What's in a Name
Once you have a name, use it! We now the name on our classroom door. If you do not have a dedicated space, you could always use a freestanding table sign. I also use our school name on various classroom materials that I make such as binders. It also comes in handy when you don't want to have the school discussion with a stranger. "My children attend The Cornerstone Academy. It's a private school that integrates the principles of Maria Montessori with classical education. We love the low student to teacher ratio and how closely they school's values match ours." :-)
Teacher and Student IDs
Teacher and students IDs aren't just fun, they are actually quite useful. There are a number of business that give discounts to home educators. Student IDs will also allow your children to take advantage of the multiple students discount opportunities available in your community. If you need some help created these, the Homeschool Buyer's Co-op offers the ability to design and print one for free.
Fun with Branding
Once you have a name, you can easily create a host of themed products such as shirts, pencils or even coffee mugs and tote bags. It's fun to take pride in our home school.
Traditions Begin With You
If you were instructed in a more traditional manner, as I was, then I'm sure you remember some of the basic traditions that meant so much to you. Pizza day in the cafeteria was one such highlight for me. I also remember the annual fire safety convocation and the Christmas program. There's no reason you can't start your own memory-making traditions. I'm planning an annual safety week as I speak, not that traditions have to be elaborate. Children will be thrilled to discover that every Tuesday is chocolate milk for lunch day.
School Spirit Week
If you really want to go for the gusto, why not hold a school spirit week? Don't leave the crazy hair, pj wearing fun to everyone else. Ok, pj day might be the norm around here but there are many other options. In fact, there is an International Homeschool Spirit Week that occurs each year and it's right around the corner. They have a list of planned activities that you can follow along with.
Spread the News
Don't keep all the fun about your homeschool to yourself. I encourage you to share your adventures with your family and friends. Blogging is an easy way document the school experience. Services like Blogger give you the ability to only publish your blog to individuals you invite so it doesn't have to be a public experience. Once my kids are older, I'll get them involved too. I fully intend to help them start a monthly school newsletter to send to family. I find that the more I talk about what I'm doing with those around me, the more confident I feel. I have also found that it helps my more skeptical family and friends find more legitimacy in what we're doing.
Create A School Yearbook
Sites like Total Yearbooks and Picaboo allow you to create a yearbook online and do not require a minimum purchase. Not only that but pricing is very reasonable. If you're like me, you probably have a host of pictures from your activities that never see the light of day. I plan to make one at the end of this school year and order three copies. I want Elora and William to have one they can take with them one of these days and of course, I want one for myself.
And don't forget... I'm still attempting to build a community of Montessori inspirited homeschoolers. You can find us on Facebook here.