Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Science honors and homeschooing

Along with everything else around my yard, my list of things which need to be done is blooming and expanding quickly.  The days are flying by and as all gardeners know, the time sensitive "must do's" take priority. 

Add to that the worst allergy season I can remember, household responsibilities, and time spent on campus... some things are obviously not going to get done... so don't be surprised if a couple days go by before I can say hello again.  :)

We attended the reception for honors students in the Science Department over the weekend at the University.  As I looked around at the large crowd, I texted Stephanie that I had just realized her dad and Christopher were dressed alike and that her hubby would fit right in (with most of the others in the crowd).  She texted back, saying they must be wearing khaki slacks and a blue shirt... yepparroo... (and navy blazers for our guys).  After all, these people are nerd-ish and darn proud of it.  :)

As I listened to the plans for the senior honorees... which included further education at places like Harvard and MIT, jobs at prestigious companies, etc.... I stood amazed at how God works.  As late as Christopher's junior year of homeschooling, I was concerned about him getting INTO college with his dislike of certain important subjects like math.  Little did I know he would end up on the Dean's List and in the Honors Program of one of the most difficult science curriculum in the country.

For someone who hadn't taken "real" tests until the community college or filled out a lab report, he has caught on quickly.  A friend who has helped tutor him the last couple of years was impressed by how he has learned to study during his freshman year.  Of course, when one spends hours and hours and hours studying each day... one will become very good.  :)

He's the president of one of the science clubs on campus, has a leadership position in another, and is in the midst of interviewing for a couple internships this summer (we're praying the research internship on campus goes through!).  He just found out yesterday he has been given a scholarship for next year, in addition to the grant money... which looks like next year is paid for if he again lives at home.

As I had plenty of time to ponder during the reception, I thought of all the flack we have taken through the years.  First in our decision to pull Christopher out of the public schools for good through the decision to have him take an additional year at the community college for additional math and science studies... with lots of opinions and finger pointing in between. 

Yes, Christopher will graduate later than friends his age due to that additional year at the community college (we spent the money to have him take his senior year of high school there, too) but when he entered University, he was well prepared for excellence.  The entire cost of a semester at the community college is the same as only one class at the University.

Of course, I believe he would not be who he is today if not for the homeschooling journey.  We took him out of the public schools after a disastrous first grade, homeschooled second grade, put him back in the public schools third grade only to realize he had been "labeled" as stupid.  I wonder what they would think of him now.

At the end of third grade, we dusted the public school sand off our feet... turned our backs... said goodbye to the nice teachers (which were most of them) and good riddance to the two or three who made his life and ours miserable... and began the marathon run of homeschooling all the way through high school.

I know homeschooling is not for everyone and I've seen it done badly as well as great but I am so happy we made that journey.  It was very hard work, especially when Christopher was still quite young and we worked through the ADHD symptoms.  But it became a source of great joy as the years went on and the lifestyle of our family became that of a homeschooling family.  Our life has been greatly blessed and expanded beyond anything we ever imagined at the beginning of the journey.

Now... all these years later... my grandchildren are being homeschooled by their mommy.  Times goes so fast... or as I often tell my husband, "Tempus Does Fugit".

Now, I must make my way to the wheelbarrow to move compost to the garden and make the time later to bake a cake for my husband's birthday tomorrow.  A load of laundry must be thrown in the washer and dishes set to soaking before going outside.  Lots to do and all just a little at a time.

Picture: Jesse Wilcox; allposters.com


Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Congratulations on Christopher's scholarship!! Way to go!!

Thanks, too, for this encouraging post for those of us still "in the trenches" of homeschooling high school age sons.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hurrah and HOW WONDERFUL. You must be bursting with pride and gratitude.

Sending along my congratulations,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news for your son!! We too do not regret the homeschooling we did with ours. One of the best parts is their being able to learn ways to achieve under the one-on-one instruction and with a less stressful environment during especially the early years.
Blessings, Elizabeth

Becky K. said...

This is a very huge encouragement as we are about to graduate two sons in just a month with parent issued diplomas. One hopes to get into an internship program...the other is still up in the air about his plans. We are working on that. God already knows...and that feels so good to remember.

So happy that Christopher got the scholarship and grants.

Becky K.
Hospitality Lane

Echoes From the Hill said...

Congratulations to your Christopher, and to you, who helped him learn to love knowledge.

I wish I had home schooled my Christopher, who had so many problems in public school. He is very bright, but he and public school just did not suit each other.

A nephew of mine, who is very intelligent, and is now a very successful and financially secure adult, was labeled "retarded" by his kindergarten teacher!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your son!! I am homeschooling two teenaged sons right now and your words are VERY encouraging. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

freetobeme - Anita said...

I love reading about Christopher because he is such a success story. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Thank you LORD for Chirstopher's wonderful success now and for his bright future!

moreofhim said...

What a wonderful testimony to your hard work as a homeschooling family. Our story is very similar to yours (I pulled my boys out of public school when they were in the 2nd grade and 4th grade) and it was the best thing we ever did.

Only we know what is best for our children (like your decision to do the extra year of community college) and who else has their best interest at heart if not their parents?

Congratulations to your son for striving so hard to do his best. He sounds like one smart cookie! :)Of course, after reading your blog all these months, I would say he's a lot like his mama.

God bless you - Julie

freddie said...

very good news!!!
I hope to graduate at the end June!!
ciao from Rome

Connie said...

Congratulations to Christopher!
You have such wonderful memories working up to this honor. Also some bad - delete them and only spend your time thanking God for his blessings.