Change of Grade Day 2019

Every year since the kids about 2009 we have a tradition of starting out our first day of school with a field trip. Homeschooling provides us certain privileges. First day field trip is definitely one of them! They way we are able to make it work as a family is by using Labor Day weekend…. Sigh, it does make things crowded and sometimes a little more expensive, but it is WORTH IT to have all 5 of us together for the 1st day of school. Dads often get “left out” of the home school picture because they have the all important task of going to work! Many Dads are off weekends or have the extra day due to Labor Day Monday – ours always does.  Find what works for you and fashion your first day of school around that. 
Douglas’ first day of school will “technically” be Tuesday, September 3rd. Lauren is in College and Megan a Senior at a local high school. Both have already had their first days and no longer fall under my homeschool umbrella. Sometimes I leave them out of things, not to be mean, but they made a choice to attend public school and with that sacrifice the benefits of homeschooling. But not in these back to school traditions. 
This is the second year in a row we went to Disneyland as our “Change of Grade Day” field trip. That’s what we call it. We actually went to California Adventure last year. You can read about it HERE
It just made sense to repeat the field trip this year as we did renew the passes as our “fun money” choice and we don’t exactly have a money tree in the back yard. After our SUPER trip to Yosemite this summer the Vacation Fund is depleted. 
Another Great tradition we have is the Back to School Fairy – she doesn’t bring as much as she used to… no one needs crayons, markers, scissors and the like anymore… but she does try to bring practical items the kids can use like glue sticks and white out tape. Who doesn’t need a new spiral notebook? (Besides they were 25 cents at Walmart!) Pencils (hidden), Post it notes and a fun back pack clip from the Target Dollar spot finish up the loot for the year. Lauren and Douglas got new backpacks as well. Megan ended up with 2 last year so she was good. 

Want to see what the Back to school Fairy Brought way back in 2009? How about where we went on our First Day Field Trip? The sweet memories are available HERE

Then if you want to fast forward to 2015 – boy did the Bugs GROW. Check out that post HERE

Feel free to share your Back-to-Homeschool traditions in the comments below!

Back to school time for so many….

For some it was last week, for others it is this week, for my homeschool it won’t be until after Labor Day – but it is Back to School Season!

I came across this picture the other day while working on another project.

I have always cherished
this picture. The Bugs are “Walking” to school.

Sometimes when you homeschool you don’t want anything to do with “school” things, and then
some people do! 

Our family embraces some of the traditional, stereotypical school stuff. Backpacks for example.
You really don’t need the expense especially if you are surviving on one income. But on the other
hand, the joy of picking out a backpack is priceless indeed.

We managed in these one income years to make the backpacks last a few years. In fact I’m fairly
certain my now 16 year old bug has his Ben 10 backpack!

They experience far less wear and tear by NOT going to school every day. 

Another thing the kids wanted to do was “walk to school”. What an awesome concept!
We put on our backpacks, or sometimes took the buddies in their strollers,
and off we went around the block. We had a community mail box, so I would
get the mail from the day before and its even exercise! 

What “school” activities do you incorporate into your homeschool? Fell free to comment!

Another School Year!

Another School Year has arrived. Each year we go on a field trip to celebrate the Bugs changing grades – advancing to the next grade level. We kept the tradition even though the Girls moved onto “real” school.

This year we received a large financial blessing and chose to use it for Disney passes. We have had them several times over the years, including a year we focused on only Disney things for school. Disney-schooling was one of the FAVORITES!

It was a unanimous decision to use the passes to celebrate our Change of Grade day. We went to Disney’s California Adventure.

When the kids were little I had them hold up their fingers to display the grade they were entering for the year. BIG MISTAKE. You run out of fingers when you are a sophomore in High School…. The cute signs people make are a much better idea…because now I have to caption the pictures.

Megan is a Junior, Douglas is a Sophomore, and Lauren is a Senior. 
They are so proud of the fact that no only do they understand the physics of how this ball float on the water, but that they are strong enough to change its direction now, unlike when they were little! 
A Bug’s Land was always a favorite destination for my “bugs” Flicks Fun Fliers – the apple juice container was the flyer we always tried to get. At this size can I just say – CROWDED! 

We let them go on the Jumpin’ Jellyfish by themselves – and through the joys of technology received this snap chat! 

 I enjoyed people watching while they got FRONT ROW on the newly re-designed Tower of Terror…it is now Guardians of the Galaxy Breakout. Still falling, still not riding. 
Traditions are so comforting. I look forward to these family trips each year, even if they are only day trips. After all- only homeschoolers get to start the year with a field trip!