We made it.
I knew Laurel was nervous, because she told me yesterday morning she Googled "How to make friends" and was planning to take the advice she found to heart. She had a great first day of school and even got to have a popsicle on the playground.
Sweet. I wish they handed out popsicles on my first day of class.
Anyway, she came home with homework assignments that are actually COOL instead of stupid worksheets. For language arts she had to list 20 things she could write (she listed a 'Declaration of Independence' as one of those things — so I think she's considering secession). She had to find a baby photo of herself for social studies, and bring in a small potted plant for science. She was enthusiastic, and I have rarely seen her enthused about her old schoolwork.
Hands-on learning is the way to go. You betcha. I love it. She was so excited to return for her second day of school that she was ready long before it was time to go. We didn't have to remind her five times to get her snack or to pack her backpack. Of course, things could change, but as it is I have to remind her to leave her car door closed until I come to a full stop.
I just hope we're able to maintain this level of excitement all year!