The first day of full time, real life, public school for the three younger kiddos this year was August 16th. I was so nervous about the logistics of getting them hither and thither, but I needn’t have worried. It was no big deal. And the kids all had a good first day, even though they thought it was soooo boring to have to listen to All The Rules! Ugh!

There are definitely different challenges with public school than homeschool, but so far I wouldn’t say that either is particularly easier. While I miss my kids during the day, I am definitely finding that I’m able to get quite a lot done without them home, which is great, because once they’re home, I can really focus on being WITH them, rather than trying to multi-task work and studying with homeschooling and housework. Not to mention fitting Levi in there somewhere, poor guy!

The homework level isn’t bad at all, either. None of them have more than about half an hour of work on a daily basis. I feel hopeful that this year is going to turn out to be a year of great progress for my kids!

We didn’t do our traditional “What I want to be when I grow up pictures,” but we did snap some decent shots on their first day. Here you go:

DSC00990Lydia’s first day of 6th grade. She wanted to declare to everyone right up front that she is a proud geek. So, naturally, she chose her “Marvelous Club House” Woot shirt for her first day. I totally cried when I dropped her off.

She was able to find her way to and from all her classes without any trouble on the first day, and also discovered that she doesn’t have a locker partner! We weren’t certain at first, but as the days wore on, it was confirmed. Lydia officially has at least one space in the universe that is her Very Own. We have yet to get a few decorations, but we will.

We also found out this week that Lydia has tested into advanced Literacy, Social Studies, and Science classes! She needs some help in math, but I expected that, being that it was my weakest homeschool subject, no matter how hard I tried. The good thing is that her favorite teacher is her math teacher! I call that a blessing!

DSC00991This is Audrey’s first day of 5th grade. FIFTH GRADE, people! She was so, so excited for her first day! Daddy took her, since it was a Tuesday, and I had an early appointment at the office. That was probably best, since I would have been a hot mess dropping them off after dropping Lydia.

My little extrovert is already making friends and loving her teacher! She says her teacher is pretty strict, but she’s hilarious, so that makes it all worth it. The focus in class this year is preparing them for middle school next year, so her teacher is taking the approach of helping them shoulder the responsibility for their school work. I like this teacher already.

Overall, I am optimistic about Audrey’s prospects, and I look forward to seeing her blossom a little more this year. I think the challenge and stimulation of a classroom environment will be good for her this year, and it’s so far been confirmed daily in her after school chatter.

DSC00993Dain. This kid is in 3rd grade, if you can believe it. Honestly, I can barely believe I got him this far, and consider teaching him to read my greatest Life Accomplishment thus far. Frankly, I have run out of ideas of how to keep him focused and motivated, and am grateful for the help his teacher is already offering to him and to me as we navigate this year.

Third grade is a bit of a jump from second, and I wasn’t sure he was ready for it, even though we put him through first grade twice. This kid is uniquely bright, but difficult to motivate. He’s a lot like his daddy that way, which is encouraging to me. I have a feeling that he’ll be very self-motivated when he finds the right subject matter.

He adores his teacher, and wants so badly to live up to her high expectations, and I count that a blessing! He couldn’t care less what Mom thinks! (Of course I know my influence is more powerful, so just shush. If you’re a mom, you know what I mean.) His teacher and I are on the same page, and I have a feeling she and I will be talking a LOT about this kiddo and how to push him and challenge him without discouraging him.

Durin’s first day isn’t until September 6th, so no picture today. But I’m going to have to share a picture of him next to me, because Holy Tallness Batman! Sigh…

Why do they have to grow up?

Grace & Peace,

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