This is a more personal update versus financial. Please skip if that does not interest you.
Today is the last day of Princess and Gymnast first semester in public school. We made it.
Over the last couple of days, I’ve sat with each of them individually and had them look back at this semester and asked for their feedback and perspective. I thought I would share their thoughts with you.
I asked each of them:
- How did going to public school differ or meet your expectations?
- Looking back and comparing homeschooling in Virginia and public school here, which would you choose? (I didn’t ask them about homeschooling here as the challenges we faced were the main reason I chose to try public school.)
The stereotypes about high school are all wrong. First, I didn’t get bullied at all. And second, there is not a lot of homework at all.
Princess, age 14, 10th grade
She has had a really good semester. Gotten straight A’s across the board. Made the varsity volleyball team for the fall. Inducted into the Anchor Club. And made several new good friends.
I don’t like getting up, but I like feeling normal. And I’m learning things I hadn’t learned before, but maybe I wasn’t to that level. But there is not a lot of homework. I am glad I was homeschooled, but now I really like the social aspect.
Gymnast, age 12, 7th grade
He has struggled. Grades, fitting in, been assaulted three times and being so busy with training 4 nights a week. There were kids who told him they couldn’t be his friend “because he is brown.” But he has also grown and matured, and continued to be true to himself. He is finishing the year with all As and Bs and squeaked through the standardized testing (where they tested for the full year of material and he was only there for a semester.)
He is ranked sixth overall in our eight state region in gymnastics. And has just committed to the next year of training and competition, moving up to Level 8. (Here he is modeling over 100 of the medals he has won over the last six years of competing.)
I had no doubt that both of them would be successful. They are resilient and smart. I could not be more proud.
I think if we had done this back in Virginia it would have been a completely different experience. They would not have faced so much racism. The education is definitely better there. But then again, we had such a strong homeschool network there, I would never have considered it.
And we would have also had to deal with a great deal more bureaucracy. Whereas, here the schools have really worked with us to accommodate Gymnast’ training and competition schedule and Princess’ advanced status.
There are some things we will change in the Fall. Riding the bus more is definitely one we will try. Getting more involved with volunteering at the schools. I’m going to apply to substitute teach.
But for now, we will continue with public schools…I will always regret that it came to this. But I know that at this time and at this place in our lives, it is the best choice for both of them.
Thank you for being part of our journey.