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Hartselle Enquirer

Get ready for back to school

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
Well, we're into the countdown. "What countdown?" you ask. You must not have children. Yep, it's almost back to school time. You might notice a lack of enthusiasm in this writer's attitude, basically because I'm not enthused! Truthfully, I feel school is starting back entirely too early this year. My opinion is the powers that be are getting ready to hit us with the idea with year -round school. Oh, goody.
Nevertheless, whether I like it or not school is getting ready to start and I must get ready for it. However, there have been considerable changes in the Blaylock household this school year.
We have one who will probably be off to college, one who is just starting high school, one who will be home schooled, two still in grade school, and, of course, one who just thinks he owns the rest of them anyway (the three-year-old).
Obviously, the two biggest changes are the college bound and the homeschooler. The college bound will still live at home and commute. Since both her dad and I graduated from college, it's not totally foreign territory. I really thought I would feel differently about my baby starting college. Perhaps it just hasn't hit me yet, or maybe it's because there's still another real three-year-old baby demanding my attention that has kept me from becoming so emotional about it!
Obviously, the other big change is the decision to home school our seventh grader. We have picked an "umbrella" school which makes sure we follow the rules. We have picked a program and we are setting up a study area in our home. I already have some specific ideas of things I want to teach our daughter in addition to the curriculum we've chosen. I think we'll do fine. What's amazing is there are many different methods and programs for home schooling and you can choose what works best for you and your child. However, there's a lot to consider like what's accredited and what's not.
Now for the school kids–school supplies. Ewwww. I know they're a necessary evil. However, I can't help but wonder if it would be cheaper if it was all bought in bulk and then divided up. It seems like most of the supplies go into a community pile anyway. Just a thought. I think I'll explore this idea again toward the end of this school year.
This is also a great time of year to look through the clothes and assess how much our children have grown and maybe hit some back to school sales. Also just a reminder, especially if you've just moved into an area and if you're going to be purchasing new clothes, be careful to consider your school's dress code. We had this problem when we moved from Kentucky–there was a big difference in the dress code and we ended up with a problem. I hadn't checked the dress code. I just assumed it would be basically the same as Kentucky's. I was in error.
This is also the time of year I consider how many and what kinds of activities my kids will be involved in. For example, we usually only allow one activity per season. However, we have on occasion allowed things to overlap a bit. One year our oldest daughter's soccer season and academic team seasons overlapped by about three weeks. It was an incredibly busy three weeks. (I thought I was going to collapse!) We have also occasionally let a child do two activities like Scouts and a sport, but in a large family we have to be very careful not to get overloaded or let one child dominate the activity schedule.
Although, those with fewer children my feel they can let their children do more activities because they have more time per child, just remember the child still has the same amount of time per parent. The parent may not become overloaded, but the child can become overloaded with activities.
I still believe some of the best activities a parent can spend with a child are things like sharing a good book together, watching a favorite movie and sharing a bowl of popcorn, planting a bed of flowers, taking a hike, going swimming, or just talking.
So before school starts and everything gets really, really hectic, spend a little time enjoying your children and then I guess, well, we go back to school. Yippee.
If you have a question, comment, or tip for Mom's Corner, please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640, or e-mail: moms-corner@juno.com