JT finishes the 5th grade today. All week long, he's been wrapping things up. There's been no homework (a welcome change!). It's been clear from his chatter at suppers this week that most of the school days were given over to celebrations and the like. Gym class was free-play (a concept he heartily endorses). Field Day, normally the reason that JT consents to attend school for the year, was a disappointment ("it was only two hours!" he complained). Perhaps more important, my boy is literally exhausted from the self-esteem disaster that half of the year seemed to represent.
I keep trying to sort out how much of this difficulty is due to the arrival of the moody tween years and how much is due to the unbelievable speed of 5th grade math instruction, which often left JT fumbling to keep up. The creativity that he enjoyed in history and English may, in the end, rescue him. Much to my delight, he's excited about the summer reading books. He's agreed to work on some math review. I've planned some outdoor adventures to re-ignite his interest in the natural world. Art continues to represent a respite for him, and an opportunity to love what he does. So I will keep these blessings in mind as I watch today's closing ceremony.
When I re-read this list, I feel better about the year. I remember that summer vacation and the hours of unscheduled time has the tendency to soften the rough edges of any school year. JT has already started to daydream about our annual July camp trip. He's excited about our summer adventure list. Rest, relaxation, and laughter are in our immediate future.
We'll take it.