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Homeschool Back-to-School! A Free Story to Celebrate

It's back-to-school time for kids all over!

What does “back to school” look like when your school is your home? For some, it may look like a set start date, with a new set of sharpened pencils and box-loads of new books arriving in the mail. For others, it may mean a gradual transition away from summer adventures and into more structured routines.

As a homeschooling parent myself, I’ve found that kicking off the year with some sort of ritual — some sort of pause for reflecting and reconnecting, for goal-setting and dreaming — can help recenter and inspire my kids (and myself!) for the year ahead.

In the Martin & Sylvia story, “Butterfly Gifts,” the homeschooled brother and sister take it upon themselves to create a teacher appreciation gift — for their parents! Momma and Daddy certainly don’t do all that they do for the accolades, but nonetheless they accept the gifts with a deep sense of gratitude.

While many children this month will walk into their classrooms carrying flowers or an apple or a handwritten card for their new teachers, we hope that if you are a homeschooling family, you will also give your children the opportunity to say “thank you.”

To you.

You who stays up late lesson planning, who lovingly analyzes which curriculum would be best, who patiently listens while your child struggles to read that sentence while sitting on your lap. You who dances a silly jig as you sing a memory jingle, who encourages creativity and diligence and productive struggle. You who throws out the lesson plan and grabs the magnifying glass or the paintbrushes or the water hose when the opportunity arises.

You, like Momma and Daddy in the story, certainly don’t do all you do for the recognition. And yet, we believe it is fitting to offer a space for your children to recognize all that you do.

We chose to offer this free story for homeschooling families, and with it, nine craft ideas, as a way to start the year. Perhaps you could do one together; perhaps your kids could create something on their own.

Our hope is that everyone will feel appreciated and that a sense of gratitude will be fostered, both them for you, and you for them, and all of you for this amazing, challenging journey you are on together.


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Find the nine craft ideas in our Homeschool Back to School Appreciation Gifts Round Up!




"Butterfly Gifts"

from the Martin & Sylvia: More Adventures Series

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When Martin learns that the children who attend the town school often give "teacher gifts" on the first day, he suggests that Sylvia and he do the same for their teachers: Momma and Daddy. In secret, they make “butterfly gifts” that transform their entire home.


Butterfly Gifts


If you would like to hear more stories about the homeschooling adventures of Martin and Sylvia, there are about 370 of them on the Sparkle streaming site.

Enjoy them all by starting our free 10-day trial:

About the Author

Erin Fonner
Marketing Manager

A native Texan, Erin lives in Austin with her college-sweetheart husband and three kids. She loves to travel, and her time spent living abroad in Spain and Chile ignited her passion for cultural exchange and foreign language. She homeschools her children in collaboration with a sweet little classical, university-model school. She has a revolving front door (not literally, but you get the idea) and will always say yes to a day on the lake.