I see floating all over the internet the same question. How do you begin your homeschool day? I have an answer for you. Everyone HAS an answer for you… just put your feet on the floor and get going ! Remember you are reading the blog of the woman who just keeps saying, there is no wrong way to homeschool. There isn’t.
But I do 100% believe in routine. Perhaps that’s why I loved teaching. The bells provided structure and predictability. I like to know what to expect. So if I can give you advice on how to begin your homeschool day… just begin it the same way every day. I will share with you two AWESOME products I created ( of course they are awesome, I created them giggle, giggle!) that we used every day, and even year after year. (cough, cough…even when my “bugs” had outgrown the activities, they were comforted by the routine and did it anyway!)
Change of Grade Day
I just LOVE the beginning of the school year! Even though at the Happy Hive we say learning never ends and we school all year we do celebrate what we call our “Change of Grade Day”.
Usually Labor Day weekend, or Labor day itself because my husband would be off we would take a Field trip! The first day of Homeschool seemed appropriate with a field trip! It was our “not back to school celebration”.
For the past 2 years, as the kids have all been high school teenagers, our trips have been to Disneyand… but I did get my pictures!
They were not too old to enjoy pre-school snacks. And my Mommy heart gladly paid for the overpriced treat.
(I love that when we go out sometimes people comment about my “girls” My son has beautiful hair. When I ask why he is growing it or if he wants to cut it – he doesn’t have answers, but it is his hair! )
Who doesn’t want their back to school picture with the headless horseman? They don’t have enough fingers to hold up like in the old days. But in September of 2019 I had a College freshman, A Senior in High School and a Junior in High School. We had no idea what the future held (you never really do!)
I’m not one of the “GRADE” sign makers… I had them use fingers. It worked great, until as I said, they ran out at 10, lol. I think the sign makers have me beat!
2012 (6th grade, 5th grade and 4th grade)
2009 – The first year I started using fingers to indicate grade level.
2007 Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade. They wanted to “walk” to school. So we went around the block. Didn’t last long!
I have a few treasured keepsakes from over the years. It really is great to look back. Perhaps you remember our 10 year time capsule. We packed a lot of memories into that box. The REVEAL was so much FUN!
If you have started your own time capsule in 2020, or perhaps you got sidetracked, but intended to start – have no fear. I have a GREAT resource for you!
The PASSAGE OF TIME and WHAT’S THE WEATHER? Weather tracking activity will get you started. These two products are items tried and true in our school, year after year. I have polished and perfected them after years of putting together this and that.
Here’s how they work:
At the beginning of the school year (or the beginning of the calendar year) children fill out an “About Me” page.
There is one specific to homeschooling, and there are general “about me” pages. There are several to chose from including one for “older” learners.
These are fun to keep year after year. Does the favorite food stay the same???
Then I have my kids draw a self portrait. You can also include their official school picture. But their drawings at the beginning, and again at the end of the year are really fun.
The next element to the memory book are calendar pages. I created color pages and black and white pages. I have primary pages in which the youngest of learners simply trace the date each day and color the decorations either at the beginning of the month, end of the month or any day as time permits. Older learners use the calendar to track time – family birthdays, appointments, lessons, – it’s their “personal planner”. Use those calendars anyway you see fit. I felt it was essential my kids knew how to track time using a traditional “paper” calendar.
(12 months shown – 17 months included!)
(simply re-download the file each August for new primary dated files)
There is also a Gratitude calendar. Each day I had them write something they were thankful for. We didn’t do this every year, but once or twice over the years is enough. You can even use the color calendars for this activity so it is more of a keepsake.
On the first school day of the month, or on the first of the month, however it works out – I had my children write their name in their BEST writing, and the name of the month as well. There are a variety of levels and “Starts” for the months. There is even a blank if you start completely mid-year.
This activity pairs SO PERFECTLY with our WHAT’S the WEATHER? As part of your child’s daily routine of checking the calendar and writing the date, it is a great habit to also check and record the weather. Use the 24 different icons to record weather related events for 1 week, 2 weeks or the entire year. (I really lean toward the entire year!)
After recording the weather for the month create a graph of the most common weather events:
After tracking the weather all year you then create a similar graph. Won’t it be fascinating to see the most common weather over time?
The set also includes larger “classroom calendar” sized weather icons you can display for Today’s Weather.
By investing just 5 minutes each day you will have a wonderful keepsake at the end of the year!
Passage of time $3.00 and What’s the Weather $ 3.50- Purchase during the Back to School Sale and save 25% automatically!
I’m sure you can tell I’m excited and passionate about these products. I actually used them in my classroom as well! Every morning upon arrival students had to write the date, record the weather and on the first day of the month, write their name and the month in their best writing. These “packets” went home at the end of the year and were a great way to show progress over time!
Thank you for choosing Homeschool Holiday to supplement the curriculum you are using in your homes and classrooms!
May your Educational Journey be Blessed!