“High school is not like real life. (Thank goodness.) It’s a myth that high school prepares our teens for adulthood. It does not. It destroys their sensitivity and innocence. It violates their creative freedom and sucks their natural zest for learning.”
I read this quote from Jimmie’s Collage (a lot of you are familiar with her, I’m sure) … and it resonated. I was searching this morning for someone to say to me that involving and exposing your child to public high school is …. awful, hard, necessary, okay, depressing, chaotic, anxiety inducing …. but I didn’t really find that and so I’m popping on here hoping some of you will just wrap your arms around me and give me some CM mama advice that my friends (who amazingly are all either in schools or parenting younger children) can not.
I firmly believe what Jimmie says in her quote. I’ve based almost 8 years of homeschooling on this fact. I don’t homeschool for religious reasons exactly. I homeschool for the academic freedom is offers. I homeschool because I believed what this quote says and I experienced it first hand myself so I feel qualified to judge it this way. I homeschool because I want my kids to have childhoods until they’re eighteen.
Now, I feel like I’ve allowed that to be undone.
My youngest, my son, is an avid sports player and a bit of an obsessive personality. He finds something he loves and he dives in hook/line/sinker. So, when club and private options for his sport didn’t materialize for high school we thought we’d exercise these great Florida homeschool laws and participate in our local high school’s team.
I can’t really express what a roller coaster it has been. For me, primarily. For my son, somewhat. For his dad- he struggles to see the problems we have at all, having been a huge high school athlete and very accustomed (read desensitized) to that environment. Competitive sports also probably saved his life too, so obviously he’s an advocate. Understandable. His older sister is more stoic; she feels he’d experience this is college in four years and be alone without support, so him experiencing it now and being able to learn to navigate it with our support it probably the best scenario.
I don’t know what my question is exactly …. maybe I just want to say to everyone that if you try to dip your toe in to that world, know that it will be harder than maybe you think and make you struggle with how much your goodness at home can withstand!
My son’s not falling for the garbage he’s being exposed to. He’s not having trouble distinguishing it from right. He’s not questioning homeschooling or wanting to join this high school. We talk about all of it openly. But he is being exposed. He is taken aback (read insulted, hurt) by the behavior and attitude of these players. Not all the time. Not every player. So, he weighs the chance to play a sport he loves against it all and comes up wanting to go out there every day. I, on the other hand, am filling with anxiety and frustration and sadness at the state of things in this high school microcosm.
I know that other kids with other passions probably deal with their own set of issues when they interact in a local high school but whoa is me … there is something about athletics that sets it apart (at least in my mind) from science and the arts.
We used to avoid “worldly” as much as we could over the years. We kept to our friends and to the hip, fun world we had created. We aren’t as conservative as a lot on here but we had our thing. It was great not dealing with issues at this level. Am I a lazy, scared-of-the-world parent now? Did I think he’d live in a bubble? I think I really need to chill out and set the focus on other things every day in our environment and let the sport participation be a side show. Easier said than done when your boy is passionate about it. I feel foolish and a bit like I’m over reacting. You can tell me as much. I need to hear it. You can really comment and tell me anything. I’m open and I won’t be offended. I chose this venue to air my very personal struggle because I like the feedback we give each other here and because I’ve been here for eight or nine years now.
Needing words of wisdom, advice and a general nudge out of this funk. Thank you for reading my dribble. I promise I’ll keep returning the favor.
Claire, absolutely hugs! You are not alone in these questions. You have expressed exactly what has been keeping me up at night all this year. We are not in sports, but in an environment where I am asking all of the same questions and mulling over the same thoughts. Still no answers here, but you are not alone!Little WomenParticipant
You are doing fine. It’s hard to see our kids do hard things, but it sounds like he’s doing pretty well with it.
My 2nd dd is 21. She is a senior at a very secular and very liberal college, and it has been HARD. She doesn’t mind the science classes. (She is a biology major.) She says it’s easy to see where they are believing fallacies, and it hasn’t shaken her faith at all. She does get annoyed that so many unrelated things are used as a platform to repeat evolution. But where she has struggled horribly and seen a lot of difficult things is in her required humanities classes. One of these was so bad she said she felt like there were spiritual forces lined up at her back whenever she went it. (She is local, so I started going down and walking around and just praying for her every week when it was time for that class. It made a difference for her.)
It has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through. But at the same time, I have seen God teaching her things. I have seen her struggle with depression and anxiety, but I have also seen her sing a praise song on a very difficult day. She has been able to process some very hard things and come out saying, “God was speaking to me, and said …..” I have seen a lot of spiritual growth amidst the struggle.
God doesn’t abandon our kids when they are going through hard times, even when we have to back off and let them go through it. He is still their shelter, even if it takes time and even if it is hard.shanshanParticipant
I feel for you!!! I am just starting my homeschool journey with my son and it is hard to even let him play down the street with the naughty neighbor kids! My experience with your situation comes from helping raise my stepdaughter who transitioned from private school to public high school two years ago. I was filled with anxiety for her remembering my personal experiences with public high school. My stepdaughter would tell me stories about people and new friends at school and I would always jump to conclusions and assume the worst. I created imaginary scenarios in my mind. I’m not saying you are doing this–you probably have valid reasons to believe that the kids/situations your son is exposed to are no good. But, for me, I am seeing that all these kids my stepdaughter talks about are…just kids. And my stepdaughter has actually been making good choices so far about who she hangs out with and who she listens to and what she stands up for. Your son will surprise you too. I would still be vigilant and keep open communication going with your son. You are lucky you have that. But things may not be as bad as they seem right now. The most important thing to remember is that God loves your son more than you do. And God loves you so much and knows what you are going through. Put these fears and worries in His hands and ask and allow Him to direct you in this. Maybe you will get peace about this situation or maybe you will be impressed to find another option.
I think there a lot of great points on here and they give me both support and good food for thought.
Unfortunately the team uses a social media app to communicate with each other. I find it wildly inappropriate. I haven’t shared this with other team parents for several reasons. However, because we don’t have many secrets and because our technology access family rule is that if they see we see it, I know what’s shared on this app. So, yeah, I am sure I exaggerate some but some of my concerns are real.
We sure have covered A LOT of topics this year! And that’s a great point – at least we are talking about it all. I pray a lot for strength and for patience and that I’ll show my son love first before I get freaked out.
I’m going to devote real, serious energy to shifting the focus to other aspects of his life too. His volunteer work, his guitar playing, his homeschool co-op classes, his choir singing …. and more!! Good stuff. Gotta keep stuffing the good stuff in. 🙂KeriJParticipant
I think you are on the right track with that plan. Lots of prayer. And intentional with filling his life with the good stuff. 😊 That’s the path I have taken so far.
@KeriJ I wish I could say it got better but in fact I learned more and it was worse than I’d known. Bullying, ridicule, total lack of inclusion/acceptance, even an incident of violence. These things coupled with the utter time suck of all this practice and games and meetings – is this worth it?
New post on that topic.BenitaParticipant
We have struggled with the unbelievable time commitment of ballet for 13 years. But, in the end, our girls have been given opportunities and have traveled. They have learned from others and had to learn how to make decisions without us right there. They have skills that have opened doors for them. They had fun. They excelled at something and felt the push ( external and internal) to better themselves. They have seen fruit in their labors.
I believe each family, kid, and sport must be prayed about and it truly is an individual decision. It is a sensitive, controversial, and very individual decision.
I want to ease my children into dealing with the world and worldly people. Ease, not toss. However, it can not be avoided realistically forever. Unless one lives in a utopian bubble. Which none of us do. This world is hard for us grown ups. Of course it is going to be hard for our kids. We equip them at home, but at some point they must begin to engage. I feel we do that best when we ease them into it while they are still at home. We help them navigate and then one day they will do the best they can on their own.
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