So here's the thing: school started two weeks ago. Since I've had kids, the beginning of a new school year has been important primarily to only one out of four of my immediate family members--that one being Husband, because after all, they're paying him to find it important. But this year is different. This year we have all been affected. And I'm not sure I like that. See, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool homeschooler. I wasn't homeschooled myself, but once my children were born, I knew this kind of learning would be right for us. Indeed, it has been, and besides a brief, unfortunate stint in a passive-aggressive Japanese kindergarten, both kids have spent their days at home with me. To clarify, they have always been allowed plenty of outside opportunities, from piano and language lessons to Girl Scouts and soccer. But as I said, this year is different.
This year, both kids are in school for about two hours each morning. This came about via a family decision (with me as the only semi-dissenting party) based on several factors: we could hand-pick teachers and classes, Husband is on the same campus, there are very few homeschoolers in our area, and both kids (ages 9 and 12) could use a bit more structure and accountability in their daily routines. I must say that things are going quite well so far, and I really wouldn't expect otherwise. First Child loves helping out in the library, Second Child has made a couple of new friends, and both kids are doing more writing. Never mind that the extra two hours were supposed to provide me with extra time for my writing--that hasn't exactly happened, but maybe it will come in time. Meanwhile, I run errands and try to tell myself that we're doing the right thing, at least for now. And the early-mornings and afternoons are still ours to share.