Making the first school day of the year special

image courtesy jonathangarcia

First day of school is an exciting day for any kid who’s heading off to school in a building. New supplies, new clothes–it’s all so fresh and brimming with potential. There’s not reason home educators can’t make the day one to remember. Even if you educate your children year round, chances are there is a date on the calendar that you can point to as the start of the next school year. Here are some things I’ve done to mark the occasion with style.

  • I make a special breakfast. My children love crepes so that’s usually the choice.
  • There’s a new outfit. It’s fun to have something new to wear, even though we don’t invest in a whole wardrobe at one time.
  • When it’s school time there’s fun music playing. I make it a big deal that it’s time for the new school year.
  • I wrap all their new school supplies in wrapping paper so it looks like Christmas. After they open them they put their supplies where  they go. I love to start the year with new crayons, pencils and glue sticks. It makes it seem new and special.
  • We take pictures of them all together and alone.
  • We allow them to bring a friend to school–dolls, etc. Usually we don’t want these distractions, but the first day is special, after all.
  • We don’t do a lot of schooly things on this day. We set up our notebooks, talk a bit about expectations for the new year and talk about how they want to grow in learning.
  • We have started making time capsule books (will offer directions in the next post). In a few years we will also be able to open one each year. Right now we are only making them. They are so excited! You can make a time capsule from an oatmeal box or shoebox.

School days are fun. It’s one of the only “jobs’ you’ll ever have that has a start and a finish each year, that has such satisfation and a way to start fresh on a regular basis. I hope you’ll make the first day special and convey to your children the idea that learning is important and worthy of celebration.


  1. Thanks for all the great ideas! We are launching our new school year this Monday (the 17th) and I do want to make it special:)

  2. Great ideas! I want my kids to look forward to the first day, so this gives me some ideas to do make that happen. Thanks!

  3. You’re welcome ladies! After your first day (if you remember) leave another comment and let us know how it went.

  4. Nice ideas for celebrating such a special day as the first day back to school. I put my daughter’s books into a basket with a simple Welcome to 5th Grade sign done in marker. It was small, but it meant something special to her.

  5. Thanks for these great ideas for the first day of school! We start our first day on the 17th of August, too. Kids are never ready for summer to end, but your ideas will make the first day a little more enjoyable.
    One thing I would like to add is getting the kids new p.j.s for their first day — one of the “perks” for homeschooling is you CAN do your schoolwork in your p.j.s. ;)

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