This year has been riddled with homeschool failure, and you know what? Now that most of it is behind us, I’m glad it happened. I might even go as far as saying I like a little bit of failure sprinkled throughout the year. There are some lessons I wish I would have learned before we started high school, but some things were good for both Kira and me after all is said and done. So, what happened?
In the Beginning
This is Kira’s first year in high school, and that means I’ve been more strict about making sure assignments are done within a reasonable amount of time. In years past, I would just check over what she completed and make sure it was at 80% or higher, but I didn’t have any comprehensive plan written down. I’ve learned that some things were falling through the cracks, and those habits continued this year as well.
So, blah blah blah, what does that mean? Kira failed first quarter. I mean, an F across the board. Things just weren’t getting turned in, she wasn’t prioritizing her time, and even after giving her a full week to catch up with nothing else assigned, nothing new was turned in. She came to me heartbroken, asking if she was going to fail 9th grade. I told her honestly that it’s far too early to determine that, but just because I’m her mom, that doesn’t mean she’s going to get a pass no matter what.
That failure was the best thing that happened to us. She now works hard to keep her grades up, and gets excited as she inches closer to the grades she wants. She’s always been great in school, and been told she’s a star student, and she is. It just took a nudge to figure out that sometimes we have to prioritize our time a bit differently.
Have said before that I’m the queen of inconsistency? (The answer is yes. Many times.) I hate it about myself, but I’m awful at following through with doing something for an extended period of time. Checking school work each week turned to every other week, turned to once a month, turned to… I don’t want to admit how long it’s gone. I’m still trying to figure out how to get a fire under my backside to stay on top of grading work – a task I dread and I find incredibly boring. I can’t blame Kira for late work two months after she was supposed to turn it in. I’m afraid she’s probably picked up some of my bad habits, though that’s not reason enough to let it slide.
I know one thing, though. Next year I will definitely be putting less things on my schedule, and hopefully outsourcing more of Kira’s classes. I need more down time in order to prioritize the tasks I dislike. Really, when I’m overwhelmed or drained, I just don’t make the time for things I don’t like to do.
We both knew logically that Kira wasn’t going to pass all of her CLEP and DSST exams, but it’s always hard to hit the first one, and one that we both felt really confident in her abilities! Kira took the CLEP College Mathematics this past week and was so close to passing, but still no go. It was disappointing, but you know what we learned? Confidence is not always key when it comes to credit by exam. You have one shot (in six months) to get it right, so you better be ultra prepared. Instead of walking in thinking you know enough to pass, it’s better to walk in feeling like you could ace the exam. That way, if it takes you by surprise, you have some wiggle room to still pass.
So many people say, “Alhamdulilah (Praise God) for everything” when they are in troubling times. Really, it’s true. This year has been the most failure we’ve faced in one homeschool year, but it has also felt like one of the most successful years. It finally feels like we are getting a great routine with each other, Kira’s learning a lot, and I’m not getting frustrated. Though the failures have been real, the successes far outweigh the failures. Alhamdulilah for the failures, otherwise we wouldn’t know how to get to the next step.