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Summer is coming to an end, and we are all getting ready for school to start back up again. This year is going to be a little bit different because one of us is actually going to school.

Justus has decided this year he is going to go to Crossroads High School in Tiskilwa. He really wants to go to this school because of its curriculum. He is super excited about learning Latin, Spanish, physics, etc. I don’t think he is the typical freshman boy. This is all kind of new to us because being home-schooled, we don’t have to worry about school supply lists and backpacks.

Justus has really seized this opportunity to talk my mom into things that he has to have. He told her he really needed a new backpack because his smelled like deer guts and dirt from hunting. And that, he needs a new pair of shoes for P.E. He just got a new pair of shoes, and they are the same color as my dad’s Advanced Asphalt T-shirts that are yellow green neon road construction color.

Milo has not expressed very much excitement with school starting. As you know he is the quieter one in the family. Milo was recently going through his school supplies, and he told my mom she had gotten the wrong math book. The covers of the math books are really confusing because for grades they say 6/5 or 7/6. He is going into sixth grade, so she wasn’t sure which level to get. It turns out she ordered the same one he had last year.

This year Milo is also going to be helping Faustina with her school. He is the only kid in our house that is good at teaching, probably because he has some patience. If I were trying to teach Faustina, I would get really frustrated and walk away.

The big challenge for my mom in teaching Simeon this year is to try and get him to read or learn about something besides war stuff. She finally gave in and let him start using one of his notebooks, and it is already filled with pictures and stories of different battles during World War II. She is hoping to at least get him excited about a different time period. Maybe the Revolutionary War will spark his interest?

Faustina’s school year starts out the hardest. My mom says trying to teach her is like teaching a gnat. She flits all over and can’t keep her focus on something for one second. The highlight for her with school starting is her pink sparkly journal that she had to have. It has been all she can think about for a month. She keeps arranging all of her books wondering if she should have her journal standing up or laying down and asking us what looks the best.

Patience, of course, at 2 years old, is not school age yet, but she is more excited about school than everyone. Our friend, Lynn, got her a backpack with a kitty on the back. She absolutely loves it and wears it everywhere she goes.

Every year our Aunt Pam drops off a huge basket of tons of different school stuff like crayons, colored pencils, markers notebooks, calculators, note cards, etc. Aunt Pam wisely bought six of everything — probably knowing Patience would want in on all the excitement. Patience was begging for stuff in the basket, so my mom gave her one of each thing. She immediately started unwrapping everything and taking stuff out of their boxes to shove in her kitty backpack. We are all finding note cards and markers with no caps all over. Patience has also really enjoyed coloring on herself with markers, instead of paper.

For me, it feels like as you get older the start of school just isn’t as exciting as it used to be. I remember being the age of Faustina and begging to go to Walmart for new supplies and waiting with anticipation for my new books to arrive. I guess it is a little like Christmas. The fun part comes from watching my younger siblings get excited about all their new things.

Amelia Bystry, 15, resides in rural Princeton. You can contact Amelia at amelia_bystry@yahoo.com.

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