This week was the end of the first quarter so we have been busy with parent teacher conferences as well as more high school open houses. Everyone’s conferences went well and most importantly the teachers were pleased with their adjustments to school and to their new schedule.
Hannah and Jamilah seem to have had done the best in English and math. Both are in the advanced English classes and are holding their own. We did decide to drop them back down to the regular 6th grade Environmental Science/Earth Science as they were drowning in Advanced Life Science which is a 7th grade course. Over their homeschool years as you may recall, we studied science on an informal level. So, I think it is best for them to start from the beginning on a formal level so they won’t be discouraged from exploring science. It was great to meet their teachers and to also find out about before/after school tutoring session available to them free of charge in addition to free advanced art workshops.They also mentioned that they weren’t shy to ask questions and participate in class. They have made friends and there are quite a few other Muslim girls there. Our area is very diverse with many Indians, Pakistanis, blacks, whites, latinos, Asians, and multicultural residents. Many of the Muslims are very shy though even around my girls and aren’t interested in talking to them. So far there hasn’t been any bullying issues or religious issues. For the most part, the boys know not to mess with them and they tell me that the girls compliment them on their hijab and clothes.
One quick note, I have realized how much things have changed since I taught at the high school level back in the late 90s. These courses that the girls are taking in middle school are actually high school level courses now. High school students are now expected to complete college level work.
My eyes have truly been opened by putting them in school here. Our county sets the educational standards for private and public schools in the area and for rigor as they rank number 2 in the state.
This high standard is also coming up during the high school search with Yahya. We are very interested in the Advanced College Academy which is located at his home school. If admitted to this program, he would earn an associates degree (a 2 yr. college degree) free of charge along with a high school diploma. Then he would have two years of college under his belt and be ready to move on to a 4 year college should he so desire. These specialty centers are so very competitive as there are so many qualified applicants from our county. We are still keeping an open mind.
Though this transition with the girls and through the high school process with Yahya, I have realized how driven I was in school and still am to this day. I am struggling with my high and maybe unattainable expectations for my children daily. I feel like it is me going through school all over again. My children are not like me and I need to remind myself that this is their journey. Not mine. Period.