Sunday, April 28, 2013

Upcoming Graduation!!


Rosie Girl has one more month of school left before she graduates. That is just about impossible for me to believe. It feels like yesterday that she was learning to read. And now, she’s accepted into the college and department that she was hoping for.

Homeschooling was an easy choice for us. Rosie Girl did the 3 year old preschool program just for something to do and to give PWM and Wild Man some time together. It was obvious, though, that she was already academically pretty well established and would be fine without anymore preschool.

I was working as a family doctor with a crazy schedule at the time. I would be on call about every 9th night and then have most of the next day off along with my usual half day off. Homeschooling made sense for us with that kind of schedule. We didn’t want to be bound to the public school schedules if we didn’t have to be.

PWM was the kids’ primary teacher until they were in 3rd and 6th grades – when I got severe headaches and had to quit working. By then, we enjoyed homeschooling. We liked being together as a family, but we also liked the field trips and other activities like dance, piano, and sports that the kids were part of.

When I quit working, we had a serious debate about whether home education was still the best thing for our kids. We never were “afraid” to put our kids in school. We always felt that we would be their primary influence. The question was “what is best for the family right now”. Every year, the answer was to home educate.

Wild Man was diagnosed with dyslexia during 4th grade, which wasn’t surprising. Homeschooling was great for him because we spent a couple of years focusing on him learning to read while I read his other subjects aloud to him. Now, in 9th grade, his only dyslexia symptoms are slow reading and poor spelling.

Both kids have taken classes at the Wegauwega-Fremont Middle School and High School in an attempt to help our family become part of the community. They have enjoyed the classes, but, in discussions, haven’t wanted to be in school full-time.

Homeschooling has given our kids the opportunity to pursue their musical goals in ways that they might not have had time to if they were operating on a school schedule. Rosie Girl is going to study music composition at UWSP starting next year. Wild Man plays percussion in the high school band, but loves playing percussion and various guitars in the church worship band.

Looking back, I can see about a million things that we could have done differently with homeschooling. But, I don’t regret that we continued to homeschool. The kids are both happy and outgoing children. We aren’t caught up in one of the seriously fundamentalist versions of homeschooling that over-shelters children. Our kids have jobs in the community along with friends from the schools.

Rosie Girl has an academically strong record and I think she’ll do OK next year. She has some challenges ahead (deadlines, I’m looking at you). I’m optimistic that she’s up to them. Wild Man has three more years here at home. His needs are quite different than Rosie Girl’s needs were at this time in school, so a lot of things will be different. I’ve also learned a lot. (Rosie Girl, I’m sorry that you were our guinea pig. That’s what happens when you’re the firstborn.)

I’m looking forward to Rosie Girl’s graduation. It’s a big milestone for her, but also for me and PWM. Our first child graduated from our little home school. And she’s going on to bigger and better things!!

And I couldn’t be more proud of her!

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