The Sun creeped in through the closed shades, casting golden lines upon the honey colored wood floor. The house was quiet, most of the family was still asleep; muffled snores could be heard through a closed bedroom door.
From outside, the sounds of traffic were a low murmur. Larger diesel vehicles could be heard shifting gears as they went up or came down the hill in front of the house. Children gathered at the ends of driveways, proudly sporting brand new backpacks overloaded with shiny new school supplies. Filled with nervous excitement, they would pose for one more picture for their mom, casting sideway glances, hoping that the school bus full of kids wouldn't happen upon this embarrassing scene. But not at our house.
Buses lined up in front of schools, children running from them, eager to start their first day of school after the Summer break. But not our children.
While other children wandered about their new classrooms, looking for their new desks, keeping an eye out for would-be friends, our boys huddled about the kitchen table, cleaning up after breakfast and speaking in short, clipped sentences, their excitement obvious. They knew that next we would begin the lessons for today, they knew that today was the first day that we were officially homeschooling.
Grandma had gotten the boys new transformers notebooks for school, as well as new pencils in several different colors; she even sharpened a few so that way everything would be ready. Colors were quickly selected, differing colored erasers fitted to the ends. Stark white paper gleamed in the sunlight, now streaming in through the dining room windows. Carefully wrought lines and circles soon filled the pages, erasers taking back the occasional mistakes.
Atticus worked methodically, writing word after word, finishing the page with a large salamander, sucking in small fish for its meal. Titus flitted back and forth, now working at the easel, marking out numbers, his hands covered in orange chalk. He would stop, turn, and say, "Mom, look at my 5! Yeah, I did a super-good job on my 5." Eventually he would join Atticus at the table: time to work on letters.
By this time the rest of the family was awake. Breakfast must be had for the girls, and the boys, already having been up for hours and spending most of that time doing schoolwork, were ready for a snack.
The day was off to a good start and the excited calm would linger throughout the morning.
Throwing the Bones