Insanely Fun Back-to-School Traditions for an Awesome School Year
It’s that time again! It’s….BACK TO SCHOOL TIME! 🥳🎉🥳🎉🥳🎉
Whether you homeschool year-round or follow a traditional school schedule, it’s hard to ignore the excitement as the end of summer nears and back-to-school deals abound.
And, for the record, many of these ideas work well even if you have children in traditional school. We’re all about what works for your family and your individual child over here.
So if you’re looking for fun ways to kick off your school year, I’ve got you covered.
Check out my post on back-to-school printables.
I also have some great ideas for back-to-school shopping for homeschool families!
Make Back-to-School Special
One of the best parts of homeschooling is that you get to set your own schedule. There’s no rule saying that you have to start with all your subjects (or any of them!) on Day 1.
What about starting the year with a field trip? Breakfast at your favorite restaurant? Or an early-morning hike to watch the sunrise?
Genius homeschool mom, Meghan at @gatheringnichols, basically won the internet when she used a grocery delivery service to buy all the brands of cinnamon rolls that her supermarket offered. On the first day of school, their family conducted a bake-off to determine their favorite.
(The winner was Pillsbury Flakey Cinnamon rolls, if you’re wondering.)
You can also make it special by giving your kids a gift that is both fun and educational. This could be something as economical as new chalk pastels or a larger investment, like a season pass to the science museum. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can gift wrap it.
I absolutely love Jacqueline’s idea for creating a German-style Schultute (a giant cone full of goodies) to celebrate back to school. Bonus points for how this doubles as a cultural study (#homeschoolwin).
Make Back-to-School Silly
Gina from the Mommy Jammies podcast had so many fun and unique ideas, it was hard to pick just a few to feature. I loved her idea to let your kids be the teacher for the day (you play the student!).
Some other really cute ideas from Gina’s post include: making matching family t-shirts, creating a family anthem, and hosting a homeschool open house for grandparents and neighbors.
Host a Back-to-Homeschool Party
You guys know that we’re all about the homeschool parties over here. Dinosaur parties, rock & roll parties, cupcake parties…pretty much any day is a party day in this house.
I loved the idea of throwing a massive back-to-homeschool bash with your local homeschool buddies. Courtney at Grace, Grow & Edify even has printable party packs so you can host a truly spectacular party.
If you’re going to have a back-to-school party, it could be fun to dress up for the festivities. Kristen from Arrows & Applesauce sewed a special first-day-of-school outfit for her kiddo. I am NOT that crafty, but give me Etsy and a credit card, and watch out, folks.
Celebrate Back-To-School with Treats
I am loving the super-cute back-to-school treats on Pinterest right now. You can make one of these in advance for your kids or let them help you (cooking lesson – check!)
These Rice Krispie back-to-school treats from Everyday Graces look easy and delicious:
What about these yummy back-to-school cookies from Faith, Family, & Frosting? They would perfect for your back-to-homeschool party, for homeschool co-op, or for any teachers, tutors, or coaches in your life.
Create Back-to-School Family Traditions
Traditions and rhythms signal a change in season. They mark the passing of time and provide something to look forward to.
Consider creating a back-to-school tradition for your homeschool that helps your kids get excited about the new year and provides a comforting, familiar rhythm to their school years.
There’s the old standby of taking first-day-of-school pictures. You can also have a special first-day-of-school breakfast every year, or maybe your family always spends the first day of school exploring your curriculum for the year without any specific lessons in mind.
To this end, I loved Sharon’s suggestion over at The Secret Life of Homeschoolers to conduct interviews with each child on their first day.
Katie over at Life in the Mundane has some awesome ideas for making the first day of school special. I loved her suggestion to sit down with kids to do some goal setting on the first day of school.
Create Back-to-School Memories
When we’re in the trenches of teaching phonics and multiplication, it can sometimes be difficult to remember how special these years are.
The first day of school can be a great opportunity to record memories to look back on later.
You could also have each child write themselves a letter to be read on the last day of school, like Jamie from The Unlikely Homeschooler suggests.
Involve Your Homeschool Community
Check off “socialization” on your homeschool to-do list right from day one. Latonya from Joy in the Ordinary has an awesome idea for hosting a back-to-school picnic for the homeschool families in your local community.
You can also celebrate the back-to-school season with your homeschool mom friends. The Happy Homeschooling Mum suggests that you leave the kids with the grandparents for the day and meet up with your best homeschool mom (or dad) pals for lunch. You can discuss homeschool planning, curriculum, or goals for the year — or just drink mimosas and go shopping. I won’t judge.
Celebrate Back-to-School with a Trip
One of our main reasons for homeschooling was to allow more time for travel. So why not start off your homeschool year with a trip? Check out a local historical site, visit a national park, or sign up for a cooking class in a new town.
I love Terri’s plan to go camping with other homeschool families in her area. What an awesome way to kick off the school year!
I am wholly on-board with Terri’s idea to start the school year by doing something special, all by yourself. She celebrates back to school by going out to dinner — by herself — followed by a solo browsing at Barnes & Noble, which sounds like basically a dream come true.
Final Thoughts on Back To School Traditions
As you read some of these, you might think — WOAH — there is no way that I am baking or sewing or subjecting myself to a road trip with my children. NO THANK YOU.
And that’s okay. Maybe you just had a baby, or maybe you’re going through a busy season with work. Maybe you are just freaking TIRED.
Homeschooling — and parenting, for that matter — is not a competitive sport.
(Even if it feels that way sometimes.)
Just think about your children all grown-up, potentially with families of their own one day. How would you like them to remember their school years? What small step could you take to help the entire family feel the changing of the season, the rhythm of a new school year?
If fancy baking or a big field trip is out of reach, then order in some Panera Delivery for breakfast, declare “No Pants Day,” and kick off the school year with a movie marathon and popcorn.
You’ve got this, mama.
How will you create your own back to school traditions this year?
Leave your tips in comments below! If you have a special back-to-school tradition in your family, share it with us on Instagram by tagging @Simple_Tender_Joyful.
Related Posts for Back-to-School:
- First Day of Homeschool Printables
- Back to School Supplies for Homeschoolers
- First Day of Homeschool Pre-K: Worldschooling in Guatemala
- Create Your Own Pre-K Learning Objectives
- Our Pre-K Homeschool Curriculum Choices: 2019-2020
- Homeschool Music Education for Preschool & Kinder