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Getting Ready for the First Day of (Home)school

Four years ago when I was working full-time at a news station with my daughter in daycare 40+ hours a week, I never dreamed that I’d someday have the opportunity to homeschool my kids. I wasn’t even sure if that was for me. But here I am knee deep trying to figure out what the heck I’m doing yet having fun in the process.

When I was a kid and the first day of school was about to roll around it felt a lot like Christmas. I loved going to the store and getting a new backpack, lunchbox, and all of my school supplies. I pictured doing the same with my kids each year. Even though we’ve decided to homeschool this year, I still want to nurture that excited feeling about beginning a new school year.

So here’s how I’m getting ready for the first day of homeschool.

getting ready for the first day of homeschool

First things first: I need to officially withdraw my daughter from her public school. We’ve been dipping our toes in all summer and we’re all happy with how it’s going so it’s time I make it official and let the school know we’ll be homeschooling so they can take her off their list. I have the email to the principal drafted (that’s all you need in Texas) and I think today is the day I hit send.

getting ready for the first day of homeschool

getting ready for the first day of homeschool

Get materials ready: After lots of research and free sample downloading I decided on a homeschool curriculum I love.—A few actually. We’ve been dabbling in some work all summer but we’re taking a bit of a break for the next few weeks to enjoy summer. Just last week I discovered an online group where other mothers who used the main curriculum have gone above and beyond to make extra materials to help with the lessons. From coloring pages to flash cards, there’s a lot I’m excited to organize so I can pull from through the year. I’m also setting up a special place in the playroom to keep it all organized.

getting ready for the first day of homeschool

Make it special: Along with getting our materials together I want to give my kids a chance to pick out something special for school. Maybe it’ll be a special book and a school supply item like a notebook they like or sticky notes. It’s their choice, my treat.

getting ready for the first day of homeschool

Make a game plan: We have a general idea of how things will go down once the school year officially starts. Our days right now are pretty low key and easy paced. I think we’ll keep that going during the school year, but probably try to be a little more consistent with going to bed earlier and waking up ready to learn and maybe even adjusting my working hours.

Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.

Celebrate Day 1: It’s been a family tradition of ours since I was a little girl to take first day of school pictures in a new outfit for the occasion. We went shopping for Lil’ J’s birthday and got a couple dresses for the first week of school. I’m also thinking we may take a field trip on the first day to a local kids museum that’ll be surely deserted to launch and celebrate our newfound freedom.

This is big for me. –Big for us. It’s still a little hard to believe we are actually doing this but it feels so right and I’m so ready!

Happy back to school!

getting ready for the first day of homeschool

Deciding home school and if it's the right thing for you and your family.

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What are you doing to get ready for the new school year?


This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to help protect your firsts and the moments in between. Share your firsts with #HeresToFirsts.


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Mari says:

Best of luck mama! Look forward to the shares. Great pics I wish you were my teacher :)xo
I also follow a woman by the name Akilah Richards she does unschooling method maybe you want to connect with her and get some tips too 🙂 Stay blessed 🙂

Nicole says:

I love this post! It reminds me of my fall, last year. One weekend I even readied an detailed binder for my son and folders for him to file his completed work in.

The organization was completely worth the effort, because I needed direction to do this thing. But, I’ll be honest, my original system stunk for my child and we had a ton of friction because of it. So, we modified it and eventually found something that worked for both of us. The tricky thing for me is finding the right amount of direct instruction so I’m encouraging his learning rather than stifling his natural curiosity.

Like you, we also do a big kickoff. Your idea of taking photos the first day is great. I’ll have to try that!

Best to you as you start this new chapter!

Sonia says:

I am so excited for y’all! I think you’ll really enjoy it. If I had the patience and a homeschooling community, I would definitely do it but it’s complicated in Italy.

Good Luck! I’ll be patiently waiting for updates!!

ps.. Where did you get the US map? I so need one!!

H.M says:

Is that Sonlight I see? As well as MathuSee? Our family has used those two curriculums for years, and love them!!! Totally recommended!!!

Iiona V says:

I was so excited to do unschooling with our youngest and she isn’t interested. Granted she is 9, so that’s a big difference. I’m still trying to gage how much she will be upset if we still go through with it… I don’t want it to be a bad experience, so I’ll be looking for ideas and different ways to make this happen. My husband is on board with us pulling her out of school, which is a big deal. LOL!

Tiff says:

Is Big T in preschool?

Erin Marie says:

I love putting all the school supplies on the shelves and looking through the teacher’s manuals. I love buying all the school supplies and setting everything up. 😀

On our first day of homeschool, I pack my kids a sack lunch with all sorts of fun treats. Lunch is usually just a sandwich and maybe an apple or handful of goldfish, but the first day of school, there’s pudding or a fruit roll up, or something else special, AND it’s all in a bag for each of them. They love it.

I also wanted to go to a movie on the first day of school BECAUSE WE CAN. But my kids are starting at a charter school, so now that the little two are old enough that I feel comfortable taking all four to the movies, we can’t go. Boo! (Might just take the little two to the movies, or the zoo or aquarium, which we have passes for still…)

In a few years, we were going to go to a late breakfast at a restaurant, too. Because we could.

We did the pictures every year, too. And we have a “back to school” night the night before where we answer questions (like your birthday interviews, but on paper) and Dad gives blessings to everyone. This year, we’re adding a theme for the year and having a “fancy” dinner. (Got that idea from a friend.)

I love traditions! 😀

Anastasia says:

Love the photos! I think you’ll love homeschooling 🙂
We homeschool year round with my almost 8 year old and almost 5 year old. I’m just about 23 weeks pregnant now and working full time though (on my wedding photography business), so homeschooling is very relaxed through October and we pick up pace more in the off-season here in New England – which looks like this year will be “newborn season” and the kids will have a lot of adjusting to do, as well as myself, they will be learning many intangible things! Really looking forward to cuddling with all 3 of them at home! Right now it’s go-go-go, trying to make the most of summer, always outside, and working so much.

Catherine Ledezma says:

I just found your blog and I am so happy to see you are homeschooling! It’s a magical journey that is full of love and enlightenment, with some stress sprinkled in there 😉

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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