Our trip to see my brother and his family was a wonderful respite from all the preparations for our new school year. Of course, after traveling home for three hours one of the first things we did after unloading the car was to jump back in and pick up a few supplies we needed for Little B. Our list was pretty sparse: mostly lined paper, new wipe board markers (boy, we are always running low on those), stickers for his worksheets (he loves picking them out), and new 3×5 cards. I laughed when I looked at the glue and realized we still have a whole half gallon sitting in our art supply closet.

There is something about the first day of school (at least for this little nerd), from the smell of new textbooks, to newly sharpened pencils… it was really a day I looked forward to from the last day of the previous school year. Even today, when I ready myself for another semester of online classes I get a thrill from preparing notebooks and binders, printing out syllabuses, sharpening those pencils, and smelling my new, usually shrink wrapped textbooks (which I know will never be sold to anyone since I’m a highlighting addict). True story.

Sometimes I feel sad that Little B misses that fun, exciting new day of school: new, as of yet unscruffed sneakers, a stiff, unbroken in backpack, the confusion of figuring out where your class is (Army brat here, we moved too frequently, most schools were new to us). But then, I sit back and feel such an overwhelming sense of gratitude at the ability to teach my own child, to experience each day with him, to guide him on his educational journey. The joy of knowing, that regardless of how bright he is, he won’t fall through the cracks or be left behind if he doesn’t understand  a lesson. That we can study a subject in it’s entirety until it’s literally exhausted. That he can sit there and discuss topics with no pressure that we are running out of time. I love the pace of it, the spontaneity of learning things on a whim, of planning fun field trips, of sleeping in or skipping a day when needed, or best yet, when Daddy Brooks is home. I wouldn’t trade that for that experience of the first day of school. We have our own traditions here, our own excitement building as that first day approaches. And although I know we probably won’t homeschool forever, I’ll always remain thankful for the opportunity to have taught him for all these past years. It may not be for everyone, I certainly didn’t envision myself homeschooling my child when I was little, but it’s been the most perfect thing for us. And I remain grateful.

One more day and we’ll have our first day of school. Third grade is going to rock. I just know it!