Peanut decided to give public school another try this year and she's loving it. When I picked her up at the end of her first day, she jumped into the van, smiling ear-to-ear, and said, "I love my history teacher! He's so cool! He doesn't use text books!"
Every day it's been more of the same. She's making new friends, enjoying her homework, which has been reasonable and meaningful, and is having a much easier time of it this year. I'm so happy for her. And so proud.
I think this extra year was what she needed, along with a less stressful transition time in the weeks leading up to school. Last year was insanely stressful for her and our family, in general, in the weeks leading up to school. This year, we didn't have that drama.
She's also attending a different school that seems better suited to her. They did a new-student orientation that allowed new kids a chance to make friends prior to the first day. It was perfect for kids like Peanut who needed a little bridge to the community to get them a couple of familiar faces for the first day. She didn't have to walk into school cold.
It also feels like a different tone on campus. They have a dress code that makes them look more like middle school students—closed-toe shoes, long shorts, jeans without holes, pants pulled up, tank tops with double-finger width straps, no baseball caps, phones off and put away during school hours, no PDA beyond holding hands. They actually look like kids. It's nice. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't have black and pink hair. She's still an individual!