Friday, June 17, 2011

The First Half of My First College Class

Well, yesterday was the last day of my third week of English Composition 1, my first-ever College class. It's only a 6 week long course, so it's now half over. Wow.

So far I've turned in two essays, each worth 20% of my final grade, and there will be a total of four, with the remaining 20% made up of daily assignments. The first one was an essay summarizing an article in a recent Time article, and the second was to write a profile on someone I didn't know very well. I chose to interview and write about my neighbor across the street.

When I took my rough draft for my first essay in, things got a bit rough. The teacher took one look at it and said, "Why didn't you do the assignment I gave you?" The problem was I didn't realize he had given us a outline of exactly what he wanted and I hadn't read it.  He gave me feedback on what I had done wrong-- quite a bit, it would seem --and with one day left until the essay was due, it was tough. I rewrote most of the essay, keeping only small things, and finally the next day I turned it in to be told that I had "achieved perfection". Needless to say, I got an A. I haven't received my grade for the second essay yet, but I'm hopeful.

The teacher is nice. I like him. I think I'm the only one in my class who does, however. He's tough, he's certainly not an easy teacher, but he's fair. I hear the other people in the class complain about him daily, but I really do think he's a good teacher. I've learned a lot from him. Personally, I'd rather have a tough teacher and learn a lot, than have an easy teacher and just skate by.

What really surprises me is the lack of ambition toward actually succeeding in the class some of the students have. One guy came in the first day and said, "I'm going to be a basketball player, I'm just doing school to pass the time, and I'm shooting for a D in this class." It just blows my mind that anyone would ever act like that.

For the most part though, the people in the class have been very nice, although I don't think some of them know quite what to make of having a yet-to-graduate homeschooler in their college class. There's one guy in the class from Turkey who said, upon finding out I was homeschooled, that he didn't understand homeschooling, since in his country it was illegal.

With three weeks left and, so far, an A in the class, I've been enjoying it a lot. I'm excited to continue.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Half Way Through His First College Class!

Whew!  As of today my son is half way through his first College class!  I have been bugging him to write something for our blog. But, he's been really busy with the class...So I am posting for us!

Today my son came home and told me that the teacher asked him if his mom taught him how to write. (At the 1/2 way point of the class he is pulling a strong A! YAY!) When he answered "Yes."  the teacher replied "My mom taught me to write too.  We would write together and that's how I learned."  I thought it was SO awesome that he would tell my son this!  I thought it was really kind of him.  The class has been going really, really well!  Not just the assignments and the fact that he's acing it.  But, the whole experience.

I really didn't know how he would be accepted as a 16 year old in a College class.  What would they think?  Would they even know he was homeschooled?  So the very first day the teacher had them go around with a list of questions to ask each other as a mixer.  One to the questions was "How many kids were in your High School?"  LOL  So when my sons answer was ONE it quickly became a topic of conversation!  The teacher got wind of his answer and asked (in front of the whole class) how he had only one kid in his high school?  He responded with "I'm homeschooled." The teacher replied that he use to not be sure about homeschooling.  But, now as a College teacher he found that the best students in his classes usually turned out to be homeschooled.  Then a student from Turkey chimed in that he didn't understand homeschooling.  He said "In my country the government says everyone must go to school.  American and Canada is the only place people don't have to go to school."  I told my son that he should have said "Well, in American we have a thing called FREEDOM!"  Then my son said he was glad at the moment that I wasn't there!  LOL  Ironically a few days later my son got matched up with the guy from Turkey for a project and they got along just fine. (Although the project was very, very hard because of the language barrier.)

All in all everyone has been great to him.  I know it may not be this way in every class.  But, I am glad his first experience is a good one. He is learning a lot of "other" interesting things too.  He's surprised by how nonchalant many (most) of the other students are.  The amount of drops and absences.  (They were told that NO absences would be allowed because this is a 9 week class in 6 weeks already.  So you just can't miss.) The fact that he LOVES the teacher and everyone else seems to think he's mean and too tough.  ("If they think he's tough they should meet my moms!"  LOL)  There is one student in particular that is keeping my son entertained and shaking his head.  On the first day of class he introduced himself and announced that he was just there until his basketball career took off.  He also informed everyone, including the teacher, that he was just "shooting for a D in the class."  Then for one of their assignments they had to interview someone and write a profile on them.  So this character did his profile on a drug dealer! For his "research" he rode along on drug deals.  Wow!  Of course as a homeschooled student my son has never met a person with an attitude or lifestyle like this!  Needless to say he's learning a lot more than how to write!

So overall it's been a great experience.  It's weird not having him home as much and it's weird when he has assignments that conflict with things I have planned.  But, he's learning, growing and fitting in just fine.  Just like I always knew he would!

Happy Homeschooling,


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First Day of College

My sons first day of College is some ways was much like what most mom's experience on the day they send their oldest child off to Kindergarten!  It was a BIG day at our house! My husband went in late to work so he could drive my son to his first class.  We had already been out to the College the day before to find his classroom.  His backpack filled with paper, pens, pencils, granola bars and 2 of the most expensive books I have ever purchased was by the door.  He was ready to go!  But, here is where the similarities to Kindergarten end.  As I stood and watch the car disappear down the street, I was thinking about how grateful I am that I have had him home for the last 16 year.  That I never had to watch him disappear on a bus when he was 5 years old.  At that moment I believed my son was ready!  He was truly going off into the real world, on his own.  And I was excited for him!

Of course I did have to take a picture of him on his first "real" day of school!

The 2 hours actually passed really fast!  I was very excited that I got to go pick him up!  So excited in fact that I had to snap this picture! LOL

Okay, I know I probably shouldn't have taken a pic through the door!  But, he knows me, and if he really didn't want his picture taken he shouldn't have sat in such a perfect spot!  (Right? LOL)

I will never forget the BIG smile on his face when he saw me!  He had a great first day and he told me all about it as we went out to lunch and drove home.  He even let me take one more picture outside the College. 

Is it just me, or does he look a little older in this picture?

Happy Homeschooling,