We are now on Part 3 (of 8) of this blog series on the breakout session assigned to me during the last Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016 held last October 22. Part 1, my very first topic, was on parenting. Part 2 was on teaching. Let’s move on to part 3, experiencing.
What kind of experiences did our daughters have when they were in high school? Or what kind of experiences did we give them rather?
Compared to grade school, creating experiences or providing opportunities for our high schoolers was deeper and more intentional. If during their younger years, trying out something was simply to experience something new, in high school we were more intentional in the experiences or opportunities we allowed them to engage in. Instead of simply trying out for the sake of experience, it was our intention to know if they would like to explore it more. Would they like to learn more about it? Is it something they find themselves comfortable and competent doing? Will the experience help them narrow down or identify the course they plan on taking in college? Will the experience help them see themselves doing it as a career or a job?
Therefore, aside from the NEWness in the experience, we added another dimension to it, which is their GROWTH and INVOLVEMENT in making choices and decisions on the activities they would want to do or experiences they would want to have.
Before setting her goal on animation which is visual arts, Arielle became very interested in performing arts. She was able to join a professional theatre production at the age of 9 and joined auditions here and there, and have gotten callbacks. That was one experience which helped her really identify what she can do, compete with professional and amateur performers, and it taught her to face rejections and bounce back from them. That she can sing; that she can perform; and she’s always bold and brave to take big challenges of the real world, in the real world setting. If there’s one thing I learned from Arielle, it is bouncing back! She also co-started a group of young bloggers called I Know Write where they were able to organize a few events inspiring teens to blog about their passion.
Kayla, on the other hand, got very interested in culinary when she was younger. We thought that was going to be her choice for college. So, we enrolled her in a few culinary classes, and let her work in the kitchen. But she lost interest in it and is now exploring the option of sports, particularly golf, as a way to enter college.
The opportunities and experiences our girls had (and Kayla continues to have) in their high school years were opportunities to let their roots grow deeper, securely and firmly. I believe this is where their roots have begun to strengthen them. Giving and supporting them in their experiences teach them to think bigger, see the bigger picture, make their own decisions, and even train them to think of opportunities that encourage them to come up with better ideas, better solutions to problems, and to give back to the community.
As a summary, we made the high school experience of our daughters even more intentional by consciously identifying where our their interests and strengths lie. It was finding where those interests, strengths, and learning environment all meet that we made sure they were given the opportunities for deeper learning, improvement, and enhancement of their skills.
Next post will be about the “S” word! SOCIALIZATION! It will be the longest post I will do as this was the topic that I felt God wanted me to really spend more time on as I was preparing my talk for the conference. I had lots of prompting from God through various posts and articles I came across while preparing and it’s amazing how God clearly spoke to me in many instances!
Watch out for Part 4!