So far, 2017 has in one fell swoop, dealt me both heartbreak and intense joy.
The heartbreak of betrayal, a different family dynamic, lower socioeconomic security, and becoming single again. The heartbreak of the tense political climate and what it means to the communities kiddo and I belong to and support.
At the same time, intense joy that I did not fail my child by homeschooling. That I was right to follow my gut and make the choices I did. And that through it all, we always chose love and laughter over burning midnight oils or pressure cooker learning styles.
In a few months, I expect that I will be a divorcee. And that kiddo will start college at kiddo’s first choice university (Yes, the wonderful, hardworking child received both an acceptance and a scholarship offer from a selective university! Still so humbled by it all!).
Funny how life deals you both roses and the thorns isn’t it? Soon, I will only be a mom and no longer a wife. Perhaps it is for the better. For now, I am hoping for strength. I am hoping to be surprised again by joy.
Resolutions…I don’t normally make them. But there are two I am hoping to keep up with this year and updating our journey here is one of them. I don’t trust myself with promises but I will try.
The other? Removing the Facebook and Messenger apps from my phone. I can’t believe how much more “awake” and “engaged” I am in real life after doing this. And how much less depressed (the constant news feed drained my energy even before I started my day!).
January is proving to be very wet here and living in drought conditions, I know we need this rain very badly. We normally love rain but the constant deluge is a little worrying and we came close to flood conditions in our city. Surrounding cities did flood so we are quite lucky that we were spared.
#1 important January milestone: Kiddo starts his first honors upper division math class. It might not be official as the class has filled up and as a concurrent enrollment high school student, he gets lower priority, but he is hopeful his name will be high on the wait list and that he will get in. He will continue to attend class until the system clearly kicks him out (or accepts him).
#2 important January milestone: Atticus (on the right) turns 1 this week! He was a rescue and we won’t know his actual birthday but a vet somewhere predicted he was born this week. I have noticed some growth in the last month, he is definitely taller and ganglier than Adrian (left). My vet thinks he is part poodle which explains his non-shedding coat and exuberant energy. He brings us so much joy but is also about 3 to 5 times the work that Adrian is.
#3 important milestone: January also marks the start of kiddo’s final homeschooling semester. I don’t know what to feel just yet. I think I don’t want to think about it if I can help it. Homeschooling defined my identity in some ways. It also really changed our lives. It dictated how our days flowed. I don’t know if I will ever stop feeling like a homeschool mom. If kiddo will start college full time in the fall, he might still commute from home and we might still do things in the car like listen to books on tape and read whatever we can. Homeschooling is a lifestyle more than an education choice for us so maybe it won’t make a big difference just because he is no longer homeschooled on paper. I will miss having it on paper though, I think.
Before I sign off, I wanted to share one more photo: The obligatory homeschool lab photo! I realized a while back that we don’t have many of those on this blog. Here, kiddo works on a solubility lab for AP Chemistry (with PA Homeschoolers).
Till next time!
After that last update about 8th grade in May, we went ahead and made it official.
- Started planning college admissions more actively with Barbara, our fantastic college counselor.
- Prepared kiddo to be sent off to a summer math program at HCSSiM in Amherst, MA.
- And while kiddo was away, started writing my counselor documents – counselor letter, course descriptions and school profile. Then, polished and updated the transcript I had started way back when (kiddo was chronologically in 6th but finishing up 9th grade level work at the time).
- When August came along, I told myself to be brave and skipped the kid to 12th grade for the 2016/17 school year.
- Kiddo is checking the very last “requirement” boxes now…the ones we happily ignored while following a very pointy math journey.
- Yes, in the end, things did turn out to be okay. All the worrying I did when kiddo was in 4th-5th-6th about looking like there will only be loads of math credits on the transcript and nothing else turned out to be just worries. The kid will have more than 10 math credits and also more than 4 each in english and science. History and foreign language at 4 and 5 respectively. A bunch more for electives.
This November, kiddo wrote and submitted all applications. Essays! Yes, they were actually written and polished! We had to brainstorm together but I think that’s something many families do. Still 14 after all, right? Oh my goodness, to think I used to be so nervous about writing ability. It caught up too. We celebrated with M&Ms and ice cream.
Now, we wait. If all goes well, I will have a 14-year-old college freshman in the 2017/18 academic year.
Proud of this kid and even more proud of how hard he works. (Shhh…and still worried for health, safety and everything else but hey, isn’t that what parents do? Worry all the time?)
We are still very pragmatic folks and if things don’t go well, we’ll just pick up where we left off and move forward. Homeschooling definitely seems to be wrapping up here but that’s a post for another day.
After years of being mistaken for a high schooler (due to height), kiddo is now officially done with middle school. Continue reading “8th Grade Ends”
Kiddo sent me this and reminded me again why we love to learn…because it is playful, because it is joyful, because it is glorious to make mistakes, and because there is so much we still don’t know.
From one of his favorite chemistry sites, http://www.periodicvideos.com
With kiddo jumping into more active self learning now, I find myself vacillating between being so proud of him and hyperventilating about validation. This is a timely read: Don’t Worry About College: A Letter to my Granddaughter by John Taylor Gatto.
Hale to Elizabeth Proctor: "Beware, Goody Proctor--cleave to no faith when faith brings blood. It is mistaken law that leads you to sacrifice. Life, woman, life is God's most precious gift; no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it." -- Arthur Miller, The Crucible (read August 2015)
“I would always rather be happy than dignified.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (read July 2015)
Kiddo and I love movies. We seem to love oldies most and British ones best, but usually almost any well-made movie, like almost any well-written book, makes us all gooey with anticipatory excitement. Continue reading “The Somewhat Historical, Retro, Inspiring Movie Project! (SHRIMP!)”
Kiddo wrote his last finals paper (Physics) today! It was three down one to go and he is relieved that this last one went well.
And with that his spring semester of community college, and what would have been his Year 7, is finally over! He is now looking forward so much to unwinding over the next three weeks until his summer session film history class begins.