I have so many mixed mommy emotions about my kids in school. My kids attend public school in a small town. The school has consistently had high ratings in the state. Most of the teachers are either teachers I had myself or were people I grew up with that became teachers. I feel like the odd ball out though when I say I don’t look forward to back to school. See, I LOVE having my kids home for the summer. Having them home for the summer means I feel like I have more leisurely time with them. There’s no mad rushes to get off the bus, do homework, eat supper, and run out the door for a practice or school event.
I always cringe at the end of the school year posts of parents dreading summer vacation. Teachers with post saying “tag your it”. I felt like there was something wrong with me counting the days down until I can spend all day with my kids. Yes my kids can drive me crazy, yes my kids can be loud, make messes, and get into mischief. But I realize one day all of it will be gone and I’ll miss it. Now as we prepare for another school year, I’m sad that my kids will have to go back to school. Sure they don’t seem to mind. Yes it’s necessary. Yes I’ve considered homeschooling but it just doesn’t seem right for us.
More than once my kids have brought home a thick envelope filled with school worksheets, journals, and lessons the teacher felt they should do over the summer. More often than not, I tossed it to the side only to be forgotten about. My kids got bogged down with homework during the school year I’m not going to do that to them over the summer!
But, this year my daughter brought home the ole summer packet and again I considered tossing it to the side and forgetting about it. But initially, it became used strictly for unplug time. Worried about brain drain I’d have them read or do the school work packets. I found my daughter actually enjoyed doing hers.
Then as I observed her and oversaw the activity, I realized what concepts she had already become rusty with. One that we struggled with today was counting by 2’s (she just finished Kindergarten). Then I realized the value of these packets. She had a journal to keep for the summer and she couldn’t wait to write about her trip the the movies, her time at soccer camp, and the fireworks on the 4th of July.
I realized my youngest son hadn’t brought a summer packet home so I searched for a summer reading program for him that would give incentive for him to read. He’s already read 6 books this summer. Another 2 books and he gets a free book with this program. It gave him a goal, a purpose. My son honestly enjoys reading anyway but there seems to be a new motivation with the program.
We also add in our own hands on and education activities like our trip to the National Aviary, learning about local history, crafts, and more. If I’m to be honest, I think the summer school work packet has given me a new found interest in finding activities that correlate with what she need to review. I realize it gives my daughter a good start to the school year. While I still dread sending my babies away for 8 hours a day, at least I’ll know I did the best I could to make it a smooth transition.