I'm now just a few labels and an archive binder short of having everything together to start school. Our first "real" year of school. I say this because The Peanut would be entering 1st grade this year. Kindergarten isn't mandatory in Massachusetts so whatever we did last year was just gravy. We had a lot of gravy.
Getting ready this year was particularly stressful. Starting a bunch of new curricula for various subjects takes some time to figure out and plan for. Science is basically being put together from scratch with just a solid outline and some starter suggestions for reading and activities given by the book. This is how I like it. Lots of flexibility. That flexibility comes at a cost, though. I can't just open a book and have all the thinking and planning done for me. I have to find time to do it in amongst summer plans, work, running a camp, etc.
The Peanut has been watching me from the other side of our makeshift music studio classroom for the past few months. She works on her latest masterpiece while I read, organize, and plan. She reviews the books I'm looking at from afar to see if I've picked the ones with the prettiest covers and most interesting sounding titles. Occasionally, she creeps over and looks over my shoulder. She told me the other day that she's excited to start school again and can't wait to see all the new stuff. I feel better about the pressure-cooker I put myself in this past month to make it happen knowing that she's happy to get started.
Unlike previous years, my schedule is full. Other years, I've been busy, but not quite like this. I am frequently concerned that I bit off too much. Between school, teaching, and managing things for Pakachoag, I've got my hands full. It's a tricky balancing act that I hope I can pull off because I love everything that I'm doing right now and I don't want to give any of it up. I hope I'm not kidding myself into thinking I can have it all, but that is my sincerest hope.
We shall see in just two weeks. We're off to my parents house next week, which I hope is a better visit than last summer's fiasco. When we return, school starts. My new teaching schedule starts. Several other responsibilities that have been on hiatus because of the summer resume. I'm looking forward to the Fall - crazy schedule and all. I miss my one-on-one time with The Peanut. This summer, between camps and whatever project she threw herself into plus my nutty schedule, we haven't had nearly as much time together like we do during the school year. I miss singing with Senior Choir every week. I miss the stability of having most of my students show up in a given week since the summer is all about remembering to write down who's on vacation this week and last minute cancellations due to spontaneous planning. I'm excited to see the Shrewsbury program for Pakachoag grow.
I have no idea what will happen with this year. I can only guarantee one thing: this year will certainly be different. And, for now, I'm ok with that.