I am terrible at taking pictures on the first day of school. This is something you should know about me. I can’t tell you exactly why it is that I don’t take those traditional pictures; boys on the front step, new shoes, haircuts, ready to tackle a new year. We have a handful, but it’s definitely not a tradition. Every year I feel a bit of mom guilt over this as I watch friends post their kids’ first day pictures on facebook or elsewhere.
To ease my guilt and have some record for the boys of their school days I have come up with a tradition of our own. I take them to the backyard and take a few close up snapshots of them, capturing the sweet details of their faces. Hair bleached from the summer sun, freckles, new teeth and loose ones. Since we are usually a few days into the new school year when we do this I ask them a few questions about their expectations for the coming year as well. It’s always interesting to hear their answers.
What grade are you in? Second grade
What is your favorite part of the school day? PE and Music
Why? We play a lot of games and move around, running and stuff. I also like singing and making music with instruments.
What do you want to learn this year in second grade? More math. I like adding and subtracting and multiplying. I’m pretty good at it.
What grade are you in this year? 5th grade
What is your favorite part of the school day? I love grammar because I love to write, but I also really like Social Studies. Learning about American history is interesting.
What do you want to learn this year? I like learning all kinds of new things. I’m especially excited about the Literacy Festival since I’ll get to meet real authors and illustrators.
What grade are you in this year? Kindergarten
What is your favorite part of the school day? Coloring
Why? Because I get to color and draw pictures for you mom, and then I get to bring them home.
What do you want to learn this year in kindergarten? I want to learn about being a good boy. I might want to learn about how to read too.
At the end of the year I think it will be fun to look back on their answers and see how far they came over the course of the school year. I’m always amazed at how much they grow, both in measurable inches and knowledge.