Well, after 17 months without going back into a school building, all 5 kids returned to in-person school (3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 11th grades).
Kai and Hannah started back first. It was a VERY difficult decision to send them back to in-person school. Because they both have serious health needs, we have kept them in a very tight bubble while dealing with the pandemic. Although they handled it very well, there were many many days that were hard for them. When it came down to it, we had to make the decision to either send them back to school in person, or lose our spots at their school where they are doing Mandarin immersion taught by teachers from their birth country.
I think that emotionally they both needed to return to school. They both desperately WANTED to return to school. Still, if I had a choice that wouldn’t have resulted in losing our school, I would have kept them home a bit longer. Now I send them back with lots of prayers!
Kaitlyn went back to school next. It was strange and sad for her to be going into her school without any siblings, but she has jumped right in and is loving every day.
These guys were the last to go back. First day of High School for Drew and 1st day of 11th grade for Zac. New school for both of them. Drew is thrilled. He is going to exactly the school he most wanted to attend, with a bunch of his favorite friends.
Zac is going to his 3rd high school in 3 years. Add that to the list of things I never expected to happen until Covid. We moved him last year so that he could attend an all virtual high school. That was a great experience, but he wanted to be back in a place where he could do Cross Country, swimming, drama, etc. When he asked if he could change schools too and made a good case for it, we tried to make it happen for him.
They both ranked their first days as 7/10. I think for teenagers that constitutes a win.
I have never liked back to school time. This time of course is no different. I still don’t like it. It feels really different after being all together for so long. I will miss them every single day, and that just will always be true, but I’m also happy. Having so much time together was a blessing that I will never ever forget, but I know that they need this. My heart is full from the time we have had together, and I am looking forward to seeing all of the joy that they are finding back in the world again.