Back to School

September 20, 2011
posted by Tia in Learning

“Don’t you just love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies.”

Tom Hanks (in You’ve Got Mail) is on to something here. I’ve never seen New York during autumn, or any other season, but I just take this as proof that there is a universal “something in the air” this time of the year. Just breeeeeathe in that air, will ya? That says school time.

I was homeschooled. I am the oldest of quite a few children, and my mother has homeschooled every one of us—rain or shine, sleet or hail. (Luckily, we rarely had to venture out in any unpleasant weather as we did the majority of our homeschooling at home. Go figure. :-)) Schooling, for us, was a way of life rather than a seasonal necessity, so we didn’t really take the summer off. Perhaps we eased up a bit on the tougher subjects, and did more Science and P.E. in the great outdoors. But for the most part the regular flow of life carried on.

Summer afforded us just enough of a break, though, that by the time the local schools were airing out and preparing for a new year, we were ready to jump back in with both feet and recommit to all those things we were excited to learn. I’ve heard of lots of fun things that homeschooling families do to celebrate “back to school” like a special breakfast, field trip, etc., but we never really did anything like that. We did, however, always take advantage of the Back to School sales.

As a youth I had somewhat of an obsession with school supplies. I loved them. I would spend babysitting money on new pencils, pens, notebooks, and folders. Give me a new binder with tabs and paper and I was in heaven. I loved to write, and doodle, and write, and plan, and make lists. I finished a handful of stories that I wrote while I was young and started dozens that never survived past the first page (sometimes they didn’t even make it past the title).

The funny thing is that I had no idea until I was much older that “Back to School shopping” for most kids had more to do with clothing than with school supplies. Tehehee. Boy, was I socially backwards. How silly of me to think that a notebook was more relevant to school than Nike. 🙂

Be that as it may, I’m happy to say that I seem to have passed on my special brand of “Back to Homeschool” supply giddiness. We took the kids on a shopping trip two or three weeks ago, and when we got them each new art books and notebooks, they couldn’t have been happier. Even the two-year-old was dancing down the aisles with his specially picked notebook covered in green (his favorite color).

There is definitely something in the air in late August, and early September. Is it really the shifting of the seasons we sense, the drop in temperature? Is it just feeling a readiness for cooler days ahead because we’re tired of summer’s pace? Who knows. But almost every year there’s a morning that I wake up, and there it is. Something in me thrills to the new season and I know this is it. I’m excited, I’m ready, and I announce at breakfast: “Okay kids, today we’re starting school again!”

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