I’ve been thinking about Arielle’s college lately. DEEP SIGH! We can’t even seem to catch up with our 2nd and 3rd quarter requirements this schoolyear and the thought of college is starting to scare me! STARTING TO. To be honest, it has been A SOURCE OF ANXIETY for me this schoolyear. I’ve been praying about it though. A LOT. I’ve always asked God to always guide and bless our homeschooling, most especially these days for Arielle’s college. But still, I’ve been anxious about it and even GETTING MORE AND MORE ANXIOUS as each day of her senior year passes by because it only means a step closer and closer to college applications. It means having to muster enough courage and wisdom to help Arielle really prepare for it (Gosh! I don’t even know where to start and make sure I’ve got everything in order!), review for and pass the exams (What have I missed out? In Math? Science? History? English?). What’s even MORE FRIGHTENING FOR ME, after all these years of homeschooling her from Grade 3 until 4th year high school, is to find out IF I have TAUGHT HER WELL enough NOT ONLY to be able to to pass the different college entrance examinations BUT ALSO, PREFERABLY at the school and course of HER CHOICE (You see, she’s been deadset to take up Animation as her college course). Have I been a good and responsible homeschooling mom to her, wise and diligent enough as her parent to develop her God-given talents and show her what may be God’s purpose and design for her? Don’t you think I have every right to feel NERVOUS about this whole college thing? I do, right? Because I feel that I am also the one being tested here and it’s a PASS OR FAIL kind of test!
Before I move on, although Arielle is currently in her senior high school year and will be graduating this March 2015, she WILL NOT be entering college right away. Now that’s the major decision we have made and first step we will take TO PREPARE her for college. We have ALL decided that she will take a gap year before she finally moves up to college. Here are our personal reasons:
- Because we feel that she did lose a substantial amount of time to learn what was needed to learn when her Grade 7 year was taken away from her after the Department of Education suddenly wanted a revamp in our K-10 education program and implement the K-12 program (That was one whole year of missing out basic Math, Science, and English lessons; Although Arielle immediately moved up from Grade 6 to 1st year high school (She belongs to the last batch who is not under the K-12 program), we did not skip the Math, Science lessons that she should have taken in Grade 7. We still took up the lessons in their order and degree of complexity as she moved up from one level to the next, after Grade 6. The effect of which was she had to study two Math subjects when she was in 3rd year and now in her 4th year, in order to complete the requirements and make her eligible for graduation and as a college student applicant. That gave her a HEAVY work load! Added stress!)
- Because we feel that she’s too young to enter college (After a 4-year course, she will just be 19! She’s too young to apply for a job and be hired for one.)
- Because she herself feels that she’s not ready for college (We’ve asked her about this so many times just to make sure that the decision also came from her and that we did not “order” her to simply obey us.)
- Because we are not in a hurry.
- Because we feel that real education is not a cookie-cutter kind of education. Just because her friends who are in the same year level or age as she is, are all doing college reviews, taking college entrance exams and will go to college right after graduating high school, it doesn’t mean that she needs to do the same. I believe this is also living up to the real meaning of homeschooling, which allows the child or student to learn at her own pace. Since we also believe that that homeschooling encourages one to be a life-long learner, then as the term says, learning is for life! So there really is no need to rush and follow everyone else and end up what? Shifting courses? Not even knowing what you want to do in life? Unemployed? Underemployed? And worse, not being happy with and feeling lost in life?
So that’s how we are preparing Arielle for college. By not getting to it right away! She will be taking a gap year and after spending a considerable amount of time deliberating upon this decision with our homeschool provider, we honestly and comfortably feel that it is the RIGHT THING to do.