Thursday, May 9, 2013

End of the Year is Near! (And thoughts on education)

The final crunch is upon us. And some of the chaos around here is dying down! My daughter had her last dance competition this morning (no more extra rehearsals required), my son had his Confirmation this evening (which also means no more preparation classes), there are only a couple more Rangers (Girl Guides) things this month and a trip at the end of June. My son's weekly activity ended at the end of April. Only a few more weeks of French classes left to teach. My daughter's weekly homeschool "co-op" finished last week. I finally feel like things are calming down.

With that calming down, however, it really just means there is more time for my daughter to try to get all of her work done before the deadlines! We have already discussed what can be done next year to avoid this kind of situation again. It's one thing to be behind; it's another thing to be behind in everything, including half the semester in one course, over have a semester in another...

She is, however, really getting something about traditional school work to sink in:

It's not really about learning.

I can't remember her word-for-word comment the other day, but it was a strong complaint about them not wanting her to really learn and understand what she's doing but simply "do the work" and memorize things.

It has me wondering if there was something different I should have done for her to make the transition. She is a perfectionist, a high achiever, but has always had the opportunity to work toward understanding. Making the sudden switch from the style of studies we were doing to a full out online program with onerous texts and strange questions and a ton of stuff crammed together in sometimes questionable ways... It's been tough. She's finally hit a point of going, "I just want to get the work done now and don't really care about the mark." Which isn't the best attitude and doesn't completely help since she still faces work she stresses over, but at least there's a lot of willingness on her part to try and just get through stuff.

This all has me thinking about my son, too. He's not so perfectionistic, although he's definitely resistant. I'm thinking now of perhaps doing one traditional-style course with him next year, his grade 8 year, and then two his grade 9 year. At the same time, I'm wondering if it's worth directing him toward the provincial diploma. Good thing I have until September to figure out what to do for next school year!

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