Today is day THREE of my oldest son, Daniel, being back in public school after three years of homeschooling / unschooling. Last time he was in public school he was in the first grade, now he’s in fourth!

The adjustment really is all on MY part. He’s so far, super excited about school and all that goes with it. I’m the one running around, going crazy, trying to prepare treats and awesome lunches (for both him and my husband).

I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all. I don’t know how to be a SAHM with just the little one all day. I know that sounds ridiculous but I worked since Danny was teeny (I had to as I’ve never ever received child support from his bio-father) and wasn’t home a lot of the time because of that. Once I stopped working (long story!), I was a SAHM of both boys all day long which means they played ALL DAY LONG. I was there to keep them fed basically!

Now that Danny is back in school, it’s just me and Tristan and apparently I’m no fun. I don’t like to play with dart guns or rough house. However I’m trying to get into a routine that after we drop his big brother off at school, we go straight to the park for a half hour. So far he LOVES having the undivided park attention!

I do think once my sleep improves (super awful insomnia lately) and I have more energy and we all settle into a routine, it’ll be easier. It’s nice having the one-on-one time with him. I remember dragging Daniel with me EVERYWHERE I went! It’ll be nice to do that with Tristan now too!

When it comes to unschooling vs public schooling, I still haven’t formed any new opinions yet because it’s too early to tell! What matters though is that Daniel is really enjoying school. He seems to like the structure of the day and the different classes, like art for example. He also likes his superior lunches. Apparently a lot of the kids are eating the school hot lunch which I find to be nutrionally void of well… everything. He loves that I make his lunch every night. Today is a Turkey Sandwich with local tomatoes, homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk cookies, a cheese stick, local plums, and a banana. Yesterday was Chicken Caprese Salad with sliced strawberries, the same cookies, and a cheese stick. Since his teacher let’s them have a mid-morning snack he usually has the cheese stick at that time.

I’ve also been baking muffins for a quick warm breakfast. Once the muffins are baked, we freeze them. Then in the morning he takes 1-2 muffins, puts them into the microwave for about a minute and has a hot breakfast!

Lastly, tonight we finish the boys room! Just need to paint the ceiling, finish the trim, and set up Daniel’s new desk that I bought him last night from the glory that is Ikea. Granted Tristan just plays in their room since he co-sleeps with us, but still, it’s nice that they share so easily with each other.

How are your kids doing with school / homeschooling / unschooling? Any tips to help me transition to school life, to be a better school mom?

posted on August 24th 2011 at 11:19AM CDT

I have nothing relevant to add, but those photos are fantastic! If I were you, I’d have one of them printed and framed. :)

posted on August 24th 2011 at 4:08PM CDT

Thank you so much! I actually bought TWENTY frames last night at Ikea, so it sort of forces me to print and hang more!

posted on August 24th 2011 at 11:22AM CDT

My kids have played in the CBG fountain many times… great shots! :) I’m still homeschooling and I can only imagine the transition and struggle you are going through. Best wishes for you. Enjoy your one on one time with your little one. :)

posted on August 24th 2011 at 4:12PM CDT

Thank you! It’s weird. It feels COMPLETELY different than when he was in public school before. I think SO MUCH of that has to do with being a SAHM now AND previously, we lived with my father who mainly took Dan to school / picked him up while I worked and it was just… not a good situation (school actually sat me down about it at the time ugh).

posted on August 24th 2011 at 11:57AM CDT

Glad Daniel is excited and enjoying school so far. I think that is an encouraging sign. I had to force my youngest out of the car when he was in public school. NOT a good sign! Today is our first day of COVA or online public school from home. Mat isn’t even awake yet at 11 am. No idea how to get back to a schedule after 8 months of de-schooling. I worry if I can even focus long enough to read the lesson plans. Anything resembling organized learning feels icky to me, but I’m letting Mat lead. Uncertainty rules here! XO! PS I’m coming over for one of those cookies!!!

posted on August 24th 2011 at 4:16PM CDT

Oh dude, BEFORE, when Danny was in public school, it was… bad. To say the least! Just getting him UP in the morning to doing homework to getting OUT of the car at the school… not to mention his behavior IN SCHOOL at that time! It’s one of the bigger reasons why we pulled him out!

His attitude is a total turn around. He gets up with little fuss in the morning, gets dressed in his school clothes right away, warms up some muffins, and watches a show.

He comes home in a good mood, I have no letters or emails about bad behavior and he seems to enjoy it all!

I’m not used to it.

posted on August 24th 2011 at 4:45PM CDT

I think you’re seeing the beautiful reflection of Daniel doing what he’s chosen to do at this point of his journey! He’s not being forced, or held back. I think this is a great time in his life! It makes me wonder if my kids will ever choose to go back? Keep us updated!

posted on August 24th 2011 at 12:06PM CDT

What do you mean by “school mom,” Sarah? Joining the PTA and singing up to chaperone field trips? Because I assure you, you do not want to do that, LOL! The only things I wish my mom had done was to make me do my homework, and not only that, make sure I understood it. That would have made her the best school mom, lol.

posted on August 24th 2011 at 4:22PM CDT

LOL!!!! I just want to make sure he has a good breakfast (I bake homemade muffins then freeze them), and an awesome lunch (which I make every night), and make sure he has everything he needs…

I just feel a bit lost! I just really want to see him succeed and I’m just super cautious considering how school was BEFORE for him.

posted on August 25th 2011 at 10:51AM CDT

well from the outside looking it, it looks like you are doing a great job so far! i’m kinda jealous of your son’s lunches! i had to eat awful state funded lunch all though my school career.

i’m glad that your son is doing well so far!

posted on August 25th 2011 at 1:11PM CDT

Thank you so much! I also dealt with school lunches and really, they are just so low quality. It drives me CRAZY to see how many OBESE children are at these schools and it’s no wonder, they have a school breakfast of a donut (for real, this is what’s on my son’s menu if he did school breakfast), and then a school lunch of pizza, and gods knows what they eat at home…

I’m not perfect. Mexican takeout and local deep dish pizza is my downfall but I cook 90% of our meals, from scratch!

posted on August 25th 2011 at 1:10PM CDT

I go back to school next Tuesday, and thus Josh goes back to daycare. I’m excited for his new daycare, as last year was so stressful and the childcare I thought would be good (they were great on paper) was a horrible fit and made going back to work even more stressful than it had to be. I stopped by his new daycare today to drop off paperwork and they invited us to come and go for walks with his “class” for the next few days to get him acclimated. It’s minutes from our house and I already know some of the parents. I’m really hopeful this will be a better fit for us!

I dont’ think you need to worry about being a good “school mom.” As long as you listen to your son, get in touch with his teachers if the need arises, apend quality time outside of school and keep packing him those awesome lunches you’ll be all set!

posted on August 25th 2011 at 1:12PM CDT

That sounds like the new daycare will be a MUCH better fit!

Thank you! His little brother seems to ignore me, LOL! So far he sleeps until RIGHT before we go to pick his big brother up from school and then is up until 2am. Driving me nuts!

posted on August 26th 2011 at 2:03AM CDT

Im so so so happy to hear that Daniel is happy and enjoying the first few days of school! :) I know it’s only the beginning, but it seems his heart is really in it & it should make him happy!
Also I’m so glad that you pack his lunch. School lunches are disgusting – my daughter actually gets sick and throws up if she eats the lunch at her school!

posted on September 7th 2011 at 11:10AM CDT

Going on week three now and so far so good! We’ve had one issue with a specific boy but that should hopefully be dealt with today.

OMFG the school lunches AND breakfasts are INSANE. I don’t know how they expect kids to function on what they serve them.

posted on September 7th 2011 at 11:19AM CDT

It’s kind of funny that I just received notification that you read my comment…I had to pick up my daughter from school yesterday because she ate the lunch (they served pizza, which she thought was going to be good) and got sick.
UGH. I am working on a letter to the school board to complain about it. LOL

posted on August 27th 2011 at 4:46PM CDT

Are you available for hire? My husband and 8-year old would love your awesome lunches. ;)

posted on September 7th 2011 at 11:11AM CDT


posted on August 29th 2011 at 3:32AM CDT

I’m glad he is enjoying school :)

posted on September 7th 2011 at 11:11AM CDT

Thank you!

posted on August 29th 2011 at 7:26AM CDT

I’m a court TV fan and it breaks my heart to know that Daniel’s bio-dad has never supported him. Especially given the struggles your family has faced. If you’re not collecting because of fear of expense, you can do it for free without lawyers through the courts – this looks like a good guide:

None of my business I’m sure, but your kid deserves to be supported. If anything you can just chuck it all in a savings account for college.

Love the photos, your boys look like best friends. :)

posted on September 7th 2011 at 11:13AM CDT

Oh LOL no, it has nothing to do with the cost of filing or anything. We simply do not want him in our lives and he feels the same.