Our First Day of Homeschool Traditions! 

homeschool Aug 22, 2023

There is nothing like that  first day of school feeling! I felt that way as a kid and I feel that way now as I get excited for my own kids. Only, we homeschool which could potentially make things a little blase. 

We don’t do the traditional back-to-school shopping. 

We miss out on the “Who is your teacher?” excitement. 

And the kids don’t get to ride the bus to and from school. 

Just because we homeschool doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate. In fact, I think we have a lot to celebrate!

I also think it’s important that my kids feel celebrated and encouraged to have a great school year! And of course, I want them to know that learning can be fun!

So here’s how we celebrated our first day of homeschooling!


The night before our first day, my husband and I decorated with a few streamers and balloons. We hung streamers from the ceiling right outside of their room and continued it all the way to our homeschooling space. We hung a balloon arch and decorated the white board. This didn’t take too much effort but I can tell you it went a long way! My kids were so excited! Our two year old kept asking if it was his birthday! Haha


We had planned on making a special breakfast, but our kids wanted blueberry muffins! Which was fine because what we really wanted was for them to feel it was special! Maybe next week they’ll want the cinnamon french toast roll ups with strawberries and whipped cream! The goal here is to just make it a little bit more special than your normal day. 

Traced Hands:

I actually saw this idea while searching pinterest (The Unlikely Homeschool) and knew that we had to do it. I am a sucker for keepsakes, especially of my children’s handprints. While I’m sad that we are starting it when my oldest is 9, I’m thrilled we’re starting it with my youngest while he is 2. And who am I kidding, I have plenty of my 9 year-old’s hand prints from other crafts over the years! Each child picked the paper of their choice and we traced and cut out their handprint. We’ll do this each year and then punch a hole in them and link them together into a collection of handprints over the years! I am really looking forward to this one! 


Height Measurements:

We’ve measured our boys’ growth over the years on or around their birthdays. But I think it’s fun to add the first day of homeschool as well. It will be fun to see how much they grow from one school year to the next. 


New Read Aloud Book:

Read Alouds have been a family favorite of ours for some time now. Our first official family read aloud was Charlotte’s Web and I will never forget that. Anyway, it’s always been a tradition that we start a new read aloud on the first day of our homeschool year. This year we started with Odder by Katherine Applegate. And let me just add, it did not disappoint! We read the first 38 pages and it sparked so many great conversations! 


Library Visit: 

Ok, this one ended up being a flop, but it was on our to-do list. Apparently our town library is closed on Mondays! Go figure! And since we recently moved here, we didn’t know that! No fear, we are planning on making a visit on Wednesday. Here’s what we planned on doing: Picking up a copy of This is my home, This is my School by Jonathan Bean, borrowing books we need to go along with our science curriculum, and having each child pick out a handful of books they want to read over the next 1-2 weeks before our next visit. 


Go for a Treat:

Our yummy treat was in the form of shave ice at our favorite shop! We all ordered our favorite flavors and sat down together to indulge in our tasty treat! This was such a fun little outing that got us out of our house for a bit. We’ll make sure to do this every year! 


First day Pictures:

You can’t forget first day of school pictures! I got out my faithful apple chalkboard and filled it in with the date each child’s grade, and what they want to be when they grow up. Let’s see, looks like we’re going to have an actor, an inventor and a little one who wants to be his older brothers. Heart melt. 


Letters to future selves:

I can’t wait for the boys to open these letters they wrote to their future selves at the end of the school year! Each one wrote a letter to themselves that included a few things they hope to accomplish by the end of the year and what their current favorite “things” are so that they can compare and see what’s remained the same. We had our 5 year old write the sentences about what he hopes to accomplish and then I helped me by writing his favorites (his hand was tired!). 

School Spirit Theme Days:

I think this was the boys’ favorite part! It really made them feel excited about the year to come and they also felt like they were a part of planning the year! Every school has school spirit days and we decided that our homeschool should too! Each month we will celebrate one “school spirit” day. Here’s the ones we picked as a family: 

  • Superhero Day (Invent and dress up as your own superhero)
  • Career Day (dress up and tell us about what you want to be when you grow up)
  • International Day (Pick a country and dress up, make a food, etc. from that country)
  • Wacky Wednesday (Wacky hair, socks, outfits….all of it!)
  • Color Wars - (each person is assigned a color and we’ll have different challenges)
  • Board Game Day (an entire day of learning via board games)
  • Favorite Character Day (dress up as your favorite character)
  • 100th day of School Day (Dress up as an elderly person)

The boys are definitely excited for these spirit days! 


Baked a Cake:

What’s a celebration without cake! Daddy and our resident chef, Ryan (our 5 year old who loves to bake) made us a delicious cake! We let it cool and then mommy and Ryan decorated it. Of course all of the boys were happy to eat it after dinner as a special treat! Yeah, two special treats in one day! 


Silhouette painting:

This one could bring tears to your eyes! I saw this on Pinterest as well and knew that we had to do it! I cannot wait to see the finished product! We traced each boys’s silhouette and then they will paint with watercolor and draw their current favorite things inside of the silhouette! Stay tuned because I will definitely be back to add photos!  

We made it our own kind of special. And while every day won’t look like this, they’ll remember that school can be fun!

Homeschool doesn’t have to look like school at home. Learning is happening all around us. During each of those activities, we had so many great conversations! They learned new words, concepts, ideas, and so much more!

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Make sure you do what makes you happy and not what you think will make other people happy with your decisions!