Although I won’t be saying where Emily is attending school, I did think it was important to tell you all how year two of school was going for her. The number one question I get is “How are the schools?” So here is my take on how it’s going so far and the comparison to maybe what went wrong last year. Enjoy!
If you have been following the blog for awhile, you know that Emily had a really rough time starting school last year. We felt that moving here in the beginning of the summer would give her adequate time to adjust to the idea of a new school in the Fall- well, we were wrong. She just wasn’t ready for a brand new school after still trying to wrap her head around a new home, new city, and new state. Did we hope it would go well? Of course, but we knew that it would be hard.
After they changed her schedule several times before the school year had barely started, Emily was an emotional mess. I didn’t blame her. In WI, we don’t have Middle School, we have Junior High, which is grades 7th and 8th. 6th was still one classroom, one teacher, no lockers or running to and from rooms. So in a sense, we were graduating her into something that she was just not mentally ready for. I remember my first day in Junior High- trying to remember my locker combination, my schedule, oh and then having to deal with hormones and acne. It’s a VERY rough age for a girl.
We decided as a family to have Emily try out Virtual School for 6th grade. Using online tools, kids learn and hand in assignments via their computer in the safety and comfort of their own home. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. She seemed to be happy being home, but I know my Emily, and she missed the interactions with other kids and teachers. She LOVES getting a compliment from a teacher, and even though they occasionally got one online, it just wasn’t the same. I wasn’t really sure if I was comfortable with the whole thing to begin with because I was just home grown that you went to a brick building school. After some of the teachers wound up flaking out on us from the program, I would recommend to others to really watch what and how they learn that way. But, it served its purpose for us which was to educate Emily for grade 6th and move her on to 7th.
Once you have been in Virtual, you have to jump through some hoops to get back into Public. Sending over her grades, filling out forms, and making sure you can still be school choiced into the school you want. After everything was taken care of, Emily started back a month ago and we just held our breaths.
I barely slept the night before- that first day of school is a killer when you are used to sleeping in all summer long. I was nervous, I think everyone in our house was nervous for her- but she was up, backpack on, lunch made, and ready to take it on. What I didn’t count on was that my Emily had done some growing up this past year, and THAT is what has made all the difference. The toys have been put away and she is now more into talking to her friends on the phone or computer. She listens to music and geeks out about “One Direction”- the days of Emily and the toy section now quietly packed away.
I am happy, so happy for her but yet I could cry. You want them to grow up, and for her to be settled and happy, its exactly what we needed. But some part of me wanted her to stay small and little, I think as Moms we just feel more needed when they are that age. She is so much more independent now, but I still enjoy that she likes us walking up to school together in the morning. She has made friends, several of them. One class even geeked out at her Beauty and the Beast drawings that they all asked her to draw them something- she was so proud when she came out with that news. The light in her eye was strong and so bright- I could SEE she was ok with being there! It’s funny how much we stress over our children’s well being even though THEY are truly the ones living the moments.
She is happy, she is thriving. And for the first time since we moved to Florida, this Mom feels settled. I always knew that one piece of this crazy puzzle had to fit before I would feel this way, and it finally happened. The home sickness has disappeared, and I no longer “yearn” for my old life in Wisconsin. Here is home, Florida is home…and my baby is happy in school. Dear God, I am blessed.