I will start with a confession...
One of the reasons that home schooling through high school is on my mind at the present moment is that I blew "a moment" this morning. I was sick, sick, sick yesterday. All day in bed practically. One of the worst days yet. When I opened my eyes this morning I stayed stock still for several minutes, waiting to feel what was going on. Am I sick? What will today be like?
It turns out that I'm having a good day. A well day with about 300 times as much energy as yesterday. The pitfall to that is that I spent the first couple hours of my day freaking out and trying to control everything all at once.
How does that affect a high schooled homeschooled kid? How doesn't it! Sheesh. He has an apology coming to him big time.
Now that we're more than halfway through our first year of the "big time" of homeschooling, I am starting to look back on what we've done and jump forward mentally a bit to the future. It's a schizophrenic place and the battle is to try to come back constantly to the NOW. Don't even bring up college to me... I might faint. It's one of those days. All you homeschoolers know what I'm talking about. I'm not doubting homeschooling (I am more than happy with our choice)... this is just the obligatory regularly scheduled panic attack performed by the caring, responsible party.
So, what is it that is emerging for my high schooler? I'm seeing a word over and over and that word is "leadership." The question that remains is what type of leadership and how can I feed that gift? It is not for me to control or design it... I need to nourish it and provide direction and tools when it is appropriate for me to do so.
Within a period of two weeks, three different leadership opportunities have presented themselves before the boy. All in areas of strength. They were all areas that he had a natural passion for, has invested in, and built a foundation for and it was like an explosion of affirmation. It left me ruminating on that word leadership quite a bit and prayerfully considering the next steps. Three different moments when someone in competent authority handed him an opportunity saying: Design it, build it, present it.
I don't think that every one of my children will share that particular charism. On the one hand, it is a bit overwhelming to see these gifts and graces revealed. On the other, I am so excited that I could sing (probably something from Les Mis). I just keep thinking...
I did not do that. That is grace. Thanks be to God. Please Lord, keep doing what you're doing. Just step around me if I'm in the way.
Then I drop to my knees again because ya'll know... it ain't over yet. God, help us.
Homeschooling teenagers. Yes, that deserves its own massive post. For those of you who do not have teens yet, I am going to sound like every meddling old lady you've ever met and suggest that you soak in the joy of the diapers, sleeplessness, toddling, frumpy moments. I'm not saying it's not hard to mother littles. I'm just saying that it gets harder. Much. I do not want to discourage anyone... it is worth it. But don't stop praying... that's critical. Never stop. Breathe grace.
I am now in the unique situation of having babies and big guys at the same time. I am never more perfect as a mother than when I am nursing an infant. I am never more of a failure than when I am disciplining a teenager. I am sooo out of my league. I used to have a home filled with little people who were always trying to electrocute themselves or fall down stairs. Now, the concern turns to immortal souls. Yikes.
Some of you might wonder how the homeschool curriculum choices we made are working out. I wrote a little about them Here and have to say that we are loving it all. Professor is almost entirely self-directed. We do have our small *ahem* battles where I insist that he spend more time actually studying and less time pretending to study but I think that's pretty typical. On the whole, he loves the work that he's doing and he is actually learning it.
He insists that he doesn't have a favorite and it is true that he goes back and forth with his interests. The last few days he has really been digging into the book, The Constitution: A Reader and drawing me in to a lot of very interesting conversations relevant to the current Constitutional crisis surrounding the right to life and the right to keep and bear arms. I really love how the compilation includes relevant period documents, even if they challenge the Constitutional precepts. It gives the reader the opportunity to own the information and form his own mind. Highly recommended for any library.
Extracurriculars. Sometimes I really do think that these are almost more important than the academic work because I see such incredible fruits from them. His schedule is full right now:
-also working on establishing an advanced server training program with Father
-studying to learn how to serve the Latin Mass just because he wants to
-with the parish and also a separate local group.
-please note that I'm frequently getting lectured by my child about my music choices. Apparently, I am now raising a music snob. Which I guess isn't a horrible thing.
-just received a request to speak at an event with several national speakers and also to show his video
-working with different organizations to increase youth involvement
*Guitar and Piano
-no formal instruction other than a very nice video series. Just a high level of interest
-really enjoys the sport and is becoming quite knowledgable
-plays with family and is also discerning an opportunity to play on the local high school team
-This is actually an academic subject but the kid asked for the Missale Romanum for Christmas and looks up Canon Law for fun. So this extends far into the "extra" category from my perspective...
...which raises the thought about how much more productive education can be when it is student led and interest led.
I won't mention video games on his Kindle (the Kindle he won last year in ALL's pro-life video contest) because he claims not to waste too much time on this. I won't comment further on that except to say that he is somewhat typical in his fascination with technology.
Joining Jen at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday