The big day arrived. Our first day of homeschool! We had already decided to make a big deal of it, to start with a bang. (See my post of why we started our homeschool with a bang here.) We approached the day with excitement. Our son was prepared. We had been talking about it. Counting down the days. Setting up our learning area. Gathering our resources. We made the day as special as we could to celebrate this milestone. We tried to focus on the things that make homeschool unique. To make the day a real first day of HOMEschool.
There are so many different ways that homeschool families celebrate this day, but here are the five things we did to make the day special.
1. A Special Breakfast
In our home, every special day begins with a special breakfast. Birthdays, Easter, Christmas, Holidays. Our first day of homeschool needed a special breakfast too. Pancakes are the tradition in our home so pancakes it was!
2. First Day Photo
As I shared in my previous post, capturing a photograph of this day was particularly important to me. We had committed to homeschooling and yet I carried this underlying fear that if, in 3 or 4 years time, the boys should go into mainstream schooling, they will have missed out on a first day of school photo and the memories associated with it. It’s such a little thing in the big picture, but capturing this moment was still important to me. It’s my sentimental side. So, dressed in his nicest adventure clothes, he proudly held his First Day of Homeschool sign and grinned for the camera.
3. First Day Question Sheet
Before we left for our adventure we filled in a question sheet that captured who he was at that moment in time. I plan to do this each year with both my boys. How fun it will be to look back and see how they have changed. As you can see, he was just a little obsessed with trains and Thomas. Already I can see some big changes in the months since then. This is glued on the first page of his Homeschool Journal along with his first day pictures.
4. First Day Gift
I love to give gifts. Choosing them, wrapping them, and seeing people’s faces as they open them. I couldn’t help myself when I stumbled across a set of Magic School Bus DVDs. We had one already and it had been watched repeatedly. We also have the books which are really amazing and well loved (see them here/afflink). Watching these DVDs will be our first “Project.” I hope this is something I can do each year with an exciting and fun new learning resource or special book.
5. An Adventure
A wonderful benefit of homeschooling is the freedom to go on big adventures. This is something that we plan to take full advantage of with weekly adventures (field trips) scheduled. Our first day of the year began with an amazing trip to see the Lego Wonders of the World Show in Sydney. A train trip, tram ride, Lego and a visit to Daddy for lunch. What more could an (almost) 4 year old want? Oh, did I mention there was a massive Lego Flying Scotsman!
Our first day was a day of fun and adventure. Hearing my son proudly tell his friends and family that he “started homeschool” has been heart warming. This has been a wonderful journey to date and I am loving every moment of it.
Do you have any first day traditions? I’d love to hear them.