If the school part caught you off guard it should LOL Mara is going to City Academy, a public charter school, and so far is loving it. She has made some great new friends and has learned a lot in her classes. Why would she do this you may wonder? Well, honestly, the homeschooling environment sucks in Utah for a non-religious unschooled teen. Sitting at home is boring, so she would rather take classes and meet new people. So, we are giving CA a shot. Aspen went there for 10th and part of 11th and liked it well enough.
I met all of Mara's teachers the other night at an open house and the one common thread amongst them was that Mara was very happy. That was music to my ears. She had a difficult summer after some pretty huge life lessons fell her way. She is back to her old funny self. She has been out every night this weekend with a new friend :) It is such a great thing!
The other funny thing about Mara's teachers is that they all said she had told them she was Unschooled her whole life and might need help getting the school rhythm down. None of them even knew what unschooling was. My first reaction is how can you be a teacher and not know all the methods out there? Even if I don't agree with how some education styles work, I still have an idea of what they are. Anyway, they said they were all impressed with her and how well she was doing. This school is a college prep school and they do not teach to the test. No multiple choice going on here! You have to be able to prove that you know what you are presenting. Her science teacher even said that she had a good understanding of the scientific method...LOL This one stood out with me the most. What is the scientific method?:
- Ask a question
- research it
- make a hypothesis
- test your hypothesis
- figure out if what you researched backs up your hypothesis
- share it
Well...that pretty much sums up unschooling in a nutshell. Mara had no clue that those steps put together was called the Scientific Method but that is how we pretty much approach everything in life. At least the things we are interested in. I found it funny that her Biology teacher could see it in her when he seemed to be the most taken back by this philosophy of unschooling.
Anyway, that is what we are, just a bunch of crazy unschoolers, and as long as Mara likes CA that is what we will support her in doing. I have been volunteering at the school, I helped out on picture day, and it was fun to meet all the kids and teachers. They are a pretty cool bunch. Since Aspen was there, they have had a huge turnover in teachers and have a new assistant director (what most public schools would refer to as a principal). The new teachers and director are young and fun and make me feel very old! I swear some of them look like students :)
I have actually had a lot of fun doing homework with Mara. It is quite challenging, stuff I did in college. I now know more about Cuttlefish and how to write a 5 minute speech than I ever wanted to know :) Mara is excelling in American Sign Language and loved Biology. She is taking vocal choir this quarter and thinks it is ok...
Well, here are some of her performances from Moe's over the summer(yes, that is a see through guitar). We are working on getting her a website created, business cards and getting into a studio to record a CD. Fun stuff! I will post it all here once it all happens...