SummaryAbby Sasscer explores some fun and creative ways to start the school year, sure to keep everyone smiling, having fun and ready to focus on their work!
Simple Homeschooling Series – Part 1
Summer seemed to have flown by so quickly and here we are again at the beginning of another school year. We always want to start out on a good note so our family began a tradition four years ago that seems to help transition our children from the relaxed days of summer into the busyness a new academic year.
In order to do this, we typically schedule our first day of school several days before our actual first day. For example, if our first day of school happens on the third of September, we typically “start” school three to five days before that. There are two very important reasons we do this.
First, we get the chance to schedule fun and family-friendly activities to celebrate our new school year without feeling that we are taking time away from academic learning.
Secondly, it allows us to transition the children by giving them very light workbook assignments the first couple of days so when we run on a full schedule, they don’t feel inundated with too much school work.
A Simple Celebration
Below are simple things we do to make our First Day of School memorable:
1. Celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
No celebration is ever complete without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Loving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is the best lesson we can ever teach our children. Uniting our daily actions with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass gives our homeschooling endeavor a deeper and more beautiful purpose.
St. John Vianney once wrote: “When we receive Holy Communion, we experience something extraordinary – a joy, a fragrance, a well-being that thrills the whole body and causes it to exalt. “
2. Ask our priest for a special blessing
After celebrating Mass, our entire family lines up in front of our parish priest and each member is given a special blessing. Our priest even blesses each child’s school bag and Mama’s lesson planning folder as well.
3. Go on a fun field trip
Plan a fun field trip to a park, a zoo, or a museum. You can even go on a nature hike and enjoy the beauty of creation.
Field trips give us an opportunity to make memories and rekindle within our children the love and joy of learning. After the field trip, we go out to eat at a restaurant, or better yet, enjoy a picnic at the park. During this time, we give the children a little pep talk, emphasize the value of teamwork and remind them of the virtues they need to work on during the new school year.
4. Give each child a small surprise
Our First Day of School Surprise doesn’t need to be anything fancy. It just needs to be wrapped. We typically give our children new school supplies like pencils, erasers or a new journal notebook. It still amazes me how happy children are when they receive the simplest things in wrapping paper. :-)
A Reason to Celebrate
Celebrating the first day of school gives our family a chance to make memories and build enthusiasm for the new school year. It reminds us that a new year is another opportunity to learn together, love together, laugh together, and yes, even cry together.
More importantly, it reminds my husband and I that homeschooling is so much more than just starting and finishing an academic curriculum. It is a beautiful time to bond with our children, grow stronger as a family, and become closer to our Sweet Lord. It is a calling.
It is a privilege. And, that, my friends, is something worth celebrating!