Thirty years of homeschooling means we have had thirty first days of homeschool. Would you believe that in the beginning, I regularly ended up in tears by the end of that particular day? I expected an exciting, productive, energized day getting back to school with my children. Instead it turned into frustration, bad attitudes, and most of what was scheduled was not accomplished UNTIL . . . the Lord showed me the secret to success. I needed to have a first day of school before my real first day of school!!
The reason my first day of school failed was because we would:
- Have a special breakfast – more prep and clean up
- Have first-day-of school surprises at the breakfast table – needed to be put away before school started
- Take first-day-of school photos – more grooming and time necessary plus the time for the individualized photos for each child
- Hand out new school books – not part of accomplishing the day’s lesson
- Set up school notebook – very time consuming
- Discuss assignment sheets and daily assignment expectations – more time not given to the day’s lesson.
All of those were very special parts of our first day of school, and we truly enjoyed each of those pieces. However, doing them on the first day of school meant that we didn’t have enough time to accomplish our math, English, history, and other studies that day. Therefore the children felt behind before we started, I was disappointed that the schedule didn’t seem adequate, and the day ended with less-than-joyful spirits all around.
Then the Lord gave me the idea of having a pre-first day of school. We did all of those special activities on a day before I wanted to really begin school. In doing that, I quickly discovered they took a whole day to do. It was a delightful day accomplishing those things without trying school work too. On the real, true first day of school, we were ready to roll with our full-fledged academic work. Smiles, productivity, and an accurate schedule – it was so much better than the tears from the past.
If you are getting ready to start your homeschool year, maybe you and your children would be blessed by a pre-first day of school that you fill with all the memory making activities and organizational tasks that you have tried to fit into your first day of school on top of academics. I think you will love the results!
Trusting in Jesus,
PS-Sarah gathered some old and new pictures of Maxwell beginning-of-school days. The pictures are not necessarily from the same year, but we did list them in order from Nathan down to Mary.
“Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go:
keep her; for she is thy life.”