I have to admit that this is in response to or rather inspired by a post a friend shared on Facebook yesterday called September is the Worst! I found it a hilarious and very accurate read about what September used to look like for us. The days leading up to the first day of school were full of excitement and anticipation but once that first day of school was over, so was the honeymoon (so to speak). Every day from that point on was filled with moaning and groaning about getting out of bed in the morning and tears and outburst about homework “I don’t understand this!” And the kids were even more miserable!
So, in light of having not had to go through the chaos of the typical September this year I was inspired to write about how awesome September can be for homeschoolers.
Not this year! We buy what we need, as we need it! No stocking the classroom with enough tissues, hand sanitizer ( I have my own issues with the overuse of sanitizer and antibacterial crap) glue sticks, paper towels and whatever else was on that endless list of requests to supply an army and then some! I work retail and, at back to school time, the stores are sometimes crazier than Christmas! People making a mad dash right up until the day before school starts in search of all the insane items on the list, some of which nobody will ever use, and of course, they’re all sold out! Then there’s clothes. We MUST have new clothes BEFORE school starts! Buy all the shoes!
No forms or Homework for us!
Enough said about this, the author of the aforementioned article hit the nail on the head with that one! WHY oh WHY can’t the school use the same forms as last year and ask families to inform them of any changes? 99% of the time, the only changes to the students information is their grade and teachers names which the school should well know seeing as how they assigned them!
Our family learns by doing. We don’t test in any way shape or form. No stress of homework or research papers and no cramming for tests or stressing of those stupid and pointless standardized tests it seems the kids are always taking time away from learning to take. My kids are not chained to a desk for 7 hours a day only to come home and be expected to sit some more. When do they get a chance to move and get fresh air, exercise, sunlight and just be kids?! It’s no wonder the kids are crazy when they get home from school every day! When do they get a chance to burn off all their energy? Instead they are working so hard to sit still and be quiet all day that they go nuts when they get home!
Not only that, bur we’re not limited to the subjects taught in public school or the timeline the teachers must adhere to. Right now my kids are learning computer coding, American Sign Language and my son is studying for his HAM radio operators license. We can learn what we want and at our own pace, whatever that may be.
5 emails a day
These, I am still receiving. I get emails from my sons old school and automated phone calls from my daughters EVERY DAY! Evidently our names have yet to be removed completely from the system. These communications, have, however given me a new appreciation for what we are doing. I get to read them and think to myself, “Oh thank goodness I don’t have to deal with that this year!” lol
NO open house, NO Picture days (yes DAYS), NO Fundraisers!
As the years progressed, I met open house with a mixture of excitement and dread. I was excited to see where my kids spent their day and who they spent it with but to hear the teacher drone on and on about classwork and homework and expectations and classroom procedures. I was bored to tears just listening about it, I can’t even begin to imagine how my kids felt experiencing the expanded version! I would walk into the classroom and think to myself.. So this is where my son or daughter is for more than 7 hours a day, sitting in this same chair I am now sitting in and after 15 minutes, my butt is beginning to hurt and I’m starting to squirm trying to find a comfortable position. I do not have to do that this year. My butt and my anxiety are grateful
Don’t even get me started on picture days! YES picture DAYS. once a year wasn’t enough for these cookie cutter portraits that we always forget when they are, so send our kids looking like they haven’t bathed in a week because they found a mud puddle while waiting for the bus stop on the rain that morning. Now they have to do them at the end of the year too! Every year I refused to order the second set and, being a professional photographer myself, only ordered a class picture anyway just so my kids could have a memory of the kids that were in their classes that year and EVERY year they would send home a selection of portraits with my kids that they would promptly open and lose pieces of before they even got home and the school would expect me to pay for even though I didn’t order them in the first place! NOPE NOT this year! Every day is picture day, I document every activity we do with photographs, videos and blog posts. We are creating memories that we can all look back on and remember together. These are the most amazing years of my kids lives and I get to be there to witness it!
Fund raisers? NO WAY! Just in time for the holidays they turn our kids into little Amway people peddling crap to friends, family and coworkers! The problem is, all of our friends, family and coworkers also have kids, nieces, nephews, cousins, siblings, neighbors, friends and so on that are also selling for their schools and they’re all going crazy trying to sell enough items from these multitude of catalogs to earn the latest dollar store toys. Maybe this year I can help out a friends kids instead. I have to admit the wrapping paper, while containing no more than a few inches of paper per roll and costs an arm and a leg, doesn’t rip when you wrap gifts with it.
The best part about September?
No crowds! Seriously! All the parks, zoos, museums and fun spots that were overcrowded all summer long are much more manageable. Not to mention that most of these places have special homeschool days that include amazing and often more in depth programs that most people would never be able to experience. It’s AMAZING what you can learn when the staff at these places aren’t overwhelmed with hundreds of other people! You get the amazing knowledge of these people all to yourself or in a small group of people who are also there to learn.
We are discovering more and more amazing things about homeschooling every day. We have good days and bad just like everybody else, but the good far outnumber the bad we used to have when we lived by the public schools schedule.