It's also the time when parents think about what their children will study. We used to know the subjects assigned to the various grades, but common core subjects with common values were abandoned long ago, replaced...
Mother of 4, you sound almost exactly like me... I, too, homeschooled 3 children (one was in public school until grade 6, home the rest of the way, the other two never darkened the doors), have better books than our local library, LOVE to scour thrift stores, etc for books, and require reading real, "living" books (aka Charlotte Mason style). One place I would disagree with you is the Harry Potter books. I found them choppily written and stereotypical in storyline. My children and I will choose to stick with Tolkien and Robert Jordan (for epic fantasy) and classic authors.
It's the time of the year when children's smiles begin to look a little pinched. You can feel it when you walk through any school supplies store. While the colored pencils and lunchboxes on display evoke memories of "the good times," they also spark memories of all that filler work -- the spelling and grammar exercises, multiplication tables and the dates of the Revolutionary War.
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