Today is the first day back to school for thousands of kids across the nation. This morning on Facebook, there are tons of pictures of uniformed and non-uniformed little students holding up their Pinterest-inspired chalkboards and letters denoting the grade they are entering. Little scrubbed-clean cherubic faces smiling with huge backpacks, bulging with supplies. They are all so cute and happy in their photos and I wonder how they did at their morning drop offs and walk-ins. Everywhere, moms (and dads) are probably crying on one hand and breathing a collective sign of relief on the other as their little ones enter a new year and life gets back into a schedule after the randomness of summer.
For us, ‘school’ started last week. What does that mean to me? Worksheets, new books, spelling words, math problems, writing, history discussions, arts and crafts, and all those other things we didn’t do over the past few months. I learned the hard way that year-round school definitely has its benefits.
Last Monday, as we began a new year, suddenly no one remembered how to add, multiply, divide, read, write, read directions, or for that matter, what school was. Tears were shed over ‘long’ division until she realized that it was what she had been doing for 2 years already. I came as close as I’ve ever been to beating my head on a table when a simple calendar exercise caused major confusion. Zoe declared very loudly that she “couldn’t read words (text) this small” and that all she liked to read was “Frog and Toad” by Arnold Lobel. Not true, by the way. She also told me that reading the Bible made her have bad dreams (“Remember, Mom? Remember when I dreamed that (name removed to protect the innocent) died?”) Biscuits served for breakfast that morning nearly caused civil disobedience and the dog pooped in the laundry room. I felt like a captain being forced to walk the plank on his own ship. It was mutiny on the Bounty, for sure.
The day was salvaged when we went to guitar lessons that afternoon and then soccer practice after that. I have to say that Tuesday was much less eventful…the kids magically seemed to remember what I had taught them the previous nine months, so I was happy to find that it WASN’T a total waste of our time/money. Today begins our second week, and we are all back to our own brand of ‘normal’.
So, this means that we begin another year of homeschool on our little farm. It’s nice to get back into a routine and hit the books again. For me, I am looking forward to another year of seeing my little people learn…it was something I didn’t get to fully experience while they were in public school. I love to see the lightbulb going on above their heads!
Three cheers to all the moms, dads, teachers, and home educators! Here we go again!