Monday, December 22, 2008

Homeschool to High School

Peace finished his first semester of high school and the other three children have finished a semester of homeschool. Public high school had our family on pins and needles at times, but Peace has earned his first four high school credits with flying colors. We're hoping next semester will go more smoothly than the first. As with all classes, it all depends on the teacher. Makes me worry about my three children in home school. Wink.

Because Buck and have I been Peace's primary teachers for the last eight years, I worried my son might not be prepared in many ways for such a big leap. I breathe a huge sigh of relief that my worries were unfounded. Peace is a solid person who can hold his own, even through adversity, in a freshman class of five hundred.

I've learned some things in this high schooling process about teenagers. If you have been a mom of a teenager, you will know exactly what I mean when I talk about myself only holding so many teenager points at a time. The amount of points is proportionate to the power the teen feels. A teen can been made to feel powerless by injustice. These points can get sucked away from a parent by a difficult circumstance from another source for the teen. I've found the worse the problem outside our family, the less he has to give to the family. At times, Peace would come home from school with zero teenager points from impossible situations, and Buck and I would scramble for strategies to deal with a terrible grump. It has been my observation that most homeschool parents hold most of the teenager points most of the time, while school kids may have theirs torn from them.

Then why send our guy to school?

I do not love math or science, and I don't want to pass this apathy on to my science and math lovin' son. Buck has the passion but does not have time to learn and teach those subjects while being a dad to all. We tried homeschool cooperatives, but once a week teaching just wasn't enough to equip for an entire week of essential learning without parental study and preparation. It works for many homeschoolers to set their motivated children to sail, but this son has always needed more than a book and an assignment to accomplish academic studies.

Does this make high school outside of homeschool worth giving up so many teenager points? I say, "Yes" for us. The teachers he has encountered so far all thankfully love their subjects even if they are not meant to be teaching. Peace has come up against some tough circumstances with one teacher in particular and several students which have revealed the good stuff of which he is made. He's shown amazing self control and strength of character. I know I've said so before on my blog, but I admire Peace as a person.

I think the hardest lesson I've learned and I still haven't figured out all the way, is to let circumstances play out when I don't have any teenager points left. Peace says his big lessons have been how to figure out what a teacher wants, and that sometimes even that isn't enough (a bitter pill to swallow). Another downside is that he's traded a bit of his love of science due to something a little less than the ideal classroom experience. He liked both the teacher and most of the course, but there were far too many students and not enough time for the teacher to give needed feedback. I'm just used to Peace glowing after taking in new science concepts, but the shine has worn off a bit.

Peace actually thanked me for helping him "grow up" this semester when I picked him up from his last day of finals. What mom gets to hear those words during the teens? Yep, I'm lucky.

No comments: