Back to School - Ideas for parties & such

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
niki
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Re: What plans do you have for the first day of school?

Unread post by niki » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:04 pm

I made my first "yearbook" this spring and it was great! I used shutterfly and just downloaded all our school pics and worked on it throughout the year - My kids love it! Other years I scrapbooked, well I still have a year or two to finish - but I tell you I have a beautiful hardcover, bound yearbook that was personally made by me! It's a treasure!
Niki

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

Unread post by Andrea » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:40 am

For our first day we have a funny ritual that began 3 years ago. My kids get all dressed and I pack them a lunch with stuff we normally don't have for lunch -- chips, cupcake, etc... Then they kiss me good bye, go out the back door, march around the house, and come in the front for school. I'm not sure why this is a tradition now, since it's a little odd, but they have already been talking about it for this year! I guess it's the little things that make big memories!
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jasntas
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Re: What plans do you have for the first day of school?

Unread post by jasntas » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:06 am

Those are some great ideas. After going back over the thread, I remembered that I wanted to take the kids to a small zoo that's about 20 miles from home on the day before our "official" first day of school. Maybe I'll tell them it's our first field trip of the year.

I also like Trish's idea of adding the kids' favorites, too. Then comparing them at the end of the year.

Niki, I really like your yearbook idea. I've seen similar books and they look awesome and professional. I was just going to do scrapbook type pages on the computer, laminate them and bind them (I have my own hand operated binding machine b/c I make my own calendars as gifts every Christmas). But if it's not too expensive I may go the other route. Thanks for the idea.

Andrea, sometimes what seems to be the most simple and maybe even "a little odd" as you said (odd to us anyway)is the most memorable to our dc. Thanks for sharing.

Posted Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:16 pm by jasntas
We did go to a small zoo in the next town over on our first day of school. It was a surprise field trip for my dc. They knew we were going on a field trip but they didn't know where. They were so excited when we got there and I think they enjoyed it more because they didn't know what to expect.

- On our "official" first day of school, (the day after the zoo) my dc wore new outfits and we took lots of pictures. Oh, and one of the pictures we took was in front of our white board next to the date and a "Welcome To School" message written on it.
- My ds was wanting a backpack so a few weeks before school I got them each a new backpack and filled it with school supplies in addition to a few extras such as puzzles and new books they could read for fun. That was also a surprise. They were so excited.
- We also went out for donuts. It was after ps had started and my ds was asked why he wasn't in school yet and the poor little guy wasn't sure what so say. I just said his school hadn't started yet. (The guy who asked was an older guy and I wasn't sure what his questions might have been and I just didn't want to mess up their first day of school with a possible negative. Anyway.)
- I also had them fill out a first day of school "form" I made up asking their name, the date, their height, weight, favorite food, favorite toy or game, etc. (I'm sure I left something out). The form also had room for them to draw themselves on the first day. They both added their backpacks. Obviously a big hit. Did I mention they were so excited.
- Then finished for the day with lunch at McDee’s

BTW, every day since school started last week my ds has been setting the timer, running out of the room, grabbing his backpack, making sure lil’ sis has hers and rushing into our “school room” when the timer (bell) rings. It has been so cute.

Most of my ideas came from these really great families here on the MFW board.

Postby jasntas » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:34 pm
We start the year with a field trip and a picnic lunch. Then the second day the kids do a special all about me poster, take pics with their 'teacher' and they get lots of fun new school supplies. We have lunch at a favorite spot and maybe donuts from the donuts shop for breakfast. (We don't get donuts often so that's a special treat.) HTH

Postby jasntas » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:50 pm
Here are some archived ideas to get you started:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3591

It's been a while since my post on that thread. We always start off the first week with a field trip. Usually someplace local. The second day the kids get new supplies with a few small surprises and they take pictures with mom/teacher and they fill out an 'All About Me' page that goes in their notebook and an 'All About Me' poster (from oriental trading) that hangs in our classroom next to their previous year's posters. We usually don't do any 'real' work until the 3rd day which makes for an easy start to the school year for us.

I hope that helps to get you started with ideas. :)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
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meagabby
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RtR - Our first day... thought I'd share the excitement

Unread post by meagabby » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:53 pm

Today was our first day, if you can call it that. :) I have 2 school age, a preschooler, and a toddler. We took our traditional first day of school picture, went out for donuts and came back home to let the kids have 'box day'. (I, of course, loved MY box day when it arrived. ;) )

We are entering RtR this year and my girls are very excited. They poured over all the books: talked about making a model skeleton from the Body Book, told me numerous times they can't wait to learn about astronomy, and relived alot of the Greek activities as they looked through The Roman Empire.

We didn't get anything really done, but the excitement of knowing what we are doing I think helped them get a big picture. We loaded up pencil bags with all the supplies they would hold and made copies of the timeline for whichever way they choose to do it this year.

The little ones were equally excited to have new additions to what we already had. The Shape and Color Sorter, People Puzzle, and Lacing Shapes will join our already full shelf of puzzles, wood pattern blocks, and other assorted toys we've gathered previously to MFW.

... so much happened today to not have done much pen to paper tasks... mom's ok with that.... it was a good day!


Thanks for such a great group that keeps me wanting to share with you. :-)
I'd love to make a blog, but not sure how... maybe some day.
Julie in MN wrote:What a clever idea to have a box day! I'll have to remember that one.
Julie
:-) :-) I think it will be a new tradition. :-)

I'd never done it this way before, but it really built excitement for them. Along with making front pages for their notebooks and labeling personal items, all week they've seemed more interested. could be the subject matter, but I'd like to think it was the way I stirred more excitement by letting them see for themselves. Really it's MFW for putting together such great items that stir our children! Thanks MFW for all that you do and the stress that's off me!

dena
Loving learning with MFW!

tabby
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Making the First Day Special

Unread post by tabby » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:35 pm

Jami wrote:I'm looking for ideas to make the first day of school a little more special. Like taking a picture of each child, making a special "schoolish" snack (pencil cookies or something), etc. Any ideas?
In the past we've had back to school parties where the kids pick a favorite meal and we go through their new school books (with usually a new or surprise school supply) the night before we start. I have a "Welcome Back" sign and balloons for decorations.

This week we started back and had a "Back to School Breakfast" with all of their favs, decorations and had an official "PJ Day" for the attire.

We have taken pics each year with them showing their grade number or age with their fingers.

Just some simple ideas...I hope your first day back is full of memories and fun.

Tabatha :)

PS - I had actually thought about doing some sort of scavenger hunt indoors with their books or supplies but did not get around to it. Just a thought.
Tabatha :)
2011-2012: RTR - dd 10, ds 7
Enjoying our 6th year with MFW

Poohbee
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Re: Making the First Day Special

Unread post by Poohbee » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:09 pm

I've been thinking about this same thing, and I've been planning our first day of school. Last year, we had a picnic lunch in the park after a light first day of school. This year, we will be doing ECC, so I thought I might check into taking a field trip to a travel agency. I thought it would be fun to have the kids look through some books of places around the world and pick a place they'd like to travel to, and then we'll go to a travel agency and maybe they can show us how to plan our "trip." I don't know if it will work out. I need to see if there is a travel agency that will give us a tour, but I thought it might be fun. :-) We'll probably have a picnic lunch again, and we always take "first day of school" pictures. We're also going to have a really light day...just setting up our binders, looking through our new books, filling out our passport application, maybe play a math game and do some read-aloud, followed by our field trip to the travel agency. If the travel agency idea doesn't pan out, maybe we'll look into a field trip to the airport. I just thought a very light school day and field trip would be a fun way to start our year.
Jen
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RachelT
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Re: Making the First Day Special

Unread post by RachelT » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:18 pm

We take photos in front of our front door each year with the children all dressed in new school clothes or shoes (if they have needed them) and I have them hold up the TM. Last year I had my son hold the ECC TM and my dd hold her 1st grade TM, so that they could be seen in the picture. Now I have to pull them off of the computer, but I can see how much bigger they are each time we do this since it's in the same location!

We always have some new school supplies and new binders and we usually try to go out for lunch or have a special after school snack. Pancakes for a Back to School Breakfast would be a hit, I might try that this year!

Rachel
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NCJessieRN
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Re: Making the First Day Special

Unread post by NCJessieRN » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:30 pm

I was just thinking to make a little sign saying "First day of __ grade" with their height and weight and the date. Then take a picture of them holding the sign. At the end of the year make a sign that says "Last day of _____ grade" with the height and weight and date again.
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chatmom
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Re: Making the First Day Special

Unread post by chatmom » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:38 pm

For our "first" day - we celebrate our freedom to homeschool. Basically, we walk down Main Street, wave to the buses full of "happy" children and eat breakfast at the local diner. The regulars at the diners would glare the first couple of years - but they have gotten use to the "tradition".

Last year, my dh (I think intentionally) made us late - so we missed most of the bus traffic. But this year - we'll be hitting the street and inviting our homeschool buddies to join us.

meagabby
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Re: Making the First Day Special

Unread post by meagabby » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:39 pm

I love the first day of school!
We always go out for donuts, eat them in the donut shop and take a picture.

We also take first day of school pictures and fill out a form of likes and faves and over the whole form in a bright colored marker (that won't interfere with the printing ink) or colored pencil they trace their hand. We print one of the pictures to add to the form, so we have a picture and hand size right on the same page.

Last year I posted (probably in the link shared) about letting my kids have "Box Day". It was a wonderful day labeling, browsing the books and such.

Dena


(I even slightly remember MY first day of school in Kindergarten- my mom cried, the teacher's aid had to walk her out of the room. I'm not sure if I cried, probably so.) I think of that every few years around the first day of school :)
Loving learning with MFW!

sojen
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Re: Making the First Day Special

Unread post by sojen » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:28 am

We also go out for donuts! In fact, any opportunity I have to make Krispy Kreme an educational experience, I jump on it. Today is the 3rd day of school, can I work donuts in somehow? hmmm? :-)

When we studied North Carolina 2 years ago in Adventures, we went to Krispy Kreme on a field trip. Last year we celebrated National Donut Day there, too.

On the first day of school I usually take pictures of their books and supplies, but forgot to take pictures of the kids themselves. Oops! I guess it's not too late...

It's funny, we are no longer asked why we are not in school when we go out during the school day. There is a big battle going on around my area about the public school calendar, and the five counties near us are all taking a different approach. Then, mix in the private school schedules and the large number of homeschoolers in this area, and I don't think anyone can keep up with when most kids are in and out of school these days. I forgot that used to be a BIG issue. Now, in December if I could just get people to stop asking my kids what Santa is going to bring them!

Happy New School Year!
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.

1974girl
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Re: Making the First Day Special

Unread post by 1974girl » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:57 pm

We always go out for breakfast with dad on the first day of school. He gives them the "I want you to pay attention to Mom" speech while they nod their heads like perfect little angels. Last year, I kissed them goodbye at the back door (backpacks and all), told them to have a great day at school.... and they walked around the house and came in the front door where I welcomed them to school. I took pictures of the walk and made the most adorable scrapbook page out of it. I meant to do it this year but forgot (gasp!)
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
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Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."

jasntas
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Our first week more than met my expectations!

Unread post by jasntas » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:34 pm

Some of you may know that I have really struggled with worrying about school this year. Last year was so successful overall that I think I've been worried that we wouldn't be able to repeat it. I think my feelings of failure with my ds in K, and then sending him to ps for 1st and 2nd kept haunting me. I have prayed about this a lot and I have done my best to leave it in God's hands. I know that if it is His will that we homeschool then it will be.

So, anyway, we began school on Monday with a trip to a local Christian radio station, requested by my ds. What an awesome experience that was for our family. (DH was able to join us as well). The announcer was great and patiently answered ALL of my ds's many questions. He also gave both dc the opportunity to record themselves. My dd chickened out but my ds sang a little song he wrote himself. The announcer played it on the radio the next morning. My ds was just beside himself with excitement and my dc have not stopped talking about their visit. The announcer also thanked our family (on live radio) for coming in and visiting with them on our first day of homeschool.

I think I enjoy the first day as much as they do, if not more. I use to hate sending them off to school to someone else that got to spend the best part of their day with them.

Day two was just about as exciting for them. We started the day with listening to my ds on the radio from the day before. Then they looked through all their new goodies for the year. New games/puzzles/school supplies/etc. We took lots of pics. and they each made an 'All About Me' poster of which they both adored (Oriental Trading-24 pack, same concept as the form we did last year, just poster size).

I have continued to add in a little more work each day to ease them back into the routine of school and that has worked well. We will officially begin ECC next week. (We did have a bit of a math break down with my ds this morning. He was expecting to be able to just 'know it all' after a month's break. But after explaining to him that he just needs to get into the swing of things again, it was all worked out).

I know that we will hit some bumpy roads along the way as we did last year (and this morning) but I believe God is faithful to give us the desires of our hearts and the desire of my heart right now is to successfully teach my dc at home.

I just wanted to share. Thanks for listening. :)

Now, how am I going to top this first week next year. :~ ;)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
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Momto3princesses
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First official day of Kindergarten today!

Unread post by Momto3princesses » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:26 am

Technically we started yesterday, but only partially. We are easing into it.

Yesterday was a ton of fun though. My 13 y/o dd took her two little sisters upstairs and prepared a fashion show of school outfits for me while I put the finishing touches on the school room and set out there activities. After the fashion show we learned about what God did on the first day of creation, did our craft and sang the alphabet song while reviewing our letters on the flashcards. The my oldest surprised the girls with tea party she had set out along with healthy snacks for all of us.

Truly this was an answered prayer. I have been praying that she would show more kindness and generosity toward her little sisters and yesterday the Lord answered that prayer in a big way. So cool!

I'm glad we did a partial day yesterday. I gave me a glimpse at how I will need to manage the pace of the day for the girls. My K-er (dd2) will just be blasting through these first few lessons on Creation. She is way past the cut and paste phase, so I will need to give her a little more challenge. My 4 y/o (dd3) however, is loving this and is much slower. It was interesting to watch.

So, I guess I should say that yesterday was our first official day of school. Today, however, was the planned first day. Looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for us!

Blessings,
Kim
Kim (Oregon)

dd1 (13) Finished ECC 2007/2008 now in 8th grade at PS
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dd3 (4) doing a little bit of K with big sister

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1974girl
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What would you do?

Unread post by 1974girl » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:55 am

I took pictures of my school room and took it to family in another state. I also spread out all the books on the bonus room floor to show my in-laws just how much we'd be doing that year. They were supportive but it wowed them that it was probably much more than public school.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."

Yodergoat
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Traditions!

Unread post by Yodergoat » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:34 pm

blessedmomx3 wrote:Hello all! Our family is just beginning our homeschool journey this year! We have 5 yr old triplet boys and are looking forward to watching them learn and grow with My Father's World!

My husband and I were wondering if any of you have any traditions you do that sorta mark the beginning of the new school year. For example: take a picture at the same spot on the first day, invite family and friends over for a prayer about the upcoming school year, do you go somewhere after the first day to celebrate, etc. Or anything you did on your very FIRST day of homeschooling that was cool and creative that you'd like to share! We're just looking for ideas to really pump this special time up! :-)
Okay, I guess you can't call it a tradition because we are just starting with K, too. But, we had a before-the-first-day of school extravaganza (took her to the safari park in a town some distance away, let her pick out school supplies and let her choose her favorite restaurant for lunch [Chinese], surprised her with a desk).

What we did the FIRST day of school was this... took a picture of her sitting in her desk holding a sign she lettered which said "first day of kindergarten 8-3-11" and measured her height against the wall and dated it. We'd never done the latter before. The next day she asked if she could be measured again, in case she had grown during the night. :)

Since we did most of our "special" stuff the day before, this seemed like enough for us.

Hope you get some ideas from the group... you know, from people who actually have traditions!
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SarahP
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Re: Traditions!

Unread post by SarahP » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:00 am

traditions. Traditions, without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as....a fiddler on the roof!

You could dress up like Tevya and sing Tradition! That'll get 'em going!

cbollin

Re: Traditions!

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:19 pm

oh funny... I followed the link Julie provided and saw what I use to do but do no longer. guess after we moved here, we just get it done.

-crystal

Julie in MN
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Re: Traditions!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:27 pm

SarahP wrote:You could dress up like Tevya and sing Tradition! That'll get 'em going!
Oh, I love Fiddler On The Roof! Wonder if my 15yo would think this was fun or roll his eyes. Seriously, I'd do it! :-)

I must admit that for high school, the start of year is basically "get to work" 8]
But maybe we should all enjoy the morning at Cinnabon again, rather than drive-thru cini-minis at Burger King like last year :~
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Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Traditions!

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:54 pm

*giggle* at all the great comments so far . . .

I take my dd out to Starbucks and then take as many pictures as I can before she starts having that "quit taking my picture already" look. :~

This year was really neat because we had our Sabbath celebration the weekend *before* starting CTG. So, that was really a great kick-off to the school year. I think having a special Friday celebration should become part of our back-to-school tradition.
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1974girl
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Re: Traditions!

Unread post by 1974girl » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:38 pm

We always have a breakfast out with "daddy" at McDonalds. He gives them the 'Please be good this year and listen to Mama" speech. Oh, and your triplets will love this.....put on their backpacks and send them out the back door, kissing them and telling them to have a good day. They then walk around the house and you open the front door and welcome them to "school". Mine loved that the first year. I wish I had kept that one going because I took cute pictures of them walking around the house. And yes, they get a new outfit and I take pictures at the same place with them holding up their hands for their grade.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."

baileymom
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Re: Traditions!

Unread post by baileymom » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:25 pm

we used to always have sara lee coffee cake for breakfast and chili for dinner. (a tradition i carried down from my own home...my sister now does it with her boys too)

since we took most the summer off, i may do this the tuesday after labor day.

we're also taking pics of the kids this year. on the 1st day of 1st grade, the 3rd day of 3rd grade, the 6th day of 6th grade...you get it.

off to check julie's link...
Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1

8shininglights
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Re: Traditions!

Unread post by 8shininglights » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:37 am

Something we did our first year of home schooling in 1995.......and we have done it ever since. I had not idea I was starting a tradition........but I guess we have.

My husband takes our white board and draws a picture with each of the kids in it. We have moved several times (we are missionaries), so the picture now is often about what the coming year might be like. The very first year had little sheep on their way to school. They each had the kids' names on them. There is also a BIble verse on it. When my oldest headed off to Bible school, the picture showed her over on the other side of the world. This year, my son is doing mission aviation, and it showed him in a plane and the rest of us in our new home. There always is a verse that pertains to our life at that time. I can't believe we have done it every year! My husband takes a photo every year of what it shows. So.........I can see the years that we.......headed to Indonesia, moved to Australia, moving homes, etc. My kids ALWAYS go to bed the night before saying, "What is going to be in the picture tomorrow!!!????" :)

We also take pictures of everyone ready on the first day. :)
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alisoncooks
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Re: Traditions!

Unread post by alisoncooks » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:04 pm

1974girl wrote:We always have a breakfast out with "daddy" at McDonalds. He gives them the 'Please be good this year and listen to Mama" speech. Oh, and your triplets will love this.....put on their backpacks and send them out the back door, kissing them and telling them to have a good day. They then walk around the house and you open the front door and welcome them to "school". Mine loved that the first year. I wish I had kept that one going because I took cute pictures of them walking around the house.
Oh, I love that!

We did a special "first day of school" memory book (since it was our first year of K). Then I had a homemade sign with the grade/date and she stood beside it and I took a picture (plan on doing it at the same location each year to see her growth). And I had her write her name on our chalkboard and took her pic next to that. (We had planned to see a movie after the first day of school, but we waited until the next day so daddy could go with us).
Married to DH since 2000, with 2 sweet girls (2006 & 2008).

IdahoGrown
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:15 pm

Ideas for K first day of school?

Unread post by IdahoGrown » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:37 pm

Meamommy wrote:I had originally planned on waiting to start Ethan with K this fall, but he has been begging to do more "real school like bubba" every day instead of his preschool type workbooks etc., so we are going to try him out and see if he's ready. Even if I just wind up doing a few days a week at the beginning I figure that will be okay. Anyways, my question is, does anyone have any fun, cute ideas for any "first day of school" things for one starting Kindergarten? Just thought I would ask and see, this is our first one starting out at home, I am so excited about it! Thanks!
Oh I remember my dd's first day of kindergarten...my first day as a homeschool mom. : )

What we did to make the day special...I took her picture. I gave her a pencil box with cool stuff in it (fancy pencils, stickers, glue etc...). We looked through all the great books we would be reading. We set up our school area, put maps on the wall, etc...It was fun. : ) Sigh...they grow up so fast! In just a little more than a year, my kindergartener will be starting highschool. sniff sniff.

I hope Ethan enjoys his first official day of K!! And I bet the older one will be happy to help make it special. :-) Maybe you could ask your eldest to see what he liked most about his K days and that will give you some ideas? Or ask him what he thinks would make the youngest feel special? Often, kiddos have better insight into that than us adults. Lol!
Jean
Mom to dd 13 and ds 8
Hs'ing since 2004.
Using Adventures and RtR 2011-2012

Previous cores used: CtG 2010-2011

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