(Not) Back-To-School Gift Bags

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve already heard me mention how I’ve been purchasing and hiding away school supplies and treats to surprise my girls with on their first day of homeschool.  I’ve been bargain shopping at Staples, grocery stores, and online sites like Rainbow Resource during all these great back-to-school sales because I envisioned creating a German schultüte (see Wikipedia for picture) and presenting it to my girls bright and early Monday morning.

Over the weekend, I even went so far as to hint to the girls that they would be getting new surprises for school which prompted Stella to exclaim (in her high-pitched excited voice) School IS soooo ‘xciting! Just like Christmas!

And in a way she’s right . . .

Yes, I do have a sense of security that has overtaken the place in my heart where fear used to reside at the thought of schooling my children.  The panic and unease have shifted over the past year to a solid secure determination.  I now feel only relief at the fact that we’re traveling this road together…for the long run.

The night before our first day of homeschool I did feel a bit like Santa secretly preparing their goodie bags.  By the time I unearthed all the things I’d been stashing away I had a pretty big pile of goods and at the last minute decided to forgo my schultüte cone and instead opted for larger gift bags.

The binders are what I call “At-A-Glance Day Charts“.  The Velcro squares will show the day’s scheduled activities and lessons so my girls will know what to expect every morning.  They can take off each subject square as they complete it and see what’s left.  (Thanks to Homeschool Creations for their workbook tags.) In the image below I displayed four sample activities on Mira’s chart.

The girls woke up Monday morning eager and excited to start our school day.  I have a post in the works describing our first day of school and sharing some of the highlights with you; but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of the day.

It was a memorable start to our school year with plenty of smiles to go around.  This is one tradition I think we’ll be keeping.

What about you? Do you have any fun traditions to share?  A specific meal or first day photo, perhaps?  Anyone take special Not-Back-To-School field trips?  Do tell!

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About Kristen

Home schooling classically with a dash of whatever strikes our fancy.
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12 Responses to (Not) Back-To-School Gift Bags

  1. KellyinPA says:

    They are just too cute! I’m planning a scavenger hunt for the boys to find their fun, new school supplies and goodies:)

  2. Mud Hut Mama says:

    What a wonderful way to start your school year. I love seeing those big smiles and I’m really interested in your binders. I am heading over to Homeschool Creations to see how they work. I would love to hear how your girls like them.

  3. Jolanthe says:

    Love, love, love all that you did to make the first day of school special for your girls. 🙂 Where did you get those binders {love them too}.

    • Kristen says:

      Thanks for your awesome tags Jolanthe! They really helped add a special “something new” to our school year. The binders I use are Better Binders sold through Staples. After being introduced to them I have rapidly decided I will NEVER use any other binder. These things are extremely durable with a great button on the bottom to make opening easy. They are D rings too so the pages don’t get warped. And did I mention how STYLISH they are?? They come in a HUGE assortment of solid, prints, and glitter designs. They are a bit more expensive but whenever Staples has a sale I stock up on them. Staples was also doing a promo where you could trade in your old binders and get a $2 credit for the purchase of new Better Binders. I went in with two bags full of old binders and walked away a very happy customer.

  4. Amy says:

    You’re such a fun mom! I want to be like you =) We’re starting school in a week or so, so maybe I still have some time to get some fun treats for the kids. Love the idea!

  5. I made a schultute too. It did feel playing Santa. It was a fun tradition that I hope I can be untraditional about by expanding past first grade. I included the blog post I did about ours.


  6. Pingback: The First Day of [Home]School – August 20, 2012 |

  7. Alyssa says:

    Great post, love the idea of the gift bags!

    I’m interested in what’s inside the super cute binders. 🙂

    • Kristen says:

      I’m actually in the middle of drafting a post on the At-A-Glance binders and will hopefully have it up later this week. 🙂 I’ll be sure to shoot you a message when that one goes up. 🙂

  8. Jenn says:

    Great ideas!
    I think I will have to use them next year! Too late to be creative this year!
    We are going to do the calendar notebooks that Jolanthe has and use tote file boxes as our workboxes, but are going to be working into it instead of KABOOM! LET’S START NOW! (School is starting the morning before I go grocery shopping to find velcro dots for the little cards!)

  9. What a sweet surprise! Makes learning so special.

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