2013-09-13 / Columnists

Slice of Life

By Beth Hanning

The worst thing about summer being over is that school has started. Since I am a parent and a teacher I know school is very important and children need structure. However, summers are awesome. Here is my list of why I think summers are awesome:

1. No schedule or routine: Let’s be honest, the worst part about having school aged children is getting them up and ready for the school day. Whether it is waking them up, getting all components of the uniform ready or deciding what they are going to wear, if it was not for that part of my day I may have had a dozen children. I truly hated the mornings of me repeating their names over and over again. No matter what time they went to bed the mornings were always the hardest part of my day. I truly do not remember a smooth start to the day.

Instead we had panicked mornings like this (as we were walking out of the door): My daughter: “Ugh, mom today is gym day and I have my jumper on.”

Me: “What??? Where is the gym uniform? Where are your sneakers?”

Daughter: “I don’t know.”

This would then lead me into a frenzy running around trying to find what I needed for her outfit to be complete. Of course, over the years I did get more organized. This only happened after I ripped an earring out of my daughter's ear and she was bleeding on the way to school. As I write this column I am amazed she is in college and on her way to becoming a productive member of society. The above scenario has never happened while getting ready for the beach. Think about it: wear whatever bathing suit is clean, make some sandwiches and there is no deadline as to when I have to arrive at the beach.

2. No homework and/or projects: Again I maintain a lot of guilt in my parenting of my older daughter. I made all of my mistakes with her. I got the hang of the homework and projects on the second try. I knew the curriculum, the teachers and I became more creative after seeing what the other parents did in the previous years. I can remember sitting in the kitchen with both children trying to understand how to create a book report with a hanger. My least favorite year was when my daughter did not fully know how to read, yet had to do current events. So, I had current events. It just so happened that was the year George Bush and Al Gore fought for the election. There were not a lot of other news stories that year. It was pretty boring. The best part of doing homework with my two daughters was I did feel I learned a lot.

So I could probably go on about a lot of benefits and perks of summer but it actually does feel good to be back in a routine, with a bedtime and actually cooking (another thing I rarely do in the summer). However I only have one child at home and she does her own homework.

I hope everyone survived the first full week of school and I hope everyone has a great year.

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