Tomorrow is the first day of school for the children in our school district.
Here are our plans for the first day of school:
*Eat ice cream sundaes for lunch
*Watch Harry Potter (The Hogwarts year begins on September 1st, which is tomorrow.)
*Take not back to school pictures
*Use our outside voices inside
*Have friends over who are also not going to school, and Skype with those who live far away
*What ever else we want to do, when we want to do it, depending on how we are feeling at the time.
This list came from asking the question, "What do you want to do on the first day of school?" Different members of the family contributed ideas. We will be spending our day together so our day is a collaborative effort. That makes sense since our life is a collaborative effort.
What do you want to do on the first day of school?
What do your children want to do on the first day of school?
You have choices. Your children should have choices, too. I am not going to tell you that your first day of school should look just like ours. It shouldn't. Every family is different. However, I am going to tell you that school is optional for everyone. There are families of different shapes and sizes, with different financial situations and different levels of health, who find creative solutions so that their children have the freedom to make choices about what and when and how they learn. If your child choose school there are a lot of options within the school system that are worth exploring. There are also an ever increasing number of private and charter schools.
If you find yourself saying, "We could never homeschool because we would argue all the time," take a good look at your relationship with your child and your methods of parenting. The truth is, I said that for years. I knew I could not handle homeschooling my girls. Homeschool moms were those super organized women who made their kids sit at the kitchen table for hours each morning doing work. That was not going to work for me or my children, so I assumed homeschooling was out of the question. With a change in perspective, a change in parenting and a change of heart I realized that homeschooling was something we could do, we just had to do it in a way that fit our family.
Whatever you do on the first day of school, I hope it strengthens your relationship with your child. If your child dreads school figure out why and find a way to meet their needs. If your child is begging to go to school let go of your need to homeschool. Your child may cheerfully wave from the school bus window on the first day, but if after the first week school mornings have become something to dread it is time to look for options. Ask yourself, "What are my child's needs and how can I meet those needs?" No matter how official and in control of your child's life school may seem, remember: School is not more important than your relationship with your child. It took me years to figure that out. This will be our second first day of school that we celebrate in our own way. Last year we went to a park and made S'mores. How are you going to celebrate the first day of school with your children?