Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First day of 2nd grade!

Today is Labor Day and you know what that means!

It means the first day of school in the Slater house, because I run the show and Ella hasn't learned about child labor laws yet. Plus I threatened to take away Netflix if she unionizes. So break out the books, baby! We've got 2nd grade to demolish.

"Mom, take a picture of me pretending to work!" You really are my child.
We've been "home schooling" Ella for the last year and half. In 2013 she started kindergarten at a school we all loved, but the schedule (8 am-2:30 pm, M-F) really wore her down. She was tired and cranky for months before we finally decided to pull her out half way through the year. What followed was a very laid back approach to her schooling. I think some people would have seen it and called it "lazy" but I choose to call it...lazy. It was lazy. But because she is brilliant and full of over achieving first-born genes, she excelled despite me sleeping on the job (quite literally, sometimes. I had a newborn!).

We fully intended to send her back to school this year. Ella was starting to get into territory that I knew required more of a commitment from me if she home schooled, and quite frankly that terrified me a little bit. No wait, a lot. It terrified me a lot. I was dead set on her going back, but then two things happened:

1) We went from two cars down to one. And since the private school she would be attending doesn't bus out to our house, rides to and from school would be kind of tricky. Probably not impossible, but most definitely a pain in the butt every day. And the thought of getting another car just to provide her with rides to and from a school that also requires money wasn't exactly making Dan and me jump for joy. I'm pretty awesome at finding deals, but until Target starts stocking cars and tuition on their clearance end caps, we were out of luck.

2) I got myself a cheerleader. I turned to a close friend who home schools her kids and suddenly I had myself a full fledged, former pro-ballerina-turned-amazing-mother-turned-best friend-cheerleader in my corner. One who held my baby while I rifled through all of her school books (that she had ordered in the spring, while I was still on the fence in July. OOPS), and never told me that it wasn't hard, only that it was hard but I could do it. She even let me pester her with Facebook messages of despair when I finally gathered the courage to open all of my own home schooling books (coughlastweekcough WHAT. I was in denial). Without her (and the numerous other friends who heard that I was thinking of home schooling and reached out with encouraging words and resources. Really, I am surrounded by the best of the best) I am one hundred percent certain that I would be curled in the fetal position telling Ella to Netflix Planet Earth for all of her foreseeable schooling needs.

So, we got through it. We had two meltdowns (neither of them mine! Miracle of miracles!), and Ella went from loving it to hating it to loving it back to hating it and then settled on liking it. So. Many. Emotions! Her main concern seems to be less on the learning aspect of going back to school and more about seeing friends on a daily basis, so we're working on a compromise of more scheduled "friend time" (re: "There's no way I'm buying a car and paying tuition so you can essentially have a very expensive play date.").

First day: Done!

Rest of the year: Shhhhh. Let's focus on the first day done (!) thing.

After she finished her first day of 2nd grade! Yes, that's a sheet of gold stars I let her keep in her desk. Again, #firstborn.

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