If you haven’t picked up on it already one of the big changes for our family this fall has been that we made the decision to send Emma off to middle school…no more homeschooling for my oldest girl. It was definitely a big decision. But I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as hard. I think we all knew the timing was right and once we found the place that was the right fit, everything seemed to fall into place.
For her mama, it meant a lot of anxiety this summer. I felt like I needed to soak up every moment before sending her off for seven hours of her day, five days a week. And there’s nothing like sending your child off to school to dredge up all those homeschooling insecurities that are always swirling around in the back of your head. It was easy to let myself doubt all the things I’d taught her and start to panic about the things she ‘wasn’t going to know.’
Turns out, I was the only one who would have a bumpy transition, and she’d slip right into the routines of school days, homework, schedules and uniforms.
I’m liking how this year is unfolding. I’m loving getting up early–making the school run and coming home to chores, a little laundry and an earlier start to our homeschool day.
With one month under my belt, I’ve learned a few things about sending my homeschooler off to school, (shared with you in list form because I live and die by lists these days).
- Every day is not an evaluation of my abilities as a homeschooling parent. Some things she’ll get, some things she won’t. But so will every other kid no matter their educational background.
- When she gets home from school she’ll be hungry. Very hungry. Have a big snack.
- It’s okay if she goes to school with homework she did all by herself, and it’s not perfect. That’s what her teachers are for. (Also. See bullet point number one.)
- Teachers aren’t trying to trick her into failure. (These words were spoken at our parent night and I may have sighed audibly.) “We’re here to help. We’re on their side. We’re not trying to trick your child into failing.” Bless it.
- Lunches get progressively more uninspired as the week goes on.
- School drop-off outfits get progressively more uninspired as the week goes on.
- Even though you taught her math last year, suddenly when she asks for help with homework, you can’t remember a darn thing.
- On the days you’re on time to school, you’ll get all green lights.
- On the days you’re late to school, you’ll get behind a school bus. (or a tractor.)
- If you bring the puppy on drop off, he’s going to end up on her lap, in the front seat of the car, licking her face, spilling your coffee, and trying to jump out and see all the fun kids playing outside the school.
- Despite all the things you read on what to say or questions to ask your child to encourage her to open up and share about her day, the thing that works best is a little bit of quiet and a little bit of space. It seems like she’s always willing to share, when I’m not prying for details.
- Even though you can’t wait to see her when the day is done, you’ll still need to set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to stop what you’re doing and go pick her up from school.
- You will consider adopting school uniforms for the whole family. It’s so nice.
- A really good travel mug is key. Because, coffee.