First Day of School – The End of a Homeschooling Era

The end of an era. We have always been a homeschool family.  This morning, at age 15 and nearly 13, our girls donned their new school uniforms and off they went to their first day of school, technically it’s a new school orientation day.

Not the typical first day of school photo of an adorable wee child ready to brave the big world, but I had to take one anyway:

First Day of School Photo

homeschoolers starting school in high school

(It’s a normal first day of school for a lot of kids in the Southern Hemisphere.  In New Zealand we are year round school following the calendar year, starting the last week of January as summer begins to wind down.)

Surprised by our decision, many of our friends asked:  What changed?  Why now?  Are you serious?  Why?

The simple answer: It’s time.

When we first decided to homeschool, we made a plan.  When our youngest child was old enough to really understand and remember our adventures, we would take a year and travel around the world.  Sports, injuries, and life slowed us down a bit, but in 2012 we ticked it off our bucket list.  If you have been following for a while you know that in 2012 we visited 4 continents and 26 countries (and it’s all blogged here – check out the “around the world” tab if you missed it).

Bucket List
✓  Homeschool
✓  Continuous Winter of Snow Sports
✓  Travel Around the World
▢  School

So, there you have it.  Could we have continued to homeschool?  Of course.

Why are they in school today?  It really is time, and they asked to go to school.

We did select a great private school, close to home, with small class sizes.

What will be the biggest struggle?  Hard to say at this point but I would guess for the girls it will revolve around the sudden change from hanging out in pajamas until they feel like getting dressed; studying on the floor, couch, outside or wherever they want; traveling internationally, domestically or even locally on the days when things are less crowded as the other kids are in school; and not being able to go the beach on those perfect weather days.

For me, it will be pressing uniforms (for those who know me well, yes you can laugh now), following a schedule created by someone else and not being able to take off and travel when the mood hits (usually stimulated by airfare sales).  Although, I am already planning for every school day off.

What will I be doing all day?

Well, I have started already, and hubby even took a break to join me:

first day of school

If you’re local, and actually my friend, stop by and join me for a cuppa.  (This does not apply to any stalkers who may be reading this.)

How old were you when you had your first day of school?

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  1. says

    I tried to homeschool my boys back in 2010 when we first left to live nomadically on the east coast of the US. They were 14 and 12 and it was a total disaster. Too little too late. They begged to go to school so we had to settle in one place and it happened to be France. That way we could get our itchy travel feet scratched and apease the kids desire to go to school. Our youngest who is now almost six has only been to french school and even begs to go to class when she vomits on my shoulder. (true story this actually happened).

    I first went to school when i was 6 years old. It was horrible. i didn’t speak very much English so they stuck me in a class with a bunch of kids who only spoke Spanish cause they thought i was Spanish. They didn’t realize that i only looked Spanish because i was half French Canadian mixed with Thai resulting in darker skin. The teachers thought i must have been as dumb as a rock because i didn’t speak English or Spanish. Hahaha. i can laugh now but boy did it traumatize me..

    I digress. and i’m not stalking you. .

    • Rhonda Albom says

      When we were nomads last year it worked great. But then again, home schooling was one of the only things which really didn’t change much from our “pre-travel” life. At least I am putting them in an English speaking school, although I in retrospect I wish we had spent a few years when they were younger in a non-English speaking school. Good for you!

  2. Janice Moskowitz says

    Your daughters look very cute in their uniforms! Good luck to them. Hopefully there won’t be too much drama.

  3. says

    I like home schooling. It’s a good way to know exactly what they have learned and what they haven’t. They will enjoy school though. All that interaction with other students.

    I started school at around 6 and started in the first grade.

    Have a terrific day. If I were closer I’d join you for a cup too. 🙂

  4. says

    So as a non-local, I’m not allowed to stop by? I wish I could join you for coffee and summer, but since I can’t, I’ll send you my nephew. Keep us posted on how school goes. I’m glad you decided to send them.

  5. says

    You will be a very tough act to follow Rhonda! Best of luck to the girls, and enjoy your break! They do look cute in their uniforms, and hopefully, you can just steam them out in the shower.

    • Rhonda Albom says

      Thanks Julie! And I love the steam in the shower idea. Can’t believe I didn’t think of it as I used to do this back in the days of going to an office.

  6. says

    Hi Rhonda .. does sound sensible .. especially if the girls were requesting some normality in their lives .. ie learning how most people live – but the experience you’ve given them will be amazing – I’d have loved that …

    And reading between the lines – the year ahead will be fine … just what everyone needs for a while (perhaps!!) –

    Go gentle on ironing those uniforms! Happy days – Hilary

    • Rhonda Albom says

      Thanks Hilary, We are not really too nervous about the whole school thing, and I agree it should be fine. Or at least I hope it will. 🙂 Thanks for your words or encouragement.

    • Rhonda Albom says

      May I suggest a visit to New Zealand! Actually where are you . . . you never know where we will turn up, although now that we are in school I think there will be less travel.

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