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Tomorrow, we begin a new phase of our educational journey.

For the past six years, my boys have been homeschooled. We pulled Boy #1 out of school halfway through first grade; he’s now in 7th. Boys #2 and #3 have never been to school, except for preschool. They are now ages 10 and 7. #4 has never been part of a structured educational environment (unless you count storytime at the local library).

Tomorrow, though, the older boys will begin taking classes at our local public school. As per our divorce decree and a tiny little part of Wisconsin state law, Boys #1-3 will be taking one to two courses each. #1, my history buff and avid reader, will be focusing on Language Arts and Social Studies. #2 will join a 4th grade class for reading, writing — and gym twice a week. #3 will also focus on reading and writing. He’ll also get to stay for snack and recess. #4 will probably start 4-year-old preschool in a few weeks.

It’s a big change, to be sure. But you want to know what my boys were worried about today? Whether or not it’s OK to fart in the classroom. That’s right: on the eve of their re-entry into the world of formal education, the top question on their minds was, “Do you get a detention if you fart really loud in class?”

I didn’t have an answer to that one. (And I swear, I scanned the Behavorial Expectations book!) The question, though, reminded me that boys will be boys, whether they’re at home or at school. You can take the boy out of the home, but you absolutely cannot take the boy out of the boy.

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