My First Day of School Memories

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I don't have any memories from my first day of school. No new pencils or decorative notebooks. I also don't have any "first day of school" pictures. If we had any kind of festivities at the start of a school year, they are wiped from my mind.

I'm not the least bit sad about this vacancy in my history.

Someone near and dear to my heart has photographic evidence that this kind of thing can be very unwelcome. My mother-in-law is great about making scrapbooks and taking pictures of important events. Here's her daughter on her first day of homeschool:

I knew my freedom was gone ...forever ~my wife

Ah, the sweet joy of a fresh start!

Or not.

So I found myself rather bemused by Laura's concerns that her children would miss out on

  • first day of school clothes and pictures
  • lunchboxes
  • the school bus
  • bulletin boards
  • and shopping for school supplies

For me, that list includes all the worst things about school (apart from homework and bullies). Do you remember enjoying riding the hot, noisy, smelly bus? I don't. And bulletin boards ... really? I remember one bulletin from high school: signage for a "cooper" drive, asking us with its typo to bring in pennies for something.

So I have to wonder: Are you inflicting these horrors upon your offspring simply to perpetuate the cycle?

You actually enjoy this, you say?


You just keep doing your thing.

Joking aside, there is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating the start of a new year or having traditions that make this next chapter fun and special (I just have to wonder how "fun" and "special" it is for your children because of my own austere experience ... and the tears I shed every time we had to take a family photo). Go all out. Celebrate. I really like Laura's post.

For me, the logical and best time to go Crazy Go Nuts is Box Day. Of course, my own experience with Box Day was less than stellar, so what do I know? Given how many children tend to start reading their new books immediately, I think it's fair to say that Box Day is often the first day of school.

I prefer to celebrate accomplishments rather than beginnings, but that's due to the personal deficiency I have in my dislike for process; just get me to the destination already! I also tend to see homeschooling as simply a natural continuation of learning already occurring at home. And instead of dressing up, I prefer comfy pants. If you're not like me, that's great! Have fun with the start of your journey!

As a new school year is upon us, take a moment to review 8 tips for a new school year.

How do you do your first day of school? Party and pictures? Pancakes? Just start reading as usual?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad

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  1. Tammy

    We have done public school and homeschool, and we always start our year with cinnamon rolls. That's almost the only time we have them, and even our adult kiddos still like to be around for the first day breakfast. We tried public school last year for our 4th grader, but will be bringing her home this year, and working some with our 3 toddlers. We also like to go outside and get a few snapshots on the first day. As far as all the shopping we have to do for our public school foster kiddos, I don't like it. Our homeschooled kids still get new stuff, but I like to wait until it is on clearance and only stuff we need. It can get expensive getting a child ready for back to school at public schools. I'd rather spend our money on good books, or save it for a fun field-trip. :)

  2. Cinnamon rolls... that sounds like a great tradition! But I do like food, perhaps overmuch [smile]. My family had a similar tradition on New Years. May this next year of homeschooling be exactly what your children need (especially the 4th grader as you make the transition back).

    Thanks for sharing, Tammy!