The day dawned overcast and cool, in Australia's national capital. But the kids were up to the task. Alarms were set. Alarms went off. And a bunch of tired, weary, people staggered about the kitchen looking for breakfast. And that was just the parents! Having teens added to the mix was just more fun!
I had organised uniforms. Packed lunchboxes. Supervised packing of the school bags. Ordered bus passes. We were set!
But first, the dreaded "first day back at school photo shoot". The kids were less than impressed, but I haven't done this in 5 years, so they had to cut me a little slack :-)
Don't they look handsome??? Apart from the fact that Video Boy needs a shave?
Now we need to stop for a minute and think about the family member who this back to school business is going to impact most on - Max. Poor Maxie-doodles will be HOME ALONE all day! Poor bub doesn't know what's in store.
And their first day?
It went well!!!
Academically - no issues! Yay for the awesome homeschool Mum!! They weren't behind in anything (even Japanese) and were in front in a couple of subjects (maths and science - what a shock). Let's not talk about R.E. though, shall we??
Socially - they were not awkward homeschoolers! They have nice groups of friends and weren't left wandering around the library at lunchtime with noone to talk to.
Emotionally - they were weary, but happy.
Everybody breathe a sigh of relief - it's going to be OK.
But as every Kindergarten mum will tell you, it's often after the first day that things start to unravel.
Both kids still need help with the organisational side of things. Learning to use a diary. Coming home from school and doing homework. Unpacking dirty lunchboxes. Coordinating lockers/books/bags. Catching the bus on time.
Wednesday night saw Video Boy in a sea of tears because:
a) the day goes by so fast - and he can't remember what lessons he had, let alone what homework he has to do and the diary has been left in the locker at school.
b) he kinda DOES suck at P.E. (despite his previous protests to the contrary). "Mum, I don't like ball sports, I never intend to play ball sports, I'm not good at ball sports - why do schools insist on the emphasis on ball sports?". Good question VB, good question.
c) free time is SEVERELY diminished - how will he keep up with the stream of new videos on the YouTube channels he follows? I ask myself the same question, VB!
He asked me sincerely "does it ever get any better, Mum?". How am I supposed to answer that? No? It gets harder because then you go to work 9-5 (or in my case on Tuesday 8:30am to 8:00pm), with only 4 weeks leave a year, and have to come home every night and cook dinner and wash and iron and clean and help with homework.....So no, it doesn't really get better. The best I could come up with was that the routine will get easier. He will find the days less stressful. Maybe not P.E., but the days more generally. And the goal of this is to do work you really enjoy and that the time flies in, so you don't resent the 9-5 (or whatever). But on the whole, a fairly stressful Wednesday evening!
And then on Thursday morning, he wakes up with "I don't feel very well". And I'm like "what? It's DAY FREAKING FOUR and I'm dealing with this?????"
But he really was sick...Snot. So. Much. Snot. So I did what any good mother would do and loaded him up with cold and flu tablets, nasal spray, tissues and vitamin C and sent him on his merry way! But when he came home, he was burning up with a fever and I was burning up with mother-guilt! So Day 5 of our new school adventure saw me receiving a text message at work from the school informing me that VB was absent and I needed to send a note on his return. Ahh, technology! And this is what comes of mixing with the great unwashed! Wombat Girl did well and managed the entire 5 days, despite rushing to finish her science homework this morning, even though I had previously spent the last 3 afternoons nagging her to get it done.
So at the end of our first week, I'm knackered. So are the kids. I'm sure I'll have more words to write on that, but on the whole it went OK. Except we missed homeschooling not-back-to-school party at the waterpark today. Really missing that...
Did you have a good back to "school"?
How foul are germs?
Does it ever get better?