Graduation: Current Reflections from High School

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She barely graduated, finishing an overdue five page paper and retaking four tests two days before the ceremony. "I'm so glad to be done with stupid high school," she tells me. Her pale eyes flash with bitterness. "I hated it."

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Graduation Cap

I feel like I had a good high school experience. But that, apparently, is not the norm. Again and again this graduation season I hear the refrain: "High school was terrible. I'm so glad to be out." Not unlike prison.

Ironically, in these times of catharsis, no one mentions the "socialization" so often dangled before homeschoolers like the proverbial carrot on a stick. Prom, sports, friends--any joy in those things have been overshadowed by something else. [Of course, I hear plenty of "horror stories" about all the potentially positive things as well.] It's not the teachers. These kids love most of their instructors. It's not learning. They wax eloquent about the knowledge they absorbed. It's not even the social structure--though, the terrible has been normalized. What kids tell me today is that high school was a pointless, benefit-less game filled with petty frustrations and very real hurts.

I was always glad to be done with my school year while homeschooling. There's a natural elation at finishing your work and taking a well-earned vacation. But even as I transitioned into a public high school, I did it because of the opportunities to grow in ministry. I would have stayed home if I was more interested in academics at that point.

Your students may not be close to high school yet, but if it's been on your mind, consider this: The high school graduates I've been chatting with agree that those four years were not how they wish they'd been taught.

With Sonlight, your children will be able to go from preschool through high school using a program we guarantee they love. I expect you are likely pretty excited about finishing your school year, but if Box Day stories are any indication, your students loved to learn, and you loved to teach.

Have you heard from any recent high school graduates? Is it just my circle of friends, or is this gasping relief something you have witnessed as well?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad
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