School is starting up and so are all of the back to school pictures. You know the ones. The picture of your friends’ kids beginning their first day back to public school. They all have new back to school clothes, backpacks, and school supplies. Their children pose for pictures with their new teacher. This is a huge occasion, right? Homeschoolers, don’t give in to back to school envy. Here are some ideas that can make your first day a big deal.
When I was a public school teacher, I always had a goodie bag on top of the desk of each student. This was always a fun way to start the day when everyone was a little anxious about their new surroundings. Even though I did this last year, my kiddos were still over the moon about their goodie bags. Here is what what was in each bag:
- New fancy pencil with their new grade level written on it. This is a special pencil to celebrate a new year.
- Two little packs of smarties. This lets them know that I think that they are all “smarties”.
- Two Starbursts. They are all stars in my eyes.
- A bag of goldfish with a special note that I found on The Curriculum Corner.
Take a special photo
This year I printed off a couple of first day photo cards.
Make a first day of school memory book
Begin the start of each year with a book that allows children to write about themselves. This year I created a First Day of School 2014 packet that allowed them to draw pictures of themselves and their teacher.
Buy new school supplies
What kid doesn’t love a new set of markers or paint? My kids were so excited to work on their Memory Books with their new markers.
Buy a new educational game
During the first week of school don’t give your child a new math manipulative and expect him/her to use it to solve math problems. Let them play with them! This is a way to familiarize your child with the manipulative and hopefully get the playing out of their system before it is time to use it as a math tool!
Read a story about the first day of school
This year we read “First Day Jitters”. If you haven’t read this book you must! It is the cutest Back to School story!
Read a first day of school poem.
We began the year with a great poem about starting Kindergarten. We will read it each day this week and then illustrate it in our poetry journals.
Make a fun craft to go along with the back to school theme
We made an ice cream cone craftivity to show that School is Cool! I love craftivities because not only can your kids explore their creativity, they also practice a skill. We wrote why we thought this year was going to be “cool” and then we hung up our ice cream cone next to our writing.
Eat a special treat
The best part of our first day of school was getting to eat an ice cream cone before lunch! After we made our ice cream cone craftivity, we all celebrated the first day of school with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a cone.
Sometimes as homeschool moms we get hung up on all of the lesson planning of the year and forget about celebrating the first day of school. It only takes a little planning to throw in an activity to make the first day feel special.
Don’t allow your first day to go by without some fun! I hope these ideas will inspire you to celebrate a new school year. Happy learning!