a foundation for the year ahead. They are another life-long skill that can be taught at a young age. Goals help guide you to where you want to be in life and teach your child to truly reflect on what they want to accomplish.
Sit down and talk with your child to see what their goals are for the school year. What would they like to learn? Is there a specific topic that they are really interested in or somewhere they want to go to? If they are old enough, you can have them write down their own goals.
Make sure you write down a goal or two for yourself as well. Once you’ve established your goals, display them in your learning area so that you can look back on them often.
If you have toddlers at home, be sure to include them in on the fun. They will be excited to receive a small gift or book and will love taking back to school photos alongside their older siblings.
I hope this list helps inspire you to make your first day of homeschool special. This year has been full of so much negativity and it is one we will not soon forget. But we can try to encourage one another to see the good and empower our children by beginning the school year on a more positive note.
Regardless of what your learning from home journey looks like, please remember that each day is part of the learning process.
Give Yourself Grace.
You Are Enough.
“That child you’re raising today, may change the world tomorrow.” -Stacy Farrell
If you ever find yourself doubting your journey, this inspirational book has been my absolute favorite homeschool book so far. It’s empowering, beautifully written, and reminds you to put your trust in the Lord.
May the year ahead, be your best year yet!
Love & Blessings,