(Background info: Peter joined a 4th grade class at our local elementary school in March after being homeschooled for almost two years.)
Peter seemed to adjust well to school. It wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t expect it to be. Getting him out the door on time was a challenge, as expected. Fortunately the bus stops on the road we live on at both sides of our property, so if it was at the first stop as he was leaving the house (where he usually gets on the bus), he could run to the second stop and make it. He only actually missed the bus once. Packing his lunch isn’t my favorite thing to do, but it wasn’t too bad. Getting him to do his homework was not as difficult as expected; in fact, near the end of the year, he actually did it himself before being told a few times.
Every Monday, he brought home a sheaf of papers–his work from the previous week, along with a newsletter from the teacher. I always went through it all and was generally pleased with the quality of his work. He started school a few days before the beginning of the final quarter of the year. He brought home his report card on the last day of school on June 5th and his grades were excellent, so he adjusted well academically.
Behaviorally, he seems to have done better at school than he was doing at home, but still not quite where we’d like him to be. I did get a couple phone calls from his teacher and he had a behavior referral to the office. Overall, though, I think he wants to behave. I think that with more maturity and more experience in the school setting, his behavior will improve.
All in all, having him go to school has been a positive experience. I think the expectations (both behavioral and academic) placed on him in school and the opportunity to socialize with other kids during recess are good for him. It has certainly reduced my stress level, though even without homeschooling Peter, I still always have more work to do than I can possibly get done.
Back in March, when he started school, I was so fried that I couldn’t consider doing any more lessons with him. As summer vacation approached, however, I decided that we should continue our tradition of summer lessons. I chose them to fulfill one of two purposes: either because it was something he wouldn’t get in school or because it was something he needed some extra practice in. Thus, for the things he won’t get in school, we are working on finishing the US/Canadian history sequence that we started at the beginning of grade 3 (yes, he will get US history in school, but we’re doing the two countries’ histories woven together and he really enjoys it) and he’s doing French workbooks, using French educational apps, and watching tv in French to keep up his knowledge of the language. (Informally, he’s also reading in French–he just finished the second Harry Potter book in French.) For the things he needs a little more work on, we’re continuing our spelling lessons and cursive handwriting practice from where we stopped earlier this year, and he’s playing some games/apps to practice math, especially multiplication and division facts. We didn’t do lessons last week because we were travelling, so we started this Monday. Three days in, we seem to have made the transition back to a semi-homeschooling lifestyle without much difficulty. Fingers crossed that it continues to go smoothly.