Back-to-school days are an exciting childhood rite of passage: new backpacks and old friends. I remember well the drama and excitement leading up to my first days of school each year.
What about the children who don’t board the school bus?
As a homeschooling family, we strive to make the return to structured education special for our kids each fall. Our solution for our growing 8 and 9 year old boys: Not-Back-To-School Week.
The week before Not-Back-To-School Week, we shop for colored pencils, choose notebooks and debate over weekly planners. With our supplies organized, we plan our special celebration, scheduled for the week local public school students return to class.
We reserve our first week of school for some of our favorite activities. While our friends board busses and climb into minivans, we hike, visit the science museum, go to the zoo, play board games, fly kites and read to each other in the backyard. We bake, plan special dinners, and walk to the local coffee shop for our favorite vanilla steamers. Our days are spent enjoying each other, searching for adventure, and celebrating family.
The second week of school, we get down to a full schedule of classes. After all, we’re pretty serious about learning around here. Not-Back-to-School Week gives us time to adjust (we’re planners… we need time to prepare our brains!). It’s a special time of bonding and festivity for our family that we savor each year.
Does your family do something special to prepare for school each year? How do you celebrate the advent of fall?
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is a freelance children’s writer with a love for God’s Word, history, wisdom and small people. Her work has appeared in magazines including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr.; Upper Room Ministries’ Pockets and Devozine; CBH Ministries’ Keys for Kids, and Cobblestone Group’s FACES and Odyssey. Her work also appears in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters.