31 “Not Back-to-School” Traditions

Many years back, when homeschooling my oldest, it felt like all the other parents and kids in the neighborhood were consumed with the ‘back to school’ frenzy this time of year. It holds true today. We can’t walk in a store without being overrun by the sales.

News stories are focused on getting the kiddos on the big yellow bus and into the classrooms.

Of course it is understandable there’s hoopla surrounding the ‘first days’ of the school year. I got the sense my kids felt somewhat left out of the excitement.

For that matter, I remember experiencing a bit of let down as well.

Ever the optimist, I decided we would channel this into a fun time instead! We developed a list of things to do for our annual “NOT Back to School Day.” (This has now grown into a week-long+ celebration for our family!)

Select one or more activities from the list below to kick off your own “NOT Back to School Day” traditions!

  1. The night before – stay up late with a movie marathon! (All of your school peers have to go to bed early!)
  2. To go along with #1 – SLEEP IN! (*Sigh* — alas while my older kids are all for this one, it seems my younger crew missed the memo!)
  3. Once up – host a make your own pancakes mess in mom’s kitchen – a.k.a. breakfast! Sit around having a leisurely chat.
  4. Alternative – head out for breakfast… AFTER public schools start of course.
  5. When kids head back to school is a perfect time to go on vacation! (Enjoy cheaper hotel rates, less crowds and nice weather!)
  6. Head to the local water park! You’ll either have the pool to yourself or be sharing with other homeschoolers.
  7. Regular parks are a hit too!
  8. Visit the zoo! With less crowds, zoo workers have more time to answer questions and share info.
  9. Science museums will be next to empty (few parents except other homeschoolers and before school field trips are set.)
  10. Go on a picnic!
  11. Take a nature walk.
  12. Host a family ‘game day’ with silly action games.
  13. Check your local amusement park for special discounts!
  14. Go camping.
  15. Go bowling in the middle of the day.
  16. Head to the movies to catch the blockbuster that has always been too crowded!
  17. Catch a meteor shower or go stargazing (You won’t have to get up early!)
  18. Do an ‘upside down day’ – with cake for breakfast / breakfast for dinner!
  19. Go shopping during the day – snag savings as you stock up on your own ‘back to school’ supplies (Paper, crayons and pencils are still tops in our house!)
  20. Head to the library! You’ll have the children’s section almost all to yourself!
  21. Enjoy a local biking trail! (Don’t forget the helmet!)
  22. Clean out the garage or similar project off mom’s never-ending ‘to do’ list. (Kids vetoed this one!) Make your own homemade ice cream!
  23. Go geocaching!
  24. Kick off a new hobby!
  25. Go on a scavenger hunt!
  26. Have a tea party!
  27. Go to the beach or lake and go fishing
  28. Host a “NOT Back to School” party with fellow homeschoolers! Keep it simple or go all out!
  29. Snuggle on the couch and begin a new book together.
  30. Take a series of pictures enjoying the day to create your family’s annual “Not Back to School Day” scrapbook!
  31. Create your own “NOT Back to School Day” tradition!

Do you have a favorite tradition for this time of year in your homeschooling family? Let us hear more in the comments!

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