Remember your many First Day of School experiences? New notebooks, pencils, crayons. An outfit you likely spent a day or two planning. If you were lucky, you had all-new “school clothes”.
Now think about sitting in your desk on the first day of school. Likely your teachers laid out expectations for behavior and homework. They probably explained their grading system and rules for using the bathroom. But you know what didn’t happen on the first day of school? You didn’t sit down and go through all your classes with a regular lesson, homework, and assignments.
Have a Plan for Your First Day of Homeschool
But hold that plan loosely. As I wrote in my post about homeschooling hacks, establish a routine, rather than a schedule. Make sure dinner is planned (and it’s something easy), have a no-prep breakfast (cereal, bagels, muffins, etc), and have lunch prepped. You are going to have roadblocks as you start a new routine. Expect them. Embrace them. Survive them (by having a plan).
If you haven’t already, be sure and grab a copy of my FREE Homeschool Planner.
Keep Your Expectations Low
Don’t expect to get through every subject on the first day (or even every day). Even schools don’t manage this. So much of homeschooling, traditional school, and most things in life is about getting into a good routine.
Wake up, tidy up, breakfast, clean up, school…establish a simple routine that everyone can stick to.
Don’t Be Afraid to Practice School
When my kids were younger and I had a houseful of babies, toddlers, and school-age kids, we always spent the week before staring our homeschool year, practicing homeschooling.
What exactly does it mean to practice for school? It means getting into your school routine before you actually introduce schoolwork. Go to bed at your school night time, get up in the morning and follow your routine. When it comes to school work, have the kids read quietly (or better yet, read aloud to them).
Next let them have some free time. Have lunch however you will have it on school days, have eveyone pitch in and tidy up. Play a game or do a puzzle during your next “school” time.
Trust me, practicing this routine will make the first day and every day, run more smoothly.
Have Fun, Find a Way to Celebrate
We love to celebrate in our house. Buying donuts, having hot chocolate, ordering pizza, whatever is a celebration in your house, do that on the first day of school. Make it fun and relaxed for everyone.
Remember, One Day is Just One Day
If your first day of school is a disaster, that’s okay. One day is just one day. We all have bad days where everything seems to go wrong. Tomorrow is a new day with a fresh start.
Same goes for GREAT days. Not every day is going to be great. Take a deep breath, take one day at a time, and remember, you are not alone.
What are your best tips and hacks for surviving the first day of homeschool?