Just Heather
Mixed Feelings

Today was the last day of school for my oldest daughter. Her last day of elementary school. I feel like I should be waxing nostalgic or something, but I mostly feel a strange mixture of relief and dread.

Relief that the year is finally over. It was not a fun end to her elementary experience. Let’s just say I really hope the rumors of her teacher’s impending retirement are true, for the sake of all future 4th graders. I’m temporarily relieved of twice daily carpool duties. The girls are attending a few day camps that require transportation, but that is only a week or two here and there. I’m also relieved of my PTO webmaster duties. Whew!

My calendar pen is finding a bit of relief this summer, but I do still try to keep the girls on a routine for sanity’s sake. They also have a few summer activities and camps, but not to the extent of our regular weekly jaunts.

The dread is on many levels. For the immediate future, I am dreading the fights, whining and tattling that comes from having more than one child. I’m dreading the heat and the outdoors. I’m just not an outdoor person, but the girls definitely are and some of them still require supervision.

As the summer wears on, I’ll be dreading the return to school. I’m uneasy about our decision to leave Stacia in the public school system. I think it was the best decision for us at the time, but I worry she’ll get lost in the shuffle and continue to struggle the way she did this year. Her school struggles are strictly a failure of the system. She’s a bright kid. She tests well. She reads profusely. She loves to learn. She’s just not great at assignments and deadlines. She was also bringing home a lot of homework for things she hadn’t yet learned. If I’m going to have to teach her math every day, I might as well homeschool.

Next year is a different school, albeit in the same system. I am hopeful that it will be a different story, but I am reserving judgment. If all else fails, I know I can pull her out at any time and send her to Brenia’s Montessori school. That has been a complete success story. She started kindergarten a year early and is ready to advance to 1st grade. Her teachers have some minor reservations about her social skills so we are trying an interim option. She’ll stay in her current classroom, but take academic lessons with the elementary class. They hope to fully transition her after winter break.

I still contend we made the right decision for her. She stands a head taller than 1st graders. She’s smart—too smart, sometimes. She was reading by her 5th birthday. She is a quick learner (I had to show her how to tie shoes only one time). She just wouldn’t have been well served by waiting until this fall.

My hope for the summer is that I can let go of all my concerns (at least for the summer), relax and enjoy my kids.

One Response to “Mixed Feelings”

  1. Heyy Heather- sounds like you have some bright girls on your hands! I wouldn’t expect anything less from my once little cousin who was spending our week trip out in IN writing a newspaper–at age 7, no less!