Friday, July 11, 2008

Here's to you Dr. Bainbridge

Speaking about homeschooling older children in high school, Dr. William Bainbridge said, "At some point you have a line to draw--this is responsible parenting and this is child abuse. [Homeschooling] can be child abuse."

I've been thinking about Dr. Bainbridge's comments a lot in the last couple of days.

I spent most of yesterday updating my son's high school transcript and today I registered him today for his first college class. To enroll at this particular college a student must be 16 by the first day of class; my son misses that requirement by 6 days. Special permission is granted if the student meets with the Director of Admissions and she approves the waiver. We met this morning. After a brief glance at his transcript, she talked to my son about his interest in engineering and car design, the course he selected (Computer Aided Design 103), and college life. Then, without any hesitation, she signed the special admission form and welcomed him to the college. It was a very enjoyable experience for all of us.

Afterward, we walked to the bookstore to look through the textbook for the class. A student pointed us to the correct text and informed us that he had already taken the course. Eagerly, we asked him a few questions. His answers were very helpful. He then told us he'd be taking the course in the fall. Confused, my son glanced over at me. I knew exactly what he was thinking. Being the bold woman that I am, I turned to the student and asked, "Didn't you just say you already took this course?"

He smiled sheepishly and said, "yeah, but I got a zero." But he quickly regained his confidence and continued, "It's no big deal. I'm just going to retake it again and the previous grade won't matter." I told him I admired his perservance and positive attitude, but inwardly I wondered if my son might be reconsidering at this point. Thankfully, he has done quite a bit of reading and drafting work on his own and this conversation did not deter his decision to enroll.

So, here's to my 15 (almost 16) year old homeschooler whose Constitutional right to equal protection have been denied because his parents have "unfettered" control of his education and decided to educate him through high school and to his classmate, a 20-something college student who is repeating the course right along side him.

Cheers Dr. Bainbridge!

(Note: Taking nothing for granted, I realize that my son might not pass the class either; but at least he has five extra years to try!)

P.S. While we're on the topic of abuse, we're going to a Tiger's game tonight. I sure hope we don't get served the wrong lemonade. Things are sure crazy in Detroit these days.

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