BTS is everywhere! Everyone is talking about back to school, not back to school, school clothes, and all of the new requirements for this year as we continue to battle COVID-19 in our communities. If you’re like me, you are struggling with all of this buzz and worry your kids will feel let down if you don’t go above and beyond to make this year great. Trust me, many homeschool families find themselves in this same position each year. It is one of the most common new homeschooling mom questions I see each August.
How Can Homeschoolers Make the First Day
NOT Back to School Amazing?
If the thought of making a special breakfast and taking that front door picture with their backpacks appeals to you, do it! Let the kids get new backpacks and an outfit, put all the pretty bows in their hair, get the boys a new haircut, and take the picture! If that is what will make you feel like you are about to kickoff the best homeschool year ever, DO IT! Seriously! Do it! There is no rule that says your child can’t have a new backpack, can’t have new clothes, can’t wake up to an amazing first day of school breakfast, and can’t take that picture at the door because they are homeschooled! AND if it makes you feel better to actually leave the house after you take the picture, go to the library, or the park, to do your first activity of the new year! The kids will LOVE taking off on the first day!
Host a Pajama Party! I know, it is so very cliché to assume homeschoolers are going to delight in a day wearing new PJs, but it’s an awesome perk of homeschooling and I say we all embrace it! Invite your homeschool besties over for a fun day in their PJs, complete with a teddy bear breakfast, “minute to win it” relay games, and a educational movie marathon! (Anyone up for the Magic School Bus, Little House on the Prairie, or Narnia? …Anyone?)
Out with the old, in with the new GIFTS! Donate all of last year’s school supplies to another homeschool family and replace them with kits for each kid. Get the special character scissors for the littles, colorful desk organizers for your teens, specialty pens, pencils, markers, folders, subject tabs, highlighters, planners, their favorite curriculum, and paper! Toss in a new outfit (or pajamas if you’re a PJ lover like me) and wrap each kit up like a big present! Have you seen those BIG boxes with the gift in the bottom attached to balloons? When the kids open the box the balloons pop out? Do that! Put the kit and balloons in a box and give out the best BTS Gift at breakfast on your first day of homeschool!
Start a new tradition with your homeschool group! Take-over a complete restaurant dining hall with your homeschool friends! The first day NOT back to school is a great time to have a fun meet and greet with new homeschoolers in your area! Put on name tags, print out a few field trip signup sheets, and invite a guest speaker to come and inspire everyone to have wonderful year. Don’t forget to put the teens in charge of a fun craft for the littles, and schedule in enough down time for everyone to mingle. STOP… okay, so maybe this recommendation isn’t the best for this year, BUT if your community has resumed dining in and your group remains below the gathering requirements… I say, get together with your people! You and your kids still need communication with the outside world!
Skip School! Skip. It! Just skip school altogether and go do something spectacular together. Think of something fun and unexpected. Get the kids up early, sit them down at the dining room table for breakfast, and wow them completely! Go to the aquarium, planetarium, your favorite children’s museum, spend the day at the beach, go hiking, swimming, or back to school shopping! Just do something that says “I’m a homeschooler and BTS rules don’t apply here! We’re doing FUN-school this year!”
Do you have a first day NOT back to school tradition?
Share your FUN homeschooling tradition in the comments below!