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Stress and the High School Mom

  • Terri Camp Home school author and mother
  • 2002 18 Feb
Stress and the High School Mom
My heart quickened and my palms became sweaty as the appointed hour approached. Ashley stood by me as we watched the time tick away. We grew increasingly nervous. Ashley quietly whispered, "Mom, I’m worried." I assured her everything would be fine; there was absolutely nothing to worry about. Meanwhile, my insides were churning.

Ashley then shared all her fears with me. For a moment I chuckled to myself as I thought, "If she’s this nervous about a meeting with our Supervising Teacher, I wonder what she’ll be like when she begins courting." The thought relieved a little of my own stress about the meeting.

In our state we’re required to have two contacts per quarter with our supervising teacher. Our teacher goes to our church, so it makes it pretty easy to have contact with her. This past Sunday however, she mentioned that she would like to come and see what the older kids are doing.

I began to imagine all kinds of things, from the kids taking four more years to finish their high school studies, to the supervising teacher giving me a look of disgust in reference to the home schooling of my children.

One of the questions I most often ask the Lord is, "Why did you not make me a concrete sequential person?" A concrete sequential person would have everything in order. She would have lovely forms created on her computer. She would have large amounts of paperwork. She would not have sweaty palms at the thought that her supervising teacher was coming for a visit.

But alas, I am as "random" as they come. Therefore, my palms sweat when the thought of someone checking out my record keeping creeps into my head.

I began searching all my books on home schooling high school kids. I re-read Senior High: A Home Designed Form+U+La by Barbara Shelton. I perused The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School by The Callihans. And I even purchased Homeschooling the Teen Years by Cafi Cohen.

As I looked through the books, I would often call the older girls to show them a section of the book, or a form that they might be able to use. Then it dawned on me. If one of my goals was to have the older children take ownership of their high school subjects, then they should be reading these books. They seemed to like the idea. Ashley asked one of her most common questions since she had turned fourteen, "Will I get school credit?"

"Of course you will." I responded.

Christi said to me, "Mom, I’m a little worried. The only school work I’ve been doing is math." I knew that wasn’t the case so I sat down with her as we discussed how she spends her time during the day.

I took notes as she talked. She said, "Well, I spend about an hour on my ‘travel’ notebook." She then excitedly told me about all the things she has been learning about the geography of the United States from doing her notebooks. "Then I work on my art projects in my room. Each day I spend a couple of hours doing research and developing my Web site. I also work on my horse notebook, and hippology. After I go to bed I read my Bible for about thirty minutes. And for fun I’m reading Beard’s History of the United States." She then added, "Oh yeah, I also do the biology book, but that’s a lot of fun."

After making a list of all the things she told me and categorizing them into subjects for her, she said, "Wow! And I thought all I was doing was math!"

It made me chuckle as I thought that instilling a love of learning in our children often makes them forget they are "doing school."

To be quite honest, it sometimes makes me forget they are doing school.

Our Supervising Teacher asked the kids what they were working on. We took her into our office where both high school kids fired up their computers and showed her all the work they had been doing on their Web sites. She had a look of satisfaction as she listened to them explain the research they had done, the graphic arts they had used, and the pictures they had drawn.

As she headed out the door, she said to me, "Your kids are doing great! They will have a lot of really good information on their transcripts."

I closed the door with a sigh of relief. I had confirmation that I was indeed doing this home schooling thing right, even if I do make my kids keep track of their own records.