First Day of School: Fifth Grade!

So… FIFTH GRADE. Even under normal circumstances, that phrase brings a mixture of shock, awe, gratefulness and stress. So let’s throw in a global pandemic and some at-home, online learning for added effect, shall we?

Needless to say, the last few months of fourth grade were not what we (or anyone else) had planned. I’m sure there are some kids out there who thrive at distance learning. My child is not one of them. His ADHD, combined with a penchant for non-stop, action-packed video games, made for some very frustrating attempts at on-screen classes. We made it out the other side alive, which I consider a win.

Also needless to say, Jon and I both enjoyed the hell out of our class-less summer. But now here we are again — the excitement of a new school year mixed with the stressful virtuality of it all.

First Day of School: Fifth Grade

A First Day for the Books… 

…without any books. This year’s photo was quickly taken up against my office closet doors, before scurrying Jon to his first homeroom as an elementary school “senior.” Not only were there not any books, there was no backpack, no lunchbox, no shoes.

One thing I’ve learned (and repeatedly, on a loop, relearned) during distance learning is to pick my battles. I try to adhere to that mantra, but alas have to be re-re-rereminded. The first day of fifth grade did include a battle, one that I allowed to be picked for me; one that lasted nearly the entire school day. I’ll spare you the details, as I’m sure you’re already recalling any first day battles you had. If not, congrats! What’s your secret?!? Here’s to a better tomorrow.

Growing Up, Picking Favorites 

In addition the the no-shoes, no-backpack, no-school building differences, this photo includes an unseen evolution from previous years. This was the first time I enlisted Jon’s help in creating his list of favorites. New additions include spaghetti, Spongebob, the “final” Star Wars movie, the amazing Lumberjanes comic book series, and the amazingly loud Call of Duty. Luckily my frenetic kiddo still defaults to the more serene Minecraft on occasion.

Outgrowing All This?

As my soon-to-be 11-year-old starts the end of primary school, I wonder how much “little kid” time I have left. It seems to be a constant shifting and balancing act between childlike emotions and burgeoning independence. One moment he’s declaring he can’t wait to drive, then minutes later shedding tears at the realization he’s already spent his allowance. If this school year is like the last four, rest assured there will be no shortage of surprises, challenges and (mostly, I hope) celebrations.

One thing it seems my son won’t outgrow anytime soon — these photos. As we finished up the list and I fine-tuned the layout, Jon declared he wants me to keep doing these until he gets to college. I chuckled and told him he might rethink that as he get older. But I hope not.

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Through the Years

As is also tradition, here are all our previous first day photos.

First Day of School - Fourth GradeFirst Day of School - Third GradeFirst Day of School - Second GradeFirst Day of School - First GradeFirst Day of School - Kindergarten

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How was your family’s first day of school? Are you virtual, in-person, a mixture of the two, something completely new and different?

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