Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to school

We all know that for a majority of the country it is back to school season. You have either just started back or will be soon. Even many homeschoolers do not do year round school. They are starting back to learning or to virtual classes. Kids or parents (or both) everywhere are tearing up. Some are nervous. Some are celebrating.

Today is our 1st day of school. People wonder why I'd rather homeschool. People count down, with excitement, to the kids going back. I count down with dread. I hate everything about school (except maybe being able to grocery shop, without rushing, mid weekday mornings, with only 3 kids).  This morning I got up at 6:30 am, yesterday I got up when I got up, maybe 8 am? I woke up 3 excited but tired kids. 2 more were woken up by the commotion. I made rushed school lunches instead of hot lunches whenever we are hungry.  By 7:10 hubby was already grumpy as he felt rushed. Kids were still brushing their teeth. Kids were rushing to run out the door.

The 1st to get dropped off is starting 1st grade. Her 1st year with a desk. Her 1st year on the big playground. The 2nd to be dropped off is starting middle school. Middle school is an exciting and a nervous time. When the child's maturity and social level, at times, is more that of a shy 3rd grader, it is just plain scary for mom. The last to be dropped off is a sophomore. That is sophomore in high school, not college. I still can't figure out how I ended up with a child who is referred to as a "sophomore" not a "... grader".  She is excited.  She is off to a brand new building for a specialty learning center in the district.  She is in a district that will, apparently, be issuing all high schoolers Ipads this year.

That leaves one more for school. After everyone was dropped off I attended his IEP meeting. In 2 more weeks he starts 4K. That means that today my house is quiet, chaos free. Though the baby's nap schedule is messed up because she got up at 6:30am. In 2 weeks though, for 3 hours a day, the house will be just plain empty. It will just be the baby and the preschooler. Then it will be time to tackle another challenge (yet again), potty training.

It will be OK that the days are spent so laid back. We will call it recovery time. The only activity still going on from summer is tennis. Next week we will probably start having to pick up at the high school from all the after school clubs. Girl Scouts also starts next week. The week after that we start horseback riding. The next week we start soccer. The week after that we start religious education. With afternoon and evening activities M-Th we can use the down time. My kids really aren't overscheduled. Each is only allowed 1 activity.  Religion is not an option and Girl Scouts is a family activity. With 4 kids old enough for activities it adds up. 1 of them isn't even doing anything this Fall (he decided he didn't like soccer so is waiting untill Football season).  I do have 1 learning to drive. Though I am not sure I want her to drive. Even if it would cut back on my bus duties because, at her age, sports require a lot more practices.

I am not saying our summers are all lazy days. We occasionally do a day camp. We did have some sports, baseball and tennis. We do travel. But we do not typically get up early. We go relax at the lake. We try out the museums. We enjoy each others company. I will never be ready for my kids to grow up, or to let them go.  I do hope they're having a good day though. In 2 more hours they will start trickling home. No matter what you hear, teachers do give homework the 1st day of school. Do notice I didn't say "kids have homework the 1st day of school".

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