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Not Back to School Celebration: How to Create Back to School Rituals Even When You Homeschool


Back to School for Homeschoolers

I can still remember the summer before Kindergarten.  Up until that point, I wasn’t sure if my son would continue to be educated at home or go off to school.  The public school in our neighborhood and the nature-based charter school were both options, but he was adamant that he wanted to remain at home and keep things consistent with his group of friends that he had homeschooled with since he was 3.

Do you know what kept nagging at me?  I didn’t want him to miss the first day of kindergarten!

Those memories were so special to me!  I still remember school shopping with my mom and riding the bus.  I didn’t want him to miss out on that childhood milestone.  So when I saw this article

Dear Kindergarten Mama, I Know Your Heart is Hurting

I knew that I had to write out a response.

I’m pretty sure that up until the week before school started, I wasn’t sure what we would be doing, but I knew that I wanted to create a yearly ritual that we would continue to do, no matter what.

So each summer, before the first day of school, my son and I go “Not Back to School” shopping.  We head out on a Sunday, eat at our favorite buffet restaurant, and then go out and get new clothes, a backpack, and  “Not Back to School” supplies.

On the night before the new school year, he puts on new PJs and goes to bed in anticipation of the following day!  His first day of “Not Back to School” consists of taking a photo in one of his new outfits, going out to breakfast where we do some “Not Back to School” work, then we ride the city bus to Barton Springs for the annual “Not Back to School” party.  The year that would have been Kindergarten for him was 2017 and was actually the year of the full solar eclipse!  We got to watch it with other homeschoolers and it was pretty amazing!

As for this year, our plans might look a little differently than other years, but there are so many ways to create magic and ritual around this yearly milestone.  Because isn’t that what these milestones actually are?  They give us the ability to recreate the magic in our lives, through the eyes of our children.  To remember what it felt like to be a child.  And I live for these moments!

This year, we are still going to go shopping and eat out, but we will forego the buffet and either grab food to eat at the park or find a spot with outdoor seating.  On the first day of “Not Back to School,” we will get up and grab breakfast, but we will probably eat in the park, read some books or play a game, then ride bikes to meet our Quaranteam.

So to all the Mamas out there who are struggling through this transition and feeling like you are about to miss a life-changing milestone with your babies, just know that you have the power to create your own magic for this day.  You can create a ritual that can continue yearly for your children and will be something that they will always remember from their childhood.

Things might not always go as planned, but we can choose to create beautiful moments regardless.

To the other homeschoolers, what are your yearly rituals for “Not Back to School”?

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