A LITTLE TRADITION
A little tradition we have had going since 2009 here is to give out fresh stationery and a little card (with blessings on it) to each child who is learning at home. Actually one of the things my kids say they miss the most about homeschooling is this little tradition! How funny!
As a new 'school year' approaches, I thought I would do a little throw-back through the years of our photos of first day stationery supplies. I'm missing photos from 2011 and 2012 but you get the idea ;) This year will be the 14th year of continuing on this tradition with our 2 still homeschooling :)
HOW DID IT WORK?
Basically, the night before we said we were going to be 'starting back' into our homeschooling rhythm, I'd say goodnight to the kids then once they were in bed (of course they'd try and sneak out!!!) I'd set the table up with their stationery laid out and a card for each child. Then the next morning, the rule was they weren't allowed to look over at their stuff or go into the learning room until we all went together for the big 'reveal'!
WHY NEW STATIONERY?
Well as a kid, getting new stationery was pretty much the highlight of my school life! I LOVED getting our booklist too but shopping for stationery was seriously one of the things I LOVED most about my childhood. I didn't want my kids to miss out on that feeling just because they were homeschooling.
DOES IT HAVE TO BE NEW STATIONERY?
Nope! We usually get new stationery for our kiddos but you could definitely go second-hand for yours if you felt more comfortable.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH OLD STATIONERY?
We donate ours to our local charity shops which you could too (or on Facebook Marketplace). I've been reading a bit about donations through Terracycle (if you've done this - please let me know!) We also don't buy things we don't need. For instance, the kiddos didn't need big pencil cases this year so we didn't get them. I always look at our inventory first before going to the shops so I know what not to get as well as what to stock up on.
WHAT DO YOU WRITE IN YOUR CARDS?
I handmake the little cards for the kids each year and write a little blessing in there. I remind them that I am excited to be on this journey of learning with them and that I pray they have a year full of fun learning adventures.
WHAT WOULD YOU PUT IN FOR LITTLE ONES?
I used to put in crayons and fat water-based markers along with little activity books. For preschool aged kiddos I sometimes put in new playdough, water-mats or pencils.
AND FOR OLDER KIDDOS?
I tried to match their needs to their stationery....erasable pens for my dyslexic kiddos to help build their confidence. For kiddos who loved art, I'd give them new line-less drawing pads. For kiddos who loved structure, I'd find a nice diary for them to write things in.
We did have shared stationery that stayed stationary (hahahaha!!!) in the centre of the learning room table. Sometimes they would pack their personal stationery away and just use the pieces on the table. It was always good to grab too for things like colouring in while I read aloud from a chapter book and there was no fighting over who's it was as it was from the 'shared supplies'.
There are lots of ethically made stationery products out there now so do a little bit of online searching or use a few of these places: Flora & Fauna , Biome or even products like these at Woolworths.
WHERE DO YOU KEEP THEM?
Our kiddos have each had a basket (in the photos below) housed in our cube units in the learning room. They usually keep their stationery supplies in there.
CAN YOU MAKE A CHECKLIST FOR ME OF THINGS YOU GET?
Coloured pencils, textas, pens, highlighters, lead pencils, scissors, erasers, sharpeners, glue sticks, double sided tape, lined notepads, art diaries, clipboards, ruler. Extras depending on need: erasable pens, chewing gum (my autistic kiddos love chewing and find it calming especially while they write), fidget toys, display folders, pencil case.
CAN YOU MAKE A COPY OF THAT LIST SO I CAN PRINT IT?
Yep! Done for you right HERE with the rest of our freebies, friend. But really, just know that this is what has worked for us. You do what works for you. And however your first day looks, may your year ahead be a wonderful ride of learning adventures together. More soon, Lusi x