It’s back-to-school time and I reflect on a number of posts I’ve written about school.
In 2012 when I parsed through options for schooling.
In 2015, when I shared my wannabe homeschool books.
In 2016, when I confessed that we’re homeschool drop outs!
In 2018, when I briefly touched on two kids in school.
Now here we are in 2019, two kids going to school, a third doing kinder homeschooled a la his siblings with a little nature school a few mornings a week, and the fourth hanging along like a casual tornado.
We re-evaluate every single spring, is school working for the kids? and truth be told, this past spring I wasn’t sure about our oldest. He was exhausted, crabby, and so cross with his siblings. While he excelled at school and loved his teachers and friends, completed homework without a fight, and was a sweetheart in the classroom, he was really dragging at home. We only had one extra curricular (violin), spent lots to time playing outside and eating dinner together as a family, and I was at a loss.
With lots of open conversations about what our expectations and and that homeschool was on the table unless things changed, we noticed a more concerted effort to be charitable. We also upped the quantity of food for snacks, dinner, and well all the time and bumped bedtime up. More sleep, more calories, more prayer time as a family shifted his attitude and his spirits were better at home.
Here we face a fourth grader and a second grader (she really flourished at school, another post for another day but it was the best call to have her go!). I hate when school starts. I hate that the younger kids lose their playmates. I hate that I don’t see them all day long. I miss them lots.
It really is what’s best for them and our family but I don’t have to pretend that I love rushing them out the door!
Last year we had themes in the car each morning: Monday was “hopes and dreams,” Tuesday-Thursday the three oldest got to pose a question to the car, and Friday was “loud and proud” (what they were proud of for each other and for themselves). I loved framing our days that way before we prayed in the car and I loved hearing them lift each other up and be proud of themselves. We’ll probably continue that this year! (Proud moments included when youngest pooped in the toilet, when mama brushed her hair, and when third born didn’t shout “poopy guts” for a whole day, as espoused by the two eldest.)
My resolution? To snuggle with each kid before they fall asleep and dip my mothering net to catch those sweet little moments they only share in the vulnerable state of laying down, dark room, mama-only listening. For years I’ve rushed through bedtime in the house of ESCAPING THE INMATES, but not being pregnant or nursing, I can really take these tender times and hold them close.
What’s on the horizon for you this fall? School choices shifting? New resolutions? I’m all ears.