Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Getting Into the Swing of Another School Year

It's been a busy, busy summer -- less visitors and less things scheduled (or so it seemed) than last year, but somehow it ended up being even busier!  My eldest was feeling slightly despondent the eve of the first day of -- GASP -- HIGH SCHOOL (how did that happen?).  She said she felt like she just got out of school and was not looking forward to going back.  I told her that it was because the summer was so busy -- it went by in a blur, as opposed to if we had no plans and the girls were sitting around bored day in and out -- it would have felt like it went on forever!

Anyway, here in New Hampshire, our kids start school before Labor Day, and because Labor Day was late this year, they were in school for almost two weeks before their Upstate NY friends!  So, we have eased into the school year and we are feeling fairly well adjusted to our school routine.  Although, I am feeling tired...  It is a glorious thing to sleep until 8 in the summer!  My eldest catches the bus at 6:30am, so I make sure to get up between 6 - 6:15am to hang out with her until her bus comes.  If I were Mother of the Year, I would get up at 5:30 and make her a wonderful breakfast!  (But I'm not, so I don't...)  My youngest daughter's school added 30 minutes onto their day this year -- they start 15 minutes earlier and end 15 minutes later.  I believe, if I recall correctly, that they added 10 mins to math, 10 mins to science and 10 mins to recess.  But don't quote me on that.  I am letting her wake up at the same time that she did last year, it just means we rush a little more in the morning!

We are also trying to get in a new routine with bedtimes.  For years, my girls have gone to be pretty much at the same time (as each other) regardless of the age difference.  My eldest daughter has to get up by 5:30am, so it seemed reasonable that she should get to bed earlier.  Until this year, when she is now in high school and in spite of her early rising in the morning, she has exposed the injustice of being in high school and going to bed earlier than her friends!  So, we are working through getting the younger one to bed while the elder one stays up later.  And I still go to bed about the same time that I have for years, but my body has been telling me this week that it needs some extra sleep!  That's my own personal struggle, because while I love my family, I also love that feeling of relaxing on the couch, in the still of the night when my girls are tucked safely in bed and the house is picked up -- it's a beautiful thing!

We are getting back to the homework routine -- my high schooler has always been disciplined to get home and settle right in to get her work done (God bless her!).  My 4th grader eases into it -- she likes a snack (today I actually made cookies!  Overcooked a little, but cookies nonetheless!) and she needs a little nudge in the direction of her homework.  Her teacher this year has been sending a packet home on Monday and the kids need to pace themselves and do a little each night -- 20 minutes of reading, read 1 poem aloud to an adult (a different poem each week), and several pages of math.  I actually like that -- you know what to expect, based on your week's schedule and your child's energy level, if they need/want to do a little more one night and a little less the next, it all works out! 

My high schooler is in band but in high school, band means concert band, pep band for the basketball games, and marching band for parades and football games.  Tomorrow she tries out for jazz band -- she's really nervous, but she's been working hard at it -- I hope for her sake and all of her effort that she gets in!  Our lives this year (and most likely the next 3) will be dictated by the band schedule, but my husband and I love going to the parades and the games -- we could not be more proud of our girl! 

Girl Scouts starts next month -- my little one is a Junior now, I am a leader for her troop this year, and my eldest daughter is helping out with the troop.  And then Sunday School starts again. 

Somehow I don't think this school year will be any less busy than the summer...

How are you easing into the school year?