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All our school photos from 2001 to 2010. Moments. Each one of these photos. A simple habit to preserve memories. A picture taken at about the same time every year. Whatever sort of school your child attends. Preserving the dimple of a baby hand…

The short hairstyle of that year…

The not-quite-grown-into outfit of a sibling…

A reluctant younger brother, not wanting to pose…

Little, bare feet.

Yes, sometimes it’s sheer torture to wrangle children outside to hold a sign. Even so, I’m glad I read about this first day of school idea in Family Fun magazine years ago. I guess it didn’t really sink in then just how quickly the years would pass.

I can look at this one from 2002 and tell you that the very next day our third child was born. Three weeks early. Guess we got in a little school work, huh? Plenty for their age. And we enjoyed a new baby.

See how quickly that year past? Just about as quickly as we could paste that new number on the sign. And man, we grew some tall elephant ear plants that year.

I must have asked them to show some enthusiasm for the new school year. Come on guys! Littlest decides a prayer would be better.

This August we were just three months away from welcoming our fourth child. Here are our second and first graders and three-year-old.

Yes, the year of the school uniforms. Those sure made ‘go pick out something to wear’ simple while I was busy feeding hungry mouths.

Apparently having a fifth child got us a bit off track with taking a first day of school photo. But I did take this one in February of that school year. Just in time to get it in the homeschool yearbook 🙂

(And make sure you always get a silly one each year too) 🙂 2008 was the year we decided we’d start with Math then head to the pool for PE. Even though my cell phone was a casualty that year, we would saunter back, have quick showers and then finish up our school work.

A memorable photo. Actually a second day of school picture. Every time I look at this I zero in on youngest girl, sitting there smiling by the blue hydrangea blossom. That night she had a terrible reaction to a brownie topped with walnuts, reminding us again how quickly things change. In 2009, we also figured out that starting late in July was, for us, the way to go. I still agree with myself about when to start back to school.

Our Hodgepodge Homeschool. Now we have a 7th, 6th, 3rd, K4 and before we know it he’ll be a three-year-old. See how quickly that went? I had pulled out all these first day photos to scan and have prints made. My next project is to frame the 4×6 prints from each year. I’ll hang them around the doorway in the classroom. A time line of our learning and growing.

It’s amazing how quickly children change from year to year. Looking at these photos, I can tell. I can appreciate the quick passage of time and say again,

…At the end of the day, when all the dishes are put away, the children are tucked in bed and the test scores are recorded – truly what matters is each child’s relationship with the Lord. Raising our children is a God-given privilege.

And folks, the time is short.

I encourage you to make a habit of snapping a simple, first day of school photo.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

-Tricia homeschools five children from preschool to middle school. She’s forsaken life in the drive thru lane for the road home. She contributes a blend of writing at parenting and homeschool sites. You can find her facing that daily dose of chaos at Hodgepodge. Tricia is a.k.a. Hodgepodgemom..

How do you celebrate the start of a new school year?