My daughter's first year of school was not what we expected, at all.  I'm sure many Hudson Valley parents can relate, no matter what grade their kiddos are in.

Virtual kindergarten from my living room was an adventure for the first few weeks of the 20-21 school year, and then 2 days a week in the classroom for a while. Then the poor kid had to quarantine because I got COVID.  By the end of the school year she was going in four days a week and only remote on Wednesdays.  None of it felt right, the whole year was strange.

Imagine that as your first experience of K-12 schooling - your mom sitting behind you at her desk while you watch your teacher over a computer screen, doing gym drills in the living room while your cats run around thinking it's playtime, not knowing what your classmates look like without a mask...

I can't even imagine.

After the insanity that was last year, I have to admit, when the summer started we really let go of all sense of structure and routine, and now i'm wondering if we did it wrong.

Did we have the best intentions of sitting down each day and doing those practice for first grade writing books I bought - sure did.

Did we pick out summer reading books and sign up for the local library reading program - yes absolutely.

Did we even sign up for some online reading and math workshops to keep up momentum from what she learned in K last year - you bet.

Did we do ANY of these things as planned - NOPE!

We did read some books, we worked on spelling, and sometimes we'd practice addition and subtraction as we were cooking dinner, or playing outside.  Oh and I did have her go to a reading and writing program at the school for two weeks back in June, almost forgot, that was a big win.

We did however, go on a few great trips, learn how to swim, worked on perfecting the 2-wheeler bike, and she even went to summer camp a few days a week.

We had a blast this summer.  Though a little part of me feels like I didn't do what I was supposed to do as a parent to prepare her for first grade, after what we both managed to survive and accomplish last year, this summer was perfect, and so well deserved.

I know this school year isn't going to be back to normal or anything, with masks, distancing, potential exposures and whatnot, but I know she's excited to be in the classroom five days a week, and i'm excited for her, with our without crossing all those things off of our summer prep list.

20 Photos That Perfectly Describe The Wild Ride That Was This Past School Year

See How School Cafeteria Meals Have Changed Over the Past 100 Years

Using government and news reports, Stacker has traced the history of cafeteria meals from their inception to the present day, with data from news and government reports. Read on to see how various legal acts, food trends, and budget cuts have changed what kids are getting on their trays.