I dislike sending my little guy back to school on the day after Labor Day. In direct contradiction to the nonsense spouted in television commercials, not all parents cheer to have their kids out of the house.
If I were selfish, I would educate both of my children at home, to suit my personality and my interests. I send the younger one to school instead because it suits his.
I miss our long, quiet summer mornings. There’s time for us, then, to sit down together over breakfast. I miss saying yes to late night stargazing and other adventures because there’s no need to worry about a busy schedule.
I miss DS2‘s good company around the house during the day. He’s blessed with great wit and a loving temperament. He’s generous with his hugs.
I am excited to begin the new school session with DS1 here at home. He studies year ’round, but our schedule changes to a different pattern every September, December, January, and June. This choice is energizing, and keeps subjects feeling fresh.
DS1 is a pleasure to keep at home with me. We’re both fairly introverted, so we often work quietly, side by side. Quietly, that is, until one of us gets excited about a project or idea.
Each of us shares the tendency to bubble over when our interest is highly engaged. There will be exclamations, then; there might be jumping up and down. There’s always a need to share our best discoveries. They’re too good to keep to ourselves. We are never bored with such enthralling work to do.
I have always loved the promise of new school supplies—perfectly sharpened pencils with unblemished erasers, and reams of paper unwrinkled and pristine awaiting fresh ideas. Buying them for my son is almost as much fun as I remember from my childhood. And, since we learn together, I get to play, too.
My enthusiasm for our new math books has been previously documented; the next level of Michael Clay Thompson’s incredible language arts program is equally well regarded here at Archimedes Academy of Divergent Thinking.*
In an utterly predictable and totally foreseeable oversight, I forgot to buy “lunchbox friendly” groceries last week. Resuming the nightly exercise of packing lunches might be my very least favorite part of a new school year. Fortunately, I had enough convenience foods in the pantry after our recent camping trip to supplement leftovers in a Thermos and create one complete, nutritious lunch. It was a near miss!
One part of me is reassured by the return to a regular schedule and all the structure it provides; another part mourns the end of summer freedom. No part of me finds joy in spending fewer daily hours with both of my kids.
Welcome back to school, boys and girls, moms and dads. Whether you’re celebrating or mourning (or a little of both), we’re all in this education adventure together. Here’s to a productive academic year!
*The name I chose for our home “school.” DS1 thinks it’s a little silly, which is probably is, but it makes me smile every time I reference it.