Today was the first day of school for my two older boys. One is going into the 4th grade and the other is going into the 2nd. We are all very excited around here for them to attend public school this year. In the past, I have homeschooled them every year.
I decided that at least this year, we needed to send them to public school so that I could focus on teaching my 3-year-old some pre-school concepts. It had become a bit overwhelming to me to try and work with them all.
What I Have Learned About Sending My Children to Public School
Since my children didn’t attend public schools starting in kindergarten, I was very behind in what it takes to send a child to school. The prospect of sending them to a school each day sounded much less complicated then educating them myself. Turns out, I have no experience in enrolling children, taking them back to school shopping, navigating a school building for open house, or dropping them off and picking them up from school. I felt like it was my first time going to school as well. The teachers do not hold your hand as a parent when you have a 2nd and 4th grader attending school for the first year. They do this with pre-school and kindergarten ages, but not older children.
First Day of School Pictures
When I was growing up, there was no such thing as first day of school pictures. I blame it on Pinterest that parents feel like they have to take a picture each year of their children heading off to school. Many of my friends post really cute pictures with their kids standing next to signs saying which grade they are going into. I’m lucky that I even remembered to take the picture and that all of my children are facing the same direction when I snapped it.
Difficult Weeks Leading Up to School
My oldest son was having a very difficult time with the thought of attending public school. He takes after me in that he does not enjoy change, in fact, he fears it greatly. No matter how much we tried to ease his mind that public school is not so different than being homeschooled and attending a co-op once a week, he wouldn’t be consoled. It has made for some very difficult weeks leading up to the first day of school. Even this morning, he was doing what he could to keep from crying. While it is heartbreaking to see him go through this emotional time, it is completely necessary. All of life will bring him challenges and changes that he will have to overcome. Many days, I was very close to telling him he could be homeschooled this year to keep his fears at bay. However, this is the best decision for him and he needs to face these fears. These are the days when being a parent is very difficult. Making a decision you know your child will hate you for, but you still choose to stick by it, takes extreme perseverance.
What about you? How are your children handling the first day of school this year? I would love to hear about it in the comments section.