First day of school

It’s a weird day to be a homeschooler since my town starts school today. My Facebook and Twitter feeds will fill up with posts about bus-stop waving (and/or the high-fiving that some parents do as the bus drives away), public invites to meet for coffee (without the kids), and lots of talk about school/jitters/teachers and dreaded homework assignments.

I’ve accepted that our lives are different, though I can’t help but wonder what this day would be like if my kids did go to school.

It’s 7:15am, and I’m pretty certain everyone would already be down in the kitchen, bleary eyed and nervous. I’d be taking breakfast orders, telling Belly that she must eat something more than a glass of orange juice, even with her stomach in knots.

I’d already be “borrowing” money from their allowance pouches to cobble together exact change for lunch. But, as I write this, I wonder if they have some newfangled system like pre-paid lunch cards—how out of touch am I?

I’d probably have the oven timer going so I could get the kids to the bus on time. Jilly and Belly would both be in the upper elementary school in town, as Jilly is entering third and Belly fifth. Jilly would be super excited, babbling on about the bus ride and who she knows in her class. Belly would be unusually quiet.

After driving them down the street to their noisy, neighborhood-friend-filled bus (it’s raining today, otherwise, I’d insist we walk), I’d return home with D for a little while until his turn came. We’d make sure his backpack is all set, maybe watch a few minutes of his favorite cartoon, and then—BEEP BEEP—my timer would go off again, and we’d go to the car.

And then I’d take him down to the same bus stop and watch my new first grader climb on board the big yellow bus, and I’d wave and cry as he drives away. This would be his first full day in school, since our kindergartens are still half-day.

I’d get back in the car and come home to an empty house. There would be beds to make, breakfast dishes to wash, a load of laundry to do. I’d throw myself into work, hoping to pick up more writing here and there to keep myself busy while the kids are in school.

I’d have to set the timer again to remember when the buses return.

You can call me crazy for homeschooling—and there are times I’d agree—but on a day like this, I am so happy that our reality is so very different.

Even if I can’t meet you for coffee today without the kids.


  1. Well said. And I agree.

  2. Love it! Considering this reality myself!

  3. Nan | WrathOfMom says

    I wish we lived closer. So we could high-five one another as our kids do NOT head back to school. Instead I'll just brew up another cup of coffee and skulk about the house, enjoying letting the kids sleep past 8.

    This is a great post.

  4. Suburb Sierra says

    Do you have a hidden camera in our house? Only instead of me rushing through the morning routine it is my hubby…oh and there are no buses to wait for…and I don't drink coffee. So in a weird way, my routine with private school kids is different, too 🙂 Enjoy your first day of home school – and I refuse to believe Belly is already a fifth grader!

  5. Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog says

    Girl, I couldn't agree more.

  6. Tomorrow will be my first morning without kids– Phe will have morning preschool while her brother goes to school all day. People keep telling me how great it will be! Alone! Hooray! Instead, I'm melancholy. I think I may have to go to the gym and run so I don't think about it and barf.

    The kids have been counting down the days and are so excited and psyched for tomorrow. But I imagine after a few weeks, the morning routine will get old- for both of us- very quickly.

  7. Amelia has a PIN to pay for lunch & snacks (no actual card for her to lose) and I monitor her account online. (I'm guessing this makes it harder for modern bullies to steal lunch money…)

  8. Sarah @ Ordinary Days says

    It's like you live IN MY BRAIN!

  9. Suburban Correspondent says

    yes, there are prepaid lunch debit cards now. Also? Those little milk cartons cost more than a nickel. I'm sort of longing for the peace and quiet right now; but it's not worth it for me to deal with the school bureaucracy. I'll just keep muddling along as we are. They grow up REALLY fast.

  10. We homeschooled for years and years, so when my youngest child chose to go to public high school it was a wrench. When the kids were young, a local waterpark offered a special rate to homeschoolers on the school district's first day of school. It was the perfect "back to school" activity, and way more fun than sending my daughter off to school today.

  11. Enjoy!

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  12. Today was first soccer practice for my daughter's Parks and Rec team. While standing around at the field, I asked a mom how the first day of school. My intention was to inquire about her DAUGHTER'S day. But she responded with, "Oh, it was soooo nice. I went for a long bike ride, then met some friends for coffee, then came home to catch up on some TV shows and clean the house." I should just learn not to ask.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge