Lunch. It seems like such a small thing, but it became really huge for us.
I hate the cattle drive of lunch at the public schools. It's chaos. It's loud, and such a negative environment. For me, part of good nutrition is having a relaxed mealtime. Some quiet conversation is healthy, and I think quiet promotes digestion and I believe Sean eats more when he is sitting quietly at a table.
I have heard stories of kids being served chocolate cookies for breakfast at school, and corn chips with cheese sauce for lunch. I don't remember the lunch menus from his years at public school, but to him the public school lunches were atrocious. I always packed his lunch. It was difficult to keep a hot meal hot, though, even with a thermos, so he usually had a cold sandwich, or fruit with peanut butter, yogurt, and some kind of crackers.
When Sean was at the private school they ate in their classrooms, at tables for two. They rotated friends, but I don't remember how often. But it was quiet. They had quiet conversation, and it was part of the grace and courtesy curriculum to learn how to eat at a table and use good table manners.
I really miss him having the experience of a quiet meal with peers.
But being home has an advantage.
I can prepare a fresh, hot meal for him. I know that he is eating it, and that what he is eating is nutritious.
Lunch at home is so much better than lunch in a large room with high ceilings, packed with 60 or more yelling kids, where the noise is almost unbearable, and there is a strict time limit on eating.
It was one of my main frustrations while he was in public school.
I believe his entire third grade year he never touched a bite of his lunch. He always said he didn't have enough time.
I know that from the view of the teachers and paras there was plenty of time. And for the kids who are big eaters, there was time. But for my kid, who is so effected by noise and chaos, and time limits, there was never enough time.
Now there is plenty of time, and no limit. He eats until he is full.