They Can Have Their First Day of School, I'll Keep My Kid

Today was the first day of public school where I live. This means that my Instagram and Facebook feeds were bombarded with first day of school pictures. You know the ones; at the front door holding a sign that says which grade the child is starting followed by an image of said child getting on a bus.

This morning I was a teeny-tiny bit sad. Perhaps because this is the year my child would have entered kindergarten and like most parents, I have a fear of him missing out. Missing out on the excitement of the first day of school, picking out the outfits, filling the book bags, organizing the binders. I loved the first day of school. It was like a brand new beginning. And now, as a parent, I fully understand that the choice to homeschool means missing out on all that excitement.

There is no grand celebration on the first day of school. We don’t take the pictures marking that grade. We just live our life. We have been teaching our children since they took their first breath. To walk, talk, read and write. It’s all the same. There is no “school”, just learning, and learning happens everyday of the year in our home. Our children will never really be in a “grade” because that’s the beauty of homeschooling. My 5 year old is reading at a 3rd grade level, doing 1st grade math concepts, and writing at about a kindergarten level.

So is my child missing out?

Perhaps. When he’s an adult will he look through old photos with friends or a girlfriend and wonder why they have these back to school pictures and he doesn’t? Perhaps.

It’s tempting to downplay my own joy about homeschooling but I won’t today. Because when I really think about it, he will have a memory book filled with photos of him:

Playing with his brother Playing in the dirt Reading his favorite book Climbing trees Bringing flowers to all the neighbors just to brighten their day Painting Library Trips Museum Trips Family ice-cream trips Doing science experiments with Mom Writing poetry on the porch Playing piano Reading books to his brother Family trips to the art gallery Listening to the birds Making slime Helping mom clean Dancing around the house Snuggling Writing letters to Dziadzia Picking pumpkins Sewing his own halloween costume Finding hornets nests Playing ukulele with Dad Playing boardgames all day just because Writing his own books Doing magic tricks Reading poetry while eating cookies we baked together Baking together as a family Playing Legos Finding ant larva Making a stop motion video with his toys Blowing bubbles outside in the snow to watch them freeze Sledding