September 30, 2013
In my last homeschool post I talked about Céline starting her high school career and the wonderful experience that has been for our family.
I specifically talked about some of the things I've let go of, the things Céline has grabbed a hold of, and the overall atmosphere of scholarship we are creating in our home during these high school years - an atmosphere of love, enthusiasm, joy, purpose, concentrated study and meaningful work. And I shared how project-based learning is one method we employ in our homeschool.
I ended that post with this:
I'd like to share my thoughts about what Céline's high school years might look like and how (or if?) that will translate to post-secondary preparation and studies. But that's obviously another post or two in the making.
Here's the first post of that follow-up.
The time has come when the story is no longer mine to share.
This past summer, as I was preparing mentally for our new school year, it hit me very clearly that Céline's homeschool story is no longer mine to tell. Or perhaps not mine to tell at this time.
I plan to write about homeschooling and encourage other homeschoolers for a few years yet. Somewhere in that, Céline's high school curriculum and experiences will be brought to full light. But not now. (This is not a cave hiding reaction to the vulnerabilities I expressed in this post. I made the decision already this past summer.)
Choosing to not write publicly about Céline's high school education, at least in detail, is not something Céline and I talked about, it's not something she's asked me to do (or not to do), but every time I want to share something of Céline's high school homeschooling there is a check inside me.
Publishing my last high school post pushed that line for me but I wanted to bring her homeschool story up to date. To share the real life experience of letting children express their learning desires and how we respond to that as their parents.
Do we respond in fear or in love?
For years, I always wondered "where is the line where I won't write?" My line is pretty far back from those conservative types who mask their children's names behind Little Bunny and Big Beaver.
FIMBY readers have known Céline for years. My children are my pride and joy, just like all parents. FIMBY is where I write our family story and I have freely shared Céline's homeschool experience thus far, in this very public space. I felt it was, in large part, my story to tell.
Think of how many photos people publicly share of babies and small children but the natural pulling back we do for our teenagers and young adults. There's a reason for that. The stories or no longer completely ours to share.
The high school years feel distinctly different to me. Every step our daughter takes to own responsibility for her life, her education, is one more step removed from my domain, from my story and from what I am able to tell.
Céline is becoming her own person in the most beautiful, and so far, minimal-angst way imaginable. She is a thoughtful, quick witted, and intelligent young woman. She relates very well to her intellectual father and he has taken over (in his usual unobtrusive and low key manner) shepherding her through many of her intellectual transitions and growth while I help guide the physical and emotional ones.
Damien's presence and role in our homeschool cannot be overstated. I need him for these years so I can feel ok about pulling back, knowing that he is stepping in.
With Dad's constant presence at home, and influence in our homeschool, our children are experiencing a more well-rounded way of looking at the world and are learning different ways to approach issues, problems, and ideas. (Damien and I are quite different.)
For years now Céline has read my blog. She offers editorial notes, post-publishing. I wish she would offer her editorial wisdom before I publish, it would make me look like a better writer than I am.
I think Céline enjoys reading FIMBY, especially the stuff that's about her. I know she was following the comments on the high school post. She subscribes, just like many of you do and will compliment me on certain posts or photos.
(My younger two have expressly told me they like it when I write about them. And they'll often ask, "are you going to blog about this mom?")
Knowing that she reads FIMBY as frequently as the next person and that she is slowly developing an online presence of her own, I have decided to not tell the story of her high school education on the blog, as it's happening.
My last post about her entry into the high school years will be the most detailed post I plan to share about Céline's education, for some time. I will probably tell it at a later point, I want to tell it, because it's a great high school education she's getting.
But here's the point: it's all hers. Designed for her, essentially by her, to meet her goals and desires. It's her story, not mine.
We have chosen a freedom path for our own lives and we have decided to give this to our children also (along with the responsibility that always accompanies freedom). And part of this freedom for Céline is to know that she has the sacred space in our home to explore, through trial and error, and through joys and disappointments, the unfolding of her own young adulthood without me chronicling it all here.
My children don't get to choose if their mother blogs or not. This is what I do. It is my passion and my work.
But our children do get to choose their own path. And I'm pulling back to let her do that, in privacy and protection.
It's not because all hell is breaking loose in our home of teen, nearly teen children. Right now it feels the opposite. Too good to be true. Too lovely to share. Too bursting at the seams with possibility and potential to possibly have time to communicate all that energy here.
My desire to keep Céline's story her own is partly philosophical, but wholly pragmatic also.
Céline is studying things I don't have the language to express, computer programming, Japanese Hiragana, etc. And I'm not going to spend my precious writing time figuring out how to share things that are totally out of my domain, interests, or area of expertise.
It's mentally taxing enough for me to keep records of her learning (I will explain how I'm doing that in my next high school post), without complicating my life by sharing it here also.
There has been talk for months around these parts of Céline starting her own blog. She's currently discussing with Damien the merits and drawbacks of different blogging platforms. Debating what platform would best serve her needs as a fairly tech savvy and geeky individual who wants to both share her work with the world and also grow her tech skills.
If she actually launches a blog I'm sure to mention it here. Though having your daughter start her own blog feels completely vulnerable to me. Gulp.
So, that's the story of her high school curriculum. It's a story she's living and I'm recording but not sharing, for now.
But I will share my role in these high school years (e.g., records and transcripts, and helping Céline find resources, mentors, and connections), and how we're preparing her for what's next - semi-independent adult life and the depth learning phase.
Comments closed mostly because I find myself seeking a lot of affirmation these days. Vulnerability does that to me. And I don't want to be seeking affirmation on this post by obsessively checking comments for support, criticism, etc., what Scott Belsky call insecurity work.
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