How many times do I have tell my kids that you can’t cancel within terms? No. No. No.
There are more there. Go check it out. Have a good laugh on Friday. Enjoy your weekend!
WHY I CHOSE IT
Like I said, I had never considered using Life of Fred math. We were always Saxon loyalists. My son used Saxon math through Calculus (kind of). My daughter made her way through the “Green Book” and declared herself finished with math. Forever. Well, really, who can blame her? Have you completed the “Green Book”? It is hard. So. MUCH. math. Truthfully, I didn’t want to study Calculus, but I also didn’t want her to take the year off from math. I thought Statistics would be a good choice. I didn’t want light statistics. I wanted the “real” stuff. The stuff my husband had done for his MBA. I loved helping him, and I thought it would be fun. Besides, Statistics is applicable to life. It shows how Algebra is used in life. Life of Fred was the only Statistics book I found geared for the high school student. Oh sure, we could have used my husband’s book, but there would have been an all out war at my house. I was not looking for that. I needed something solid but not overwhelming. I am happy to report that Life of Fred was a good fit. She was successful on her own and has a good foundation if she needs to take Statistics in college.
WHAT IT COVERS
It covers descriptive statistics, probability, and conditional probability. These are basic statistics that are covered heavily in Saxon math. These concepts were not new. Then, it moves into sample statistics. This is where it got good. It covers future, past, and present sample tests. The student will learn the distribution tests, the Chi-Squared test, the One-Way ANOVA test, and the Two-Factor ANOVA test. There are too many tests to be listed here.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT IT
It is written for the student assuming that the student has never had a statistics course. It also teaches all the tests that a student would need in a college statistics course. There is a good foundation here. The book is completely student led which is nice until your student needs help and you have to spend a couple of hours teaching yourself the chapter. (Ask me how I know.)
My favorite part of the book was the Field Guide. If your student is proficient in Algebra, the actual working of statistics is not hard. The most difficult parts of statistics are figuring out what kind of distribution the problems are and what test needs to be used. Once you have that part, you are in there. That is why the Field Guide is gold. It helps you figure out what you need to do, by asking the questions that lead you to the right test. I will be sending this book to school with my son who will be taking Statistics next semester just because that Field Guide is going to come in handy. I would have bought the book for the Field Guide alone back when I was helping my husband with his Statistics had I known about it.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I wish there had been a few more practice problems. I did give my daughter a full credit for the course even though she was done 2/3 of the of the way through the year. Either she was very diligent or the course needed a little more practice.
The answer key also frustrated me. It wasn’t a solutions manual. You know me, I don’t want to work that hard anymore. Many times I would have to spend time solving the problem myself in order to teach it to her. Such a drag.
WHAT SHE LIKED
She finished 2/3 of the way through the year.
WHAT SHE DIDN’T LIKE
She thought the story was silly.
I would use this again for a high school student who didn’t want to take Calculus. Even though it seems silly, it is a very strong course. I would recommend it. However, if you, the parent, are not strong in Algebra make sure that your student has someone they can ask for help if they need it. With hard work, I think your student has a probability of 100% of being successful with this course. (haha. Just a little statistical humor.)
I mentioned yesterday that I had learned a lesson from the debate tournament. It was a lesson about myself. I do not care for those kind of lessons. I much prefer the lessons of Algebra or Biology. Lessons about my behavior or attitude are much less fun.
Unfortunately, that is what I received. I suppose we could say that I have grown because I recognized it right away, but whatever. I still didn’t like it.
Ok. So let me give you some back story. I signed my son up for a debate class. I thought that it would be so good for him. It would help him meet some other high school aged kids, and maybe, just maybe, he would find an outlet for all that talking he likes to do. He agreed to take the class, but it wasn’t his idea. I wouldn’t say that he had a bad attitude about it, but he wasn’t all gung-ho either.
A couple of weeks into the class, I could tell that he wasn’t feeling the debate thing. Full disclosure here, but I was almost relieved. You see, I didn’t realize how much WORK debate was going to be. Granted the work is his, but I didn’t realize how far I was going to travel or how much I needed to be involved. You know me. Lazy.
So when I saw that he wasn’t feeling the whole thing, I had convinced myself that debate would not be good for him after all.
Here comes the lesson. Proud mom moment right here.
I had almost even convinced him that debate wouldn’t be good for him. Because I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to travel to the debate. I didn’t want to have to meet a bunch of new people. My anxiety had convinced me that this was not good. I was coming up with all kinds of stupid stuff (justifications) on why it was ok to not do debate.
Have you done this? Have you convinced yourself that no one is really going to need something because you didn’t want to do it? This doesn’t even have to be a homeschool thing. It could be about anything. I noticed this about myself with debate.
I am so thankful that my son told his teacher that we were going to the tournament, or I would have blown it off. I would have come up with some excuse. We would have stayed home and missed a good learning experience. My son likes the idea of debate now. He is excited about it. That has nothing to do with me, because if it had been up to me, we would be done. How unfortunate!
I think about myself. I know that I have done this to my kids before. How many other times have I blown off an opportunity because of my own anxiety? What’s done is done. But I can recognize this about myself now, and work to change it for future things.
I hope you don’t struggle with this anxiety. You know, it is just one more thing. I can, however, work to change it now that I recognize it.
Personal growth. It is a bummer.
There is a meltdown. If you are the one having the meltdown, go grab yourself a cup of coffee and come back. No, really. In fact, I think I will make a cup myself right now. Be right back…
I am having the instant pumpkin spice latte from Maxwell House. Starbucks it isn’t, but it does in a pinch. Anyway, so you let your child fail. They knew it. You didn’t teach them right, (so they say) or the book didn’t teach them right. Even more distressing, your child thinks he is stupid. Of course we know that your child is not stupid, and we need to nip that one in the bud right away. Here is how the conversation might go at my house. M stands for me. T stands for the teen.
T: I knew! I am stupid! This is stupid. Everything is stupid.
M: You are not stupid. I know that for a fact.
T: Yes, I am. You saw my test score. I am so stupid.
M: You have every Pokémon character ever created memorized along with all their stats, colors, evolutions, and who knows what else I have never heard about. You can’t be stupid. It is impossible. (You can change this up for Star Wars, Taylor Swift lyrics, minecraft commands, you name it.)
T: Yeah, but that isn’t the same. Those are easy! Everyone can do that.
M: Not me. I can’t do that. I have no interest in doing that. Now, if It was important to my success, I would and I could. Do you know how I would do that?
M: I would make note cards. I would set up charts. I would make sure that I went over my Pokémon cards every day. I wouldn’t just look at the cards and think that I know them. I would quiz myself. Which is basically what you do when you play them all the time with your friends. I don’t play them all the time, so I have to make a different system of learning for myself. This is what you have to do for things that aren’t as interesting to you. The funny thing is that once you master the information it will become more interesting.
T: I hate Algebra. It is stupid. I will never need it in my life.
M: I am sorry that you feel that way. Regardless, this is what you have to do.
Study skills are important. This is where it is time for you to show your teen some different ways to study. Note cards are a great tool. They can make their own flashcards. Whether or not they use them is up to them. You can give them extra practice problems for their math. (Do not REQUIRE that they do them. Leave it up to them.) You can teach them how to outline and find the main points of their text. Lots of ideas out there for studying.
Here is how the conversation can go the next time your child fails his test.
T: I hate school!
M: Well, did you study for this test?
T: Yes! I did. And look! I still failed!
M: How did you study? Show me what you did.
T: I looked at the book.
M: I am glad that you opened the book, but did you review your flashcards?
T: I don’t know where they are.
M: Huh. Did you do any practice problems?
T: You didn’t tell me to do that.
M: Well, I honestly thought we were passed having to hold hands. Do you still need me to hold your hand while you do your homework? Because I can do that. I can even hold your hand when we cross the street! I would like that. (big smile)
T: NO! No! Moommm! No way!
M: Ok. You need to start doing this on your own. I have given you the tools. I shouldn’t have to put them in your hands and hold your hand while you use them.
T: Fine. I still hate school.
M: I am going to go check Facebook. Do your math.
I know it is exhausting. We are tired. We do not want to fight anymore. The trick is that we shouldn’t have to fight. They only fight because they know it wears us down. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work. Stand firm, moms! You can do this!
Whoa. There are some fighting words right there. No one wants to watch their kid fail. Am I right? I sure don’t want to see my child fail, so what is that title all about?
When my oldest was entering high school, I received some advice about making sure my student knew the information. That it was ok if he didn’t catch it the first time around. We could always go back and relearn the material in order for him to be successful. I thought this was great advice. Isn’t that what education is? Teaching children to understand the material and be successful?
To some extent I think this is still good advice for some students, the elementary ones. In the early years, it is ok to make sure they grasp the information before you move on to the next topic. Little brains mature at different rates.
Somewhere around 7th or 8th grade the dynamic changes. I have found that it become less about the developing brain and more about the rebellious brain. If your child has some learning disabilities, go ahead and stop reading. I am talking to the parents of children that have “normal” (I am using that term loosely. What teenagre is normal? seriously.) children.
I am sure that you have found yourself grading material that you have gone over and over with your child and they are still not getting the answers right. I used to think it was me. Was I not teaching it properly? What was I missing? Why was my child not getting it? It must be my fault. “We will just do it again,” I told myself. I don’t want him to be a failure. hahaha!
Do you know what I finally figured out? It wasn’t me. It was THEM.
I know. It was a shocker for me too.
What do you do when you have provided every tool for your high school student, and they still do not do well?
You let them fail.
At some point reality is going to hit them in the face. You can’t hold them up their whole lives. What do you think they are going to have to do when they get to the real world? They can’t keeping repeating over and over again until they get it right. A college professor doesn’t back up their lectures to let your kid try again. The state isn’t going to change the licensing test, so your kid doesn’t fail it.
For your high school child, at least 80% of the learning needs to be done by them. The time for hand holding is over. Oh, you need to be available to teach or facilitate the material, but the learning needs to come from their own guts. Don’t be fooled when they try to redirect the blame. For example, does your child say, “Well, you didn’t teach that part right.” Or how about, “The book didn’t say that.” (That is my favorite. When the book is wrong.) Mine have. It used to hurt. It doesn’t hurt anymore. I know what I taught. I know that they have a multitude of resources. I am available for assistance every day as they do their assignment. If they fail, it is their fault.
Let them fail. Failure hurts. Failure causes you to change direction. When a child fails a test, they recognize that something is wrong. Maybe they didn’t study hard enough. Maybe they should have corrected their daily work. Maybe they should have paid better attention while you were teaching the lesson. It could be a hundred different things. It really is up to them to figure out why they failed.
Failure can be a good thing. How will your child ever learn their own learning style if you make it impossible for them to fail?
I have a personal story about myself. When I was in high school, I did fairly well. My friend, however, did very well. She was a smart cookie and didn’t need to put in a lot of study time to do well. For some reason I thought I was as cool as she was. Until my first A/P test which I failed. I was devastated. For the next chapter, I tried something new. I outlined the entire chapter and studied every night. I aced the test. I think I may have even scored over 100%. If I hadn’t failed that first test, I know I wouldn’t have put in the effort to study for the next one. I also figured out how I study best. Just so you know, I had to learn the lesson all over again in college. Yay, me.
So don’t get all upset if your high schooler fails. Let them. If you know they are going to fail their test the next day, say nothing. It is painful. I know.
Now, if your high school kid doesn’t care that he is failing, you have a different problem on your hands. That is one that you will have to talk through with your teen.
High school can be challenging, but make sure that you aren’t the only one doing all the work!
Oh, I am not talking about me here. I love test days. It means that I don’t have to teach the subject that day. Lately, I have been hearing that statement a lot from moms, and while your homeschool is really your business, let me give you some reasons why I think you should take another look at testing.
First, a disclaimer. Testing in elementary school, I agree, is silly. My points here are for the more advanced students. Around 7th grade, kids need to start developing some good habits.
Testing helps develop good study habits. My children were not self-motivated learners. I always looked from afar with envy on those parents who had children that got right down to business and studied with passion. Mine chose different avenues of interest. If I had chosen not to test them, they would never have learned how to find important information in a text. There is always the question when we read, “What is the author trying to tell me?” This just doesn’t pertain to textbooks. When we read a news article, we must ask ourselves this question. Even the reader boards at the museum ask this question. Finding main ideas in our daily lives is an important skill. Of course, there is always the problem of “data dumping”. My college kids confess to this. I did it. You probably did it. In fact, that could be one of the reason that you do not like tests. It doesn’t make good study habits less important, it just means that we didn’t care about the information. Those are two completely different things. If you aced the test, you studied well, data dump or not.
One thing I hear from moms is that they already know how their kids are doing, so it is unnecessary to test them. I get this. When we lived in Washington, I had to test my kids every year. There was never a surprise on the results. I have always known how my kids are doing. The bigger question is do the kids know how they are doing? Remember I am not talking about 6 year olds here. I am talking about middle school and high school students who need to be aware of how they are doing. For example, my son was complaining that he knew all the stuff in his Biology module. It was so easy, he said. He didn’t need to study for the test. Well, he found out the next day that maybe he didn’t know the stuff as well as he thought he did. I knew he didn’t. I could have told him until I was blue in the face that he didn’t know it well. He wouldn’t have believed me. He needed to know that he wasn’t as cool as he thought he was. A test gives him that information.
Finally, whether or not you believe in tests, the world loves them. Your kids may as well get used to taking them. Your child doesn’t want to go to college? They still may have to take them. If they choose a technical school, there will be tests. If they choose to go into the military, there will still be tests (lots and lots of them). If they start a job that needs any kind of licensure, they may need to take a test. If they want to work minimum wage at Pier One Imports, they will need to take a test (crazy, I know). They have to take a test to get their driver’s license. Telling our kids that they will never have to prove their knowledge is not fair to them.
Tests are not evil. You don’t have to use them to berate your kids or make them feel stupid. Use them as a tool. Use them to help your kids develop good study habits. Help them be successful. Don’t throw a test at a kid whom you haven’t properly prepared. Some of the responsibility of good testing rests on you, the teacher. Sometimes the responsibility is on the student. In your homeschool, you can decide where the responsibility lies and how to delegate the responsibility. Testing is useful. Don’t give up on it.
The other day I had a conversation with another homeschool mom. The conversation drifted to homeschooling high school. We talked about getting into college, scholarships, and a variety of other things. I hope that when we were done talking, she was encouraged.
I find that many moms of high school students have put a lot of pressure on themselves to have high achieving students. They want their kids to get full ride scholarships because they have read that colleges are looking for homeschoolers. They want them to get into the military academies because they have heard that the academies accept homeschoolers (they do). They want their kids to magically find their passion, and even though they have put their kids into all kinds of activities, their kids still flounder.
All of those goals are well and good. They are even possible. We have all read the stories on the internet about the students who attend college for free with multiple scholarships. We want this for our children.
I want to ask you a question. Do your children want this for themselves?
I think if I had been asked this question 7 years ago I would have answered that of course they want it. They just don’t know that they want it. I am here to make sure that they get it and they like it.
I had set the goals for my children based upon what I wanted for them. There is a big difference between I want my child to go to the Naval Academy and my child wants to go to the Naval Academy. On a smaller scale, there is a big difference between I want my child to major in math and my child wants to major in math. (Ask me how that turned out.)
I think this is easy to do and an easy trap to fall into. We homeschooling mothers have a lot invested in our children. We face a lot of a challenges and many times I think, if we are honest with ourselves, we wrap our self worth around the successes of our children. If our children are amazing our friends and neighbors, it is because of all that we have done for them.
The trouble starts when our kids aren’t amazing our friends and neighbors. What then? What haven’t we done correctly? Homeschooled children are supposed to be many steps ahead of their peers. That is what we tell ourselves, right?
I think this comes back to my question. What do your children want?
Some children seem to have it all together. They are driven. They find their gifts and talents early. One of the lessons that I have learned over the years is that these kids would have still done well if they had been in public school. As homeschoolers we don’t want to believe that. We want to believe that it is the homeschooling that made them this way. That is why we homeschool, right? Because it gives our children the opportunity to be amazing. And it does. But what we don’t see in the magazines are the children who aren’t winning the big scholarships. The children who haven’t found their passion. The teens who aren’t sure what they want to do. Some children take longer. What do we do then? Are we failures at homeschooling?
No. We are not. I think many times we have set goals for our children that are our goals not theirs. This is going to cause nothing but frustration as our children fight against the tide because our goal is not what they want for themselves.
I encourage you to set attainable goals for your homeschool. Make the goals for yourself. I set a goal for myself this past year to focus more on history. I would make sure it was done, and I would discuss it with them at least once a week. This was a challenging goal for me because history is my least favorite subject. The goal was mine. Yes, the kids had to do their work, but that is their job. I didn’t make a goal that they would love history. I didn’t make a goal that they would become history buffs and amaze their neighbors with their knowledge of the Civil War. It would have been nice if that happened. For the record, it didn’t. However, I do think we did a good job this year with history. No one hated it which in my book is a win.
I am sure you have heard that saying about eating an elephant. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The same goes for homeschooling. Remember that homeschooling is a long journey. Set small goals for yourself along the way and reward yourself when you achieve them.
I hope that you have had a rewarding school year!
I asked my son to write a post for this blog about what it is like being in college after being homeschooled. I was expecting something a little different than what he wrote, but I like his post. He is being completely honest, and I am all about honesty on this blog. We have a pretty good relationship now. We still make each other crazy, but I am learning to step back. I don’t think there is an easy answer to the issue that he writes about. As is typical, there is a huge learning curve for a first born and a parent. Thanks to my son for writing this for me.
From my son
Note: This was going to be a post about the differences between homeschooling and college. It ended up being about how screwing up in college is different and how much I love my parents for not kicking me out when they had the chance.
So I guess I promised I would write this guest post. I thought it would be fun. I’m not sure how much my mother has told all of you about me, but I’m her eldest son. I currently attend Bethany Lutheran College. The thing about college is that it’s kind of like high school in terms of people saying “these are going to be some of the most important years of your life” or “these are going to be where you define yourself as a person.” I never attended a public high school, but it is a phrase I hear a lot, and it’s a phrase that bugs me in both terms of high school and college.
But I digress. That’s not why I’m here. Rather than waste your time boring you with the way my silly millennial generation thinks, I’m going to attempt to not bore you with why learning in college is much different than learning in a homeschool setting.
I guess it’s rather obvious that the two would be different, but when I look at the way I learn here at Bethany versus how I learned at home, I think it had much more to do with me than the environment. Maybe those phrases I put back up there aren’t entirely wrong, but I should probably rephrase them. College is where I learn everything that I did wrong and how I can try not to screw up badly here.
I can’t attest to public schoolers, but I think a lot of where a homeschooler has the potential to screw up is that they’re learning from their parents. I’m very grateful for what my mother did for me, but the truth remains I still didn’t like learning from her. It wasn’t because I disliked the way she taught or that I disliked her. The problem was that I loved her, and I didn’t want my bad grades or my papers to affect the way she viewed me as her son.
I couldn’t make the distinction that during the day she had to play two different roles in my life. She had to be my mother, and she had to be my teacher. It didn’t matter that she taught me throughout high school and most of grade school and middle school. I could not get past that she had to be my teacher.
In college, you don’t love your professors. They are there to give you your grade, help you understand what they’re teaching you, and that’s it. I don’t have to worry if they’re going to dislike me because that doesn’t matter. I don’t interact with them outside of a classroom or office setting.
My mother, on the other hand, taught my lessons while making my lunch and dinner, doing all the grocery shopping, doing the laundry, dragging me to all my doctor and dentist appointments, listening to whatever problem I came to her with, handling family issues, and who knows what else that I’m not aware of. And you notice I list everything she did as a mother because that’s the majority of her day. Even on school days, that is what she’s still doing. Transitioning between parent to teacher never lasted long before she had to run and do the next thing.
So there I was as a high schooler and a middle schooler and a grade schooler wondering why she was making a personal attack on everything I got wrong. Of course, that’s not what she was doing in the slightest. It was her job to make sure I knew what I was doing, and I still can’t understand now why I didn’t understand that then. Now, whenever she asks me if a test or piece of homework went okay, and it didn’t, I still fear telling her each and every time that it was bad. Even when she doesn’t ask me, I can’t help but tell her. It’s like I’m looking to see if she disapproves of me. My first thought when I get a less than decent grade (for the record though, my grades are fine) on something my first thought isn’t “guess I didn’t study hard enough” or “maybe I should improve” or even “how will this affect my grade for the class.” It’s, “OH NO! WHAT IS MOM GOING TO SAY?”
I don’t care what my professor is going to do because he or she will do nothing and keep treating you like a student. They don’t give a flip what I’m doing, and I don’t give a flip what they think about me. I give many flips (twelve if you’re looking for a hard number) what my mother thinks.
I keep telling myself that I’m here for myself and only myself. I’m the only one who needs to care about anything, but I’m lying to myself. I care very much if she’s proud of me. I did then, and I do now.
So now, it is a little easier to deal with. She’s not here. I don’t have to see her around and wonder this all the time. But when I was living at home, she was there all the time. I constantly wondered if she was still angry with me for what I did earlier or what I said earlier.
My sister texted me (Mom, when you proofread this, never tell her I’m telling you this or she’ll kick my butt next time I see her) last year that our mother was weird. They were having some argument in the car on the way back from the mall about college or something like that. Apparently, it seemed like Mom was really angry with her, but then five minutes later carried on a conversation like nothing else.
So again, I don’t know why I felt so… attacked when my mother talked to me. I had the same problem with my dad. He’s really good at English. Like so good that when I write I have to think about whether or not he would mark a sentence wrong. Most of the time, the answer is yes, so it takes me awhile to write my papers. Every time I got a paper back from him, my page may as well have just been dipped in ketchup. There was so much red. I can just remember it now.
“*Insert First Name Here*,” he would say to me.
“Yes, Dad?” I would ask fighting back my rage (poorly) at all the ketchup… I mean red.
“This paper is at a C right now. With some work, it could be a B-. If you do everything I tell you, it can be an A.”
Yeah. I was a teenager. Like Hell’s Kitchen I was going to listen to him… Yeah. My papers were B’s most of the time. I’m lame. He was right. I got A’s in college finally taking his words to heart….
So, sorry, Dad! You were right!
“Darn right, I was right,” I can just hear him say now. Fine. Be that way imaginary Dad.
I’m trying too hard to be funny, so let’s move on. I don’t know how long this should really be, so let me just bottom line this particular section. Loving my parents was something I didn’t think I could do while taking constructive criticism from them.
I’ve told my mom this before, but I’ll say it again. I think what was probably the biggest obstacle was that I didn’t appreciate everything she did as a teacher, and from time to time, I don’t think I even really appreciated her as a mother either. She did everything. She was Super Mom, and I was her spoiled child who thought she was Mom Luthor.
The final months of my senior year, I finally started to appreciate what she did for us. She had to go back home across the country for about a month. Since she was gone, and Dad had to work, I got to teach my siblings. Thankfully, my sister was old enough that she could fend for herself. That was good because I think she was doing chemistry at the time, and I can’t stand chemistry. My brother on the other hand, could not teach himself.
Dearest brother of mine, I love you to death, but you are a pain in the butt to teach. BUT you did everything that I did too. I was kind of like “Ohhhhh. This is what Mom was talking about when she complains that I battle her. She was right, and I was wrong. Ohhhhh.” By the way, those moments don’t go away. Ever. When she came back, I was the happiest person ever because it meant I didn’t have to teach my brother whatever math he was doing anymore. Yay.
I wish teenagers were more rational. Maybe I could have had all these thoughts then and not now while sitting at a table in the school’s restaurant, drinking coffee, and wishing that it could be 5:30 already so I can eat. Aaaaand my coffee’s gone which means quality of writing is going to go down.
I’m terrible at conclusions, so I’ll just say this. Making the distinction between parent and teacher is difficult. It creates a barrier which makes it harder to listen to them. Children don’t appreciate their parents until later in their years, and that makes life hard too.
Professors? Yeah. I don’t love them. I respect and like them, but they take my money. They don’t need my love and appreciation. They have my money. Trust me, I’ll listen to them. Hey, Mom. Maybe if you make dearest brother pay you to teach him, he’ll appreciate it? Nah, probably not. He’d just as sooner be like: “Yay! No school!” The only barrier in college is your own laziness.
So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, there are three morals to this story. Love your parents. Appreciate your parents. Then spend their money (and your own money) getting a liberal arts degree. Nothing will go wrong!
Love you, Mom and Dad!
P.S. I fully deny being rational. I’m only a sophomore in college. That’s the equivalent of being a potty-trained kindergartener.
P.P.S. Mom, if you use the above post script, I fully deny ever saying that. The coffee made me do it.
We are half way through the school year, and this means that it is time to start planning for next year. Always the highlight of the year. Well, it used to be when the kids were little, now it is a little more of a burden and not as much fun. Oh, Calculus. That sounds like fun! Ha, not really. But it is that time of year whether I want it to be or not to be.
My daughter will be a senior next year. Most of her friends are already at the community college taking classes. It surprises me how many kids are doing this option in Washington. Why don’t we just graduate them after their sophomore year? I suppose that is a matter for another post. Anyway, since my daughter is not fortunate enough to live in a state that pays for community classes I get to plan her last two years of high school. This year was fine. Next year will be OK. I saw how difficult it was to motivate my son. They are ready to roll out. Get this show on the road and all that. My son did not take a science class his senior year, and my daughter was hoping for the same. I vexed her greatly by telling her that she will be taking Human Anatomy and Pharmacy class next year.
Why am I making her take this class? I see health care changing. My mom who is still in Hospice sees a nurse once a week for 30 minutes. A very small relationship can be established with that kind of time. It isn’t the nurse’s fault. She probably has 6 other patients to see in a day. Not including her drive time. How much can she really understand my mom in such a short period of time? I only see the doctor when I have a problem. Her purpose is to solve the problem as quickly as possible and move on to the next person. The doctor-patient relationship is changing. If a person is not knowledgeable about their own body, the drugs on the market, and general heath, she is going to be at a disadvantage. Knowledge is going to be very important.
I took a pharmacy for non-majors class in college. It was a very helpful class. It taught me the difference between expectorants and suppressants, physical and mental dependency, NSAIDS and acetaminophen just to name a few. I plan on making up a class to along with her Human Anatomy class that explains all these things. Especially with all the media attention on alcohol and marijuana lately, it is important to be knowledgeable on what these two drugs really do to our body. Can we use them responsibly? What are the effects? Long term dangers? Is it a moral issue?
I find that doctors don’t explain things very well. They want you to take their diagnosis without question. There isn’t time to ask questions from the doctor. So what do we do? We check Dr. Google. What does Dr. Google always tell us? It tells us that we are dying and we need to see a doctor immediately. There is so much information out there on the internet. We need to be able to tell the difference between what is true and what is crazy. The number of articles on health on the internet is overwhelming. We need to be able to use discernment, and it isn’t possible to use discernment if you don’t know what your organs do or how your body behaves.
This is why I am making my daughter take a human anatomy course along with a small pharmacy class. I hope that I can make it interesting, and that it will be helpful to her. I am hopeful for just mild complaining and annoyance. I need to figure out which texts I will use. I will let you know when I do. Wish me luck!