Education: A New Approach to Back-to-School

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Are you in full blown back-to-school panic yet? Commercials for back-to-school stuff started around the 4th of July this year, meaning we got a whole extra month to start the full scale panic and buying frenzy that comes with the start of the new year.

Last year, my daughter started kindergarten, and like any newbie parent, I waited until the very end of August to try to buy school supplies. Apparently, I am an idiot; there were no glue sticks to be found in the entire tri-state area where I live. I went to something like 25 stores. Seriously. It was a nightmare.

But the lack of glue sticks wasn’t the real problem. For me, I felt so flustered and confused and out of place and like a Bad Mom because I couldn’t find the glue sticks. Because I didn’t know that there would only be ugly school uniforms left if I waited that long. I just didn’t know! It’s like there is a secret mom club of highly prepared people that I didn’t belong to, and no one was letting me in on the secrets. It didn’t help that our local public school didn’t send us the supply list until about two weeks before school started!

This year is a completely different experience. No, not because I’m more prepared and shopped early and knew what to do; because we’ve moved my daughter out of public school into a school that has completely different expectations and requirements. Instead of uniforms, I get to just buy one set of clothes (a bonus for our financially fragile family) for the fall. Instead of glue sticks, the school had networking events so we could get to know the other parents. In a week or two, they are hosting a fun barbeque where we get to deepen those relationships. With only about thirty students at the school, this means real friendships can be made with like-minded folks (my daughter is attending a Free School, which is basically an unschooling school—I know, it’s confusing).

I imagine in many ways this must be what it’s like to be a homeschooling parent. While there is preparation, of course, there is no panic or frenzy like there is with more traditional schools. We are of course thinking about what we want my daughter to learn this year, and worrying about how she’ll adjust to an entirely new school system, but we generally feel very relaxed about the start of a new school year.

It’s quite a welcome change, I assure you.

How are you doing on getting back-to-school ready?

Picture from Flickr

Cecily Kellogg is the mom of a six year old daughter, a wife, a blogger, and the social media strategist forAboutOne, an online family organizer that turns your phone into a remote control for your life, working with your existing calendar and contact tools so you can automatically organize, store, and share family memories and household paperwork. Through web and mobile apps, AboutOne guides you along the path to organization, rewarding you along the way for meeting your organizational goals.


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