School for us always begins on August 30th, which is my birthday. When the children were smaller I told them there was nothing I wanted more than to spend my birthday doing school with them. They don’t believe me any more, but it still makes a good first day.
Since it’s still warm, we don’t bother with new school clothes. We don’t have new rooms, new classmates, new lockers or new desks. Other than new books and classes, there isn’t much to mark the start of a new school year (if you don’t count the whining about how summer was too short).
For the past two years, though, the children have been going to Hebrew School at our Temple (the fabulous Temple Emanu-El in Haverhill, MA), and it has all the hallmarks of the excitement of a new school year. Finally, this year I remembered to take a photo of our first day of school. This is the look I get when I tell the children to act like they love each other.
This photo was taken on 9/11/11, the first day of Hebrew School. Ben is in 10th grade, Zach is in 8th grade, Josh is in 5th grade and Tirzah is in 3rd grade (to keep her with her age mates so they will have their b’nai mitzvah in the same year – at home she’s a 4th grader). Ben and Zach didn’t start school until the next day, and in this photo they were heading to school to assist the third and fourth grade teachers.
9 years down, 8 years to go in my homeschooling career.