November 11, 2010

Meg's First Few Months of College

Meg is in college. That sounds so strange, but I am getting used to it. She's our second child, the artsy one who didn't learn to read until she was ten years old, our incredibly social child who homeschooled from kindergarten to 12th grade. She goes to a public university in our hometown and is able to live at home, in her own apartment we created in the basement of our church/house.

I asked her a few questions.

What do you think of college after the first three months?
It's not as hard as I thought it would be. I'm getting A's and B's and not having to work too hard.  

Do you think homeschooling gave you any sort of advantage in college? 
Maybe, because I knew what I wanted to do with my life and I could pick classes that I was already good at. Also, I've noticed that I can focus and get a lot done in a short amount of time because in homeschooling we had the motivation--if you get these math pages done, you're done and can do something else. But in regular school, even if you're done, you still have to sit there. 

How are you doing in class, taking notes and understanding the professor?
I seem to be more of an independent thinker and have the confidence that I can understand. Even if it's not too clear, I can figure out that he probably means this or that. It's pretty frustrating when kids in the class keep asking him to clarify and everyone just goes around in circles. 

After the freedom of homeschooling, how do you like the structured school setting?
I love it! I love having to get up and go somewhere everyday. (Yes, this is the child who, starting at age four, would ask me every day, "What are we doing today, Mommy?" The pressure is finally off. Oh, and I should mention that she has a job and has to be there at 8am a couple times a week.) 

Are you making friends? 
Yes! I've made a lot of friends. Getting a part in the musical gave me an instant set of friends. Plus, there are alot of people at this school that I met in high school when I did theatre.

Meg's major at the moment is Family and Consumer Sciences which is the new name for Home Economics. She'll be taking classes in psychology, nutrition, health, things like that. She is especially interested in the sociology aspect of the major.

And she's still very active in theatre and takes voice lessons. She even won the opportunity to perform on stage with a troupe from Broadway that came through our town. She had to submit her audition via YouTube, and she got to sing the female solo lines in Seasons of Love. Here she is with Grant Norman who has played the Phantom and Gaston on Broadway. Yes, very exciting.

Overall, I'd say homeschooling gave Meg the confidence that she can do anything she sets her mind to. Reading was a real obstacle from age 5-10 and would have set her back terribly in public school. Instead, she got to enjoy her childhood and develop her "gifted" areas. It's interesting that we didn't homeschool Meg because of her reading difficulties--she was just part of the group here at home, everyone learning at their own pace, in their areas of interest. It turned out to be a perfect choice.

8 comments:

Heather said...

Wonderful. Rachel is nearly 13 and we are seeing her bloom in ways we never expected-- in fact she just helped me with a design project and is already fairly independent (in a good way.) She can't wait till she is old enough to get a job-- she now babysits at least once a week, has to be there by 9am, and adores it.

It is encouraging to see Megan growing into herself and showing the confidence that homeschooling has brought her.

Ashley @ Root And Twig said...

Thank you for sharing this. So good to see young people full of energy and confidence and direction! Another excellent example of homeschooling success, and I find encouragement in it.

Hannah said...

Interesting about the reading. My middle child is 7 and has made very slow progress with reading, in fact I am worried that her younger sister will pass her up! Did you try to work with Meg on reading or did she truly do no reading until she was 10 and ready to do it all on her own?

P.S. She sounds terrific!

Kerry said...

Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. I have a struggling reader too and I also have the child who asks what we are going to do each day:p

Jena said...

Hannah,

Meg had reading instruction from the beginning. Around age 6 I started more structured things with her, like worksheets and reading programs, and her little 4 year old sister was picking it up in the background! So Melissa read early, and it just wouldn't click with Meg. It was very frustrating for her, but we tried to downplay it as much as possible and work with her when Melissa wasn't around. :) She made some progress and got "stuck" in a 1st grade level for a long time. Then one day it all made sense and she took off.

Here's my post on teaching Meg to read: http://www.yarnsoftheheart.com/2008/06/teaching-child-how-to-read.html

And you can look through my reading topic here: http://www.yarnsoftheheart.com/search/label/learning%20to%20read

Jena said...

I forgot to say that I always caution parents who have a struggling reader to make sure there isn't some medical reason behind the problems. Check with your doctor.

Karen said...

Congrats to Meg :-) It sounds like she is off to a great start in college. Interesting how different her path is to Peter's, but certainly no surprise that Meg is as successful in her sphere as Peter is in his.
Thanks for the inspiration!

Teetho said...
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