Every year, kids across the country pose for their “first day of school” photos – new school supplies in backpacks, hair combed, clothing neat, sometimes smiling faces. It’s a tradition you can see propagated across social media, a rite of passage and a milestone marking a brand-new year.
But what do homeschoolers do for that first day of school? Are there photos? Is there even combed hair?What are the traditions to mark the transition from one grade to the next? I asked some of my friends what they do for the start of the school year. And here’s what they said…
Organized School Room Shot
Jennifer J. says: “The main difference [between the start of a new school year and the rest of the year] is things tend to be more organized and kids are starting some new things in the fall. In contrast, by April it looks like a tornado hit, half the schoolbooks are lost, and they have me convinced that their Minecraft Papercraft metropolis or their stop-motion Doctor Whooves crossover fanfiction video creation counts as ‘school.’ I do usually take a ‘first day of school’ photo within the first couple days of them starting school in the crisp and freshly-organized [school] room, just so I can join in on the Facebook posts and have a start-of-year reference photo. And for photographic evidence that my homeschooling style isn’t *always* chaotic.”
Everyday Life Photo
Christa L. kids’ first day was officially the same as public school. But, she says, “the fun ‘tradition’ seems to be just unschooling in general. We did take some pictures….but everything else has been pretty day to day stuff.”
Road-schooling on the First Day
Tiffany J. and her daughter do a 3 weeks on, 2 weeks off schedule during the year so their first day of school happened over the summer. On the official first day of school for most everyone else in the area, however, she and her daughter were at Disney World: “Today we are Disney-schooling…Phineas and Ferb take students along journeys through Epcot worlds. Right now we are in Mexico (Aztec History!).” He daughter also “did economics in the innoventions building with Hamm [from Toy Story].”
Samantha J says: “We have a special brunch…. china, crystal the works. Then we’ll do a cool experiment and a writing assignment (his wish list for the school year). Last, but most fun, we will have a special playdate. It’s a gentleman’s scavenger hunt ‘tea party.’”
Traditional Photos (sort of)
Donna F. says she got into the habit of taking “official” first day of school photos when her kids attended school away from home. “I kept up the tradition using our front door in the place of a sign. This may not occur on our actual first day but sometime in the first week or two. It is a good way to document the kids’ growth also!”
This year, however, things didn’t go as planned. “As has become our tradition… we always have our official first day after public schools start. We did decide to take our first-ish day photo [the same day] because both kids were up and dressed. The kids wanted to include our dog, Belle, as the class pet. Belle wanted to explore the neighborhood. So, as other children sat in school learning, mine ran wildly around the neighborhood chasing their dog while I drove around yelling, ‘BELLE!’ Then, we went to the pool!”
PJs and Flexible Schedules
Nanette S.’s kids’ first day of school is always a pajama day and they take a milestone photo. Tammy S. wanted to take her traditional pajama photo this year, but her kids said no, got dressed, and posed for the camera outside.
I usually take a photo of my kids still asleep around 8:00 am and post it on Facebook.
What are some of your first day of homeschool traditions? Let us know in the comments![themify_box style=”lavender rounded” ]Looking for more topics about homeschooling, specifically in Huntsville & Madison County? See all the posts in this series HERE. [/themify_box]
Karen Gann had a marketing communications career in high tech before taking a sharp turn into stay-at-home-momdom and homeschooling. She grew up in the Tennesse Valley, lives in Huntsville, and is wife to the wittiest man alive, mother to two head-strong and independent girls (they're adorable, really), and human caregiver to the cats. Addictions include Facebook, Pinterest, NYC's Radio Lab, coffee, food, and politics (not necessarily in that order but sometimes all at the same time). She's also the marketing director for Pandia Press in her spare time.