Everyone has their “back to school” traditions. We are no exception. Except that we are doing “back to homeschool.” I thought I’d share some of our traditions with you to help make the transition back to a more structured schedule a little easier.
Each of the girls has a pencil box and a larger box that houses her child specific materials. They are color coded to make it easier and more personal. We always take some time to sit down with these and refill or reorganize. The girls are so anxious to start that they actually sat down on Friday and did this all on their own. All I had to do was pull out a few of the special, new items I had bought for them (pencil sharpeners, erasers, Sharpies) and make sure they weren’t removing the notebooks that we are still going to use. (No reason to stop using a notebook for things like daily drawings/short stories and book logs. Just keep on dating each page and it can go until we fill it up!)
I give each girl a piece of paper with her grade designation on it for the year.** The girls decorate their signs as much as they want in whatever way they want. This then becomes a sign on their door for however long they want it there. For this past year, those signs are still up and will come down when the new ones go up.
**We designate a grade level not because they are actually working on work all within that grade level but because our church uses grade level designations to determine what class they are in/youth group/activity participation/etc. Also, we give them a grade level because people tend to ask what grade they are in and this gives them an easy response.
Once the girls are done with their signs, we take a “first day of school” picture. Partly to share with family and friends, partly to document their growth, partly just for fun. They enjoy it and so do I. That’s enough.
We also do a set of questions that asks things like “what is your favorite color” or “what is your favorite book?” I enjoy seeing the change from year to year and the girls have already asked to see which ones I am going to use. I found a neat one on SuperTeacherWorksheets.com. (This is an upcoming review and I have already printed off a bunch. Look for it in mid-September.)
Fun Book and Activity
I try to find a neat picture book for us to read that we haven’t read before. I then try to tie in some fun hands-on activities. This year we will be using The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I love the idea behind this book – giving all you have to one who loves you much. We will focus on the biblical concepts in that idea, both from God’s perspective of giving all He had and from our perspective of the question “Do you give God or others all you have?” We will use chalk pastels to create a tree drawing. We will review Psalm 1, as well. I have a couple of other ideas that I plan to share with you all in a separate post later. Stay tuned…
I would not have included this but guess what? Sometimes your children will consider something an important tradition when you don’t even think of it as a tradition, let alone important. This was one of those. I honestly wasn’t planning on doing any “school shopping” for clothes. But, when I was asked by one of the giggly girls when we were doing our traditional school shopping trip to buy an new outfit, I decided this was something we needed to do. Not because they need the clothes. No, because I could tell it was something important to her. We have the money in the budget to be able to do it without too much of a stretch, so, we’ll be going outfit shopping. Maybe not ON the first day but soon. Because it is important.
What are some of your family’s First Day Traditions? I’d love to know.
A list of all posts related to the Back To Homeschool Blog Hop 2015 came be found under the Back to Homeschool page.
This post is part of the Back To Homeschool Blog Hop, sponsored by School House Review Crew and Homeschool Blogging Connection. There are over 50 bloggers participating in the blog hop so you have lots of reading to do! Click on the picture to be taken to the listing of all participating bloggers and find something to encourage you today.