Four Ways to Make Your First Day of Homeschool A Breeze

Y’all, I’m excited. It’s back to school time! I loved those days when we were gearing up for a brand-new year.

Here are some things that could help you streamline your first day of back to homeschool. These come from watching my mom, a veteran homeschooler who experienced 30 first-days! But she would be the first to tell you they weren’t all dreamy. Through trial and error, she discovered some best practices to help her achieve peaceful days.

1. Purchase school surprises for your kiddos.

A huge highlight to me on our first day was school surprises. Simply put, Mom bought new school supplies plus some fun extras. Here are things you could purchase (and hint: it’s the weekend, so run out to the store, as I know many of you are starting next week!).

  • Notebook / binder (the more colorful and cuter for girls the better, and manly ones work well for the boys!)
  • Sticky colored tabs (we used these to mark where we were in textbooks)
  • Pencils in fun colors or mechanical pencils
  • Erasers (not the ordinary pink ones but funky colors!)
  • Rulers (those bendable, really slick ones!)
  • Coloring books for young children
  • Fun crayons (they seem to come in all shapes, sizes, and scents!) or markers for young children
  • Browse the back-to-school aisles: they are full of ideas!
  • Puzzles
  • A reading book (hint: a Moody book!)
  • Candy (yep, I really said that! what child doesn’t like candy?!)
This was Mary YEARS ago with a school surprise!
Nathan, me, Joseph, and Christopher many years ago!

2. Ask for your children’s input on their schedules, the flexible areas.

My mom was awesome with this. There were certain time slots that needed to be held to, but other times that I could plan, and I loved working on my schedule.

3. Plan a pre-first-day-of-homeschool.

School doesn’t just happen. So plan a non-actual-school day, but make it a super fun day. Make an awesome breakfast (hint: Chocolate Chip Muffins), give school surprises to the kids, go over their schedules, and play some games! To top it off, plan a special dinner so Dad can feel included to. Or, better yet, order in pizza. Now doesn’t that sound incredible?

The year 2000 school group.
The year 2000 school group.

4. Be excited yourself.

If Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy! Put that smile on your face, and enjoy your time too. New beginnings are always fun, when they are planned for correctly and with proper expectations.

My mom is Queen of practical advice, so I encourage you to check out some of her wisdom:

Three Crucial Steps to Fruitfully Start the Homeschool Year

First Day of School

School Year Preparations

First Day of School Disaster or Success? 

Back to School

All 8 Maxwell Young People

Y’all! This is fruit! All eight of us Maxwell young people on Mary’s graduation evening.

Happy making your first day the best ever!


“So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom,
and apply thine heart to understanding.”
Proverbs 2:2

11 thoughts on “Four Ways to Make Your First Day of Homeschool A Breeze”

  1. Great point about schedule flexibility on certain parts. I think that helps hold children accountable and learn good time managment.

  2. What good ideas! We finished homeschooling a couple of years ago, and your adorable pictures bring back precious memories.

  3. This will be my 16th year homeschooling (five children ages 20-5). I have been STRONGLY influenced by your family, and have incorporated many of your ideas. I think I own almost all of your resources, including all of the Moody books. I consider them all invaluable. My comment to this post in particular is this. I never incorporated a pre first day of school. I don’t really know why. I always wanted to take pictures and do special treats, but felt we needed to get down to business. Welllll….after reading this post yesterday I decided to try it. My only option was to do it today (Sunday) as our first day is tomorrow. So, I ran to the store and got each of my children (even my graduate) a special treat. I made chocolate chip muffins as a special breakfast this morning. After church, while everyone was still dressed up, we went outside and took pictures. Then, I gave each one their treat. Finally, I went one by one and gave them an overview of our schedule, what I expected, and how the curriculum would work. We installed some programs on the computer, and printed a few necessary pages. All in all in took about 3 hours. What a sweet and special time it was, instead of rushed and chaotic. Why oh why have I not done something so simple in the past? Thank you so much for sharing. Your family is truly a blessing to me and many others, I am sure. I pray for you all daily and look forward to keeping up with you through your blog posts.
    And, Sarah, I do look forward to your next book. Your writing is such a delight. I wouldn’t mind another Bible study from Teri as well ;).
    Thank you, again for this amazingly simple but wonderful day before our first day of school.
    A Mom
    P.S. Oh, yes. We are fully taking your advice and ordering in pizza for dinner too, lol.

    1. Wow, what a total encouragement this was! I felt the Lord prompting me with that post Friday afternoon, and I’m so thrilled it blessed you. I loved reading your story. Thank you! Here’s a hug from Kansas!

  4. I agree with the flexibility, especially with middle and high school aged students! Great article! I’d love to hear from Melanie and Anna Marie about their homeschooling methods and tips (but they may be too busy actually doing it, lol!)

  5. That all sounds good, especially the candy, at least to my little guy. 🙂 We have all the Moody books and love to reread them. In fact, our now 9 year old (How did that happen???? Wasn’t she just 4) gave her heart to Jesus while we read one of them. (Hint: same time as one of the Moody children.) 🙂

    Probably the only thing we’ll change is to make the evening meal Daddy’s choice as he also goes back to work when school starts. 🙂

    1. Deana,

      Thank you for sharing that! I’m thrilled about your little one accepting Jesus during a Moody book read. So awesome! Good choice on making the meal Daddy’s fav one!

  6. We had our first day of school a few days ago. We do 2 “first days”. Our first day we decorate, have a special breakfast (we did cresonts, bacon, and honey dew melon), pictures, get our new school supplies (my dad stays for those), and get our new books. The second day we go over the schedule and plan, organize our lockers, and get all set up. Tomorrow is our first day of seat work school.

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