What You Should and Shouldn’t Do on the First Day of Homeschool
Many homeschoolers have a knack for planning out their schedule, choosing their curriculum and having everything prepared for the first day of the school year. Starting the school year off on a good note can set the tone for the remainder of the year. Here are some do’s and don’ts for your family’s first day back!
What You Should Do
- Have a team meeting: Just have a casual get-together with your kids and discuss what you expect from them in the coming weeks. You could also discuss future field trips and other fun ideas.
- Check over your school supplies: Make sure everything is in order and be sure that your children know where their materials are located.
- Enjoy a special lunch: You could either cook up grilled cheese sandwiches, bake cupcakes, have a picnic or go out for a bite. Let the kids decide.
- Decorate the classroom: If you have a dedicated homeschool area, help your kids decorate it. Make it fun and creative but also educational. Include maps, charts, posters and anything else that your kids enjoy to put their own personal touch on it.
- Take photos or a video: It’s always nice to take a few classroom photos of your kids. They can dress up and make it a lively event. You could even record a few video clips of their first day and look back on it at the end of the year. That’s always fun!
- Go outside: If weather permits, go take a walk or visit a park. The outdoors can be a valuable resource for homeschoolers.
What You Shouldn’t Do
- Overwhelm your kids: Some homeschool parents become too gung-ho and hit the ground running. Don’t do it, take it slow and warm your kids into the new year.
- Start the school year on a Monday: Switch it up! Start the year on a Tuesday or Wednesday and make it a short week.
- Be inflexible: Homeschooling invites flexibility. You can do so many different things throughout the year. Don’t start the first day with a rigid schedule.
- Nothing: The first day should consist of some instruction and review of expectations mixed with fun. Doing nothing could be interpreted as just another day, not the first day of school.
- Not have fun: You know what they say about “all work and no play” … Play board games, get in some exercise, sing songs — have some fun not only on the first day, but every day.
- Forget to use technology: Introduce an online curriculum, computer games or do Google searches for fun activities. Technology is everywhere and kids of all ages should be comfortable using it.
- Homeschool for too long: This tip is for the whole year. Some homeschoolers copy what public schools do and hold classes for six or so hours a day. That’s not necessary. You could be done in half that time and learn just as much, if not more!
Enjoy the first day back but don’t forget to ride that wave of excitement all throughout the year. Yes, there will be good days and bad, but remember, homeschooling is flexible. If you or your children need a break, take it; if you find that your schedule is not working, change it. Create a homeschool environment that fits your family’s lifestyle. And take advantage of all that homeschooling offers, from the first day to the last!