A small flame

A small flame

The First Day of School

The start of the school year is just around the corner for us. Lots of families are in the same bus, I know. This year I really want to make our first day back special and fun. In the past, I have been so overwhelmed {or so ambitious} that we've just jumped in: 'Vacation's over kids. Here's your math sheet!' I'm trying to remedy that this year and have an exciting, fun day to {hopefully} set the tone for the rest of the year. I've been scouring the internet and collecting ideas. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Plan a special field trip or outing

2. Make 'Welcome Back ' posters & have balloons to welcome kids when they wake up that first morning

3. Get each child a new backpack or some other special container {see #13 } & fill it with new supplies to have waiting for them the first morning

4. Have a 'back to school' celebration the night with special food, decorations, even hats.

5. One mom serves her children homemade apple pie for breakfast on the first day

6. Take kids shopping for a new backpack each year & then take pics of them with the backpack - over the years, the picture collection will document how they are growing and changing not just physically, but also in their personalities and interests

7. Take yearly photos of the kids before and after school on the first day - "I looked all cute in the beginning," she said. By the end of the day, "I just looked like I had been through a war."

8. Make a time capsule with your kiddos. This sounds fun and would be fairly uncomplicated, I think, if I used this printable form .

9. I love the pictures this new-to-home school mama took of her kiddos on their first day!

10. Go out for breakfast

11. There are some great ideas for a fun-filled first day of home school at Homespun Heart

12. This post has links to several great ideas for counting down to school, first day of school breakfasts, family activities and more. They also have some great last day of school ideas . . . when we make it that far ;o )

13. If you're not doing backpacks (we aren't) then maybe these ideas will help: a gift bag of goodies or a Schultute. Never heard of a Schultute before? Me either. It's traditional German gift, typically given to a child when he starts his first year of school - although it could be a yearly tradition. Basically it's a large megaphone-shaped cone filled with school supplies and other goodies. I love the personalized one that this mom found (scroll down to the bottom of the post), and here are directions for making your own.

I'd love to hear what first-day-of-school traditions you have or intend to start!

NOTE: I tried give credit for the ideas I shared here, though some ideas appear over and over in slightly different forms.


Jana Harvey said...

Maybe you should take a before and after picture of Mom!:-)

Actually, I had never thought about making the first day special until I wandered across a post on the Sonlight forums. I am now planning on taking them to lunch and the racecars that afternoon after we have school in the morning.

Rachel said...

Janna, that sounds fun! I'm sure your kiddos will have a great time ;O)