The First Day of School: Reality 101

This might be a good place to mention that we homeschool.  My son (who desperately needs a blog name since I’d rather not use his real one) is a fifteen year-old nominal tenth-grader, but we discovered during the sixth grade that his learning speed wasn’t an ideal match for the public school system.  (Translation: he wanted to learn real facts, quickly, without busy work, and the school had other ideas.) We’d tried private schools, but for reasons I won’t go into here that didn’t work for us either.  After evaluating all the options, my husband and I decided that I should stop teaching college part time in the evenings and start teaching The Son instead.

It was the best decision we could have made.  Three years later, he’s even farther advanced than he was when we pulled him out, and as he’s found other outlets for social interaction, the result is a well-educated, slightly-less-than-normally-snarky 15 year old with much more confidence and a good head on his shoulders.  (Yeah, I brag.)

All of which merely sets me up for the periodic reminders that despite his senior-level course load, I am still dealing with a fifteen year-old male.  On the first day of school.  After two months off.

My initial reaction to his lack of excitement and preparedness was frustration. (What do you mean you’re not PSYCHED about Physics and AP Economics??) When I was in school, I was That Kid – the one who had the backpack packed three weeks before school started, with pencils sharpened and every notebook labeled with neat, color-coded letters.  The one who not only liked school, but drove everyone else just about crazy in the process.  (“Hermione, First Year” just about covers it.)

The fact that my son exhibits a personality somewhat different than my own takes a little getting used to.  Would I like him to bounce around, as eager to start school as I am to teach?  Absolutely.  Do I wish he’d take more time and effort preparing his desk and supplies, so the first day goes off without a hitch?  Yep.

Will I achieve anything positive by harping on him about it?

Nope.  I will not.

And so, after observing a moment of silence for The Dream That My Child Might Turn Out Exactly Like Me (and a brief additional pause to recognize that he’s probably better off for it) I toss the dream in the garbage where it belongs and head home to commence what promises to be an engaging and busy school year.

Right after we find his Physics book.  It seems to have gone walkabouts since yesterday.