Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Congratulations Are in Order

This was a significant month for my family. My daughter graduated from high school! It has been a long, hard journey, but together we have finished that race. She is no longer a student and couldn’t be happier about it. In fact, when I told her that our tickets for the commencement ceremony had arrived, she exclaimed, "Oh joy and rapture!" 

We had to travel two hours to the location of the graduation. You see, for the last three years, my daughter was enrolled in a state-wide virtual school. She sat at a desk beside mine in my office and often asked for my help, but I no longer had the responsibility of assigning work or grading that work. I could tutor her as needed, but she also had online tutors. It was a great set-up for us. As a working single parent struggling to survive in a difficult economy, I couldn't devote as much time to her lessons as I had when she was younger. However, I was able to be right here, working from my home office and supervising her schoolwork. Her teachers bragged on her sweet nature and her participation in online class sessions. Although we had met her teachers in person at other times, we were thrilled to make the trip to see them again at graduation, to thank them for their help, and to present them with star-shaped soaps that my daughter made as part of her self-employed business venture. On the back of each packaged soap was a label that thanked the teacher for “starring in my education.” 

It’s funny – I’ve been called a proponent of homeschooling by people whose attitude toward homeschooling is negative. A proponent is “one who argues in favor of something.” I’m not by nature an argumentative person. I LOVE homeschooling, and I’m proud that I had the opportunity to teach my children to read and write and so much more through the years. While our experiences with traditional brick-and-mortar schools weren’t a success by any stretch of the imagination, I’ve never argued that they are evil and to be avoided.  If I choose to argue about schooling, I will argue that parents should have a choice. I’m a proponent of choice! For my family, homeschooling was a great choice, and virtual schooling was another great choice. I LOVE virtual school and support the teachers who make it possible! Those in my daughter’s school were very supportive and encouraging. 

My years as a home educator have come to an end, but my love of education lives on. I may tweak this blog a bit, but I won’t be calling it quits any time soon. You can count on that.

Before I go, I’ll share a funny (to me) but true story. A few weeks ago in a meeting about job training for my daughter, the counselor commented that my daughter must be bi-racial. I wrinkled my brow and said that I didn’t know, but I supposed it could be possible. You should have seen the incredulous look on the woman’s face! I’m used to people recognizing that we’re a family by adoption; it hadn’t occurred to me that this counselor thought I was the bio mom. When I responded to her look of confusion with the explanation that my daughter’s birth mother was black but her birth father was unknown, relief swept across her face. She laughed and said that for a moment she was worried about me! I guess if I had a baby and didn’t know who the father was, I’d be worried about me too!

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