Monday, August 10, 2015

First Day of School Traditions

Just because we are homeschoolers, doesn't mean we gave up on our numerous first day of school traditions. Around our house, the first day of a new school year is not a serious or regimented day. We like to start the year with excitement, fun, and new supplies - oh, the lovely new supplies.

We find enjoyment in our yearly rituals, which may not be terribly educational and usually take most of the day. Still these traditions are perfect way for us to begin a new grade. 

The outline of our traditional official first day of school:
  • Amber starts the day of school by getting ready and dressing in a specially selected outfit. In parochial school she wore uniforms, which has made wearing fun clothes all the more appealing now.
  • I usually make one of Amber's favorite breakfasts in the hope I'll do equally well all school year. I began this tradition on the first day of three year old pre-school! A related tradition is my breakfast failures by, at least, day three of school.
  • First Day Pictures, which aren't much better now than the rushed cell phone pics from when Amber was in traditional school. At least now I do manage a couple of outdoor shots on occasion, but it's still with my phone. One constant since first grade is Amber using her fingers to denote her new grade level. (We're still deciding how 11th and 12th grade will work).
    An Eighth Grader!
  • After pictures we discuss the tentative daily schedule for the current semester. Adjustments to the schedule may be made based on this conversation, or even additional outside activities selected.
  • We then have the official unveiling of the newly labeled folders and other supplies. I go over her school books (only some of which are new) and show her their proper locations in the recently cleaned and organized shelves beneath her desk.
    Cinnamon, chocolate chip muffins for breakfast (of course, gluten free and fructose free).  Discussing her daily schedule and familiarizing herself with the online lesson scheduling tool we both will be using. Then, LUNCH!
  • We ALWAYS go out for lunch on the first day. It gets us out of the house and adds a bit of celebratory atmosphere to the day. Besides, who wants to stay home when you've dressed in an especially cute outfit?
  • Amber and I talk about her personal and educational goals for the year. This is also the point where we cover the scope and topics for all her subjects, as well as how she will assume more personal responsibilities.
  • Finally, if there is time, we might try a couple of assignments. Or maybe we will work on a fun project instead. It's possible we end the day with no real work completed, yet still excited for the new year.
  • Daddy comes home and Amber tells him everything we did for our first day of school. It isn't that he needs to know, but it's tradition!
    Discussing her eighth grade goals (with the help of a kitty), online game learning and apologetics - our only lessons of the day.


Our first day of eighth grade was very similar to the past homeschooling first days. Amber was energetic and eager to begin her official new school year, even if we didn't have a productive lesson day. Although it may seem as if this was a lost school day, we view it as fostering an excitement and love for learning.

What are some of your first day of school traditions?

(Click image for more Blog Hop entires)

For more fun and informative posts, please visit a few other participants in this year's Back to Homeschool Blog Hop.  Today I'll be visiting:
Marcy @ Ben and Me


  1. What fun first day traditions.
    blessings, Dawn

  2. These are very inspirational. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have such a hard time waiting to show her our new books and folders as they arrive I'm just too excited! But if I could wait, that would be a great first day of school thing!!

  4. I love first day of school traditions. It is an ongoing record of growth and change. For my girls, traditions are major part of our lives and the first day of school ones are not any different. I enjoyed seeing yours. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I really like your first day of school traditions.... easy, laid back and fun! Not having to dive straight into work sounds like the perfect way to start the new year off! I hope Amber has an amazing year academically and health wise! Thanks for sharing!