6 First-Day-Back-to-School Activities for Online School Families
It’s hard to believe that in just a few weeks it will be time to cover up the pool and pull out the school supplies for a new school year! In fact, school has already begun in some states. Even though the loss of summer freedom might be disappointing, reaching a new academic benchmark is an exciting moment in a student’s life that calls for recognition and celebration.
Just as bricks-and-mortar school families do, virtual school families often honor the first day of school with unique rituals each year. To help make the first day of online school special for your student, consider partaking in the following activities!
1. Take a picture.
Snap a shot of your student in his or her learning space so you can have a keepsake of the day. You can even have him or her hold a sign that says something such as, “First day of second grade.” It will be fun to look back at each picture, especially when your student gets older. It’s no secret that some kids hate posing for pictures, but they will mostly likely be thankful for the memory later!
2. Make or go out for a special meal.
What’s more motivating than a tasty meal? Get things started by making your student his or her favorite breakfast item. Top it off with an encouraging note on the napkin. For example, the note could read, “We hope you have a great first day of school!” If you don’t have time to cook in the morning, you can always gather up the family and go to a special restaurant after the school day is over.
3. Create a first-day-of-school box.
Ask your student to write down his or her goals for the school year. Pose questions to help with the thinking process:
- What would you like to improve on this year?
- Would you like to make honor roll?
- Do you want to reach out to your teacher more?
Afterwards, place each goal in a first-day-of-school box, which can be decorated in any way your child wants, and put it away. Consider it your time capsule for the new school year. You and your student can take the box out again on the last day of school to see if the goals were achieved. Let your student know that it’s okay if every single goal is not met, as this will give him or her something to work toward in the following year.
4. Give a gift.
It doesn’t have to be a pricey or elaborate gift, but the act of giving it will show your student that you care and are rooting for him or her. It can even be something as simple as a new binder or pencil box. You’ll know your efforts are appreciated when you get a big smile or hug in return!
5. Document the day.
Write down the details of your student’s first day of school in a notebook or journal. You can write about which courses he or she is taking, what he or she is looking forward to, and even a description of what he or she wore that day. Make sure to include the date and grade level. You can reuse the journal each year and keep it for yourself or else use it as a graduation gift so your student can see how much he or she has accomplished over the years. By the way, the first day of school is a great opportunity for your student to start journaling as well.
6. Decorate the learning space.
Surprise your student by leaving some fun decorations in his or her learning space. It will help make the day less nerve-wracking and more exciting. Put up some posters or signs with positive messages in the area, such as “You’re going to do great!”, “We believe in you!”, or “We’re proud of you!”
You can get rid of your student’s back-to-school blues by making the first day as memorable as possible! What are some rituals you and your online school family do to celebrate the first day back to school? Post a picture of your favorite first-day-of-school ritual on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #CAFirstDay, #NexusFirstDay, or share your ideas in the comments below.