Saturday, May 12, 2012

On, In, and Around Mondays: The Questionable School Choice

The Prince

"Sometime I want to hear how distance-learning has gone for your daughter this year," she wrote.

I am not sure what to say.

On the floor are three copies of Machiavelli's The Prince. Different versions, for comparison. My girl ordered them from the library after reading an excerpt in her history text.

We never really used texts before this year, but the distance-learning school uses them. So here we are. With the exception of Biology, it seems to me that the real learning still seems to be happening on my girl's own terms. Machiavelli, times three.

The distance-learning school assigns essays. She writes them because she has to; they are usually bare reflections of her true capabilities. And yet, last night, after she walked at sunset by herself, she came home and spent two hours in vigorous essay writing. I saw her consulting books, flipping from here to there, happily engrossed.

My girls have been home educated their whole lives, but for high school I simply didn't feel like keeping the transcripts, proving the learning, in the ways I would need to do for the girls to apply for college. Distance-learning seemed to be the happiest medium we might find.

One of my favorite librarians asked me the other day if my girl still writes the way she always did. I had to say no, she does not. She doesn't have the time. A little piece of my heart broke in the telling.

How is the distance-learning going? It's hard to say. There've been losses I find it hard to live with. Still, my girl found Machiavelli in her history text. And she says the writing is beautiful.

That's what I'm counting on, in the end. That the center she's been given all these years will help her to find the beautiful, to make her own way, even when her reality doesn't feel ideal.


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I have never raised, much less homeschooled, a teenager. But I really truly believe that the discipline of writing to form can strongly benefit your girl. There's something to be said for the narrow confines and strictures of essay-writing, just like a sonnet allows a poet great freedom within its parameters.

I can't wait to see what great things she's going to do. :)

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Bonnie Buckingham said...

I agree that something changes but it also is a time of growth in high school. Time gets pressed into deadlines and the simmering of creative thought may not happen with limits put upon the mind. They will connect and bloom though at some point. God never wastes anything!

7:01 PM  
Blogger RissaRoo said...

This resonated with son is doing a combination of regular high school (gulp) and distance learning this year, this is the first year he's not been 100% home educated. And I find similar issues...his AP class and his distance learning classes take so much time without inspiring passion, I rarely see the spark I used to. Other classes are not challenging enough. I miss seeing him dig into the heart of something just for the love of it. He is doing well and loving some aspects of it (a whole technology lab to delve into, for example) but I wonder sometimes how much that transcript is really worth? Questionable School Choice sums up our year, too. But I'm reminding myself to have faith that he is learning things that are important, even when they aren't the things I would have chosen or predicted. We'll take it day by day and trust that if change is needed, we'll know what to do. Yes, the Center will always be strong enough to bring life to whatever is next!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Lisa notes... said...

When we get thrown off-kilter, we all have to find our center again. Over and over. As moms, we have to trust the process for our daughters, too. Watching you trust her... thanks for sharing.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Joe Pote said...

Sounds like you've instilled a love of learning in your daughter.

One of the best things an education can give...

Go MOM! :-)

12:02 AM  
Anonymous kendal said...

i don't think it matters which avenue we choose, our children's education will push and pull us....

6:03 AM  
Anonymous kd sullivan said...

Seems to me that she is learning what is most important. She is learning how to learn. We used Tapestry of Grace which uses classical literature for and essays for much of the learning...and there isn't much room for the creative writing, but tons of room for creative learning...

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Sylvia R said...

I can so identify here. My son homeschooled from 2nd grade on. I felt he got shortchanged in certain areas, but we limped along without distance learning (which I'm not sure existed then.) College entrance was scary, with SATs carrying so much weight, but he made it in and later graduated magna cum laude in computer science -- an area where he certainly learned nothing from ignorant me! But he had developed the love of learning your daughter displays and the freedom to pursue his passions, and that was one of the biggest beauties of home ed. Praying for wisdom for you.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I think your girl will do well no matter what she does. You have given her such deep roots. A person can never grow away from that.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Dolly@Soulstops said...

From what I've read of your blog and your book, you've given your daughter a strong and beautiful center to work from... praying blessings on her and your family :)

11:59 AM  
Anonymous kingfisher said...

You are giving your girl the foundations for her to explore the world, literature and culture, her relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It sounds like a beautiful and practical underpinning as she transitions into developing the knowledge of who she is and her rightful place in God's world.

God bless you today.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Laurie Collett said...

Train up a child in the way she should go, and when she is old, she will not depart from it. She is blessed to have you!
Happy belated Mother's Day,

6:42 PM  
Anonymous path of treasure said...

I think that question might have been mine, on your other blog. :) Thanks for sharing. I felt a bit of that heartbreak in the telling.

It's a give-and-take. But, seems to me even in the midst of the structure, your child is finding beauty, she is already finding her way. All that's been poured into her is still a part of her.

And maybe it is encouraging to think of the summer freedoms that are just around the corner.... :)

1:15 PM  

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