Back-to-School Traditions For Your Homeschool

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Insanely Fun Back-to-School Traditions for an Awesome School Year

It’s that time again! It’s….BACK TO SCHOOL TIME! 🥳🎉🥳🎉🥳🎉

via GIPHY

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.

 

Looking for cute printable back-to-school signs?

 

Check out my post on back-to-school printables.

I also have some great ideas for back-to-school shopping for homeschool families!

 

Homeschool Printables for the First Day of School

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?

 

How delicious and cozy does this look? Meghan, when can I come over to your homeschool?

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.)

 

German Schultute from Homeschool Super Freak

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).

https://homeschoolsuperfreak.com/make-a-back-to-homeschool-cone-schultute/?fbclid=IwAR0enklKSO1Sguqqcpf7fMbbNWbof3F8UD8LPQcqN6OS2_9iTEErdPpWV7Q

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.

https://ultimateradioshow.com/11-funky-fresh-back-to-homeschool-celebration-ideas/?fbclid=IwAR2cUQdFCq1GLU7zl6vy4W_zbFDAAokzo3j3kgZ_EcitKjnaFVSFVwRweqo

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.

https://gracegrowedify.com/2017/08/12/host-a-back-to-homeschool-group-party-free-printables/

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.

https://arrowsandapplesauce.com/first-day-school-traditions-homeschoolers/?fbclid=IwAR1z770HCLpBgmrtvsHvKvHoeCGvrvF15gC3EAv2JNll4nPtws2Jnz3uPoI

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:

back to school rice krispie treats

 

Back to School Treats from Everyday Graces

https://www.laramolettiere.com/gluten-free-rice-cereal-treats/?fbclid=IwAR24GVmz4zy9s8p12zAimAZx6h8ySVbXaT2ZpyRJc_4r93ky6MWV5lPVsnI

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.

plate of back to school cookies

 

Back to School Cookies from Faith, Family & Frosting

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.

https://thesecretlifeofhomeschoolers.com/5-back-to-homeschool-traditions/

Amanda at Wander Homeschooling has some great ideas about starting the year with a special project or outing. Check it out below:

https://wanderhomeschooling.com/first-day-of-homeschool-traditions/

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDbPh2fvhwc&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR13pJliCgzrJ4fAutq7gCwhyxS9ghlwDFaD3N2j3vD_PoOp4Hv4ngBUAWg

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.

Annette from In All You Do discusses some lovely ideas to this effect, like creating a time capsule or recording a video interview each year that can then be compiled for the child’s graduation.

https://inallyoudo.net/10-tips-for-making-back-to-school-extra-special

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.

Big Fat List of Back to Homeschool Traditions

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.

Homeschool Back to School Traditions

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.

10 Ways to Celebrate (Not) Back To School

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!

https://homeschoolgardens.com/back-to-school-traditions-for-homeschoolers/?fbclid=IwAR3p2QpLf6x_PkGEl6LEDsZZrR7yv-sn28Yj48pPXArwoFM532SIDEWtzyQ

Treat Yo’Self

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.

https://homeschoolgardens.com/back-to-school-traditions-for-homeschool-moms/?fbclid=IwAR1_5CyD-SO3ifc_4zLEwn1lmSlyJgeARu-ZJ7D9Wz9E2dEMUjjuB3biXTI

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzalYz_A_LW/


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6 thoughts on “Back-to-School Traditions For Your Homeschool

  1. When I homeschooled, sometimes back to school fell a little flat compared to the hype of the first day at my elementary school. I love the idea of purposefully making back to school special to give a similar feeling and a sense of anticipation (for both the kiddos and mom).

    1. I’m with you! I spend so much time organizing materials and setting up our homeschool space, I sometimes forget about making the actual first day of school feel “special”. I wrote this post specifically to get myself psyched up! Let me know if you end up using any of these ideas!

    1. Me, too! Even with kids in a traditional school or daycare setting, it’s still fun to create some family rituals around the start of a new season!

  2. These are great back to school homeschool ideas! We homeschool and I always say every year we’re going to start a tradition but it never seems to materialize. Now that we’re moving into upper elementary and middle school years, I’m sure I’ll wish we had started some back to school traditions sooner.

    1. I know what you mean! Back-to-school always sneaks up on me and then I’m scrambling to figure out whether we have any printer ink for the back-to-school signs, much less whether we have enough eggs or flour to make a “special” breakfast. 😂

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