Friday, October 21, 2011
I wake up each morning with a happy heart, and try my best to find a smile in everything that I have to face during the day.
I confess to sometimes failing.
I admit to allowing stress levels to creep to a height they should not reach at times, but I try to remember my blessings and laugh at the little things. the ever echo of "Life's too short" dancing inside my mind.
I am just a go with the flow kinda gal, lulled into the false security that the life I am leading - the life that I am loving - will continue for always. I don't think about it changing. I don't think about what life will be like in years to come, I just focus on the present and the now.
But it is days like today when I am reminded that life is ever changing, even when we don't think of it as so.
I have never really thought about the distant future - not on any serious level anyway. Obviously I have discussed future plans with the children. I have asked them if they have any idea of a future career choice, or if they intend to do examinations and/or attend college etc. Not to pressure them into deciding in any way, but just to ensure that I am doing my utmost to facilitate their wishes.
Up until very recently I have received vacant blank expressions, shrugged shoulders, and a list of a dozen "possibly maybe" ideas. I was fine with that, mostly. Although I have experienced a few wobbly moments, I have never really understood the power of those "magical ages" - why at 14, 15 and 16 years of age should so much pressure be put on you to decide your future career path? I cringe when I hear how "You must work hard as your exam results will determine your future." I know that's just not true. Good exam results may make things a little easier for you, your path may be a little smoother, but they are not the be all and end all. How many people do you know that are retraining and changing their career path right now?
Thinking that Chelsea was just happily chugging along on her merry home-educated way with no clear future direction, you can imagine my surprise when last Thursday the phone rang and the caller asked for her. After a very polite sounding chat, Chelsea put down the receiver and casually announced that she had arranged an interview for College.
To say I was surprised is an understatement. I was utterly stunned. My parents were sat with us in the lounge at the time so it was kind of difficult to talk about it (I didn't want to open the cross-examination floodgates), but I couldn't believe that Chelsea had been so self-reliant and pro-active. She had chosen her own path, sought her own solution to following that path, and dealt with it for herself.
All I have wanted to achieve from home-education is happy, self-reliant children with the ability to read and write. I have always believed in providing a basis for a love of learning, free of pressure to conform or achieve age dictated milestones.
I'm a very happy mama.
Today was interview day for Chelsea. I gave her a lift to the college and we got there in plenty of time. Chelsea said she was happy to go into the campus alone, not even requiring me to help her find the correct room (that College is pretty big!). I was so proud as I watched (a little open mouthed) as my eldest daughter of 15 years confidently strode away towards the entrance alone, looking as if it were something she did every day. Interview? Pah! Not a problem! I smiled and hoped all would be ok. I hoped that our decision to home-educate wouldn't put any hurdles in Chelsea's way.
I didn't have to worry, the college lecturer that conducted the interview loved her.
Chelsea was told that she is the youngest person ever to have applied for the course, and the first home-educated student to be accepted on it. From the feedback I received, Chelsea did amazingly well for her first ever interview experience (apart from the quick chat with the newsagent owner when applying for a paper round a couple of years back, I'm not sure that counts). The lecturer commented on her confidence, good eye-contact, and lovely smile :o) She said that it was clear that Chelsea was an eloquent speaker with an excellent grasp of the English language, and she had absolutely no qualms in accepting her application there and then.
Chelsea starts her Hair and Beauty course on November 7th.
I know it will mean a big change to the dynamics of the household. The help that I almost take for granted will no longer be there, and home-ed groups will be very strange without one of the "welcome committee".
Our life will change as term-times will have more relevancy, and any time away will need better planning.
I guess it's time to step out of my little home-ed bubble and into the big wide world of reality :)
And what about Chelsea? Chelsea is proud of herself. She is excited about the new opportunities, looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully forming friendships, and getting involved in Student Union life!
We have spent the evening checking out websites for the supplies she needs - uniform and basic make-up kit. And filling in forms.
In other news, Callum has discovered a love of "learning to read" all thanks to the Club Penguin website :) There is a game on the site which involves copying words in book-like form. He kept asking "Does this say...?" and was beaming when he got it correct. Good stuff!
Bad mother moment of the day came when I forgot Tiegan had Brownies tonight - oops!