I was one of those weird kids who loved going back to school each fall. I loved thinking about all of the new things I was going to learn, shopping for new school clothes with my mom, and picking out fun, brightly colored school supplies. I don’t think my mom ever experienced any of the anxiety that parents have today when it comes to sending the kids back to school.
First, there are the uniform requirements. You need to get the right shirts with the right logo. Inevitably, the size skirt or jumper I needed for my daughter would be backordered. Then, there was the issue of the two choices in shoes that never seemed to fit my kids’ feet. That was just the beginning of the nightmare. The second and biggest cause of stress is the school supply list. Why do they need so many things? Why am I buying all of this after paying tuition? Why do I have to go to visit at least four different stores to find everything on the list? I remember that one year all of the parents were teaming up to find this one item that exactly fit the supply list because we all feared the wrath of the teacher if we did not.
A few years ago I started homeschooling my kids, so I don’t have a panic attack over school uniforms, pencil boxes, and purple plastic folders with an inside pocket. Back-to-school is relatively relaxing because it is on our terms. We start when we are ready to start. I usually start our school year a week or two before the rest of the schools in town begin. This lets us start to get back into the routine of school before adding in the chaos of dance class and sports practices. Starting early also gives us the flexibility to take days off during the year when we need to be out of town for dance, soccer, or acting. Also, I don’t need to worry about the giant list of school supplies. I buy supplies and books during the year as needed. So, this year I only needed about $50 worth of books and some dry erase markers.
One thing all parents stress over, however, is making sure that our children are learning everything they need to know to be successful in school and in the world. I think it is this concern that is one of the biggest reasons people tell me they could never homeschool their children. Choosing to be responsible for the education of your children can be a scary but wonderful thing. I love the freedom they have in studying things that interest them and moving at their own pace. This is especially good when you have smart kids who get bored by the slow pace in a traditional classroom.
It’s also good to know that there are resources available to help in areas where you as a parent may feel weak. Most towns have professional tutoring services like Groza Learning Center where kids can go after school and get some extra help. Homeschool kids are welcome too, and some even have programs specifically for them that meet when other students are in school.
Thanks to Groza Learning Center for sponsoring this post and for supporting education!