For those of us following a traditional school year schedule, Back To “School” is upon us! We start back on September 7th but many start earlier or even later. The first day is always a little trying. I always keep the first week low-key. My focus is getting everyone back on schedule (because let’s be honest, Summer is a borderline free-for-all!), reviewing expectations, and setting up new routines. To ensure we’re starting off on the right foot I always try to make the first day a little more fun and set the tone for the year, so let’s get into it….
Top5: First Day Of “School” Activities
First Day Photo
The First Day Photo doesn’t have to be fancy! Just a cute way to document the day. You can use a chalkboard, whiteboard, or even a piece of paper to make a little sign if you like. It’s always fun to look back over the years of First Day Photo’s and see how they’ve grown.
Having a Morning Basket is nice because you can out books, activities, and games to help ease in to the day each morning. On the first day back I always include Jonathan Bean’s This Is My Home, This I My School and a game to play together.
Like the game in the Morning Basket I like to include a group project for the day. When I think about the tone I’m trying to set for the year, co-operation and team work are at the top of my list. Bonus points if it’s something you can hang up to inspire your Brigade through the year. Last year we made motivational quote posters to hang on our art line!
I never schedule new lessons on the first day. We ease in! This is a day for setting up new planners, organising personal file folders or bins, decorating new binders. Starting new books. Getting new markers and new stickers! It’s about getting back in the groove. We spend the rest of the week doing review and getting used to being back in our “school” schedule which I think makes the first week back go pretty smoothly.
Who says you can’t take a field trip on the first day of school? One of the best things about homeschooling is that you can explore the world during the relatively quiet hours that everyone else is at school and work. Take advantage and hit the park or walking trail. It’s also a nice way to remind yourself that you are free to think outside the box and that learning opportunities are everywhere not just at a desk.
Depending on where you live it may be another weird homeschooling year due to the Rona, which sucks. It just does. But I’m hopeful for a fun and productive year none the less. To all of you at home, currently planning your first week back, remember to set realistic expectations for your children but also yourself. Take a beat and ease-in. When group chatter starts and back-to-school buzz is in the air it’s easy to get caught up in all of the things we want to do this year, but remember the long-game. It’s the first day back! Set the tone for fun, co-operation, and curiosity the best you can!
Here’s to a great 2021/22 year of learning!
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