You know I keep a homeschool blog but I don't keep it up much. Homeschooling a highschooler is not as much fun as homeschooling a younger child. Just as interesting, for sure! but very different. And I'm always feeling so inadequate these days. The whole math/science thing. The whole, " Do I haaave to?" thing. The eye~rolling. The heavy sighing. It's like trying to precipitate the ocean upwards. Love the child to bits but we're constantly doing the kentucky~ducky, pulling hen's teeth, dancing with the Taming of the Shrew. And that's before all the running around scrambles my brain until I don't know whether I'm Arthur or Martha, coming or going, up or down.
On top of all that Queensland is a bit funny about homeschoolers. I'm not often jealous of anyone unfortunate enough to live down south but I envy the freedoms they have with their homeschooling. Oh, it's legal ~ & we get choices. You are supposed to register & the government likes to keep you in it's sights just in case, you know, you want to be really outlandish but anyone who wants to do that simply doesn't register. The rest of us either write up & submit our program to the powers that be like good little automatons, register with the state Distance programme or register with one of the alternative Distance schools. We've tried the 2nd & have gone with the third. Our supervisor comes & visits us once or twice a year & we think she's the ants pants. Really. She's absolutely lovely & given the shenanigans Ditz goes on with she's got the patience of Job. She even likes Ditz. She really does. ~ though perhaps it's stretching things a bit to say she likes doing math with Ditz. No~one likes doing math with Ditz. It's painful.
Every term ~ & there are 4 of them in a year ~ I round up 3 examples of Ditz's work in each subject, shove it all in an envelope & post it off to be assessed & make the government a happy little government. It's a small price to pay to homeschool is how I look at it. I choose our curriculum. I decide what goes in. I ditch what doesn't work. I cut & paste & twist & tweak & then I just tell the school that's what I've done & they nod sagely as though I've actually made sense. Sometimes I even do. Twice a year they send out a report card ~ which always gives me a bit of a giggle. Seriously. I teach the child. I hardly need a report card to tell me if there's anything stuck to her grey matter at all.
Fourth term & because we were going to Singapore & I was running round like a headless chook I never actually got around to submitting anything. Ouch. Tell me about it. It's all sitting here in an envelope but it never made the mail. Anyway, it doesn't seem to have mattered. The report card arrived on cue anyway. Now, dear readers, you read here regularly & you know as well as I do we were out more often than we were in last term. We were scrabbling to keep our academics up. It was a losing battle. We were tired & ratty & sheer exhausted & frankly Ditz must be mad to want a career that creates such bedlam all around her. Even Dearest was a tad concerned. I was way past concerned. I thought we'd really blown it & we really had managed only the bare minimum.
The good thing about report cards is the detached evaluation. It gives me some idea of whether Ditz is above, below or on par with her peers. Screwy as our last term & a bit were our supervisor is more than happy with the standard of Ditz's work. She hasn't got anything below a B+, some As & a lot of A+s! Yes, even in science. And the child who once upon a time used to refuse to write. At all. Anything. For any purpose. got this on her research paper: The research paper on *Gypsies* recorded for SOSE shows that she has the ability to produce formal essays of a very high standard. Just that one comment made my day. The battles we used to have over her writing! Real Ditz moments. The tears. The tantrums. The refusals. The coaxing. The threats. The yelling & screaming. That was back in the days when Ditz liked math & it was English she hated.
Gentle readers...Ditz has come a long, long way from those early ADD days when just getting her to sit still enough long enough for me to issue a single instruction was a challenge. Brains to burn. Perspective. We are facing different challenges now. Ditz is still Ditz & her main interests are never going to be academic but for a child who constantly says no~one needs to be educated past 5th grade she has shown herself more than capable.
I have 6 weeks to gird my loins for next year's fray. I kid myself not. Dealing with Ditz is never going to be a slow coast on easy street but it is possible. One day, one week, month by month, year by year, at a time. Every so often I think she's showing signs of maturity...As her supervisor's final comment says: It is always very satisfying to see a student like Ditz, whose main interests are in the arts, achieve a set of impressive scores.