Happy first day of homeschool! Make the first day of back to school fun for your homeschoolers with our creative first day of school fun! We all know that it can be difficult to start a new school year, and so we wanted to share with you some fun ideas for how to have a happy first day. All these activities are easy and quick-to-prepare and they will also help your child get excited about learning! We hope this post helps make your first day of homeschool (and even first week of school!) as successful as possible.
HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY FIRST DAY OF HOMESCHOOL WITH THESE FUN IDEAS
Do you dread the start of a new school year?
Do you feel like your child is struggling to get back into their routine and that they have forgotten everything they learned last year?
You are not alone!
I know how difficult it can be to have a happy first day of homeschooling with your kids. It can be especially hard to work with kids who seem stressed out about going back. The best way to make this transition easier for everyone is by having some fun ideas on hand, especially if it’s a first day of homeschool. These creative activities will help make learning more engaging and fun while also helping your child adjust to the change in schedule. Ready to read them all? Scroll down for your ultimate guide!
It’s tricky trying to balance being supportive and encouraging while also figuring out the logistics of what everyone needs for the day.
I’ve been there myself, but after some trial and error, I’ve found that these tips make my first day run smoother and more fun!
First Day of Homeschool Tips
- Go slow on your first day and keep it simple. You don’t need to dive knee-deep into your homeschool curriculum for 8 hours.
- Ask your child about their favorite subject or activity in school. This will help you figure out where they want to spend most of their time each day.
- Discuss your homeschool schedule and get input. Make changes and updates that will make everyone happy.
- Have a first day of homeschool special treat.
- Plan meals ahead of time and get the family involved in helping with meal prep each day. (It’s a great way to learn!)
- Find an activity that really engages them on a topic they’re learning. Use video games, interesting documentaries, YouTube, music, and more!
- Give a back to school cone (German schultute) or have a school supplies scavenger hunt.
- Use fun activities, songs, games, and crafts to celebrate the first day of school with your kids.
- Knock off early for a special treat (ice cream, park day, or friend meet up).
DON’T MISS THE FULL LIST OF CREATIVE AND UNIQUE BACK TO HOMESCHOOL IDEAS BELOW!
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Let’s help make their first day back to school a celebration they won’t forget by planning an extra special party in honor of this event. Start off the festivities with a variety of activities like the ones listed below to understand how to celebrate the first day of homeschool in unique ways!
These work just as well for first day of kindergarten homeschool ideas, high school homeschoolers, or any ages in between!
21 Creative Ways to Have a Happy First Day of Homeschool or Back to School Week
Use these for your first day of fall homeschool ideas (or any back to school time):
Back to School Idea #1: Have a First Day of Homeschool Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of the supplies needed for the home school year. Once you get your homeschool supplies, hide them around the house. Make the first scavenger hunt clue prize a school backpack (that way they can put everything in their backpacks as they find them!). Then with the backpack is the clue to the second prize (and on and on).
Once they get through the entire school supply scavenger hunt, they have all the homeschool supplies they need!
Back to School Idea #2: Give a Back To School Cone (Schultute)
In Germany, it is a tradition to give something called a schultute, or a back-to-school cone, on the first day of school. We’ve been doing this as a first day of homeschool tradition for years now and it’s something my daughter looks forward to on her first day of back to homeschool!
Each year, I change up the back to school cone theme. Some of the ones we’ve done include an ice cream cone, Zebra print, and even a Minecraft back to school cone.
Back to School Idea #3: Take a Back To School Theme Photo
This is one of the best ideas for first day of homeschool pictures: choose a theme. Then, decorate and have everyone dress for the theme.
The queen of first day of homeschool picture ideas is The Googly Eyed Teacher. Each year, her family chooses a theme (like Back to the Future) and recreates AMAZING scenes with the whole family (and even the dog!) for their back to school pictures.
So, get creative (beyond just holding the standard First Day of [This Grade] sign printable in front of your front door!).
ALSO CHECK OUT: How many hours a day should I homeschool my child?
Back to School Idea #4: Make an Annual Bucket List for Homeschooling
Each year, we put together an annual bucket list for homeschooling.
During the first week of homeschooling, we sit down and brainstorm not only what we want to do and learn, but places we want to visit.
We’ve done our bucket list a few ways:
- We created a cutout bucket on a thick poster board. We then made water droplet shapes and wrote each of our bucket list items on the droplets. As we completed them throughout the year, we moved them into the bucket.
- We made a bucket list paper chain. We wrote the things we wanted to do for the school year on slips of paper and put them in a jar. We selected an item from the jar and when we completed it, we added a ring to the paper chain. At the end of the year, we could see how much we accomplished with the chain.
Back to School Idea #5: Decorate Your Homeschool Room Door or Front Door
Have you ever seen all of those awesome Instagram or Pinterest posts of teachers decorating their classroom doors for the new year (or for a specific theme)? Why not surprise your kids with a back to school classroom door decoration?
Decorate your homeschool classroom (if you have one), front door to your house, or even the kids’ bedroom doors!
Back to School Idea #6: Create a “What I Did This Summer” Scrapbook
Every year on the first day of homeschool (or sometime during our first week back to school), I have my daughter create a “What I Did Over The Summer” printable, scrapbook, or art.
Now that she’s gotten older, I let her choose how she wants to create it. It’s a great way to have a record and memories of everything she (we) did over the summer and even the learning that took place.
Back to School Idea #7: Do a Homeschool First Day of School Questionnaire
One of the best things about homeschooling is that your kids get to have a say in what and how they learn!
A great way to get your kids involved is, on the first day of school, give them a homeschool questionnaire and ask them questions like:
- What was your favorite thing we did last year?
- What was your least favorite thing we did last year?
- What was your favorite class/topic?
- What was your least favorite class/topic?
- In our homeschool, I wish we would…
…or anything else you want to know!
These can help shape a successful (and fun!) homeschool year for your family.
Back to School Idea #8: Have a Special First Day of School Breakfast
Do your kids have a favorite doughnut place? Do they love pancakes or omelets, but you rarely get to make them?
Start the school morning with a special first day of school breakfast filled with your kids’ favorite foods.
Back to School Idea #9: Make A Homeschool Time Capsule
Make a first day of school time capsule! You can plan to put it away and open it at the end of the year or even further down the road! Use mason jars and bury them in the backyard.
Fill your jar with things like first day of school pictures, letters, small toys, newspaper from the day, magazines, etc.
Then at the end of the year, open it back up or even dig it up in 5 years and see what’s inside!
Back to School Idea #10: Plan First Day of School Arts and Crafts
Can I be honest? Your first day of homeschool doesn’t need to be filled with jumping right into your homeschool curricula and sticking to a rigid schedule.
For our first week of homeschool, not only to we start later in the year (September, gasp) but we also have a super laid back first week of school where we work on What I Did Over the Summer, customizing the school schedule and lots of fun arts and crafts projects.
Plan some crafts or art projects that get the creative juices flowing the first week. (If you’re stuck for ideas, ask your kids!)
Back to School Idea #11: Make A Reading Tree
This was one of our all-time favorite things we did for a few years in our homeschool room.
We got a stick on (easy peel off) tree decal with leaves like this one. Any time my daughter completed a book (of any kind), she would write the title and author on a leaf and add it to the tree.
It created an awesome visual of the books she read by the end of the year and was one of the things that finally got her excited about reading (this was the other major thing we did to get her excited about reading).
Back to School Idea #12: Start the Year With Fun Unit Studies
Who says you have to start the year with textbooks and workbooks? (Ain’t nobody the boss of your homeschool…)
So, why not start with a fun unit study that you can get all the kids involved in? Start out learning about video games or a cool artist. Anything that your kids are interested in, you can build a learning unit out of (for real, anything!).
Back to School Idea #13: Start an Annual Family Cookbook
Food is always a great idea. I love to cook with my daughter and started making and decorating our cookbooks together when she was very little.
Now that she is older, she makes all of the recipes by herself.
She enjoys it a lot more now that she is old enough to understand what she is doing, but even when she was younger, we still had fun reading and talking about the recipes and arranging them for each new semester.
She recently asked me if I could write down all of our “family” recipes so that she has them in one place. I thought it would be a fun project to complete together throughout the year!
Give your kids a fun blank cookbook or scrapbook and then brainstorm the recipes you want to make throughout the year. (Once you make the recipes, be sure to take and print out pictures to include in your cookbook.)
You can even create a digital cooking using Canva.com or another online tool.
Back to School Idea #14: Create a Family Tradition Book As First Day of Homeschool Crafts
We all had so much fun creating our family book together. We wrote down the things that we know about ourselves, and then drew pictures to go with them. This is a really special book for us, and I know that we’ll refer back to it in the future.
Have you ever made a family book? What did you include in it?
We had so much fun creating this Back to School tradition book together. In fact, we liked making it so much that we are going to continue it each year, adding to the book as we go. I’m not sure if it will make much sense when they are older and read through it someday, but that’s okay. We had a lot of fun making it together!
Back to School Idea #15: Work On A Weekly Homeschool Menu Plan Together
The first day of school is the time to start a new meal plan. I started making our lunch bag lunches when my girls were in preschool, and now that they are older, we eat together as a family most of the time.
Assign everyone a day to menu plan and cook or help with the meals. Get everyone involved in brainstorming recipes and adding their favorite foods to the menu.
(Remember, cooking is a great way to learn with kids!)
Back to School Idea #16: Start a Parent/Child Notebook Together
I’ve seen this idea floating around for a while and even got one for my mom and my daughter.
A parent/child notebook is for you and your child to share special topics, questions, and activities for each other to do throughout the school year.
This looks like another tradition that we’ll be keeping up for many years to come.
Back to School Idea #17: Create a Watch and Read List
Come up with a list your first week of homeschool and work your way throughout it throughout the year. It’s a great way to work through critical thinking compare/contrast skills and makes a great discussion for all ages.
Back to School Idea #18: Start A Weather Tree
We have this on our list of things to do for our school year after seeing it float around online: color a leaf on a weather tree each day so that at the end of the year you have a beautiful, visual depiction of the weather during your school year.
(Just search on Pinterest for weather tree and you’ll see them. There are a ton of weather tree printables out there.)
Back to School Idea #19: Give Your Kids a Homeschool Planner
One of the best things I did for my daughter (starting around age 10), was give her control of her schedule with a homeschool planner.
I think homeschooling planners are a great idea for kids (not just for moms!) because it helps them gain autonomy and practice organization and planning skills.
You can grab a planner or even make or print one on your own. (It’s even great for little ones. Help them plan with stickers and drawings!)
You can get them for all ages and themes. (Be sure to pick up planning stickers, too! These really helped keep my kid on track!)
Back to School Idea #20: End Your Homeschool Day Early
End your day early and head out to do something fun: ice cream treat, park meetup with friends, or even just hang in the backyard!
Back to School Idea #21: Have a First Day of School Starting Sleepover Party
Once your day is over, celebrate with a family pajama movie night and school night family sleepover. Get some matching family pajamas, pop up popcorn or provide a movie bucket of special treats, and snuggle down to celebrate your first day with a family movie night!
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We hope you enjoy these fun first day of homeschool ideas!