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.
How was your school year?