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May. 9th, 2012

Last year, Dev toyed with the idea of starting public school, but eventually rejected the idea.  The local high school is a terrible social environment (as more than a couple of its own staff members will say), and, frankly, we've grown accustomed to the freedom of homeschooling.  (Once you divorce academic assessment from the act of merely showing up, it's hard to go back!)

But Dev is talking a bit more seriously about giving high school a shot--maybe sorta kinda--so I've sent a note off to a different high school that's in our county, but a neighboring district.  This high school is actually closer to our house, smaller, and has a much better reputation among teachers and students alike.

The perfect outcome would be a combination: continue to do core academics through the online accredited high school, with additional electives through the local school.  And, ideally, he would start in January rather than August since we already have travel scheduled August, September, October, and December.  I know it's legally and logistically possible, but don't know if the local school will actually do it.

I have decidedly mixed feelings (though not ideological ones, as many would assume.)  On one hand, I think Dev would enjoy and benefit from attending that particular high school.  There are enough interesting classes, he already knows some of the students through 4H, and it would get him away from me.  Yes, away.  Separation is a good thing and, until he can drive and has his own car, school is the best way for him to achieve that.

On the other hand...  Well...  Shall I be honest?

It isn't about my baby going out into the world.  He has done that already, in many ways.  And it isn't about my fear he will encounter social ills he's not prepared to handle.  He has already had to walk away from situations invloving drugs, and he can handle himself in most social environments quite well.

It's about the hassle, and it's the loss of freedom. 

Since my own school days, I've had this hang-up about attendance.  In my senior year, my folks took me to Washington D.C. and surrounding areas for two weeks.  The trip had a huge impact on my view of politics, history, art and activism.  My teachers freaked out before the trip, warning me about the dangers of missing TEN WHOLE DAYS of instruction.  In order to avoid the absence impacting my grades, I not only had to complete the work my classmates would do while I was gone, I had to write papers about my experience for the three academic classes I was enrolled in.

The local schools have a policy for their seniors: if a student has perfect attendance, and is carrying an A in the class, the student gets an automatic A on the final.  She doesn't even have to show up.  The teacher relating this to me did so to show how progressive the school was becoming.  You should have seen his face when I asked when they'd implement the opposite policy: the students gets an A for the class is she aces the final, even if she never showed up for a day of class or turned in a single homework assignment.

So that's my downer feelings, and I acknowledge they are indeed mine, and more than a tad selfish.  I get that, and it's why I keep it to myself.  But if Dev does decide to enroll in the high school--and it's his choice, because he is plenty old enough to make that decision--I will mourn the loss of freedom.  The ability to decide, at the spur of the moment, to go see The Avengers on a Tuesday afternoon, to spend the morning on a hike, to take off for a three-day camping trip.

Then again, it could mean more writing time.  Hmmm...



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 9th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
That is a toughie--welcome to adulthood, Dev, clear-cut choices being rare.
May. 9th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
Isn't that the truth?

Last school year, his decision to continue homeschooling had much to do with the emotional upheaval. This year, he just might be ready to jump in because he has moved past the fear of making the _wrong_ decision, and really understanding he can re-make the decision.
May. 9th, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
Does he want to attend public high school for the social aspect?
May. 9th, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
He says it's curiosity more than anything else, followed by interest in the offered elective courses, followed by...girls. That probably translates to an accurate ranking of girls, curiosity, and electives. :-)

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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