I know, I know… I have already posted today with my weekly assessment BUT our very first homeschool portfolio got back in the mail this afternoon!!! My oldest son, whom henceforth shall be called Scholar Owl, got a glowing review and much praise! I’m so happy and very proud of him. <3 This is what we got back for our personal records on the form for comments and recommendations:
This sounds like a slam dunk year for [Scholar Owl]! I mean WOW! He’s obviously been very hard-working. He’s been soul-searching and working through a very difficult inner-tumult. I noticed in some samples that there was no need to cite sources. In an essay or research paper, I would expect more of that. What a success story. Tell [Scholar Owl] I said, “Great work! Congratulations!”
And that was it, that’s all was written. No recommendations for improvement. No “you must fix this or send your kid back to public school.” No “you seriously can’t teach your kid” or “you have no idea what the hell you are doing.” I was honestly expecting as least a few recommendations for improvement and I sure as hell wasn’t expecting any praise.
But quite honestly, Scholar Owl has come a long way in this past year! He deserves it and I’m happy they were able to see that. I truly believe that if he had stayed in the public school he wouldn’t have made this much progress.
Yes I’m fucking bragging. Shamelessly. I have spent all year worried as hell that I was doing this all wrong, that I was messing this shit all up and my son was going to be screwed. This whole year has been so stressful. I have checked and re-checked so many times to make sure that I was following the laws and regulations exactly right but I was still losing my mind with worry.
“What if he wasn’t doing enough?”
“What if I didn’t get the right books?”
“What if I forgot to cover something?”
“What if I failed to document something?”
And then Little Bear went into crisis. I felt like I wasn’t being there for Scholar Owl enough like I should have been. And through all of this there was the fact I felt like I didn’t have enough moral support from my dad. Yes everyone else supported me. The mental health hospital. My sister. The state’s homeschool ministry. But not my dad. And my mom was mostly silent about it until I expressed a desire for Scholar Owl to learn how to cook. But damn it, it would be nice to have him encouraging me instead of criticizing me and feeding me all the things that could go wrong. I seriously don’t need help in that department. My brain does well enough on its own there.
Oh yes, I DID call him. I did tell him what the review had to say and how Scholar Owl passed with flying colors. He sounded both happy and relieved but went on to say yet again how I should put him back into public school. He went on to say maybe then my son could test out of a grade or two and jump ahead or even graduate early. Blah blah blah. NO. This is working for Scholar Owl. Just as the IEP is working for my middle son and how we aren’t taking it away, we aren’t going to take away homeschooling from Scholar Owl. You don’t break what works.
So once again, why can’t I get just a cheer? Why must it be a “That’s great but….” and have it translate somehow into “you must do it my way” because clearly how I do things is not okay?
And for heaven sake stop comparing what I am doing to whatever it is that my cousin is doing with her homeschooled kids. I don’t know why they are trying to get their GEDs. I know for a fact if you join the national homeschool legal association that they will show you the process of how your child can earn a real high school diploma with a real high school transcript so there is no need for a GED. This is why I joined them. This is why I am going through the state’s homeschool ministry because they are affiliated with that legal association and the state recommended them on their own legal website.
So I have no idea what my cousin is doing or why she is doing it the way she is doing it. I simply do not know. I just know that my paranoia demands that I follow the laws and regulations so I went with the ministry that lobbies for homeschool laws all the time in our state and the legal association that knows these laws across the nation. I figured it was my best bet to not mess up and to protect our rights. I seriously can’t preach this enough. I won’t say my cousin is doing it wrong. Nobody is going to jail and CPS isn’t involved so I’m going to assume that laws are not being broken. A GED is a valid way to prove understanding of material.
The only downside to that is when you are just starting out, what people are really interested in is your transcript. The diploma or GED is not what people really care about. What they want to know is what did you study and how well did you do in those studies. It answers the question “What can you do?” as you are coming straight out of the gate. Seeming how I haven’t gone through the process of applying for anything with a college degree I don’t know if it still applies there too. I do know that once you start building up a job history people are more interested in that.
I truly don’t understand what my dad is getting so worked up about. He isn’t coming right out and saying it, but I’m sensing that there is something. He’s afraid of something – or worried about something. But for whatever reason he’s not saying it. Maybe he is worried about the same thing that I am: that I will fuck this shit up and then Scholar Owl’s future will end up screwed. That at least I can understand. Just wish he would say so instead of feeding me fear and paranoia. I promised this to Scholar Owl. Him and I are going to continue to make this work, with or without my dad’s support. Just would be nice to have it.