I think the most difficult thing for a homeschooling parent to do is to let go. We’ve spent all this time nurturing our children and there comes a time when you have to let go of that bicycle seat and let your child wobble away down the street. I’m at that stage now.
For the first time in seven years, both children are going through independent exams, and I’m not sure who’s more nervous, them or me.
For TW, he’s had exams in two terms of his Foundation Year but now he’s in the midst of his finals, which comprise the bulk of his marks. If he passes, he can begin his degree. If he fails…well, there’s always the resit exams, but we’re hoping it won’t come to that.
TW is an exemplary student, always going above and beyond in terms of work he needs to do. The Foundation Year has been a good example of this as it crams two years of study into one. TW could either knuckle under and draw on his reserves of stamina and self-discipline…or fail. He’s pulled straight Distinctions in his first two terms (not bad for someone who was diagnosed as “severely retarded” in Australian preschool), so we’re reasonably confident that he’ll do similarly well in his finals, but you never know, do you?
In my book, The Dog Ate My Experiment!, I talk about how the people who create examination questions are like an alien species. They don’t think the way you or I might think. With the IGCSEs, there was a level of assurance we could depend on through the sheer weight of the number of mock exams the kids worked through. But, for Foundation Year, there is no such safety net. TW was given one, maybe two, mocks and had to figure out the direction of exam questions on the basis of that. Results will be out on 31 July (or by the end of the first week of August) and I’ll update this blog then.
Our second, LD, has finished her IGCSEs and now begins the wait. (She was going to have “developmental issues for the rest of her life”, according to the Head of Paediatrics at a Melbourne hospital.) LD’s results won’t be out till the end of August, which doesn’t give us much time (one week) to enroll her for pre-U and get all our visa ducks in order. I’m a lot more sanguine about the process around LD, having already tackled this once before with TW but, of course, you can never completely exterminate your nervousness.
We’re at the tail-end of the homeschooling experience and, for all the anxiety, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
If you’re interested in reading the book based on my experiences and get a free excerpt on how to pass exams, follow this link. I’ll be back in early August to let you know how everything is going. Oh, and Sausage, our irrepressible Mini Bull Terrier and Teacher’s Assistant, is eight years old today. Happy birthday Sausage!