Ready or not, here she comes. Dancer was accepted into the PSEO program at a technical college and will start in January. It isn't the closest one to our house but, it is one that allows the student to do all on-line work instead of attending traditional classes. The one closest to us only allows one on-line class because they say that most high school students don't have the discipline to complete the work. That may be so for regular schooled kids but homeschool kids use to doing it on their own so I really don't see that as a concern for her.
So is Dancer ready? Yes and no. She knows this saves a ton of money when paying for college (PSEO is free to high school students and they get full college credit) and she would be doing the work anyway so why not have it count for high school and college credit.
In the no category she is nervous, something new always causes a bit of trepidation. She is more relaxed that she won't have to attend classes where she doesn't know anyone. She is worried about not having the answers to whatever class she is taking right here, a upside to homeschooling is in the house answer keys. Being taught by someone other than Dad or I, she knows our style and exactly what we expect, is also a concern.
Am I ready? Yes and no. Yes, I know she is ready for something new. Yes, I like that it will save her college costs. Yes, that she is doing her classes on-line, she won't be driving on the freeway 120 miles round trip and we won't have to get another car and insure it. Yes, that she will be stepping out a little bit but, just a baby step, not a leap. I so can't imagine her not here, it is odd when she is just gone for a few hours, day after day would take some getting use to. Yes, that she will have some focus. She doesn't have a clear idea in what she wants to do so this may spark a new interest that we haven't done at home. The goal is for her to get a AA degree and reevaluate after that. Having this goal gives her something to work towards and takes off the pressure of the question everyone seems to be asking lately, "So Dancer, what do you want to do?" I think that question ranks right up there for high school kids like, "when are you getting married, when are you having a baby and, after your first kid, so when are you having another one," does for adults.
I am not ready in that my homeschooling days with her are mostly over, she does still have a few classes to finish up here to round out her transcript but, otherwise, my work here is done. I love homeschooling, it's not like a job that you decide to quit, you lose your job when your kids get big. Downsizing at the most personal level. Thankfully, I still have Spark for a few more years :) I also worry about class content, will she be able to keep her convictions, or will she be subtlety swayed over to a view that differs from what we sought to instill in her. And no to about a hundred other little concerns that run through my head when I think about my kids moving on and my parenting grip getting looser and looser as they take on the world for themselves.
Mostly, though, we are excited!