You’ve made the big decision. It’s homeschool time! Here are a few tips to get started. I’ll skip over some of the groundwork here: legalities, learning styles, methods, and curriculum and get straight to the fun stuff: your first day of homeschool!
Getting Started with Homeschooling
If you went to a public or private school: do you remember how the first few days were really about setting up routines, not doing lessons? Same thing here. Don’t even worry about cranking out the work just yet. This first week is about spending time together, talking about your goals and expectations for the year, getting to know your curriculum and communicating with each other. Maybe you’re still waiting on curriculum? That’s just fine.
My best advice for how to start homeschooling the very first week?
Have fun! This is new and exciting for you and your child.
Ease in, introduce subjects slowly, figure out sticky spots and enjoy your newfound freedom. This isn’t the time to be Master Teacher Mama Extraordinaire.
This is the time to have a First Day of School party!
- Make cupcakes.
- Have pancakes for breakfast. Pancake bar with rainbow sprinkles? Yes, please!
- Light a candle and say a verse or poem. We sang “Happy First Day of School…” & my littlest loved it.
- Have tea time.
- Draw a beautiful welcome picture on the chalkboard.
- Go on a field trip.
- Walk down to the river and talk about what you want to learn this year.
- Invite other homeschoolers to join the fun.
- Definitely celebrate with ice cream before all of the public school kids get out.
You’re homeschoolers now: do what you want! Those were just some fun ideas to celebrate the new school year.
This year, I took my own advice and started with a pancake bar. The rainbow sprinkles were a hit. Then we talked about basic expectations for the year and had a school supply scavenger hunt. I typed it in about five minutes so it was quick but stumped the kids long enough to make it a challenge. We used our new markers to fill out first day of school interviews and took photos to start the portfolio.
We looked at our shiny new books, talked about the schedule, wrote down goals, discussed where things will be stored, and even started on a few lessons, though I wasn’t planning on it. The day was successful. I do wish I had started my preschooler’s first day separately since I can only turn my head so many directions at once. Overall, it was super fun and I’m glad we started out slowly and with a party.
Homeschool Pep Talk
Remember that this is your life and time you’re spending with your children. This isn’t a public school classroom, you be you. Follow your child’s lead.
Trust your instincts and teach as it feels good. Make time to follow rabbit trails, jump on teachable moments, and really think about the questions your child asks. Note what interests them. Think about what makes them laugh. What do they talk about all the time? Take turns leading and following. Try to focus on the most important subjects first. You don’t have to do it all, every day.
Above all, have fun & homeschool with love.
- I LOVE these ideas from TheUnlikelyHomeschool about doing a separate first day for each child. This may work great if you have a big family or ages and schoolwork that are really spread out.
- I just found this awesome post about how to make a Schultute Cone from Premeditated Leftovers. Hahaha love that name. I wish I’d seen this before we started this year, it looks like so much fun. It’s basically a big paper cone that you stuff with school supplies, check it out! They come from Germany and I hadn’t heard of them before. Had you?
- For the party planners: check out this super cute Back to School party from Clean Living Clean Eating. This would be great for homeschoolers who have friends around the same age and would like to do a book swap. It could even be more low-key with wrapped books and a potluck picnic at a park.
I hope this helped you find some great ideas for how to throw a homeschooling party this year.