Dear Teacher,

I’m a mix of emotions this new school year.  I’m thrilled that my daughter will attend public school in person again and be in your class. But I’m also a little concerned at how things are not quite “normal” yet COVID-wise. Mostly, I’m apprehensive in hoping we did enough as first time homeschoolers.

As a military child, my daughter has changed schools several times, and COVID-19 added more transitions than we anticipated as well. I like to think her resilience as a military child will help her once again as she navigates a changing situation with grace.

Image from Wokandapix from Pixabay

Maybe you are a mix of emotions as well.

We’re going to do our part to stay well and hopefully keep you healthy, too. Thank you for your patience with all children that come into your class this year. I’m sure that all of them will have had very different experiences this last year. They are coming in at different levels of school readiness. Their social development over the last year may not have happened or happened under masks. I’m hoping we can be thoughtful, and the wrinkles will smooth. I know your work doesn’t start only when the kids get to school, and we appreciate that work.

Learning wasn’t linear last school year.

I attempted an organized experience, but somehow other experiences happened and life got in the way. Reindeer petting was a supplementary activity. Sometimes, we got in a train phase and learned more than most 8 year olds know about locomotives. Still, we prioritized math, reading, and writing.

Girl sitting at a counter at home doing schoolwork
Image by Markus Trier from Pixabay

She may have missed some things in history. Apologies if there are some holes in her knowledge of the counties in the state. But hey, she’s a military kid and has lived in 3 states so I’m not sure I can blame that on homeschooling.

Science was a smattering of volcano kits, an online chemistry course, and spending a lot of time in nature. Does cross country skiing and learning about friction count as applied physics? I am not asking for a friend.

I’m sure the transition back to the classroom after summer is a bit of a dance.

We will encourage our daughter to follow your classroom rules and help others. We have rules at home and most days get out of pajamas. She can scoop poop expertly and feed the dog consistently,  so I vouch for her skills as a Class Pet Helper. Our daughter cleans up after herself at mealtimes, so I’m hoping this transfers to the cafeteria and pencil shavings in the classroom. 

Image from CDC via Unsplash

Thank you for teaching our children.

Your excitement and hope for the new year is contagious. My daughter has enjoyed our homeschooling time, but I see areas where being at public school will help her grow. I want her to have other adults and positive role models besides my husband and I. I cannot wait to have someone else moderating handwriting practice and asking her to put deodorant on. Multiple roles are tricky.

I’m going to use some of my energy not being spent being her direct teacher to support you and encourage her. Your skills of classroom management and curriculum planning will not be taken for granted. I know your work begins long before kids get to school and continues after they leave. I appreciate you.  As a military family we are short timers here, but I’m signing up for PTA, paying my dues, and am ready to jump in. I’m elated to be in a partnership with you and help our kids learn.

Sincerely,

A Former Homeschooling Mom

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