Homeschooling has been going great. I went to see the counselor last week and he said that I do not have to take any extra classes in order to graduate valedictorian. WHOOOOHOOO! That being said, I think that I am still going to pound out a few fun courses, since next year I am going to be taking FIVE quality point (dual credit or AP) classes in order to be top of my class. I am probably going to melt ... in to a large human colored puddle.
Now that my classes are all done, I was thinking maybe blogging and throwing out my random thoughts to the world will help me understand a little bit more about the WHYS. Like, WHY was I supposed to take the year off? WHY couldn't I just have gone to school? Would there have been a dangerous situation that I needed to avoid? WHY would Heavenly Father want me to become a social outcast when I return to school? (More on that one later.)
I think it would be nice just to work these out one at a time.
The thing I have learned about Heavenly Father that he always makes things work. I think that is the reason I haven't gotten any poor grades. I also know that Heavenly Father can do things because he knows that they will be better for me. So there really could have been a number of reasons WHY I needed to be home-schooled for this short period of time. Maybe it was so that I could learn to love children unconditionally (as I have from my multiple sitting and nanny-ing jobs over the past year). Or perhaps it was because the stress of going to China for a month and returning to school would have been just as bad as taking 5 quality point classes ... minus the quality points that I would earn. Heavenly Father might even care that I have perfected my Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies and can now add that to my list of "womanly attributes" that are rapidly increasing to make myself the best I can be. All of these reasons ... I think ... are a part of the equation. But I think the real reason that I was home-schooled was so I could be left alone with my thoughts for a while (at least in the first part of the year) and then devote my thoughts to one little person (during the remainder of said year).
Of course the little person I am talking about is Minsy. I learned to be quite selfish at home, by myself, for the first three months of homeschooling. I could do whatever I wanted and it would happen the moment I wanted it. It really wasn't a bad way to live, but I got out of the habit that I so carefully cultivated over the summer during trek and EFY and Girl's Camp. To put other's needs first. But as Minsy has been here, I have had to change my mindset around. I can't always do what I want because I have a job now and a little girl to take care of immediately following. She loves to be around me, and I love to be around her, because we have been quickly becoming each others best friends, despite the language barrier. I can sense what she wants before she wants it and she will always pull me into my bedroom when I come home from babysitting and will pull of my coat and purse. It's really cute ... and I love every second of it.
Sometimes I get a little stressed out about getting things done. Some days all I can muster is to clean my room, study a little Spanish (which is coming along quite nicely, gracias), and read the scriptures before I am swept off into another babysitting scheme. It really has been a challenge for a girl who used to squeeze three lessons a day, plus cleaning, plus cooking, plus sewing. But as time has gone on, I think I am adjusting. I try to get things done more efficiently so that I have some time to play with Minsy. Sometimes she is the reason I get things done slowly, because we always break out into random dance parties and sometimes Nick Jr. parties.
Is this what being a mom is like? Or at least a little taste? I sure hope so, because this whole experience has changed me in innumerable ways.
So I think that long ramble answers questions one and two.
I don't think I needed to skip school because there would have been some situation I would have gotten into that would have scarred my testimony for life. But I do think this year off has helped my testimony grow in ways that it couldn't have if I was still in school. Usually the stress of school fools me into believing I have no time for scripture study ... too tired for prayer. But I finally have a good rhythm with everything. I found myself reading the Isaiah chapters of the Book of Mormon and actually understanding what was being said ... with the help of every institute manual ever published by the church. It made me feel really church-y nerdy (after all, who gets Isaiah?) but I also felt powerful. It was as if I had unlocked a WHOLE new dimension of spiritual knowledge. LOOOOOOOVE IT! I also love that I am not so sad all of the time. There are still days when I feel blue, but I discovered that I was living too much in the future. I kept thinking, when I get back to China, or when I get to college ... but that really was poisoning my perspective of now. Now I think, today is a good day. I'm going to make the most of every moment, and come what may!!
I hope I can keep that going when I get back to school next year. Especially when faced with being pulled out of everything for a year and expecting it to be the same. I have already felt the withdraw of some of my friends. I even have dreams of these people with distant looks in their eyes when they talk to me (creepy, huh?). But luckily, I have been alone enough this year to realize that nothing in high school really matters. The drama? The outfit choices? Who really cares except the close people around you. Personally, I wouldn't mind to go to school every day dressed in sweats and talking to no one. That would definitely be extreme, but if I have to be alone, I'm at peace with it. (By the way, I have a lot of incredible friends that would never let that happen ... so don't worry about me becoming a crazy weirdo who doesn't talk to anyone. Come on ... me not talking? That wouldn't happen. :D )
So, with that ... the last word about homeschooling ...
Heavenly Father really does know what's best for me, doesn't he?