just another teen…

I read an interesting article early this morning, stating that home educating a teen does not absolve them from BEING a teen. Admittedly, we have only just begun our life with a teen in the house, but the article resounded within me on many levels. The Historian is a fantastic student, delves deep into subjects she is passionate about. She is a fierce girl, stands up for what she believes in. I have seen her get into the face of a larger, older boy to defend a smaller child, which made me smile. On the flip side, witnessing her moronic behavior in the company of other adolescent girls made me cringe. She is complicated and strong, independent and silly and moody as the day is long. She is a contradiction in terms, in other words… a completely normal, teenaged girl.

I sometimes feel like the standard she is being held to is a much higher bar than her public school counterparts. I speak to people with kids in the system, and there is always an excuse at the ready for any less than optimal behavior or grades. The teacher is too picky, the child did not get the long lunch period so is grumpy in afternoon class, there is not enough homework, or too much homework. Their home life is a mess right now, they just started sports and need time to adjust, they are prepping for testing, not doing enough work… the list is exhausting.

When my foxling gets a 91% on a maths lesson, however, I get the “hmm…” comment. Is she slipping, does she need to do homework, maybe she is not really an honors student, after all, she is not in THAT class at school. I simply want my daughter to be able to have a bad day, or a great day, and have it be just that. Home education is a MAJOR part of her life, but not WHO she is. =) She has an identity that she is trying to forge, ideals that are beginning to bubble to the surface, and she needs the space to grow into herself that every child needs. We are doing our children a great disservice if we do not allow them, all of them, to make mistakes, and then get up and try another way. This is how excellence comes about; by failing and attempting again and again. I hope every child has the opportunity to discover this before the college-entrance game turns them all into cookie cutter examples of mediocrity and compliance.

This is it for today, as my dear foxling is sick in bed. The Professor caught a nasty virus a few weeks ago, and it is now her turn on the carousel. Poor dear is miserable and I will spend the day making her soup, rubbing her back and reading to her, with a lot of mindless telly thrown in for good measure. I hope today finds you all in good health, and if you are on the Eastern seaboard, keep in mind we have some nasty bug you want to avoid. Yogurt, hot tea and plenty of rest may not ensure your health, but it sure feels wonderful in this frigid weather, nonetheless. =)

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