Sometimes I question; don’t we all? Sometimes I wonder if this is the right path.
This really hit me when I went to my nephew’s High School Graduation. I saw all the kids in their black caps and gowns laughing and hugging each other. I watched them give speeches about special high school memories and walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. I watched them all put their arms around each other and sway back and forth while singing their Alma Mater.
I glanced over at Keilee several times to see if I saw a wistfulness in her eyes. A ‘wishing I could do that” look. I asked her on the way home if she wouldn’t like to go to high school and experience things like that. She said, ‘No Mom did you hear their speeches? They thanked their parents for staying up late with them to help with homework and projects. For getting up early to take them to the bus, for helping them study for tests and for understanding when they were under stress from tests. Why in the world would I want memories like that?” I explained to her there is also fun times with groups of friends. Keilee has friends but they are more 1 or 2 people at a time. She is very much an introvert and prefers small groups. She then said, “Mom have you heard Seth talk about his friends? They argue and do stupid things and talk about each other behind their backs. They go to parties that I would hate and do things that I would never do. That isn’t the kind of friends I want.”
My girl is much smarter than I am at times. I know I have acquaintances that may question our homeschooling. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have heard, “But what about Prom?” like that is the end of the world. There are Proms in homeschooling but even if they weren’t it would not be an incentive to go to High School. My Prom? I didn’t go. I only wanted to go with one person and he didn’t ask me so I turned down the people who did. Am I scarred from the experience? Typing it now is the first time I have thought of it in years. Yes I had fun in high school but I did stupid things that I never want Keilee to do. There was so much peer pressure and mean girls and this was before internet and online and Apps like Yik-Yak . I can not even tell you how upset I was when I found out about this app. I read online about how so many schools are having such a horrible time because of it. How it was impossible to block because the school can not dictate which Apps kids have. That is the responsibility of the parent. Honestly I had to download it just to see. It pulled from a certain mile radius and updated during the night. I woke up and read some of the ‘posts’ and honestly cried my eyes out. You don’t have to sign in with your name or anything so there is ZERO accountability. You would not believe the things I read. And I am NOT sheltered. Kids are brutal to each other. It broke my heart. And we live 2 blocks from the high school that this App pulled information from. The high school Keilee would go to.
Keilee actually watched a SciShow episode about teen brains. She told me that teenagers brains have not developed the ‘Whoa that is a really dumb idea” part of it until they are about 22. Like I said, she is so much smarter than I am at times.
Homeschooling High School scares me a bit. I don’t think there is a homeschool Mom out there who isn’t a bit frightened of the idea of “HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOL”. But I KNOW it can work. I read blogs and books that show that it works. It is a bit scary for me because we have always done Interest Led Homeschooling. Keilee does what she wants to do. Thankfully up until now she has always wanted to do so much. She knows what she needs but I have to have some sort of a plan for 9th grade. No it won’t look like the High School up the street but why in the world would I want it to?
I love that she learns while she is crocheting or knitting. That I go in her room and she is watching video after video about Science. That she is so full of knowledge that she learns that she never stops talking about it. She retains information unbelievably.
I think so often about the difference in my education and Keilee’s so far. I don’t remember anything I learned. On the other hand I have learned so much since I started homeschooling. I found out I have a love for history that I never had. Keilee thinks it is cool to be smart, to know things, to be a geek girl. I never remember thinking that. I made good grades; A’s and B’s except for that one time in 4th grade that I got a C in handwriting because I am left handed and my teacher didn’t understand it was hard for me to make letters the correct way. See THAT is what I remember about school. The one time I made a bad grade that I didn’t think I deserved.
The world has changed so much in the last 10 years. I don’t think Education, at least public school education has changed as fast. Why in the world would you learn dates and boring facts when you have access to Google? Ok I have heard the argument ‘but what if one day the internet is gone?” It is like I told a friend recently, if that day comes I don’t think the fact that Keilee can’t remember the exact date the Civil War began is going to be her biggest problem.
So I will spend the summer talking with Keilee and planning and doing some research. That IS what us homeschooling Moms rock at right?
Have you heard of the British philosopher Alan Watts? He has a wonderful video. He asked students “What would you do if money was no object” and tells them to DO THAT!! I wonder what homeschooling High School would look like if there were no SAT or ACT requirements? If anyone could go to college no mater what if they wanted to learn? THAT life is how I want Keilee to spend the next 4 years. I know it isn’t how it really is but I want to find a way to combine her love for learning and the things she is passionate about and “their” requirements. Is that even possible?
I hope that high school homeschool will be a lot like we have always homeschooled. Lots of lovely learning all.the.time.
Homeschooling High School? Pshhhhhffffffff. Of course we can.
“In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: forget about it. Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it. One day, you will glance up at your collection of Japanese literature, or trip over the solar oven you built, and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself.” ~ Grace Llewellyn
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”