Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to school blast-off!

It's Back to School day for my family, and I think we are all breathing a sigh of relief, including Mojo Girl. She is so active that she missed the daily interaction with lots of friends in her classroom.

I feel a renewed sense of appreciation for having six hours of work time that allows me some breadth and depth of effort, not just a total rush that requires me to squeeze things in two and a half hours of summer camp. In fact, it reminds me a lot of how I felt when my daughter first went off to preschool and I had about two hours to write, which felt like an incredible luxury compared to the mere minutes I'd have to steal before then.

I have the luxury of working around a variable childcare schedule. I feel for those parents who have to find a way to work 9 to 5 all summer long. In nearby Wake County, the school system is tweaking their weekly schedule to have kids get out an hour earlier on Wednesdays, and staying 10 minutes later on the other four days. What a nightmare for many parents to find a way to cover that one hour, once a week. It's an unwieldy gap: too long to leave unaddressed, but too short to really merit a new childcare solution.

This schedule change was done to give teachers an extra hour of planning time each week, but I think that the practical impact on families should be given much more consideration when these kinds of changes are made.

I'd be interested in reading your comments about other scheduling situations that might seem like a small adjustment, but create a big inconvenience for parents.

And speaking of schedules, *ding* my work time is just about up for today. On my way out the door I'll recommend Lisa Belkin's latest Motherlode Blog post on the NY Times, "How to Send Your Son Off to College." Almost guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye, no matter how young or old your kids are!

And finally, a big shout-out to all the Moms who are going back to school themselves this fall. I wish you all well, including my friend Katherine who is starting law school today. You go, Mojo Moms!

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