Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School

Can you believe it? I am actually posting about something on the day it happened! Hold your applause, please. Okay fine, applaud away. It may not happen again any time soon.

Today was Jared and Camryn's first day of school. Jared is starting 4th grade and Camryn is entering 2nd grade.

After a whole summer of no alarm clocks, it's back to the 6:45 wake-up. I am not a morning person, so this is a bit tortuous for me. Jared and Camryn, however, woke up to their alarms, got dressed and were eating their breakfast when I came down to help them with their lunches.

Then it was out the door to catch the bus.
It's hard to believe that they are growing up so fast. I'm always a bit nervous for the first day of school. Will they have good teachers? Will they make good friends and get along with the other kids? It always worries me as a control freak to have my kids out of my immediate control for such a big chunk of their lives. And I have mixed emotions about school. Part of me is so sad to have the kids gone for such a big part of the day again. But there is just as big (if not bigger) part of me that is jumping for joy at the prospect of having more quiet, fewer mess-makers and less sibling arguing for part of the day as well.

This year is a landmark for me too, since fourth grade was the last year that I attended school (until college). I was home-schooled from fourth grade through high school. People who find out that I was home-schooled usually ask me why I don't home-school my own children. It's because I don't want them to grow up to be social outcasts like me. ;) Just kidding. In all seriousness, I really loved being home-schooled and had a great experience. I always planned on home-schooling my kids, right up until Jared was 4 and 3/4 years old. Home-schooling didn't seem like a good option for us at the time, so we decided to give public school a try. We've been very lucky that it has worked well for us so far. The kids have had good teachers, made good friends and made good academic progress. But it took me a long time to get over feeling guilty that I wasn't doing enough for my kids' education or measuring up to what my mother did for me. The conclusion that I finally came to is that parents are the ones who are ultimately responsible for their child's education. They may choose to "farm out" some of the job to schools, tutors, teachers, coaches or others, but the parent is the one who needs to make sure that the child is getting what he or she needs. And I do teach them at home. But I don't think it's a bad thing for them to learn from other people as well. And hopefully if public school ever ends up not working well for them, I will be in tune enough to see this and find another alternative that does work. End of long tangent.

Meanwhile, Jackson and Addy are settling in to having the house to themselves for a while. I think Jackson is adjusting better to having "Jare-Camryn" gone than last year. Having Addy to hang out with certainly helps. Today they spent the morning dumping half a box of wipes.
I guess it's nice to have a sidekick. Especially one who looks up to you who wants to learn all of your tricks.
One of these days I'm going to have to try chucking some diapers across the room to see if it's as much fun as it looks.


JonJon said...

I would just make sure the diapers are clean before you start chucking.

Lara said...

Getting so big! I love first day pictures.

I think homeschool is a nice idea and know plenty of people who are extremely successful at it, but I know I wouldn't be. And that's that. I like what you say here. Makes me feel better in face of some of the homeschooling brigade (I have one friend who posts on FB all manner of conference quotes and articles about why we all should homeschool.)