Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bearing Witness to Blessing Part 5 - Back to School Episode

Blond hair, silky smooth and pin straight.  Styled to make any cheerleader on the planet feel a pang of envy, even if they too are sporting their own perfect hair.  Lip gloss, eye liner and mascara just so.  The exact ratio of sparkle and glow to be a tiny bit more natural than nature.  Jeans, shoes, shirt and pullover chosen with care.  The entire effect one of casual perfection, no need to try because what you see is the best there is.  The illusion of effortlessness covering a few dozen butterflies fluttering in the flat tummy covered by the skinny jeans and hoodie pullover.  My baby is on her way to a new school as a full time student.

The guidance counselor began the conversation by talking of "salvaging" the work K14 did during the first semester.  A homeschooling mother, who has spent energy and time challenging and providing an excellent education for her daughter, does not appreciate words like "salvaging".  The new school schedule includes four study halls, English, algebra, earth science and world history.  Next semester she'll pick up health and physical education along with food science.  I look at the study hall loaded schedule and wonder how anyone can call a semester of Latin, medieval history, grammar and Augustine salvage. 

The first two days of school are a success.  One of fifty three students in the freshman class, K14 slid into place like the missing piece of a puzzle.  A group of girls joined her at lunch.  Day two let her know that the girls weren't plastic just a little nervous around the new girl.  The course work is easy compared to the expectations that I've set.  Four free periods make it even easier.  Much of the material we've already covered either last year or this. 

The biggest surprise is the level of trust and respect among classmates and their teachers.  Backpacks are left unattended, lockers are seldom locked.  Teachers loan students anything from cash to laptops knowing that the students are adequate to the responsibility.  It could just be a honeymoon period for her because everything is new or it could be the way things really are.  Either way, it's a new idea that adults, other than parents, have positive expectations of young adults and that living up to your potential can be a way of functioning in the world.  That's a lesson that even the most exacting homeschooling mother, which I'm not, can get excited about.

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