The Third First Day Of School

My daughter started second grade today. The past two years, I have marked the first day of school with a blog post. I’m doing it again today, which, I think, makes it a tradition. The first first day of school, I wasn’t feeling very good about it, even though my daughter was excited. The second first day of school, I was feeling a little better about it (although still not good) and my daughter was still excited about it. This year, she’s excited again and I’m feeling worse about it than I did last year.

The reason I’m discouraged this year is that I know that for the next nine months, almost every second of my daughter’s days will be preplanned. She won’t have any time to just be a kid. It started last year when she started getting homework. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that first and second graders get homework. It’s funny, everything I read and everyone I talk to agrees that unstructured time is good for kids, but we seem incapable of giving our kids any unstructured time. We’re really going to feel pressure to make the most of what time we have.

There’s really no one to blame for the lack of free time. It’s not like my daughter’s school or teachers are doing anything unusual. This is just the world we live in now. That probably makes it more frustrating. I don’t feel like there’s anything I can do about it. Like the past two years, I’ll have to grit my teeth and get through it. And I’ll do everything I can to make sure my daughter stays happy and excited to be going to school.

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