I’m sure I’ll look back at all of this and laugh.
But right now, it’s not so funny. Feels more like a panic attack.
Let me give you a little background, first. Since I’m a homeschool graduate, a homeschooling mother of four, and a home education writer, I get asked about high school a lot. Several times a month, usually. And I have always had a very calm, even dismissive, attitude toward inquiries about credits, transcripts, subject matter, and college preparation. Hey, I made it, as did countless other homeschool grads from the dark ages of homeschooling. Surely in the modern age, it’s only easier. Anyone can do it. No problem.
But during last Friday’s Date Night conversation with the hottest husband in Texas, I off-handedly mentioned that I wasn’t sure when our first born was graduating (I’m one of those homeschoolers who has no idea what “grade” my children are in). Without hesitation, he replied, “Four years from now. He should be in high school this fall.”
And with those dozen words, my peaceful, relaxed homeschool existence was shattered forever. I was immediately hurtled into the five stages of homeschooling high school.
I tried denial over the weekend. Just ignored the problem completely. That actually worked quite well for me.
But that Sunday evening, right in the middle of the grocery store, Panic/Anger took over. Hot tears ran down my face as I insisted, repeatedly, that I never asked for this responsibility, never wanted this responsibility, never agreed to take responsibility for the future of another young adult. Blame quickly followed: it’s all son’s fault for growing, all my parents’ fault for setting the academic bar so high, all my husband’s fault for getting me into this mess.
By Monday mid-morning, after researching credits, transcripts, and college acceptance (like the poor mothers who had previously come to me for help and whom I had so cavalierly brushed aside), I was ready for Bargaining: maybe son will do most of the work, maybe husband can oversee foreign language, and maybe I can hire a stunt double.
After spending twelve hours making lists, more lists, and evening excel spreadsheets in desperation, I finally moved on to Depression: there was simply no way son would graduate, there were simply not enough hours in any given day to complete any given task, and there is no program under the sun that will both educate my child AND facilitate my having completely educated him, simultaneously. I learned that, like Panic/Anger, Depression is accompanied by copious amounts of crying.
By Wednesday, however, I had just about made peace with the situation. Yes, I am the mother of a high schooler (as year-round educators, we’re easing into it this summer). Yes, I’m stuck in the purgatory of Rhetoric Stage for the next dozen or so years, like it or not. Yes, I’m also in the uniquely uncomfortable position of working and studying in college while homeschooling high school and three other precocious learners.
I may as well learn to like it.