Inconsistent

29 06 2008

Yeah, I’m inconsistent.  I’ve said that before, but it is quite true.  I’m not aplogizing for it….I don’t mind it most of the time 🙂

I’ve just been so busy with life that I haven’t had the time or mental energy to keep this up.  It’s fun.  It’s therapeutic, but it requires consistency, which I only seem to have when someone is counting on me for something 🙂

Well, I’ve been on a beach vacation, been doing some letterboxing, have been trying to get some “extras” done as far as housecleaning is concerned, trying to reconcile/rearrange my duties with my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop, and trying to prepare to send my oldest to public high school.  Now don’t make assumptions…you know what that does!  I have been willing to educate him all along for as long as God directed, and although high school at home requires more of me, I was prepared to do it.  Each year, I pray for direction, and ask my children and hubby to pray about it as well.  I believe that God not only directs us by telling us what to do in our spirit, but also makes His desires our own. 

My son has expressed a desire to go to school twice before, but each time, returned to tell me that after prayer, he felt like God was telling him to stay home.  This time, however, he feels that it is time to go, and after my own prayers about it, I agree.  I will miss him, every single day, but we are both excited (and yes, a bit nervous, too) about the upcoming year.  We are getting the paperwork in order, and I have been surprised and a bit curious about his insistence on taking honors classes.  Not that I don’t think he can handle it, but I have not yet seen this desire to challenge himself academically.  I guess it’s just that up to this point, I have chosen curriculum for him, which has always been academically rigourous, and I have done my best to convey to my kids (and other kids in the family, and those of friends whenever the opportunity arises) that working hard in school is not something you should do for someone else….that what you put into your studies is just that – what you put into it – no one can do it for you, but that it benefits mostly you, as well.  (Well, ok, parents get some benefit in the form of pride, and their spouses and children will benefit someday, as well, in various ways, but I’m not getting into that much detail.)  I suppose that my surprise in his selection of diploma goals and courses for the year comes from the fact that for the first time, I’m seeing evidence that he gets it.  He isn’t taking these classes for anyone else.  That’s cool.  That’s nice.  Whew!  He gets it!

Of course, it was also nice to have him ace the placement test given by government education, too (94 on LA, 96 on Math).  Not that I ever doubted the quality of the education I’ve been giving my children, but we don’t test a lot, so it was nice to see that choosing not to use testing/grades was not a detriment according to government standards.  Again, not that I think those standards are important, except for the fact that whether we like it or not, our kids do have to be measured against them at some point.  We home educators may all agree that public education standards are seriously lacking, but I think we all have this deep-seated worry that our kids’ abilities won’t be recognized for what they are, because we don’t use their standards to shape what we teach. 

So J will enter the throng of public educated kids with less of a stigma on him because of his test scores, I think.  Some teachers hail home education, others abhore it, so his performance on this test will only serve to help him.

Don’t know what we’ll do next year – that’s up to God 🙂

For this year in our home school, though, I’m looking forward to being able to give my daughter some serious one-on-one, for which the timing is great, because she’s blossoming into a young lady, has entered puberty full force, and seriously needs to learn to make choices as an individual, because she is always following her brother’s lead rather than thinking for herself 🙂  He’s certainly a good example to follow, but I want her to learn to make decisions without the influence of others.  She wants to learn to cook; I want to learn to slow down, and we are both looking forward to the special year together.  Her studies this year will center around the Eastern Hemisphere, and we both really love learning about other cultures, and maps are a passion we have shared since she was two:  “Mommy, let me see.” from the back seat always expected whenever I pulled out the road map 🙂  She has expressed the desire to double up and take two Science courses this year, which surprised me a little, but at 10, she hasn’t yet hit the part of puberty that moves social life to the forefront, and she’s been listening to her big bubby’s plans to push himself academically this year, too, which I’m sure has some to do with it.  We’ll push to begin with, and if she decides during the year that she’d like to back off, we can do that.  I love the freedom we have in education.  I love this country.  And, oh, that makes me think of Obama, and his lack of true love and unbridled patriotism for it!  I won’t get political – it’ll ruin my mood.  I’m going to go distract myself. 

ta ta!

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