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Thursday, May 26, 2011

the year is done

Today is the last day of fourth grade.  Fourth grade.  What a year this has been!  Starting off in public school, but finishing in homeschool, we've traveled a rough path this year. 

 As Alex sits in the kitchen, completing his standardized testing, I can't help but feel a little sad.  I'm confident in our decision to remove him from public school.  He's happier now.  Things are going well, now that Katie is used to having him home and he's used to having to do schoolwork at the kitchen table.  We're looking forward to the next school year, which we'll start in July as part of a year-round schooling schedule.

Yet, I can't help but mourn the loss of tradition.  I can't help but look back with longing at the things we've missed and what we will miss.  I didn't buy school pictures this last year to save money, to buck the system, to put more funds towards professional portraits.  Yet, now I realize that that was the last chance I had to buy those lousy Lifetouch portraits. 

Last year, on the last day of school, Alex's class had a luau party.  Afterward the party, I checked him out of school early and we went to the pool for the afternoon.  But, it was also the middle of June.  I'm not so sure the water will be warm enough to swim today.

I'm realizing that we need to start some new traditions.  We need to put them on the calendar so that we don't forget.  We need to live life purposely, without the complacency that tends to creep in when we have nowhere in particular to go and nothing to do.  To flourish in the homeschool environment takes planning and dedication. 

So, what do you do to memorialize the end of the school year?  I would love your suggestions, as I'm at a loss right now. 


  1. Congratulations for having the courage to decide and do what's right for your family. Each child and family has different needs...and it's the courage to do what is right (and sometimes make the harder choice) that needs to be applauded. Mark that calendar with special days and look forward to them.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. As adults, Wes and I celebrate the beginning of the year with new pens and notebooks--the notebooks are not as important, but we make pen buying something serious. They're not fancy, they're always from Staples or Office Max, but we try and remember what we liked about new pens all semester long so we can pick out the best ones at the start of every semester. It sounds silly as I write it, but its one of my favorite parts of a new semester--even now that I am teaching we go through the same ritual. Usually we'll buy one silly and cheap thing as well, like fun shaped post-its. We also have special first day/last day dinners that we eat. Sometimes we will go out. And to celebrate the end we always have a fun desk/workspace cleanout day. We play some music and have a snack and just go at it. That might not appeal to Alex at all, actually, but maybe it will give him a sense of authority and belonging over his designated work space? Wes always organizes all of his old notebooks, puts them on a shelf we keep in our closet behind a row of clothes, reviews the stuff he already has stored to decide what to keep, etc. Then we spray and clean the desks and call it a day.

    I love your other post about portrait days, I think that's important. And perhaps one built in hooky day would be fun!


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