Just another A2Z Homeschool Blogs weblog


Where have I been? To the land of More!


I’ve been in the land of high school homeschool. More books, more ideas, more complaints, more laughs. This academic year my younger son joined the older in high school, only in number of grade though. In truth, Owen has been doing high school level work for three grades now- including the 9th grade he is currently in. On a recent bus trip he asked about this.

Owen question: “Mom, have I always been ahead of grade level and Gene at grade level or am I doing what Gene did at my age?’

I had to mull the issue over because what he asked was not clear. It was clear to me but it was not what I thought he thought he was asking. So I asked it back- always the reflective listener.

Mom question: “Owen, are you asking me if are ahead, if you are working at Gene’s level?”

Owen: “Yes and ….” ( I held up my hand to stop him there.)

Mom: “Yes. You are working at the same level as your brother. You always have. ”

Owen: “So I am working ahead of the grade I would be in.”

Mom: “For the most part yes. In high school it doesn’t really change a lot. You are just doing things in a different order than Gene is.”

The conversation went on but that was main concept. Owen was unsure because he, like many younger kids, wanted to do what his older sibling was doing from the beginning. When we started at the Independent Study, Owen would come along with and  “play around” with stuff while Gene has his “class time” with his teacher. Owen caught on early to the alphabet, reading, writing, and numbers. For him, it provided yet another way that he could interact with his older brother. Owen was all about being included at that age.

I let him do what every he wanted. Write, draw, build. I figured that Owen would do what he wanted anyway. I might as well get out of his way. This is a common theme in my writing and talking about homeschooling- getting out of the way. I figured Owen would change when he couldn’t do it or didn’t want to any more. It took a long time but I was right.

Now, in high school, Owen is very differentiated from his brother. He likes to draw representational items as well as his Pokemon and fantasy creatures. He longs to learn a foreign language. He loves to cook. He wants to own a dog but can’t decided between a American Cocker Spaniel or a Poodle. He loves to watch curling.

There is a natural flow to sameness and then a divergence of self. I bring this up because once again, I didn’t trust it. They were so much alike at times, they did appear to be twins- two years apart. I feared Owen would never be different, or be himself. He always had to do what his brother did, when his brother did it. Would he ever be more? Yes.

There is so much more to learning than timing and sequence. There is learning about how we measure up to those around us. Where do we fit in to the peer group on a scale of this or measure of that? Being so far removed form that time of my life I forgot how important it was to know that.  Owen just wanted to see where he fell in the grand scheme of things. Gene never really cared about that and still doesn’t. For Owen it matters. For Owen there is an air of importance around knowing the biggest picture he can fathom. Owen always wants to know more.

In that thought, I see myself, the more-er of my family. I can relate to Owen and his thoughts of scale. Back to our conversation on the bus. I confirm to Owen that he was the keep-up kid. That he has what it takes. Then, like always, he goes Little Buddha on me. “Mom” he says, “it’s for me but it’s not for everyone.”

More deep thoughts too.