School starts again tomorrow.
In some ways, I'm sad. I know that learning comes in all shapes and forms. The kids have done all sorts of learning and growing over the summer. M1 has gained a lot of maturity, patience, and is finally beginning to understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate reactions. This is huge for him. Of course, we've also visited the natural history museum and studied the fish. M2 has practiced writing, improving the shapes of the letters in her name. She has made constant use of art supplies like scissors, markers, etc. and is always picking up things from her brother. But it's been very nice to get up at 8 a.m. instead of 6:45 and be able to go days without even thinking about making learning happen.
I'm also sort of sad that M2 is going to be in kindergarten this year. She's getting so big! Yes, I've thought of trying to keep her at home, but there's no way I can do that. She resists even attempting to learn from me because she has a giant fear of failure, and the littlest mistake causes her self-esteem to take a hit. She needs to get back into the swing of things and have others to gauge herself against. While she's been at home, she's gone from being very confident in her ability to do things like draw pictures and play violin to being very upset at the smallest of mistakes. My reassurance isn't helping.
So while I'm sad that she's going away from me and that M1 is entering another school year at home, this time as a second-grader, I'm happy that she may be in a place where she can calm down and find herself again. Her fits have been less frequent, but they still happen and are now most often triggered by places with many people. I'm not sure what this means for school, but I trust her teacher. I've spoken with her and have a lot of faith that we can work together to make M2's kindergarten experience great.
I'm also excited about some of the stuff that M1 will get to do this year. Medieval studies, logic problems, art projects, "feasts," science experiments, lots of reading - I know he's not excited about getting up early, and he says he's not excited about school (I'm not offended... it takes a lot to excite the boy and using mostly the same curriculum that we ended the school year with in June isn't going to get his blood flowing), but I think he's going to have a lot of fun.
I know I've come a long way, too, in my expectations and outlook on the whole homeschooling experience. I'll never be an unschooler, but I'm certainly a lot more relaxed this year than I was last! Here's to new years, new experiences, and just taking it all in stride!