First Day of the 2015-2016 School Year!

I’m a little worried that the occasional raised voices I hear from the direction of the boys’ room will lead to an argument which completely destroys Quiet Time and wakes up my napping baby.

In other words, this afternoon is perched precariously between lovely and horrendous, depending upon a pair of boys remembering that their sister is sleeping in the next room. What are the chances this will end well?

School this morning went awesomely.


The kids were cute, I was not a jerk.

This is amazing.

I kept in mind that I sometimes build special occasions up into something which causes us all anxiety and stress and then there’s a spillover of anger when things, inevitably, are not perfect—which is so silly to expect when you have kids involves. Or any humans. (I’m what you might call an unconscious special occasion saboteur, and I’m not sure why.)

I also recently realized that I don’t like to appear soft, sweet, or simple in front of my kids, or, really, anyone. (Newsflash: I’m a Mom. Moms kind of should be soft.) So today I tried to fight my authoritarian hard-nosed instincts and tried to just be a nice person. Smiled. Had fewer expectations. Was more personal. Drew hearts and smiley faces on the whiteboard.

I’m still in disbelief that I never realized how much I’d been okay with my lack of motherliness because I figured I was just a mom “with a lot of personality”, a euphemism for “with a temper and some serious lack of self control” if I’ve ever heard one.

Oh, kids. I hope you forget nearly everything and forgive the rest!

My big, helpful, responsible, good-attituded fifth grader.



(His Math being on the computer is a big plus this year.) :)

My loquacious jokester fourth grader, always being stretched by being included in chores and school subjects with a brother sixteen months older and doing it surprisingly well.



Before school started, a nice good attitude.


Shortly after completing school, he requested to include this thought, even more cutely. :)

My complicated second grader, who flowers unexpectedly under judiciously-applied discipline and goes from reluctant and recalcitrant to sweet and amused at my disbelief at her handwriting skills.


Who maybe shares my desire not to appear too soft or out-of-control.


(I just went with the thing she wanted to say and figured that maybe things would change in a while.)

And they did! She wanted to retake the picture with this new message about a half hour later.



My sweet-hearted Kindergartener, who thinks school is fun and who can’t bear to be in trouble, always immediately bursting into tears and apologizing to make the relationship close again.



You sweetheart. You made my day with your sweet attitude and beautiful smile.

My mischievous troublemaker, who crawls around picking up illicit items and who “eats” a pear by tasting, throwing, picking it apart, and sitting upon it and who wails piteously for her mama after she’s been neglected for far too long.


I forgot to ask her what she was thinking this first day! (We all would’ve loved to have voiced her purported thoughts in the high pitch we reserve for speaking as our baby girl.)

Even these cutepunks learn something at the Helmeschool from time to time.



We worked our way down the Tuesday list of things to do, me constantly reprinting the charts about forty times as I kept refining and fixing my plan and schedule.

The kids do so well with this flow chart system and I have fewer questions to address! This leaves me with a mere seven hundred questions about time-telling and spelling and cursive and the date and all the other stuff I’m there to teach them.

But I kind of love that stuff, if it’s not all coming at me from fifty-nine directions at once.

I’ve got some non-interrruption policies to put into place and I’m trying to start things out with clear expectations and consequences and rewards but man.

It’s nice to be back to school.

When it is good, it is so very good.

Now Quiet Time, then Happy Hour (our History and Science and reading time in the living room together), then the gym, then Grammy’s. Talk about a fun first day of school!


5 thoughts on “First Day of the 2015-2016 School Year!

  1. Love the idea of the blackboard with their thoughts. Really cute pictures. We did our first day of homeschooling yesterday and it was awesome! Thank you so much for inspiring me all those years!

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