Thursday, June 6, 2019

Yesterday, Smarty had her last day of middle school. The school year came to its inevitable end. It was a happy end for Smarty - she is pretty confident of her performance in the finals, and she already knows that she got a final A in an only subject where a grade in final could make a difference for her between an A and a B (in media studies). She is, of course, super excited about the year being over and very happy about how it went. She loves her school despite its intensity - loves most of her teachers, loves being able to really choose her subjects, loves her Green Team club, and loves the feeling of really having learned something this year.
I am amazed with Smarty's tenacity of hanging in tight and rising to pretty high expectations of her teachers. In this school, she was not getting good grades just for showing up and turning in her homework. She had to work hard in every subject, even in the subjects where she is naturally gifted. She went far out of her comfort zone in media studies where she had to master video production, something that she never tried before, and had to partner with kids who were much older than her. I am proud of how hard she worked and feel that she ends this year feeling more competent and mature.
At the same time, I do worry a little about an unrelenting intensity of this school. It's not the same type of comparison and prestige driven pressure as present in some of highly competitive high schools of our area, but sometimes I feel that some element of social growth and finding your own tribe is missing, because the school is so small. Smarty has good relationships with everyone but she is not close to anyone and shows no desire to develop these closer ties. I am not sure whether this is a function of her introverted and selective personality or if this is a function of just not finding the right person or people. I find myself wishing for her not to spend all her free time reading and watching YouTube videos but doing something with others and for others. Yet, I don't want to involve her in more extra-curricular activities because she was so "fried" when she came from school this year. Every day, she had 6 periods filled with discussions and/or labs - no time to really disengage and daydream in school. And then she had to come home and still do her homework including all the big projects. I do think that perhaps next year will actually be easier despite Smarty's intention to take at least one or maybe two AP classes. For once, she will have 6 periods and not 7, including online math, like this year, and, secondly, she will not have a class that was mostly project-based during the second term, with a new project coming up every week or two. I also hope that next year Smarty will have some new classmates starting 9th grade and, hopefully, will click with someone more than she did this year. I can't wait to see how her next year of school works out... oh, wait... I can wait. Summer is here, and we intend to enjoy it fully without worrying too much about what next school year has in store for all of us.

Your Turn

How was your school year?


Joyful Learner said...

Ha ha! I like the last bit! Carefree summers are the best especially after an intensive year!

MaryAnne said...

We are really looking forward to a carefree summer here!

We had a good school year - the kids loved it, but the 50/50 split with two kids homeschool and two in public school was not great for me. I felt like I got the worst of both worlds. This fall they all go to school for one year, and right now the plan is that all four will homeschool the following year (when we will be spending 3+ months in Europe anyway). I'd like to see what that's like - with the flexibility to travel when and where we want and no school meetings/letters/homework. I do think my two girls who homeschooled for two years will benefit from being around more kids every day this fall, though.

Ticia said...

We are mostly done with school, but the boys are still finishing up their math, because they slacked on it for a few days.