Our surprising and emotional first day back to school
Here I sit in silence.
For the first time in weeks.
With a whole range of emotions bubbling around inside of me.
I have just got back from dropping the kids off at their first day back to school.
A new school.
This wasn’t in our travel plan but last week I made a call to the local school and found out how easy it was to enrol them in the local school for a term.
What led me to that phone call?
The last 2 weeks have been challenging to say the least. We have been settling into a new town, hubby has picked up some work and I got a headstart on homeschooling.
It didn’t go so well.
I hadn’t put much preperation into the schooling other than looking through the books to make sure I understood what needed to be done.
We were keeping the schooling fairly light. Just focusing on Maths and English (the rest could be learnt in real life on the road). So we would head off to the outdoor camp kitchen and get into it. I was thinking an hour (2 at most) would do it and we would have the rest of the day to explore and play.
Well, it was 2 hours of torture most days. One of the kids would be into it and the other not into it at all! There were dummy spits when something wasn’t understood, storming off when it got too much and me running in between the two of them explaining what they needed to do next. Miss 5 hated the Maths part and Mr 8 hated the English part. So we begrudgingly got through it most days.
On top of the schooling, there is the caravan life, where everything that needs to be done is harder than at home.
Our clothes are all kept in zip-up bags in a single wardrobe. I don’t think I need to say any more about the hassle of getting dressed and resulting mess that is left after each search for a jumper, socks etc.
The dishes need to be washed, dried and put away after every meal.
Every time you need something it is not where it is supposed to be and a 20-minute search ensues.
You need a key every time you need to go to the toilet ( the kids couldn’t work the key so I had to take each of them when they needed to go.)
I don’t want you to think I am a whining, ungrateful something or other, I am just trying to give you a picture of what it has been like.
Basically, I felt like I had babies again! So many of the things the kids could do on their own at home they now need me for again! I didn’t have a minute to myself – goodbye exercise routine and self care!
Oh, and I am trying to run an online business too!
So hubby would get home from work and I would need to escape for a few hours to get some work done while he spent time with the kids, struggling through the evening stuff to get done after a physical day at work.
So I called the school.
The kids were devastated. Until I mentioned the school has a canteen! (Their school at home doesn’t!)
That was a game changer for them. A canteen!
We had a look at the school and the kids became more excited. A place you could borrow sports equipment at lunch time, an amazing music and art room. A huge oval and playground.
So we enrolled them for a term.
What a massive relief! They could go to school, I could have the school hours to work, get dinner organised, do the shopping etc and we could bring back some quality time in the afternoons and evenings to have fun.
It all makes complete logical sense but this morning I woke with a knot in my tummy.
Does this mean I have failed at homeschooling?
Is this the right decision?
Will they be OK?
I was particularly worried about Miss 5 who has been having a hard time since we left home 6 weeks ago. Will this make her worse? Or could the routine be good for her?
Seeing their unsure expressions on their little faces as we walked into their classrooms was heart wrenching but everyone was welcoming and there are plenty of other new kids that they got introduced to.
So we will see.
It’s part of being a mum isn’t it.
Making decisions for our children.
Not knowing if they will work out.
Hoping we are doing what is best for them.
But we can’t forget we need to do what is best for us too.
I know I will be a much more patient, kind and fun mum if I can have a little space.
I know that me having some space will benefit my children, my husband and us as a family.
and my big wish for today is that I will pick the kids up from school this afternoon and they will be happy.
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