We don’t really do back-to-school stuff anymore. Not that I don’t want to, it’s just a bit anti-climactic when you homeschool…
The first day just sorta feels like just another day, but with a stack of new curriculum.
If I were a planner, and the tiniest bit organized, I might do just back-to-school photos on the first day of the year.
This year we even started a week earlier than normal – we’d initially planned to start back July 30th but, since we had all our curriculum and supplies and not a lot on the calendar, figured we’d get a jump start on the year.
This way, we reasoned, if something comes up, we’ve got an extra week built into our schedule to accommodate something.
Like a miniature cow giving birth or something.
Now we’re already at our first break (four weeks on, one week off) and, with everyone else in town just back to school and the weather the tiniest bit cooler, it seemed the perfect time to get ourselves back to the zoo.
And, as someone who loves to multi-task at every opportunity, this seemed like a perfect time to capture our own version of back to school pictures.
No school bus backdrops.
No bulging backpacks in tow.
Not even a new pair of shoes.
Just my babies in all their new-school-year excitement. (Ahem.)
I’m also taking the opportunity to record how big they’re getting because… whoa. I can hardly believe how quickly they’re all growing up.
And the last time I officially wrote it all down for safe-keeping here on our little corner of the interwebs was two years ago.
Clementine is five and starting to do some kindergarten-related activities… tracing letters, learning letter sounds and trying to spell her name.
She is 34 pounds and 42.5″ (7th and 20th percentiles!) – which means she has grown 5″ and gained 5 pounds.
So crazy proud of this girl and how brave she has been in tackling her feeding issues.
Her favorite activities include singing, playing with her Shopkins, drawing spiders, talking about Halloween, and climbing on the Gorilla Gym. Her favorite book is her Fun Food Felt Book and her favorite song is Baby Shark. Her favorite things to watch are Pocoyo, Ferdinand, and Nick Jr.
Tallula is eight and in the 3rd grade.
She is 54 pounds and 4’1″ (34th and 23rd percentiles) – which means she has grown 4.5″ and gained 11 pounds.
Her favorite subject is Worldly Wise “because it’s fun to learn new words.” Her least favorite subject is math “because division is quite hard for me right now.”
Her favorite non-school thing to do is to hang out with the chickens, practice her finger knitting, and paint with watercolors. Currently reading Horse Diaries: Jingle Bells.
Isabelle is 14 and in the 8th grade.
She is 115 pounds and 4’11 1/2″ (59th and 10th percentiles) – which means she has grown 2″ and gained 18 pounds.
Her favorite subject is history “because I love learning about the past.” Her least favorite subject is math “because pre-algebra is very hard for me to understand.”
When she is not watching World War II documentaries, she enjoys reading graphic novels and playing Just Dance. Currently reading The Battle of the Labyrinth.
Sophie is 14 and (!!!) a freshman this year.
She is 99 pounds and 5’1″ (22nd and 19th percentiles) which means she has grown 3.5″ and gained 17 pounds.
Her favorite subject is science “because I like doing experiments.” Her least favorite is “always math because I’m not very good at it.” Her favorite non-school activities are crocheting, making crafts for her dogs and her penpal, playing with her rabbits, and following a million dogs on Instagram. Currently reading Unidentified Suburban Object.
Shepherd is 11 and in the 6th grade.
He is 61 pounds and 4’6″ (2nd and 6th percentiles) – which means he has grown 3.5″ and gained 9 pounds.
His favorite subject is math “because it’s easy.” His least favorite subject is language arts “because it takes a long time to do.”
When he’s not doing schoolwork, you can find him curled up in a chair enjoying a book, shooting his air-soft gun, or shepherding the chickens while they free-range. Currently reading The Copernicus Legacy.
Poppy just turned nine and is in the 4th grade.
She is 44.5 pounds and 4’1 3/4″ (1st and 5th percentiles) – which means she has grown 3″ and gained 4 pounds.
Her favorite subject is math “because it’s easy.” Her least favorite subject is phonics “because it takes so long… and it’s boring.”
When she is not doing schoolwork (or swinging upside down on the Gorilla Gym), she enjoys crafting, knitting, and holding her bunny, Wasabi. Currently reading The Bolds.
Dalton is 16 and a junior this year.
He is 163 pounds and 5’10 3/4″ (80th and 76th percentiles) – which means he has grown 2″ and lost 11 pounds. (He quit eating sugar and when I asked him why he said he’s not really sure. Teens.)
His favorite subject is chemistry “because it’s not as boring as everything else.” His least favorite is literature “because Shakespeare uses big, ‘olde with an e’ words.” When he’s not being positively bored by his curriculum, his life revolves around basketball: playing it, reading about it or watching it on YouTube. Currently reading The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History’s 100 Worst Atrocities.
Vivienne is ten and in the 5th grade.
She is 84 pounds and 4’5″ (59th and 8th percentiles) – which means she has grown 5″ and gained 18 pounds.
Her favorite subject is science “because I like the animals.” Her least favorite is writing “because it’s a lot of work.”
When she’s not doing schoolwork she enjoys playing with her rabbit, Sushi, and making crafts for herself and her penpal. Currently reading Wings of Fire.
Jude is twelve and in the 7th grade.
He is 85 pounds and 4’10 1/2″ (28th and 29th percentiles) – which means he has grown 7″ and gained 25 pounds. And is clearly going through a growth spurt.
His favorite subject is math “because I like doing Teaching Textbooks on the computer.” His least favorite is literature “because studying books is so boring.”
When he isn’t knee-deep in schoolwork he enjoys going outside to craft handmade arrows, take care of the chickens and climb unsuspecting trees. Currently reading The White House.
Magnolia is doing and is doing preschool-related activities alongside her
partner-in-crime sister, Clementine.
She is 32 pounds and 40″ (11th and 26th percentiles) – which means she has grown about 6″ and gained 6 pounds.
Her favorite activities are playing with Magnatiles, drawing, and telling other people what to. She is currently learning how to writing her name (and her penpal’s name) and killing it. Her favorite book is That’s Not My Pony. Her favorite shows to watch are Clifford, Spirit, and Peter Rabbit.
And there you have it.
The entire homeschooling crew.
We might not be the most cerebral homeschooling family out there but, for 185 days a year, we show up.
Honestly, as I compare the start of this school year to the start of last, I’m kinda dumfounded at how much more mature my kids are in tackling on their homeschooling responsibilities. They’re not just growing on the outside, they’re growing on the inside.
And that is something to celebrate.
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