Personal – Back to School

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It is back to school time in our household, which I would say about 75% of us are glad about.

The Boy and I obviously love when the girls are back in school – it gives us a more regular schedule of where they will be each day and when.  And the added bonus of not having to figure out child care.  For those of you without children, let me warn you now that figuring out who will take care of kids while you’re at work is the WORST.  But this regular schedule extends to “when they are in school” – it means we know when they should be going to bed.  It means knowing that we need to keep up with having dinner and lunch items at home for them.  It means regularity and consistency.

E loves school.  I don’t know why or how she is this enthusiastic about it every year, but we’ll take it.  She loves her teachers, and she loves learning, and she loves just being there.  She loves having new math classes, because that is her wheelhouse.  She will happily jump out of bed in the morning, and despite being the bigger problem when it comes to clothes (“But I don’t like any of my clean shirts!” is a familiar refrain), she can’t wait to be back in that environment.

H is the 25% here.  She too is a smart cookie who will enjoy learning about various topics, and likes the feeling of being knowledgeable, but school means other things.  It means forced awakening times (which are a terrible injustice, never mind the fact that she would wake herself up earlier over the summer to watch TV), and a standard of hygiene and tidiness that isn’t as strictly enforced over the summer.  It means homework – actual work for a girl who is starting middle school.  No more simple worksheets (which even those were sometimes hastily completed without real thought or care) – there are longer projects and reports to be done.

To facilitate this new adventure of real homework, we bought some more furniture for their room.  A real desk with a big drawer that will hold all her pens, pencils, and scraps of paper.  A brand-new, empty bookcase, waiting to be filled.  We have dreams of buying the girls some reference books so that it’s not all fluffy novels that are read over the course of days.  There’s even space on the top of this shelf and their old one which could showcase something more sculptural – we just need to figure out what that might be.

Anyways – I love this time of year.  It’s new beginnings.  Everything feels so crisp and ready for a new start.  It helps that the weather has been cooperative in this feeling of transition.  Whenever it’s boiling hot out on the first day of school, it’s merely a reminder that you could still be outside, and on vacation.  Bring on the coats and scarves!  It’s time to bundle up and focus!

2 Comment

  1. Nicole Holstein says: Reply

    Have you guys considered computer games for H? Not sure what’s out there on the market these days, but all those old Learning Company, Scholastic, etc. games were awesome when we were kids! Emulators for some could probably be found online too.
    I particularly loved Operation Neptune (math problems you had to solve as you navigated under the water in a sub to find pieces of a broken satellite that had crashed to Earth), Zoombinis (more math. In fact, my middle school math textbooks were Zoombini ‘themed’), and others. Which is significant because math was my least favorite subject and the one I struggled with most, so I think that says something about those games.

    Middle School is the absolute fucking worst. Even for someone who loves school, it can be hard to focus and enjoy being smart. Looking back, I had no idea at the time how much my extra curricular activities like volleyball and show choir were in keeping my mental health on track in those days. Having places where I felt like I belonged (socially) and outlets for my creative and physical energies was VITAL to giving me the confidence to do well in school, I see now. I hope H can find one or two circles like that, too.

    1. maggie says: Reply

      I’m not sure games are necessarily the right way to go – hers is more of a problem of motivation to get work done, so I think at least starting with an appealing homework environment is a good first step.

      But we’re converting my old laptop to be something they both might use, and some more educational games wouldn’t be a bad thing to consider adding…

      And she definitely has a couple of good social groups, so that’s not really a worry right now.

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