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Monday, August 19, 2019

Another School Year ... Another Decision

Last year when we made the decision to homeschool Kayla it was mostly with the intent of doing it for 9th grade. Our plan was to then re-apply to the Catholic high school we had thought she would attend in 9th grade and hope that she would get in this school year.

The application process opened last Oct/Nov. It was just a couple months into the new school year and our new adventure of homeschooling, but I wanted Kayla's input. I asked her if for 10th grade she wanted to continue homeschooling or go to this other school. She immediately said "Keep homeschooling!"

I really wasn't sure if she realized what I was asking, considering it was about 9 months away ... and did she really understand that I was talking about something so far in the future. Not go to the high school now, but next school year. Thinking that far ahead is kind of abstract for her. I kept emphasizing I was talking about 10th grade. She kept saying homeschool.

This really did surprise me because she has always enjoyed going to school and being around her classmates. Kayla is usually not consistent with her answer either - if you keep asking her the same question she'll give you different answers. Over the next several months, some times several times a week (ok even several times in one day) I would ask her what she wanted to do. 90 percent of the time she said homeschool (and she's usually never consistent like that). The few times she said she would go to the high school it was with a sigh, like she was resigned to going, or that she thought that was the answer I wanted to hear since I kept asking the question. She never said it like she was excited about it.

I tried having conversations with her about what she liked about homeschooling, or why she didn't want to go back to a school building. Conversations like that are hard for her, it's hard for her to articulate exactly what's going on in her head. She did tell me that "there are too many kids, it's too loud and I can't concentrate and get frustrated." She's never expressed that before. Ever. I wonder if once she was out of the school environment and it was just us at home doing school work if she realized the difference.

I continued with the application anyway; I didn't want to fully close that door in case the closer we got to the end of the school year she might change her mind.

And she did get in. She was offered a spot for the incoming freshman class. She steadfastly maintained that she wanted to homeschool - even after being told her BFF would be going there.

This decision ate at me for months. Just like it did last summer when we were trying to figure out what we were going to do. I went back and forth, pros and cons. Do we just go ahead and enroll her since she got in? She has always adjusted well to transitions and new changes and I'm sure that if we talked it up and were encouraging about it and once school started she would have jumped right in and probably enjoyed it.

But the truth is, I found that I was enjoying the homeschool thing, too. It was ... relaxing. No more stressing about homework (which was a big stressor through middle school and I knew it would only get more so in high school).

So we are continuing on with our homeschool journey. I do second-guess myself, I always will. I always do about everything! I worry that she's 'missing out' - on what exactly that is I can't say, but just the whole experience. But she's involved in things in our community. The homeschool archery team, an acting class she took all last year (and will again this year), a new Fit Kids class and monthly art class she'll do this year.

She's happy about homeschooling, and that's important to me. So here we go again ... welcome to 10th grade!



I also offered to homeschool Lucas (as I did last year, too), but he wanted to continue going to his school. He said he would miss his friends there! It's a good fit for him and he's happy with his school choice as well. This school year brings new beginnings and more responsibilities for him as he is now in MIDDLE SCHOOL! I can't even believe it.

6th grade here he comes!




2 comments:

Anonymous said...

yea !! to decisions being made!! Lucas and Kayla made their choices,and it seems with all thoughts and considerations with several options presented, they both made the choice that felt right for them. :} It's never easy making decisions, tho...onward to another adventure in home schooling and 6th grade middle school. love grandma

Adelaide Dupont said...

Yeah - even when your best mate is studying there [and she a very relaxed student with lots of extracurriculars like nature and animals and the country - three things we had/have in common] - Kayla listened to her heart and her routine.

She has obviously had a very successful homeschooling year and she wants to repeat or change up the experience.

I find those years very spiral and modular - yes, even when I was the slow one, or one of the slow ones [the throes of being multiply exceptional and marginalised in the ways that I was].

"So we are continuing on with our homeschool journey. I do second-guess myself, I always will. I always do about everything! I worry that she's 'missing out' - on what exactly that is I can't say, but just the whole experience. But she's involved in things in our community. The homeschool archery team, an acting class she took all last year (and will again this year), a new Fit Kids class and monthly art class she'll do this year."

Yay for co-curricular drama! Fitness and art too - now that is well-rounded.

And even when we know that the traditional school system only fits a quarter to a half of people - we still do it to everyone.

This is why I will always stand for ELECTIVE home education.

And as Grandma said - Kayla and Lucas elected. They weren't appointed; they weren't shoved; they weren't forced.

It was free; full; frank and enthusiastic consent.

Take all the gap years; cultivate relationships and connections.

Good luck Lucas with all your responsibilities. You might like to get a Big Five test done to help you understand your learning and your personality and advocate for yourself within and outside the system [the big five is about openness; conscientiousness; agreeableness; extroversion and neuroticism - and 10; 11; 12 year olds have a healthy element of the last].