Back to school feel blah? Looking to start some new traditions and ease the transition from summer to school year? Put some pizzazz in your homeschool with these fun back to homeschool ideas!
Perhaps I wear rose-colored glasses, but for me, going back to public school after a summer of swimming pools and late nights produced many fond memories. I can feel the humidity of those still-summer mornings as I tumbled my new school supplies into my new backpack, donned my new clothes and brushed out my new hair, looking forward to jumping into a new school year. It was fresh and exciting and full of anticipation.
As a homeschool mom, and especially since becoming a year-round homeschooling mom, I have found August does not hold the same awe and wonder it did when I was a school girl. We aren’t starting new curriculum. We aren’t wearing new clothes. We aren’t even using new school supplies. It’s status quo – second verse, same as the first.
Until a few years ago when I decided we needed a new homeschool tradition – one that involved switching over the school year even if we weren’t switching over anything else!
It’s been such a fun transition and tradition that I wanted to share some of our ideas (and a few others as well)!
*Buy new homeschool supplies
This may seem obvious because there are back to school ads running rampant, but I often forgot to take advantage of this time of year to stock up! Buy extra pencils, crayons, paper, notebooks, copy paper, pens, etc and then store them in your homeschool closet or a big plastic bin!
*Go Back to School Shopping with the Kids
This is a special tradition we started a few years ago and my kids look forward to it almost as soon as the summer months hit! We give each of the school-aged children a budget (younger ones get less than the older ones) and then we take them school shopping in batches (for my sanity!). We help the younger ones keep track of how much they have spent and let them snag some special supplies that are just for them.
We have a lot of supplies that are “community” supplies, so getting to choose things that are just for them and kept in their crates is a special treat!
*Introduce New Materials and/or Subjects
Right before school starts back up is a great time to introduce your kids to new books, subjects, materials, and programs they will be using in the upcoming year.
For instance, we are going to be using Reading Eggs with several of our younger kids. Rather than take the time on the first day of back-to-school to show them how to use it, I can take a little time before the school year begins to help them set up their own avatar and introduce them to the computer interface and my expectations for them.
*Have an End of Summer or Back to School Picnic
We always have an End of Summer Picnic because we are not summer people and we are very happy to see Summer fade into Fall. A benefit to saying goodbye to Summer in this way is that it creates a tangible separation for our children between Summer and the beginning of the school year.
READ >> End of Summer Picnic
Likewise, you can do a Back to School Picnic. We did this a couple of years ago because the curriculum we were using suggested it along with some ideas on what to do. It was so much fun!
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*Take School Photos
During your picnic would be the perfect time to take some nice outdoor school photos! And please, don’t think these have to be professional grade! Put your kids in front of a tree and snap a pic with your phone. If you want to get cute, give them a card with their age or grade on it, but this isn’t about having Instagram-worthy photos as much as it is about documenting how your children change from year to year. No perfection needed!
READ >> Large Family Photos
*Let the Kids Help Plan the School Year
It’s always fun for mom to come up with ideas to try for the upcoming school year, but what about letting the kids suggest some ideas too! One simple way to do this is to consider what time period in history you will be studying and then ask them to help you plan and pull off a celebration that goes along with that time period. Or ask your kids to help you decide which recipes to try for your Geography Study? Let them throw out field trip ideas or crafts they’d like to try. Let them know you may not be able to do everything they suggest, but you value their input and involvement in the upcoming school year planning.
*Let Your Kids Choose One New Pursuit
I consider myself a Delight Directed homeschooler (among other labels) which means I want my children to pursue their God-given gifts and talents whenever and wherever possible. The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to ask your kids what pursuits they are interested in for the upcoming school year and then get them the resources and time they need to work on those things.
Having a new pursuit is also beneficial for giving your child incentive to finish other less-exciting school subjects. Afternoons are for personal pursuits IF you’ve finished your required subjects.
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*Choose a Vision Verse for Your School Year
I am a big fan of putting Scripture on your walls and cupboards, so why not your school room! Choose a verse for the year and then print it out, decorate it, and hang it on your wall where you can work on memorizing it as a family all year long!
For Homeschool Vision Verse ideas LOOK HERE >>
*Decorate Your School Room
Not all of us are blessed with dedicated homeschool rooms, but that shouldn’t hold you back from decorating for the first day of school! A few streamers, balloons, a sign or two, and some special treats creates a simple, yet fun way to say it’s time to go back to homeschool!
LISTEN TO THE BACK TO HOMESCHOOL PODCAST!
*Theme Out Your Week
Think public school Spirit Week and then theme out your first week back to school! This is especially helpful for those of you who do not homeschool all year and need an easy transition from summertime to school time. Keep the school work low key that first week and have some fun!
Going back to school doesn’t have to feel blah for your homeschool family with just a little bit of planning and a few simple ideas that are sure to become traditions!
Don’t forget to check out the Reading Eggs 4-week FREE TRIAL!