Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The homeschool thread was really interesting. thanks, y'all.

here's a related question: what was your adolescence like?

Traumatic? Agonizing? Excruciating? Carefree? Easy? Fun?

How did you make it through high school? Were you "tracked"? College prep? Vocational? Art/drama?

Anyone get their GED?

Did anyone's parents do anything RIGHT?


I couldn't wait to get to school, because it was not home. Even though I was kind of a loner at school. Catholic school. I spent 3 years there, waiting to go to a big, anonymous college. "I'm gonna be a NUMBER!" I'd say, with anticipatory glee.

I was indeed "tracked", college prep, but decided to go to the big state school (funny thing: if I had stayed in public school, I have no doubt I would have gone to my original option, the tiny liberal arts university. So, ha ha, all that private school backfired on ya, mom & dad!).

I spent a lot of time grounded for things my parents THOUGHT I did, but didn't actually do. I also got away with stuff they never found out about. So I guess that evens out.

I was required to attend church. I was not allowed to get a driver's license. I had very little privacy. But by the same token, my family was stable, there were no fights, there wasn't much alcohol, Mom & Dad obviously loved each other and us.

Growing up was ok. But I'm glad I'm done with that.
My adolescent home life was good. I had a canoe and a dog and run of the wood- and blacksmith shops.

School was a nightmare. It put me in therapy. peers at school were a nightmare. The teachers were terrific. The peers, My mind still boggles at the lengths they went to hurt me.

Home was a blessed refuge from my peers.

I was tracked college prep. I took all the AP classes, blah de blah, for all the good it did me. I wanted to be a housewife and one harridan of a 10th grade teacher told me I was wasting my intellect by choosing such a copout life-path.

My parents did right in that they let me try what I wanted to try, with none of this silly gender role nonsense. Except they made me wear dresses to church. They trusted me to be sensible. Privacy was no problem since Mom understood and Dad was terrified of what might happen if he violated it. (a short: Dad would wake me up by turning on the light and throwing back the covers. I hated this so when I was 13 and Rawther well developed, I slept naked one night. The next morning, he was so traumatized he never came into my room again without a timid knock first)

My parents would let me try anything, if I had a compelling reason why I should. It had to be a sensible reason, tho. Consequently my first experiences with alcohol and smoking *ahem* were in the very controlled enviroment of my household, and I never felt that peculiar adolescent pull of trying something I knew my parents would disapprove of.
My parents would let me try anything, if I had a compelling reason why I should.

that seems eminently sensible.
School, especially Jr. High School, was a fucking nightmare.

I got hit with kind of a one-two punch, in that I was larger and developed earlier than the other boys and that I was timid and shy. So I was a head larger than most of them and had a beard (at, like, 14) . . . and didn't know how to fight back or ignore them.

So when I DID get in fights, they were inevitably my 'fault', no matter who started them, and no matter how badly I got hurt.

As far as homeschooling goes, what I've experienced is that homeschooled kids tend to end up a little weird and more focused on academic matters than their non-homeschooled compatriots. But heck, since I like weird, and like nerds, I'm not opposed to that.

It's interesting, though, in that my Jehovah's Witness semi-girlfriend is somewhat opposed to homeschooling, I think because she's seen what JW homeschooled kids are like who never know any life outside the church.

I broke the public schools in the first place I lived. They couldn't figure out what to do with me, and the access to the gifted programs was done by lottery among the qualified, so when I didn't get in, my parents moved. (Just before the street we lived on was taken over by drug dealers, I'm told. Which makes me ineffably sad.)

We wound up in a wealthier area, with more stable tracking and the like (gifted program in my elementary school was 'pull the kids into the library every Friday to work logic puzzles', 'these kids can get into the chorus a year younger than anyone else because we need to give them something else to do', and 'uhhh ... send her off to work on a special project'). Which was interesting, but somewhat frustrating to me as I'd been sort of semi-independent learning for a while.

I went to my local junior high school, which was a piece of raw hell socially. So I went to one of the gifted schools afterwards, and slowly started to figure out how to relate with people by the time I was about fifteen. The gifted program there was both socially much better than anything I could imagine getting closer to home, of reasonable challenge level, and also structured to work me to the breaking point on a couple of levels. I did manage to break the system enough to graduate with, I think, more fine arts credits than anyone else in the program, though.

I probably should have taken a year off after high school, but my parents were kind of down on the idea, and so I went to college, went mad, and dropped out.

High school was the best part of pre-adulthood. Elementary school was second, though I thought I was unhappy at the time. That bit in between was something nobody should have to suffer through.

The whole question of what was adolescence like is kind of complicated for me, because I was dissociative for so much of high school and thus have very few clear and distinct memories. (Because, y'know, despite being the best part of pre-adulthood overall, it was also all full of being sexually assaulted a few months after I turned fourteen.)

(I'm seriously considering a Waldorf-program school for my currently-entirely-hypothetical children, if we can afford it.)

I don't know what my parents could have done better, honestly, without being different people.
d-h, I'm sorry to hear about your bad experiences. but so pleased to hear that you made it through to be the very awesome person you are.

I am also intrigued about this "waldorf" thing of which you speak.
AP I may be very qualified to anwser the questions you asked...Why? Because it is fresh in my head.

My Adolescence is very...well the biggest part I can remember is my dad leaving and my brothers moving with him. But I do remember good times, like parties at our house and the family reunion...but what I can really remember vividly was my family and how layed back and chill they were and still are.

High School...I am still there are several ways to get through high school. One, be a total geek and only hang out with them, Two be a "gock", and the third way is to go through high school Dazed and Confused...right now there is no wrong anwser in high school. All are acceptable to kids and no group is the "odd man out".

in fact those groups kinda fade together in my school, geeks play sports and gocks smoke weed and vise-versa.

There is my two sense...its not much...
hey look at that, a real live teenage boy!

who doesn't hate his family. that's cool.

of course, I've met his family and they're, well, also my family, and I'm proud to say totally awesome, and for whom I am eternally grateful.

I'm glad to hear that the High School Experience seems to have changed slightly over the years, it being not so stratified now.
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I've always liked school, and kind of wish I could go back and redo my high school and college classes-- but applying myself to learning rather than the social aspects (or lack thereof as the case was in high school.)

I was pretty much a loner in High School... didn't seem to get along very well with the other kids, and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. It never occurred to me that I had no problems at all making friends outside of school-- and therefore the problem WASN'T me.

The funny part is that I have my 20 year high school reunion coming up in a few months, and I had offered to help plan the thing-- and was snubbed... and yet I still find myself rather eager to go.

My relationship with my parents used to be pretty strained... In college, I used to try to always bring a friend home with me whenever I would go (my friends have always gotten along swimmingly with my mom.) All of that strain magically disappeared the day I called home to say I was engaged.

I remember in college, remarking to AP that I dreaded the thought of growing up and turning into my mom. A few years later, I decided that there were worse people to grow up to be. Now, twenty years later, I have done exactly that.
I remember in college, remarking to AP that I dreaded the thought of growing up and turning into my mom. A few years later, I decided that there were worse people to grow up to be. Now, twenty years later, I have done exactly that.

dude - I totally remember that.

and I had that moment, when my mom died. all that fear of "omg I don't want to turn into my mother!" just sort of melted into "so, what's wrong with my mother?"

yeah, yeah...minus the savage drinking problem and tragic lack of housework skilz...but seriously, what was wrong with my mother? she had a certain peace, a certain quietness, a certain "in the moment" about her that really touched me.
The reason I still like my family is because...well my mom did everything dad, well...and if you think about it family is just about all you can be sure is there for you. (AP now you have a family that loves you)
and yes High school is different now...
and yes High school is different now...

and I suppose it will be different still in thirteen years.
"and I suppose it will be different still in thirteen years."

True but the change won't be so large...with out saying any exact years, you have been out of high school a while AP correct? Over that time it has changed a lot but over thirteen years it may not change as much.
I have been out of high school TWENTY ONE YEARS.

hand me my cane, you young whippersnapper.
Fortunateson--It also depends on the high school you go to.

They're not all the same.
I don't have any personal experience with Waldorf schooling, but I am intrigued by the philosophies and approach. Pretty mcuh everything I know I've read on sites discussing it -- one of the organisations has a FAQ over here that can catch you up with as much knowledge as I have, more or less. ;)

My current philosophy about adolescence is pretty much "Nobody escapes unscathed these days", so I mostly aspire to being reasonably nifty on the other side of it. Thank you.
Fortunateson--It also depends on the high school you go to.

They're not all the same.

true enough. I wonder if the fact that he goes to a vo-tech type school makes a difference.
Veronica, my school I suppose could be different compared to others because it is a vo-Tech school. But from what I hear from a friend that goes to the regular high school, the main difference is that the students are far more drug friendly at my school...that is about it up in my neck of the woods.
My kids transfered from an academic high school to a vo-tech one. The difference has been prfound. Said my eldest "At the old school, if they didn't like you, they hated you. At the new one, if they don't like you, they ignore you."
Anonymous here again, I swear one of these days I'll get an actual name. (Some day I'll be a REAL blogger!).

My adolescence was.. Interesting. Long story short: mom and dad were in the vanilla unknowing(?? I think) unspoken equivalent of a femdom/malesub relationship. She was a stay at home housewife as she couldn't work due to a work injury, but she was the queen and he gave her the money he earned at the end of the week.

I grew up in a big violent multicultural town with ritualized fist fights each recess (Fight Club made me feel a weird kind of nostalgia), got into trouble when my parents started sending me to martial arts -> other kids thought I'd be a challenge. (Yet, oddly, I was popular outside of that particular snafuu and had a lot of friends.)
We then moved to a tiny little redneck 100% whiter-than-crackers-in-milk town out in nowhere land. I lived there for eight years, and hated every second of it. That was where I came to my conclusion that public schooling = hell.
Unfortunately I've never gotten to go to college, though not for lack of wanting/trying. I had a nervous breakdown right after high school.

I'm with both Dw3t-Hthr and rootietoot. Especially the still-baffled-at-what-they-DID and the went mad bits.

On the third hand, looking back I think that if I hadn't been traumatized by assorted things, likely I would've ended up a bully myself between the being popular and the fighting. So nowadays I'm very scarred, but I'm also pretty good at picking up when other people hurt/what they need/etc.

I have to say I'm very very very envious of the description fortunateson201 gives of his school. You're very lucky!
she was the queen and he gave her the money he earned at the end of the week.

you know, I've seen that done in many families, power dynamics issues notwithstanding.

is that behavior more usual in working class families, I wonder?

what's the relationship these days between schooling and socioeconomic class? do rich folks homeschool? is that primarily a middle class thing?
I'd assume rich folks do either the private extra fancy deluxe schools and/or hire private tutors. I mean, if I had kids and a lot of money to burn, that's what I'd do!
Not really sure re: the other questions. Being a damn dirty hippie with no offspring or intention of ever having such doesn't really give me insight in the current socio-economical trends. That said, I'd *wager* some things still hold true. I.e rich people let other people do the teaching, middle class people do what's trendy/'best for your child', poor people do what they can afford to.
middle class people do what's trendy/'best for your child',

now that is an interesting thought.

say more about that.
"Come, Cheyenne, finish your protein shake, you're going to be late for your fencing lesson. If you win the tournament, Mommy will get you a personal shopper!"
Bit late getting back to this one...

Personally, I never really liked school in general. I started off going to a tiny school that was k-3, all in one classroom. There was a second classroom back when it was k-6, but by the time I went there, it was used as the gym. I quickly learned that you couldn't have more than one friend at a time, so if someone "cooler" was willing to be your friend's friend, you were immediately rejected. Oh, and boys and girls couldn't be friends, they had to be "boyfriends" or "girlfriends."

Things didn't get any better when I went to the larger elementary school through high school in a neighboring town. I found much of it to be a waste. Thankfully, I had enough self-confidence to not care that I was one of the "rejects." Took pride in it, actually, as I saw nothing worthwhile in what the other kids did to be popular. That and there's a certain confidence that comes from knowing that, while the other kids spent their summers on the beach, I spent mine throwing bales and doing farm chores, and could probably bench press half the teachers. *L*

Academically, I felt it was a waste, too. I learned more from my "uneducated" parents than I ever did in school. So when I discovered home schooling, I had nothing about school to make me think it was in any way desirable.

As for antiprincess' question about rich people, they most certainly do home school. Hs'ing crosses all social, financial and religious bounderies. I have noticed, however, that increasing numbers of very wealthy business owners I've met are also hs'ers. Like Kiyosaki teaches in his books, school doesn't teach kids about finances. They teach kids to go to school, get a degree, get a "secure" job, then retire on a pension. That may have worked for a brief time, but it's a recipe for failure now, and the wealthy people I have got to know over the years want their kids to have a better education than that.

Hs'd adults, regardless of background, tend to walk a different path. Many go into business for themselves, or find some other unconventional means to support themselves. Not all, of course. One of the officers my husband served with had been hs'd all his youth, then went into military college to become a naval officer, all without a hitch. He served out his contract, then went on to start his own business and even ran for office at one point. He and his wife now hs their own kids. His sister, also hs'ed, went on to become an RN, then eventually a midwife.
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