Sunday, August 21st, 2011 | The Thing About School
If you’re one of those people (like me) addicted to organizing shows and Real Simple and all of their ilk, then you will understand why I had the most fantastic day:
We are ready for school to start. Except for the little matter of Sam having one more paragraph of his summer reading assignment to go (that would be “summer writing assignment,” if you ask me, but they didn’t), school could start tomorrow and the kids could walk out the door.
First, I cleaned the above hallway. This time two days ago, you could not actually see the large calendar on the back wall because of a six month backlog of “things I’ve ordered that I really really need but not right now” boxed and sitting in front of it. You could not really use the cubbies because they were stuffed full of too many jackets and miscellaneous things I’ve told the kids to “get out of my car.” And two hooks per kid is only enough if you love in a climate where a child only needs to own one jacket, ever—and I don’t even know where that is.
Now each child has four hooks on the outside and two on the inside, plus a spillover hook in the middle cubby. And now there’s a place for friends to hang coats:
Those outside hooks are doubly key because Sam’s jackets are too LONG for the cubbies now, especially if hung by the hood, and they trail out and over everything else, leaving Wyatt standing there going WHERE ARE MY SHOES? when they are, in fact, under Sam’s coat.
The wall calendar has been updated and I have renewed my vow to use it—or perhaps let Lily use it, which may be just as good.
School supplies have been purchased, unwrapped, labeled and placed in the drawers reserved for storing each kid’s school output—as in, art projects, homework, etc. That meant cleaning them out. The drawers were a brilliant idea I had in, I think, January 2010. I hadn’t emptied them since, or the one I’d been using for ALL the kids since 2008. That took a while. I bought big bins, one for each kid, to go in the basement and sorted through it all with them. That’s a project I’ve been putting off since, well, June of 2010—so you can imagine I’m giving myself a pat or two on the back.
Upstairs, desks have been cleaned–by their owners, amazingly without help. I even suspect them of inheriting my organization urges precisely as I have them, which is to say they flair up long enough to really enjoy a single organizing project but completely implode on the question of upkeep.
In my final grand September innovation, each kid has a “homework box” containing everything you could need to do homework (or, in two cases “homework”) at the kitchen counter, just in case—yeah, right—you should chose not to do it at your desk. (I don’t think either of my children has ever done one piece of homework at his or her desk.) Pencil. Ruler, with metrics (for some reason we kept accidentally buying inches only rulers, or being given them by overly patriotic banks and businesses). Colored pencils. Protractor and whatnot for Sam. Lined paper. Rory and Wyatt each have a workbook and paper and their own colored pencils, which they don’t need, but the quiet is well worth $4.
I think it will work. I feel like an experienced pro, going into this with my fifth grader, second grader (who will have Sam’s old teacher and probably redo all of Sam’s old homework, which I actually looked through tonight before recycling most of it—seriously, I saved every spelling test? He’s not even good at spelling). I feel ready. They feel ready. And you know the best part?
We still have a week-and-a-half.
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