Letting go.

It was a big weekend for the girlie, here at Casa Tuxedo Cats Will Help You With Word Problems. This was the weekend that she took the Get Out Of High School Free Test (she says, “with a bunch of disaffected youth in skinny jeans.”), and now we are on tenterhooks until April 22nd to see if she passed.

I had mixed feelings about letting her take the test, but the truth is, high school has not been a good fit. She’s done, she’s clear, it’s time to move into something new that will work better. My options as a parent were either to create a lot of resistance to what she knows is true for herself (ultimately changing nothing) or to listen and let her call her own shots.

I think it was the right thing to do for her. It was certainly, I think, the respectful thing. The thing that acknowledged her as a self-determining individual and person in her own right. Because for all that she’s my kid, she’s also a person and an individual, and we’re really at an age where she’s got to start making some of the big decisions for herself. Right or wrong. It’s how you learn to make better decisions, either by crashing and burning or because things worked out well.

Life is a balance of the two, I think. While I hope and pray that she has more “things working out” and less “crashing and burning” what I know is that she’ll have her fair share of both.

my baby

The truth is, after raising two kids, I honestly do not believe that conventional school is necessarily the best thing for children. I do believe we need a highly educated populace and I do believe we need kids who are well socialized to interact with others, but I wonder sometimes if we’re going about it the right way as a society. It hasn’t worked well for either of my two bright little buttons and they both have had to forge their own paths around it.

If she passes, she’ll be going on to community college as a freshman next fall. If she doesn’t pass the test, she’ll still be at the community college next fall, but enrolled as a concurrent high schooler and she’ll just take her classes at the CC for double credit. I’m okay with things going either way, frankly. What matters to me is that she’s being educated, and that she’s genuinely interested in the things she’s learning. I am not necessarily married to the idea of her doing things in a certain progression or way, though I’ve definitely had to work through my feelings of maternal failure around why neither of my kids could deal with public school.

Given the issues with public education here in California and the way we’ve dumbed things down for our kids, perhaps I need to look at it as a maternal success, instead. Both my smart girls took one look at it and said, “Oh HELL no.” and that was that.

This weekend was certainly yet another lesson in letting go gracefully.

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About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
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11 Responses to Letting go.

  1. Success! Absolutely. Tough call, but yes, looks like good thinking and acting all ’round. Bravissimi!!

    From one who wanted her get-outta-jail GED so badly, but mummy and daddy said nyet,
    xo, Trix

  2. Shawna J. says:

    May the outcome be what it needs to be.

  3. Torrilin says:

    Fingers crossed. We’ll both be cheering loudly when you let us know she’s passed :D.

  4. Merchimerch says:

    Community Colleges are such a blessing in this state! Seriously, my favorite students often transfer in from CCs.

    And frankly, colleges don’t care where your high school diploma came from. Hell, the University of Alaska didn’t even care if I had any diploma at all. I didn’t have to get my GED until AFTER I’d finished my first year of college at UAF and had been accepted to transfer to Johns Hopkins (the pesky wannabe ivy did want the piece of paper).

    Bravo for listening to what your kid knows in her heart is RIGHT for her. My parents took a HUGE leap of faith in letting me drop out of high school and go to college, especially without a GED. But it was definitely the right decision, and I’ve never looked back. I’ve certainly never wished that I had a high school reunion to go to, or thought that there was something I could have gained from that last year of highschool (well, except maybe autoshop).

    Em will find her way. Community college is great and should afford her some wonderful opportunities, whether as part of a degree program or concurrent enrollment next year.

    Yours truly,
    Dr. High School Drop Out

  5. mouse says:

    I’m struggling with the whole issue of public school on a daily basis with Munchkin- he’s 9 and in 3rd grade so we have a LONG time to go. I send him to school because I don’t know that I can homeschool him on my own and/or if I can afford to do it because of all of the costly materials you need… but then I watch him come home completely burned out and disillusioned from school and wonder how I can stand by and NOT do anything.
    Our current school systems don’t work for children of free thinkers.. but then, they never have (if my own educational nightmare was any clue). Hell.. my kid only has “specials” (art & music) FOUR TIMES A MONTH. I already feel like I’m supplementing his education free of charge here at the house by giving him lessons in art & music.
    I think you made the right decision with your girls & I will be sending good thoughts and crossing my fingers to hear about her GED results. *hugs* mama.. you’ve done well!!

    • Rainy says:

      Aw, thanks. ❤ Have you considered unschooling him? If I had to do it over again, that's totally the angle I'd take.

  6. wenders says:

    I don’t have kids, but man is this something I already think about for “someday”… and my partner IS a public school teacher. What we teach, what we need and what we say as a people just don’t seem to line up. Critical thinking, independence and entrepreneurship all seem to be more and more lacking, IMHO.

    On another note, I’m enjoying watching you take a creative leap with your work – I just found your blog and wish you the best!

  7. laborrachavieja says:

    Crossing fingers for your padawon. Truth be told, I was in a similar state of mine when I was 15 (actually, I felt that way long before…) getting into independent study was the BEST decision I had ever made. It was nice to be able to give the finger to the bus on my last day, let me tell you! 😀 LOL

  8. Bjo Trimble says:

    We also let our two teen girls leave high school because they were skipping class to catch a bus to UCLA. There they would sneak into the back of lecture halls to learn what they could from higher education. They felt they were wasting their time in high school, and so they were. One daughter owns her own business, with three others renting stations from her; the other daughter is a successful businesswoman who has been taking online classes and will graduate from college in May. So don’t let the traditionalists tell you this is a wrong move.

  9. kim beller says:

    bravo to you for letting your girl be her own person. everything will be what she needs it to be. you have given her the greatest gift….your trust that SHE can do what she needs to do.
    i have one getting ready to go to high school and one in middle school ….the struggles are so different than when i was in school. i love it when they step out of the box and make their own way in the world.

    yay for letting go~

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