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AmberMitchell-02-Light-InsideWell, my semester is.

I enjoyed returning to college this year as an online student, but am looking forward to the Spring/Summer off, and back to my mom duties and leadership education adventures.

Sorry if the blog was super boring this last season. I do still intend to reorganize so that there are clear paths for all the different types of posts, but alas, it isn’t going to happen yet.

Good news, though:

  • I found out that in an online college experience, one can learn a great deal. This is good news for my online homeschool students, both now with Williamsburg online high school and when they are 16 doing online college.
  • I found out that my years of momming and homeschooling have been a great asset in every subject area, from essay writing to algebraic applications and from computer programming to graphic design.
  • I remembered that I love to do all sorts of things, and I have a lot to contribute. In other words, I’m not “just” a mom. Although that’s enough.
  • I found out that I miss connecting with people outside the “conveyer belt” who understand that learning is a function of being human, not a thing you do to get a grade or a job. BUUTTT, I also love talking with those in the system and evangelizing that viewpoint!

Anyway, there is a lot of other good news. For example, my school was completely paid for during both Fall and Winter because of the Federal Pell Grant program, which you may want to look into if you think you might enjoy a return to university. I’m going to keep on it in the Fall after I take Spring and Summer to set my house in order again. Speaking of which, here are the good things I found out about my homeschoolers this year:

  • My scholars are capable of handling their own education and being responsible for their own successes and “failures”. Noah struggled a little with his classes — struggle meaning there were some assignments he didn’t do, and it looks like he’ll get three As and a B. On occasion, he felt overwhelmed. I gave pep talks but not much actual help, since I didn’t have time. I expressed confidence that he could meet his challenges, and I reminded him that the world won’t stop turning if this semester is a bomb. He did fine, and Grace too, in spite of her having a really tough time understanding Geometry. We’ll see how much she retained as she takes the ACT/SAT this Spring (if I get it together!) FYI: In our home, Winter looks the most like traditional schoolwork as the dark days make it nice to snuggle inside and study. They don’t act like this come Spring and Summer!
  • The kids were super capable of eating good food and even spontaneously making nice dinners when I was busy. I still did the shopping, but I did much less cooking than ever before, and with some compromises like jarred Organic marinara sauce (instead of scratch) we ate pretty darn well.
  • The house didn’t implode. Dust bunnies did pile up, but we didn’t live in squalor. They kept their stewardships passable without my help. (Elias: living room, Noah: bathroom, Grace: kitchen with rotating dish duty.)
  • Elias (love-of-learner) learned better how to learn on his own, start his own projects and explore his own ideas. This he has been a little slower than the others to do, but my limited input seems to have forced his boredom to flower into self-guided adventures. He still loves a good board game, though.
  • And finally, though all the above is true, I found out that they still really need me. Youth isn’t a time to be totally disconnected from mentoring. Weekly mentor meetings were crucial this year to help them stay focused on their bigger goals and to problem solve the small stuff. Yet they are breathing a sigh of relief that my school ended a month before theirs, so that I can help them do their very best in the final weeks. They are also really looking forward to hanging out together and field tripping this season!

Every six months or so, things change in the Leadership Education home, and this one was one of our most changeable seasons. It was a challenge, a pleasure, an exciting adventure, and I think we’ll try it again this Fall as I continue my education alongside my wonderful young friends.