Thursday, June 11, 2009
The first week of school.
September always brings those back-to-school articles in magazines and newspapers, and there are always first day of school suggestions. Those are typically aimed at the moms of five year olds, and my daughter's first day of school came when she was nineteen. I wasn't worried about whether she would want to take along her teddy bear or if she would get lost in the hallways. And there was no chance she would want me to take her picture as she stepped into the classroom. But there were definitely nagging worries troubling me.
I worried about how she would deal with note taking in a classroom. I'm not sure how any home educated student develops the skill of writing down what matters from a lecture, but I think that our years of discussions at home helped our children to see what the most important points of conversation or discussion are. This is an area that has changed a great deal even while our children have been in college due to the increased use of PowerPoint by professors who often make their outlines available to students as a help to note taking.
I wondered how hard it would be for Kaylin to manage due dates for assignments. Home educating parents naturally stagger our focus so that if there's something major expected in science this week, there isn't an essay due in English, but college does not work that way. We were glad to see that adapting to having to think about the demands of multiple subjects came fairly easily for her. Of course the end of semester pressures are always challenging but because of her reading skills and study skills which had equipped her to keep up through out the term, she was ready for finals.
There may be a bit of self flattery in my worry that she would find it difficult to learn from a boring teacher (since she had always had a non-boring one!) She might tell you that she had had more practice there than I knew, but she seemed to do well whatever her teacher's abilities were.
And the minor stuff like remembering her locker combination, and getting to classes on time were never issues. I remember seeing her off on her first day and being so afraid she would come home saying university was impossible, but she returned happy, ready for the challenge and excited about the classes she was enrolled in. It was a delight to know that she was ready to learn, ready for the challenge.