Monday, January 20, 2014

Race To The Finish Line

I can't believe I haven't blogged on this since October 2012! What have I been doing? Oh yeah, surviving, learning, teaching, being, growing, backsliding, experimenting. Yeah, surviving. DD Phee is half way through 9th grade. Her interests and talents are emerging. This means once again I question all that we're learning or trying to shove in her brain that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. Each day I question the validity of impending college requirements and if we should even 'require' or push her in that direction. Each day I think God is saying 'slow down, one day at a time'. I'm not good with one day at a time.

Last night I was having some pains. I googled them to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack. I wasn't of course but it sure felt like it. Most likely gas, right?! lol But while trying to go to sleep, I was planning in my head what needed to happen if I did have a heart attack. I'd need to make sure someone grabbed my bra and socks. I tried to remember the meds or vitamins I take regularly so I could tell the nurse. It's not that I'm a paranoid. I'm just a 'here's a problem, what needs to be done about it in sometimes great detail' planner. Okay, this sounds funny typing this since I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person as well. Is that possible? This is probably why I overthink Phee's schooling or lack there of and worry about her schooling future. I'm conflicted.

On the one hand I'm thinking, it's already January and we haven't gotten anywhere in American History this year! I need to throw together a curriculum plan to finish it up in 14 weeks! Race to the finish of 9th grade! On the other hippy mama hand I counter with 'what does she even need American history for? She loves art and music and writing. She's learning guitar, piano and drums. She's writing a book about Doctor Who as a kid. She loves words, looks up definitions and plays word games all the time. She's teaching herself how to write music. Last night she was in the art studio inventing and spray painting and drawing. Why muck all that ambition up with learning by rote?'

I read this interesting article by Matt Walsh today that someone posted on Facebook. He talks about not being college material. I so agree with this line of thinking! Not that my 2nd child has struggles with schooling. It's more an application problem with her, attention to drudgery; unlike my older daughter who worked extremely hard but felt like she would never get anywhere. I understand there are kids whose choice of career warrants a college education and beyond: lawyer, doctor, microbiologist, engineer, architect. But what about the musicians, the writers, the artists, the inventors, the chefs? Can't these skills be just as easily learned and earned through books and classes (but not necessarily a degree), experimentation and apprenticeship? What harm are we causing in placing an expectation of 'you have to get a degree or you'll never amount to anything?' This thinking will not work for everyone, in fact it might backfire on us. Quashing creativity has only gotten us more drones in the workforce. Those who go against the grain are the inventors, the dreamers, the impossibles. I'm using a computer, a phone and an Ipad invented by the company started by a man who never finished college, Steve Jobs. This is not to say I don't have high hopes and goals for my child. Slacking will not get you anywhere, unless your goal is McDonald's fry cook. And even then slacking can get you burnt or fired. But creativity is monumentally important. Have you listened to this TED talk by Ken Robinson? It's a must!

I think my goal as a parent is to equip her to be able to go to college if that is her desire; make sure she has a basic to advanced understanding of english, math, reading comprehensively (even if we never learned additional information over these subjects, which we will, she will have a leg up on many a public school child.) However, I will not require it of her. As long as she is always learning, has a plan to move forward and not a plan to live on my couch in front of a TV for the rest of her life, I'm good with that.

Linking to Monday's Homestead Barn Hop, Homeschool Link Up & Hip Homeschool Hop.


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