Let the countdown begin

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 now has a year of college behind her. One that I'm going to home school one more year. One starting junior high. One still in grade school. Last but not least, the one who thinks he rules them all – yep, the 4-year-old!
Our college girl fell into step well last year. She loves it. I never did get all teary eyed over my "baby" starting college. My mother believes it is because I have so many other demands on my time, I never had time to think about it. She may be right.
As for the home schooling, I loved it. I have to admit it was hard sometimes to keep up the pace, but overall I think it was an excellent decision. She and I both learned so much about each other. I'm very excited about another year.
Now for the school kids. School supplies. Ewwww. I know they're a necessary evil, but I hate shopping for school supplies. I would rather pay a fee and just have them handed to me!
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 your 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.
That having been said we did kind of let one child dominate this summer. Our 8- year-old made all-stars. However, for the most part, even though just one child is actually "participating," all the other children enjoyed cheering for the team and watching the games. Of course, there was also a good deal of social interaction for the other children too. They've made some good friends through softball.
Nevertheless, all the children were promised they could do a fall sport. So starting in fall, husband and I will have four children in soccer. From what I understand two will be on traveling teams. Before you ask, "No, I have no clue how I'm going to pull that one off yet!" Also a caution here, even if you have fewer children remember just because you as a parent can juggle several activities for your child doesn't mean your child can juggle them as well. Children still need time to be children and have unstructured playtime.
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 email it to: moms-corner@juno.com

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