It's that time of year again.....school for all six kiddos has officially started in our household, and just in time before my teens' brains turned to complete mush! It seems forever ago that it was the beginning of summer and we were totally immersed in the summer league swim season. Not to say we haven't been busy all summer. I at least know that it feels like I haven't had a break from all the driving, endless doctor appointments, and to-do list errands. However, lately I'd return home from driving all over the area to find my two high school boys lounging on the couch, eating snacks, and staring at the boob-tube while they watched "The Price is Right" or "Family Feud"! The survey says........" Get off your butts and help me clean this house!". (Oops, that's what mom says) They both assured me that this was what summer vacation was all about. Yep, it surely was time to get back to school.
It's our second year of homeschool for the three youngest. Kaitlyn was very excited to officially start Kindergarten (even tho she's not quite 5 yet). She started our day with the flag salute and then we did our morning prayers before starting lessons. Andrew has been doing schoolwork on and off thru the summer so that he retained what he learned last year. He is in First Grade now, and in typical little boy fashion, he let it be known that he'd rather be playing with his toys than spending the day in school. I think it'll take a few days to realize that 1st grade is a bit more challenging than last year had been.
Michelle's summer days were spent at the gym gaining skills to move up to the next competitive gymnastics level. She achieved her goals and has already had two meets of the new season. Her summer schoolwork consisted of reading the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder series ("Little House" books) which she finished before the end of June! She's happy to return to school and is in Sixth Grade this year. Her favorite subjects are History--she's studying the Old World this year and Science- she's learning about Sea Creatures and the Aquatic World.
Halfway thru our first morning of school, Brian called from college during a break in his classes. It was also his first day and he filled me in on how it was going and how the weekend had been while the older Corp guys (including him) got to break-in the new "Fish" in his outfit. He laughed about how nervous the new guys all were and I reminded him that it sounded just like him last year at this time! "It's so much more fun watching from the other side!", he laughed. We'll visit him this weekend at their first football game march-in.
Kyle and Reid headed off to high school early in the morning and both had positive reports when they came home. Reid will have long days, being done at 5 from his ROTC duties and Kyle will swim for the high school in the morning and then head down to club swimming afterschool, not to return home until 6:30 everyday. If that doesn't tire them out, than I don't know what to do!!
As for me, I am glad to get back to our normal routine. I never did get those long, lazy days I used to cherish in summertime. I mentally had a list of projects I wanted to work on, and somehow got none of them done! If summer is going to be just as busy as the rest of the year, then I'll gladly take the structure of the school year vs. the random chaos our summer seemed to bring. As for homeschooling, the most popular comment I receive when discussing our choice with others who don't homeschool is "You must be very patient. I just couldn't do that!" The truth is, I've never been particularly patient with my own kids. For some reason, I can be very patient with other people's kids tho! For me, it is a practice in learning to be patient with my children, and believe me, it is a challenge every day. It is also what I feel is parenting the way God intended it to be. We are entrusted with our children to teach them in all facets of life. When we homeschool, I feel I am satisfying the true meaning of parenting in the purest, most complete way it was meant to be. I certainly don't condemn those who send their kids to schools, as I still do my older ones and previously did for Michelle as well. I just wish I had known the truth about homeschooling 10 years ago. It definitely would have been a Blessing to our family!