Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I am a Buzz Kill

challenging children, raising teens
I'm SOOOOO confused.
I really wish I was a person who could always figure out the right thing to do...
Elizabeth and I have been having many conversations lately about a high school that she is interested in.  Not just any school, a particular school.  
In Australia.  
In Victoria.  
In Melbourne.

A little history:  my daughter has not wanted to do any lessons, much less go to school, in...well, ever.  She is the child that purposefully fell through the cracks.  She is the kid who would do nothing asked of her.  She is the teen who no one can tell anything to.  But, she has to go to this ONE school or else I have ruined her life.

And before you ask, NO, she has never visited Melbourne, Victoria, OR the school.  But she is, tonight, ready to make a two-year commitment to the school and to living with another host family for the next two years.

She insists she is using practical criteria to make this decision but has none to show for it.  Furthermore, I am nothing but a big old buzz kill and spirit killer.

Lucky for her, one of her grandparents gives her 110% support to this plan!

...NOT helpful!  Just makes me look UNsupportive.

While Elizabeth has never been a terrific and motivated student while here under our roof, she is very bright.  I know that she is very capable.  I am delighted that she is lending a hand to her own life goals.  I have been looking forward to these years when she could be attending our local community college here in 
St. Louis as a dually-enrolled student.  (homeschool and community college)  I just KNOW that, with the intro courses available to her, she could be up-to-date on all of her math and language courses in a semester or two.  In fact, her going to the local community college has been our working plan for quite awhile now.

Of course I know that it is her life, on my dime.

Sarah, Elizabeth, and Lindsey
Being in Brisbane has thrown a delaying wrench into the plan and I know that she is chomping at the bit a bit.  I am very willing to explore as many options as possible to get her into something that challenges and energizes her, but, NO, I am not honestly willing to consider sending her to a school in Melbourne at this point...  

For one thing, we won't be in Brisbane for much longer, a few months.  For another thing, she hasn't looked at a single other school except for this one.  And for a third thing, this school is one she heard of because a current singing heart-throb graduated from there.  She is so NOT practical.
I dunno...  Has anybody got some wisdom out there?????

OK, rant over and I feel way better and less confused.  LOL

GREETINGS to my readers in Sweden!


  1. no wisdom here :/ I would be a buzz kill also, in this scenario. show me some tangible evidence why THIS school, and MAYBE, (maybe?) we will discuss it. <3

  2. Well, to be a devils advocate (I hate that term) suppose, just for a moment, that you had a host family and a scholarship to send her to her heart throbs alma mater. What's stopping you? Is it the lack of funding, the lack of a host family OR not wanting to let her go at such a tender age?

    I would love my son who will fly the coop next year this time to go to SLU or Wash U or Webster (and no they don't have astrophysics at Webster but this is a minor detail). That he may be hours and hours away is disconcerting. But it is time.

    There is that saying which I will butcher...We hold our children near in order to give them wings to fly. (ok I made it up so shoot me) My point is, let her try if it possible, financially (which it really might not be and that I totally get)...but don't you guys DARE not come home for the next two years. That's not the point. The point is to give her wings and see where it takes her.

    1. NO NO, I get that!!!!!
      Look at all of these replies.
      This is why I am so confused!

  3. I'm sorry to say, that I don't have any words of wisdom for you! What I can say is (and I've posted to you about this once before), our daughters are EXACTLY alike! Exactly! I tend to try to let these "whims" run their course, and hope that she eventually moves on to some other nonsensical, totally ridiculous idea! *wink*

    1. Yvonne, we must either get these girls together immediately or do all we can to keep them apart.


      My daughter has this INTENSE 'disappointed' look, and a 'you don't GET it, Mom' look that really get to me...I'm quite on the receiving end those looks quite a bit in the last few day...

      Apparently I'm not taking her seriously and I am thinking she is living in a "fantasy world"...which she is NOT....


  4. How old is she? And how does the school get paid for? If she wants it that bad I would insist that she demonstrates to you, now, her commitment to academics by putting together a curriculum and spending 6 hours a day working on, getting good grades and learning the material. If she isn't capable of that she either doesn't want it bad enough or wouldn't be able to tolerate the discipline the school would require.

    And if she really can, well, maybe rethink it at that point.

  5. Karen, I feel for you. You're significantly ahead of me on the parenting timeline, so I have no real pearls of wisdom for you. Sorry.

    I believe in letting children be who they are (with some loving, parental tweaking along the way) and exploring interests, aptitudes, etc. But, I will say--for whatever it's worth--that, if it were my child asking to finish high school in another country, halfway around the world, based on the recommendation of an entertainer (no offense intended toward entertainers, mind you), the answer would be "No thanks."

    Send love and peace your way. <3

  6. I am probably a bit closer to Elizabeth in this sense (I graduated from school 2 years ago, college but sort of the same) I chose one school at random and told my dad. He said no, but made a deal with me. That I had to look at at least 4 others schools (make it a nice 5 schools) before he would seriously consider the 1 school I had picked out.He also had me make pros and cons for each school (price, distance, programs, etc) I ended up choosing school #5 and not #1. I don't know if you have already done something like that with her, but if you have not, maybe give it try? She'll see you want the best for her and you will be encouraging her to seek something further rather than settle for the first thing that comes around.
    Hope that helps..and was on topic :)

    1. Thanks, Samantha.
      This is part of what I have done.
      I SO appreciate your input.

      Another question for you and other readers:
      What if, adding another layer to this question, the school is a performing arts school, less academic. What if the child in question is a lover of acting... And what if, say, the child in question has not actually been performing in quite awhile? Would that change anything?
      I don't think it would...just wondering what others think.

    2. I think that would cause me to give it a wee-bit more consideration. She would have to be completely passionate about performing, though. Ya know, like one of those kids who knows, always knew, that performing is exactly what she wants. I don't know, it would be a very long discussion. It would be different also, if the rest of you were going to still be in-country for the duration. How did the actual conversation go/end? Was it a "no, discussion over." a "this will take some serious consideration." a " you have a lot of proving yourself to do first" Has she eased up on you at at all yet today?



      No, she has not eased up...

      The conversation ended with these two expectations:
      1. she would contact the school to get information on tuition costs, room and board, etc. Bottom line on finances.
      2. She would explore at least six other schools anywhere, including one in St. Louis, to compare and contrast.

      In the meantime, I have already contacted the school in question about a month ago and requested a tour. We will be in Melbourne within the next couple of weeks. So, I'm willing to look and seriously consider it. Just NOT going to be guilted, roped, or pressured into a decision such as this.

      THANKS, everyone, for continued thoughts on the matter.
      It helps to get my thoughts down...she's a formidable debater.

    4. Maybe to see if she is truly passionate about performing, give her a project. Performing is a lot more that just standing up on stage and doing a talent. Maybe have her organize a short play, or write some songs (if she is a singer, if not maybe write some monologues) and perform them in the park. Maybe a short oral report on how certain technologies used in performing work, like editing or lights. If anything she will need to do those things at that school, so it will definitely be preparing her if you choose that option in the end.

  7. No wisdom here. I was excited to teach high school at home, then my son decided to go back to public school. I hate my district, so he's living with his father to attend a different school. It stinks, but he's doing well. I keep reminding myself that that's what my goal was!

    1. No, no, no, you are right. I am aware that the goals that we had sketched out for her, with her, were goals that I was very behind.

      I THINK I am keeping my own expectations out of it...but it helps to be reminded.


  8. Hi Karen, it's Jackie from Let's Homeschool High School. I wanted to stop by and personally thank you for joining our first ever high school blog hop.

    Not sure I have any super wisdom for dealing with Elizabeth except to say that even if she makes a mistake I think she will gain much from the experience because she has ownership in it. I can see a little of my daughter in your Elizabeth's attitude toward schooling. We have been unschooling the last several years, but she is starting to think about the future more and realizing she might actually need a solid high school transcript, so this year she will be enrolling in Time4Learning's new high school courses.

    I am thrilled they do the record keeping (helps me with filling out the transcript), the lesson plans, and grading. It's a winner with me. LOL

    Best wishes to you all this year. I look forward to you linking up with us again next month.

    Let's Homeschool High School Team

  9. I made a decision like that when I was 13 and moved to a different country from my mother for 2 years. It is a big part of my story and who I am, and I am grateful to my mother for letting me do what I did.

    Does it have to be two years? Could it just be one?

    I think that the fact that she feels ready to do something like this is more important than the "why" she's doing this (in reference to the heart-throb part).

    But you know her best, and you know if she's ready or not. Just be careful to not stand in the way of what she wants because YOU're not ready (and that is as much of a message to myself - an extremely apprehensive parent - as it is to you).

    Either way, it sounds like a difficult place to be. (((hugs)))

  10. AYE Chihuahua... Parenting teens is the hardest thing I have ever done. EVER.
    Its so hard when they get their mind and hearts set in one direction - especially one that we can't facilitate for one reason or another. The hardest part is saying no, but as the mum it is your right. Buzzkill? I don't think so.

  11. Hi, Karen.... Well, I have never done this blogging stuff, so forgive my mistakes (I have no idea how to navigate around here and just wanted to send you a message somehow).
    I am from Kansas City, Missouri and we moved down here to Brisbane in October of 2012. I just decided to homeschool both my daughters (ages 15 and 11). I have never home-schooled or known anyone closely that has. So, I just started googling stuff about it. I kept finding every piece of information I got was on Christian based homeschooling, got frustrated, and finally just typed in "atheist homeschool". To my delight, your blog popped up immediately and I could not believe my eyes! You sounded exactly like me. Anyway, I'm sure you know what you are doing on here and could possibly send me an email? I don't know how to send you a personal message (if I even can), but would LOVE to talk to you -- as we are neighbors down under here and back at home!! Thanks!

    1. Hayley, I am in shock about you being in Brisbane too!!!!!!!
      I'm seriously excited!

      At this very moment we are less than 24 hours from getting on a plane in St. Louis to return from our vacation here and to go back to Brisbane.
      We will arrive on Thursday in the A.M.

      We live in the suburb of Morningside; how about you??????
      PLease tell me you are not punking me. LOL

    2. Also, Guess What! We went to KC while on our visit here. My daughter and her friend went to a concert in KC July 19th!


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