Originally Posted by onatightrope
Dar and Piglet, I really respect your ability to let go and be able to not worry about college prep.
Well, speaking for myself I still work at deschooling myself from time to time! Personally I think the hype around college being so important borders on propaganda. When everybody is getting a degree it devalues the degree. You used to be able to get a good job with a Bachelor's, now it's all but useless. When I was in grad school my plan was to get my Master's and then work in the pharmaceutical industry. In those days you could work your way up to Senior Scientist with that. By the time I finished there were too many MSc's out there and now they were requiring a PhD. So I did that. By then you needed a post-doctoral fellowship, so I did that too. It's not that the work got any harder, it was just a way of weeding through the thousands of job applications landing on recruiter's desks. So having everybody head to college is not doing society any favours, IMO.
I teach at University (not much these days mind you) and I see so many kids there simply because it is what they are supposed to do, or what their parents expect of them. I went because I loved science and wanted to immerse myself in it and do research. DD is very science-minded and there is a good chance she will end up there. I'll help her in any way I can, but ultimately she will have to take responsibility for getting in with the choices she makes and I'm sure if that is what she wants she will do what is required.
With math I got frustrated that she had gotten behind (when she used to be ahead) and because we had a required standardized test coming up I was having my own issues about her not doing well in it. I tried to push math a bit at the start of this year because of that and got a really bad backlash for it. She is due to take the test next month and we had a really neat conversation about it recently.
I explained that bombing the math part could make her feel bad, and that if she wanted to avoid that I know it would take only a wee amount of work to prepare for it. She stated that she didn't care about math right now and thus bombing that section wouldn't bother her (she knows she will likely ace the reading and writing parts of the test). She chose to decline my offer to do some "remedial math" with her. At her age, and because this test means nothing for her "permanent record", I've let her make that choice. It bugs me, I'll admit. I know she could do the work easily and I personally think math is pretty cool. But I'm letting go. If she were older and this was a requirement for something I would just make sure she understands the potential impact her choices may have. She is young enough right now (9) that I don't think it matters. She seems confident that, if/when she decides she needs to catch up on math, she will be able to do so. It's hard letting go of the "schooling" attitude, but it really wrecked math for her this year so I've learned to step back and breathe... :-)