I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

First Day(s) of Homeschool 2013

First Day(s) of homeschool 2013-The Unlikely Homeschool

With the arrival of September and autumn winds, comes the start of another year of HOME + SCHOOL.  As is our family tradition, we did not have ONE first day of school.  We had FOUR. 

I began by determining what our actual REAL first day of school would be...the day I wanted to be "back to normal"...and then backed-up four days (one day for every child I will be teaching this year).

Then, starting with the youngest learner...in this case, my preschooler...I scheduled a first day for each individual kiddo.  

First Day(s) of homeschool 2013-The Unlikely Homeschool

I do this for two reasons...

It affords me a slow-and-steady start to the year.

I'll be honest, it's difficult transitioning from the lazy days of summer to the crazy days of the school year.  By only teaching one child per day for a week leading up to the REAL first day of school when they ALL need to be taught AT THE SAME TIME, I can gradually work my way into warp speed again.

On his/her first day of school, my little learner only has to do his/her INDIVIDUAL subjects.  I do not teach any of the group subjects.

It allows each child to be celebrated.

In a family of seven, it can sometimes be difficult to celebrate individuality.  I like to use the first day of school as a chance for the entire family to rally around ONE of the children and cheer him/her on to success.  Each one gets a chance to recount his/her "first day of school" story around the dinner table and the rest of us get a chance to give him/her a much-deserved "thumb's up."

First Day(s) of homeschool 2013-The Unlikely Homeschool

In addition, I also like to throw in a few "fun" features to make the day stand out from just a regular, run-of-the-mill school day.  

So this year, here's how each child celebrated DAY #1!

School supply scavenger hunt

I hid his/her school supplies and books around the house and wrote out clues to their whereabouts. Every morning, the "first day" kid got to go on a scavenger hunt to claim all his/her new things. Once all the items were found, he/she tucked them neatly away in the school hutch or co-op bag

First Day(s) of homeschool 2013-The Unlikely Homeschool

A Summer Fun Time Line

Using discarded magazines from the library's FREE wrack, the kids cut out pictures that represented some of the summer fun we enjoyed and glued them in the appropriate spot on a timeline I had created from two old project display board scraps.  Each child recounted five or six of his/her favorite summer highlights on the timeline and did his/her best to determine an accurate chronological order for them.  (This ended up being a great reminder of what "chronological order" meant and a nice reminiscence of our many summer adventures.)

First Day(s) of homeschool 2013-The Unlikely Homeschool

Dinner time celebration

After an easy start to the year, the "first day" child was awarded a meal on the family celebration plate and took center-stage around the dinner table as the Hubs asked lots of "How'd it go?" type questions.

First Day(s) of homeschool 2013-The Unlikely Homeschool

And to end the day, I took that child out for an ice cream date after supper.  Just me and him/her.  

First Day(s) of homeschool 2013-The Unlikely Homeschool

With 9 months of homeschooling-at-the-speed-of-life to look forward to, I always enjoy our slow-and-steady first day(S) to each new year.  Here's hopin' the other 175 go just as well.


  1. Excellent idea! Will have to remember this for next year!

  2. Very fun! Last year and this we went out to ice cream after the first day as a celebration. :)

  3. I love the idea of starting each child on a seperate day. So far I only have one who has started homeschooling but as my other children get old enough to school, I may incorporate your idea.

  4. Wow, I love this idea! Definitely keeping in mind for next year. And the ice cream date afterwards makes it even better.

  5. Jamie, quick question. What do your other children do while you are doing "first day" of school with the child of the day? p.s. I LOVE this idea!😊

    1. They just continue on with their normal summer routine which mostly means playing.