5 Things NOT To Do On The First Day of a New Homeschool Year

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Before you read any further, you must know that our first day of school was last Monday and I am guilty of doing all five of these things that I am about to tell you not to do. I promise I’m not being hypocritical here,  I’m advising you against doing them because our first day of school was a disaster and I am to blame.

5 Things NOT To Do on the First Day of a New Homeschool Year

Take my advice…steer clear of these 5 things:

  1. Don’t plan to do every single subject on day one. That is a recipe for disaster. I know you’ve made your lesson plans and you’re excited to dive right in, but take it easy!
  2. Don’t expect perfection. Your children won’t remember everything they learned last year, and that is okay. Allow time for review and discussion. Expect mistakes. We learn by making mistakes and reviewing our errors.
  3. Don’t nag. This was my biggest issue on our not so good first day of school. I spent the majority of the day playing Mommy Drill Sergent. Getting back into the school routine takes time and adjusting. Nagging and expecting 100% compliance from the first day only creates frustration. Spare yourself and your children this unnecessary evil. You’ll be glad you did!
  4. Don’t make it just another school day. Have fun! Celebrate. Make it a special day. Create some memorable first day of school traditions.  The idea is to make your children excited about the new school year, not to fill them with dread.
  5. Don’t allow your lesson plans to run YOU. Lesson plans are a guide. They aren’t meant to be written in stone. Throw your schedule out the window if you need to. So, you spend all day on a science experiment and totally neglect math for the day. That’s okay. Sometimes our best laid lesson plans become thwarted by fun. Sometimes character development takes precedence over History. This my friends is the beauty of homeschooling. Legalism doesn’t fix anything. Start strong from day one.

I woke up the morning of our second day of the school year and called an official first day of school re-do. I avoided all five of these things that hijacked the previous day and we ended up having a fun, successful homeschool day.

Are you preparing for your first day of homeschooling? I pray that it is blessed with fun, love, hugs and patience! Here’s to a great homeschooling year!!

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. I needed this! We aren’t starting school for awhile yet, but this year I pulled my two older kids from public school so I will be homeschooling 5 kids for the first time – I’ve always homeschooled 3 at a time. I think we’ll take it easy at first and work into our curriculum, which means I can bump our start date a week earlier.

    1. You are a smart lady! I think that’s a great plan!! Good luck to you!

  2. I’m starting our 11th year of home schooling soon. Actually, my youngest has already started his math and does specialized reading year round. Thank you for the great reminders. Even as a veteran home schooler it’s easy to forget to be flexible and not a drill sergeant from day one.

    1. Ahh..yes, I have to reign in my drill sergeant tendencies too! Good luck to you!

  3. I’ve got my lessons plans ready to go and I can’t wait to get started. Sometimes, though, I need to be reminded that the boys don’t always share my enthusiasm for the first day of school. 🙂

  4. Going into our 17th homeschool year (only 12 more to go! haha) and I’ve made at least a few of these mistakes. Great wisdom here! I’m reposting this on our family blog page on FB here: https://www.facebook.com/longladies Thanks so much for sharing on the Christian Homeschool Bloggers page (where I followed you from).

  5. Our first day of school tradition is going to Krispy Kreme for donuts and getting our pictures taken with the silly KK hats on our front doorstep. A tasty and fun way to start the year! And I always start with only half of our subjects to help us ease into our year as well.

    1. YUM!! KK is my favorite!

  6. This is some very valid advice. I normally do some small runs with the kids a couple weeks PRIOR to the official start of school to get them use to doing school work on time that way when it’s really time to do it, they are back in rhythm for it. It helps us all gradually get back into it.

  7. We usually have a mega awesome field trip the first day. This is my daughter’s last year we are actually climbing a mountain for her last first day. # climbing Mt Pisgah

    1. That is SO fun!

  8. I have learned to start slowly. The usually do half days or 4 assignments day for 2-3 weeks.

  9. Over the last couple of years, we’ve weaned onto the formal lessons through August with very light and easy things getting longer days by the time September starts.

    1. That’s a great plan! I might give that a try next year!

  10. I learned the hard way as well when starting at full speed. Ever since we so a soft start- start back up the 3R’s and add in each other subject per week following. I typically end the same way too. Which ever non 3R subject we started with first gets finished first.
    One of our first week of school traditions include a “not back to school picnic” with many other homeschoolers. It’s a great way to make new connections and enjoy a quiet park area.

  11. 5 year veteran here and I say AMEN! Have definitely made all these mistakes. Might I also add Don’t try to do it on your own. Outsource! Use the Internet and the library. Maybe join a co-op. Involve friends, relatives, church resources, 4-H and other community programs… Whatever you need to do that takes some pressure off you and breaks one-size-fits-all monotony. I love picking the brains of people like you! I think of it as the “sisterhood of motherhood.” Thanks for sharing.

  12. This year we did things differently. We started doing some school on days when it was miserably hot(we are in central texas) so we also have eased into the year. My intention on starting early is so we can take some days off during the fall when the weather is nice. We are doing an official first day tomorrow though so I’m loving these ideas. Thanks!

  13. Thank you for the advice. This is only our 2nd year of homeschooling and our first year was not so good for us but we will try for a little more fun this year. Good luck to you all!

  14. Great advice- I shall be taking it all. Thank you for sharing. Peace and joy!

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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