Back to School - Ideas for parties & such

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Back to School - Ideas for parties & such

Unread post by cbollin »

I want to make a "back to school night". I remember those from when I was a kid in public school. There was orientation for new kids. I'm thinking we need something like that. Make hubby take the kids out of my sight for a while. And I don't want to hear them either.

And then do like the group school teachers and decorate the room up a bit. Now that means I need to go shopping for some decorations. I'm not making them. no way. I'm not that coordinated.

Then, let the kids come to school that night and ooohh and aaah and meet the parents (uh wait a minute, don't I know your dad?) and have ice cream and cookies. And then start with the Bible lesson and go to sleep. Then maybe the kids and I will wake up with some excitement.

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Unread post by mamaofredheads »

We're also having a back to school party this Friday (we're starting on Mon.). We did this last year & the boys loved it. I got a few fun extras (puzzles, a little Crayola tower that was overpriced but too cute for me to pass up, and my absolute favorite is Roman boy costumes! We're doing RTR.) I splurged a little, but you wouldn't have to. Last year their items were mostly school supplies like paints, markers, etc.

I make up little poems that give them a hint of what the item is & where it's hidden. I hide the things all over the house.

We also do a pinata. I put a small amount of candy in it but also add other things so they don't overload on sweets - like hot wheels, a package of balloons, etc.

May you be encouraged and renewed!!!
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Unread post by kellybell »

I love Crystal's idea of a Back to School night. We might do that.

What we do is have the kids plan the "first day of school." Over dinner about a week before school is to start, we discuss a great first day of school and then we have it.

It might include board games, a trip to the zoo, some pizza, etc. Usually, no books are opened and no assignments are given. Sounds a lot like the last day of summer, eh? Well, I guess it is but don't tell my kids. We call it "first day of school" instead. Maybe I should go into marketing, eh?

The second day of school, we start working on our school subjects. During our first week, we "turn on" our subjects one at a time. I like to get the kids all doing their own individual LA, math, etc. before "turning on" the unit study stuff like Bible, history, music, art, and science. When we've got our 3Rs working well, then we get going with the "Week 1" work in our MFW TM (well, for the TMs with grids). And, we try to include a little fun stuff those first few weeks.

Posted Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:36 pm by kellybell

We set up notebooks (dividers and decorate the covers).

We spend a little time just looking at our new school books. We discuss what we'll cover.

We often go out for something fun (bowling, zoo, skating, hike).

We might go to Target and pick a new shirt or something (we live in thrift store clothes so this is a big treat).

We often have a nice lunch out (Pita Pit for when we started RTR -- and we did the toga thing).

We often have a special dinner.

I let the kids sort of plan the day. Honestly (shhh! don't tell the kids) what we call the "first day of school" is really the "last day of summer" in that we don't do any work, we just have fun and get excited.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by 4Truth »

We're going to do donuts. We've never had an official "First School Day" before, as we've always done year round schooling. But this summer I *needed* to take time off (with permission) and do some other stuff without guilt, so on our First Day this year, we're going out for donuts. Not running to Casey's and bringing a couple donuts home, but going OUT, and eating them there at the donut shop. This is a real big treat for my girls, and it'll be a surprise come that morning.

I don't know if we'll even do any academics that day except maybe Bible, and just setting up their individual supply boxes and that sort of thing. Take pictures of them. Hey, that's what they do on the First Day of public school, right? ;o)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
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fun ideas to kick off the school year.

Unread post by Mom2MnS »

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:47 pm

We kick off the school year on Labor Day since dh is at home. Last year we partied all day long!

We got up and dh cooked his special pancake breakfast.

After that we decorated with streamers, etc, in the kitchen. We also decorated for school with a calendar in the hall (it's a cling on & write on wipe off set from a school supply store), and a beaded garland that she and I had made for her hallway.

Next came lots of playtime.

My dd chose the menu for lunch, so we all worked in the kitchen to make that.

Then we did some special read alouds of some of her library favorites that we picked up for the occasion.

Rest time was next (she got to watch a movie for rest time that day as a treat).

After rest time, we made a special back to school craft. It was so fun! You need plastic cups the size of a container of storebought icing. You cover them comepletely with stickers and then cover that with contact paper. This makes precious pencil cups! We all made one and dd, dh, and I have used them on our desks all year :)

Then lots more play time, a special tea party supper, and bedtime with prayers for the next day and our year.

I am in the process of planning for this coming Labor Day :) HTH!
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Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:23 pm

We've done some things to make the "first" day special, too.

I've continued with our tradition from my ds going to preschool and we still take photos in front of our front door each year with their backpacks (although we use our backpacks a bit differently than if they were going away to another school, they still wanted them in the photos).

Both years I've taken them shopping for school supplies right before school begins and then I put those away until our first day. I also had some "surprise" supplies for our first day (new stickers, pens, crayons, etc.). This year I hid my MFW box when it came so they had not seen their new workbooks until the first day either.

I made sure we did some of the "fun" school stuff that they like (like a new educational computer game for ds or a craft for dd). My dc love to read aloud, so we did that, too. And they really wanted "recess" aka outdoor play time.

We also went out to eat lunch at McD's as a special treat both years! Now that's really something for my dc to look forward to and this year we were able to meet friends there. I know it's not the healthiest treat, but fun!

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Unread post by donnagio »

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:09 pm

Today is our first day of school, and it is going great! I am so happy that there is just enough but not too much. Thanks for your support.

I really love the emphasis on the Lord that just soaks into and flavors the whole day. Well, gotta go.... Thanks again! Donna
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Unread post by chrellis »

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:31 am

I had a good laugh about the "Mrs. Rachel" story! Last year my mom complained that she can never remember which grade dd is in because she has the same teacher every year. So dd took it upon herself to give her teacher a new name each year. Last year for 2nd grade she called me Ms. Frizzle because the SpongeBob pajama pants I wear to "school" remind her of the teacher's outfits in the Magic School Bus series. Last week her Sunday School class was discussing which teacher each student would have this year, and she told her Sunday School teacher that her 3rd grade teacher's name is "Mrs. Bright."

Another funny anecdote -
At the end of summer between K and 1st, dd started crying several times, always saying she wanted to go to school with everyone else. I tried to discuss it with her and give the reasons we were homeschooling. After several attempts to get to the bottom of the matter, I finally asked her why and got an answer -- "Because kids who go to school get a new backpack." So a quick trip to Big Lots ended all those tears. Now my mom buys her a new backpack before each school year, and we donate the old one (barely used) to our church when they distribute school supplies to children in need.
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Unread post by 4Truth »

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:43 am

Oh, those stories are too cute, chrellis! My girls have backpacks and lunchboxes, too, and I make it a point to take them out on a picnic or some other trip occasionally so they can use them. ;o)

I suppose for those of us who have a separate room where we do school work, we could have our kids pack their supplies in their backpacks, take them "home" (to their bedrooms) every day after school, and then bring them back to class the next morning. LOL!

Unread post by cbollin »

This wasn't a tradition, just what we did this year.

Our church has an elementary school and the signs were up all about the ice cream social. My middle child was confused thinking it was a church event.

So --- we had A Back to School Ice Cream Social the same night :-) (just don't remind me that it happened on the 4th week of our school this year. I already feel behind)

After supper, we all "met" at the kitchen table and introduced ourselves and said what grade we were or what subjects we were teaching.

Then we dismissed to the back yard for play time and games.
Then finished it off with lots of yummy ice cream and even had toppings that we otherwise never buy.

Then the next morning we had a great school day.

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Unread post by tabby »

We had a back to school party. We decorated a big "Welcome Back" banner and blew up a few balloons. The kids picked homemade pizzas and a dessert for their special dinner. Then, I made them go into another room while I laid out all of the goodies from our box on the kitchen table. They got to look through all of the neat things they will be learning (and for my K4er, play with) for the school year. I had a few extra school supplies that were surprises for them too. It isn't very big, but hopefully it will make special memories for when they are older.
Tabatha :)
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

We always go out to breakfast at the place of the child's choice (often Burger King or McD).
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Unread post by courthart246 »

On our first day of school we prayed with Daddy for a good school year full of learning and growing closer to the Lord.

We also are having a Back to School Bash with our homeschool friends from church. We will have a bonfire and make s'mores and hot dogs. 3 of the 4 families are using MFW, so we will probably enjoy chatting about that as well!

So excited to be back to school!
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Unread post by kalphs »

I write in chalk on our patio the month, day, year and trace an outline of Dd's hands. She poses behind what we have written/drawn and I take her photo for her scrapbook. I have a "goodie bag" of fun things to start us off on the first day of school. These are usually fun items I pick up in the Dollar Section of Target or the Dollar Tree. We celebrate as a family in the evening by going out to eat at Dd's restruant of choice.
Last edited by kalphs on Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by Lisa B »

I made a "Welcome to School!" page for each of my children to complete. It has a space for their name, age, date, grade, height, weight, photo (we take a photo on the first day of school), drawing of the child in front of their homeschool, and sample of writing (youngers: write out alphabet; olders: write about what they want to do or learn about this year.)

At the end of the school year, the children complete a "What a Year!" page, which has similar items, including a space to draw himself doing a favorite summer activity and a space for another writing sample (ABC's or "What did you learn or enjoy most about this past school year?")

The pages are kept in page protectors inside their school notebooks. The kids love seeing how much they've grown or changed over the school year. There is usually obvious changes in the quality of handwriting and drawing style.

This is such a fun tradition in our house. We keep each of the children's school year notebooks, and it makes a special keepsake and memory.
Mom to Chase (22), Bailey (20), Christian (17), Bethany (17), Hannah (14), Sarah (12), Joshua (10), Daniel (7), and Caroline (5)

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Unread post by MJ in IL »

We have treasure hunts. I separate the school supplies and new school books into boxes and, using a Klutz book that has ready-made treasure hunts, I hide and they seek! It gets a bit long now as each one wants their own (shhh! don't tell my upcoming high schooler I told you!) so I set a new one up for each child. I may try and condense our time by setting up 2 simultaneously this year.

Anyway, we do set up notebooks, sometimes go out for breakfast. Last year we went back to bed after lunch and had a dry run of our schedule/routine. It helped a lot just getting out books in order and helping my non-readers know what they had coming up.
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Starting School

Unread post by Laura D. »

We usually host a back to school party for our church homeschool group. It is a pot luck and the kids get to play outside, fish in the pond, walk the trails, visit the creek, etc. Since we all start at different times we just pick a weekend in late August or early September. The kids always have a blast and it is nice to get to know the new families in our church who are beginning to hs. I love all the ideas that have been mentioned and think we'll implement a few of these this year!
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Unread post by ccpeterson »

Our 13 year old niece was with us that day and go to join us for school, as she is public schooled and hadn't started yet.

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1st day went great=-how long to spend for 1st grade?

Unread post by pjssully »

hi--I had my first day and it was really fun. We woke the kids up early, which they will need to get use to, and told them we had an appointment to go to early in the morning. My husband and i drove in different cars and we surprised the kids with a breakfast at a restaurant! They had choc. chip pancakes with whipped cream, waffles with whipped cream eggs sausage and theworks!!! It was really fun.

Looking forward to a great year!!!
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Unread post by niki »

We started CTG this morning and the kids were very excited. We'll be finishing off our first day of school with miniature golf and ice cream after dinner tonight.

PS my kids got alarm clocks today for a gift (hahaha)!! They can't wait to "wake up" tomorrow!

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Unread post by TriciaMR »

Well, thanks to this thread, I *remembered* to take pictures of the kids today. I wrote the date, "Exploring Countries and Cultures," and John 3:16 on the white board and had them stand in front of/under it. I also took pictures of them outside. I'll have to remember to do it at the end of the year, so I can see how much they've changed.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Unread post by dhudson »

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:27 am
I actually take about a month to gradually add in all the school elements. We start Math everyday (we've been doing it twice a week for summer) at the beginning of Aug while I get everybody back to a "school" schedule and new chore lists and then start "school" in late Aug. After a couple weeks we'll add in Spelling and LA.. Marie mentions in the TM doing a gradually start and it's a great plan. We have far less beginning of the year melt-downs this way.

I also then have time to fit in more fun back to school projects like -

picture wall - I take the kids pictures on the first day of school and we evaluate them with previous years
height chart - Who grew over the summer
goal lists - my husband and I write goals for our children in 3 areas academic, personal and spiritual and we go over these with the kids and have them pick one goal from each list to work on over the next couple of months. They write these down and put them in a visible spot.
Treasure box- We have a treasures that are able to be had by being diligent in school or a perfect score on the test or anything I spot that is exemplary. The first day everyone gets to pick a treasure.

Posted Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:39 pm by dhudson
We take pictures of everybody (and we usually all have new school clothes) and put them up on a "picture wall" to show everyone has changed, as well as measure everybody and put their stats up.

We go over goals for the year, spiritual, academic and personal and let each child pick which goal they are going to work on first in each area and as it is the first day of school they get to pick a prize from the treasure box. After the first day of school, the treasure box will be used a reward for exceptional work or extra diligence or a goal achieved.

I make an extra special breakfast and have fun snacks and lunch planned.

I usually have a special craft - I think this year we are going to make tye-dye t-shirts with our school name on them.

Dad prays over us and we all say the Pledge of Allegiance together.

Oh and my son says that we can finally use all the cool new school supplies.
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What plans do you have for the first day of school?

Unread post by jasntas »

Since it’s been asked when everyone will be starting their new school year, I thought I would ask what everyone will do or has done for their first day.

I thought I read some ideas on this board a few months ago but I can’t seem to find it. But I also thought it would be fun to hear about any new ideas.

For our family I plan to take lots of pictures of my kids in their new school outfits. (I plan on only purchasing one new outfit per kid and buy whatever else they may need when it goes on clearance after ps starts.) I plan to write down their height and weight to go with the pictures. We will probably have a special lunch (McDonalds. That’s special to them.) with a fun dessert, maybe root beer floats or banana splits. Maybe a fun and easy craft, too. And for the one thing my ds says he will miss from ps, p.e. I don’t plan to do much actual “school work” that day and I am hoping to make it fun and memorable.

What things have you done or plan to do for your first day of school?

I also plan to make a "yearbook" for each kid and starting it with the first day of school pictures, of course. Does anyone else make "yearbooks" for their kids?
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
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Re: What plans do you have for the first day of school?

Unread post by cbollin »

I like your ideas.

this might have been the thread that you remember

this year, our first day was a summer field trip to a state park along with other kids from church. It was an weather day in July. the high was about 65 degrees. But we still ended up swimming at the end of the day. it was cold. Spent most of the day on a hike to the creek and playing and eating. Spent time at the nature center.
nature walk meets exploration day meets field trip

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Re: What plans do you have for the first day of school?

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Boy, I must be an old fuddy-duddy. When we start school, we start school. I was thinking the Friday before we start "full time" taking pictures, maybe making a file folder with their picture, weight, height, favorite color, favorite food. Maybe go to Burger King (there is one pretty close by). Then, do it again at the end of the year to compare.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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