breakfast table for first day of school

Fun, Simple Ideas for the First Day of Homeschool

The First Day of Homeschool for the new school year is a special day. We have some traditions, activities, and ideas we have enjoyed and plan to continue doing for other years. I think it can add excitement to the year if you can do it in a fun, simple way. 

The school year in Costa Rica is roughly from February through November. I like that it is all in the same calendar year. As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to start the new year of school whenever we want, so I usually like to start a bit early so we can take some time off during the year as needed.

See the video:

First Day of Homeschool Traditions


We start our first day of homeschool with some simple gifts. At the breakfast table, we have a gift for the whole family. Last year it was a kite and a glue gun, and this year it was some hula hoops and a yoyo. The idea is that it will be something fun everyone can enjoy. 

treasure stones
The treasure stones look about like regular stones!

We also have a small personal gift for everyone. One year it was some balloons and water beads in an imitation treasure stone. (You can learn how to make them here.) They had to look for them among the stones in our flower bed.

Another year it was a simple treasure hunt for a water bottle and a new flexible ruler. My girls have so much fun looking for their new gifts. I do this for the younger children too, except the baby.

girl opening treasure stone
Breaking open the treasure stones to find what is inside!


Some people like to have a special breakfast, and that is a great idea I might use someday. But at this stage of life with a bunch of littles, a simple, good breakfast is what goes for us.

 After breakfast, we do clean up, get dressed and combed for the day, and morning chores.

breakfast table on the first day of school
The breakfast table

First Day of School Photos

I really like our first day of school pictures. Once we are all ready for the day we take them first thing. I have these first-day pictures already from the last few years, since my oldest was in Preschool, and they are so fun to look back on.

We use a small whiteboard as our sign, and write “First Day of _______” and the date on there, changing it for each child. We take a picture of each child individually, and a “group photo.” I also like to get photos of them with their books and gifts, and sometimes even with their teacher!

first day of preschool sign

New Books and Supplies

After the pictures, we look at their new school supplies and books. It is an exciting time to see what they will be studying, checking out new, sharp pencils, and enjoying the smell of new books. I don’t get a whole bunch of supplies, but they each have a pencil bag with a few basics such as a pencil, eraser, glue, and any other simple thing I might want to stick in.

First Day of Homeschool Interview.

Another one of our fun traditions is to fill in these free printables of  First Day of Homeschool interviews sometime during the morning.  I downloaded the whole set and plan to use them every year. They will be so fun to look back on someday and see how my children’s ideas have changed. We store them in the girls’ portfolios for the year.

filling out a preschool interview sheet
Filling out the interview.

Special Treat

Once all the new things have been checked out, we have a special first-day-of-school snack. There are many nice ideas, but again, at this stage, I need something really simple. So a few days earlier I buy some juice boxes and cookies. Since it is something we rarely get, it is a great way to enjoy something special for the day. Daddy usually hangs around till snack time or comes for that at least. We are grateful for his work flexibility.

Start the Books

Though I don’t usually plan a full day for the first day, we do a little bit of official “school time” to get into the fun of the new books before lunch. 

1st grade school supplies
1st grade school supplies

More Fun First Day of Homeschool Ideas

Keep Things Hidden

If you or your children have ever gone to a private or public school, most likely the first day was quite exciting. For me it was, anyway. One of my favorite things was seeing the new books and things. I like to bring that same excitement to the first day of homeschooling.

If I get new supplies or books, I generally keep them hidden from the children till the first day. That way everything is still fresh.

preschool school supplies
preschool supplies

Go on a Picnic

You could have a picnic lunch at a park or even just in your backyard. Do some nature activities to start off with science!

Plan a Field Trip

Some families like to plan a field trip for the first day of homeschooling. In the future, we might want to too. A visit to a local museum or even just an ice cream shop could be the best way to start the upcoming school year. You could do it in the week before too, to avoid using school days, if you like to use them for school like I do. Or just plan them as fun days throughout the school year.

Whatever traditions you choose, it is nice to be able to look forward to them each year. Personally, I think big field trips are a fun way to celebrate the end of the year of school.

toddler school supplies
toddler school supplies

Come Up With Your Own Ideas

Find what works for you and your family for the beginning of the school year. There are many different fun ideas that you can make your own family’s favorite traditions for a great time together. The most important thing is to do what fits your family, even if it looks different from every other homeschooling family.


If you are getting into the homeschool thing and don’t know how to plan your first day, here is a simple plan for you.

  1. Start off with a simple gift. It can be a gift for everyone together, or for each child separately. You have to buy and prepare them beforehand, and decide whether you want to wrap them, do a scavenger hunt, or put them in these treasure stones like I did.
  2. Take First Day of Homeschool pictures. Use some signs, whether simple and homemade or downloadable online. Later it is so fun to look back on your cute little ones at each stage.
  3. Check out the new books and supplies for the year. If you have a homeschool room or school area, set it up together.  Use this time to go over your school expectations, new routines etc. if you have any.
  4. Fill in a First Day of Homeschool interview. You can use this one that I did or look for another one you like online. There are hundreds of options, just make sure you have them printed out beforehand.
  5. Finish off with a fun treat. In future years I might want to try out making some of the cute First Day of Homeschool snacks I see online, but for now, I keep it simple.
  6. If you have time and feel like it, go ahead and do a bit of school work for the first day. Have a wonderful school year of learning and growing together!
  7. Don’t forget to pray for the school year.

Save it for later!

little girl holding first day of preschool sign

What About You?

Comment below on some of your favorite activities for your First Day of School or Homeschool! What new tradition will your family be starting?

Do you need help planning your homeschool schedule? Learn all about it in this article.

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  1. I love all of this and I especially love that your school year is all in the same year. Thank you for those tips. I wrote them down and will use them when planning the new school year.

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