Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Graduating early

Graduating from school early seems to be a theme for this school year. M. graduated from college a semester early this past December and A. plans on graduating from high school a year early this June. She is working on college applications and major test preparation.

Someone had asked about this, so I thought I would give it a brief mention.

A. has always been my eager over-achiever. She is the one who taught herself to read. She is the one who had HAD to do things the other bigger people were doing. She was tenacious and a bit precocious as a small child. (Those are nice words for extremely stubborn preschooler. Personality traits which work extremely well in an adult and not always quite so pretty in a small child.) She was always the one pushing me to get her textbooks and chafed a bit at our pretty loose version of school.

It didn't surprise me when she announced last summer that she wanted to take a college class this fall. By this time we knew the routine and J. helped to get her registered. She really loved taking classes and meeting people and being mistaken for a college student. And I will admit that she did very well. The main reason I like to have my high schoolers try out a college class is so that J. and I are around to help them out if they need that. A. didn't... at all. This semester she is taking two classes and is gone five mornings a week.

It also didn't surprise me when she announced that she wanted to graduate early. I knew she loved being on the campus and meeting other people and taking classes. My lone extreme extrovert, she really likes (and thrives on) being around people. Lots of people. More people than anyone else in the house can truly tolerate for extended periods of time. College fulfills her competitive nature as well as her social needs. I'm sure she will do just fine, though I admit, I will miss her and don't relish losing that last year with her. I did try to talk her out of it. Wouldn't it make sense to take four years for high school, take some more classes, and save that money? No, that's not what she wanted. So soon I will be putting the finishing touches on her transcript so she can get the applications out.

I actually hesitate to mention this to people. It's not that I'm not proud of her... I most certainly am! It's that there is a fairly large portion of the homeschooling community (frankly, parents in general) who see pushing their children faster and harder to reach their (the parents') goals sooner as something that is important. I don't. I like to delay academics. I like to be relaxed and take our time learning things. I like to have as much time as possible with my children and am in no rush to see them grow up. (It happens all too fast as it is.) We don't test or do practice high stakes tests to get the best score possible. We don't even use all that many textbooks for high school. I just don't see the point. You can be an educated, intelligent person without having done huge amounts of intense classwork. Why burn out a child before they have even reached college?

So I don't mention it that much. I don't want people to get the wrong impression of what we do and why. A child who wants to move quickly is certainly welcome to, but I'm not pushing. In fact, I'm probably more likely to dig in my heels and hang on to the child in a tediously annoying way.

1 comment:

Amy said...

I would love to hear more about what your kids have done for high school or maybe you wrote about it in an older post. I am curious which textbooks they have liked and also how they have used things besides textbooks. I don't want my kids high school classes to just be textbook based.

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