He is bright, inquisitive, responsible and respectful, with an immense focus and a dry sense of humor. He is the fifth of six children in a close family and has spent his days on a tiny lot off the center of town, and the last five and a half years on twelve glorious acres filled with nature and animals
He will tell you that he is a *city boy* though, preferring action, challenges, people and places more than the quietness and beauty of nature, and the hard work having animals entails. While he *can* run the small farm by himself, and take care of the horses, rabbits, ducks, chickens, kittens and dog, it is not his passion and where his heart lies. He helps because he is part of a family, a community. He can appreciate nature and will run to show something interesting he has found and follow trails in the woodlands with his friends, so he does have awareness of the natural world .
He can solve any math or number problem that comes across in daily life before some people can even think about how to go about figuring it out.
He has always been drawn to music and has played piano since age five and has recently taught himself guitar, with a few formal lessons mixed in. He writes songs late at night, and has recently been playing his guitar in the company of his friends.
He has great computer skills and likes to play computer and video games as well as sudoku, tangrams, card games, and word games like Scrabble, Boggle and Bananagrams. He is quite good at chess, checkers and backgammon. He has great focus and concentration, and certainly more so when something has meaning for him and is enjoyable.
He has played organized sports in the past , town soccer, Little league baseball through majors, and travel basketball, until at age 12 he said he was finished. He felt it was too much of a time committment and he wanted more time to devote to his music. He still plays these sports but with friends when he wants to. He also enjoys roller blading, skateboarding, biking, golf and watching sports and movies.
He enjoys learning about people and their lives, from historical figures to political figures to rock stars. He loves Mythology. He likes knowing about many things...a glorious generalist...and can carry on a conversation with adults as easily as he can with his peers. At first glance, he may appear quiet and shy as he assesses each situation before delving in.
He is very choosy about how he spends his time and who he spends it with. He is easily annoyed by people who waste his time, whether in a classroom or a club. Even as a young boy, he could never understand how the boys in his cub scout den could not pay attention for just one hour, instead of fooling around causing everyone else grief. He quit because he felt it was a waste of his time.
He also has no use for people who are demeaning and disrespectful. He may not confront them in a crowd , he will just have nothing much to do with them in the future.
If a child is given the freedom to make choices at an early age, he will grow up knowing how, and will continue making the choices that are *right* for him through to adulthood, and not be swayed by anyone or anything else.
He is trusted to know what he wants and needs, and always with guidance if he needs it.
"How do I know I don't like school, if I have never been?" has been the question he has asked frequently in the last few months and a few times last year.
He has never been to school and has learned most of what he knows through living life and being immersed in what interests him. He has taken various homeschool classes, belonged to homeschool co-ops, and has taken part in many activities and fieldtrips with others throughout the years, has been allowed to pursue his passions and has been happy.
At age fourteen, he says he wants to be *in the mix* of kids and the goings-on, day in and day out. He knows he can learn faster and delve deeper on his own, but he says he wants the *high school experience*. He also wants to partake in some clubs, most notably drama.
He needs to find out for himself, firsthand.
Since college is in his future for now, he says he knows it is better to unschool until college, than it is to go to high school and not do the work and get bad grades. He realizes this and intends to do the work and do it well.
He is determined to do what it takes to be where he wants to be. He also knows he can come home at anytime if he feels it is not the right place for him.
This past year he chose to take high school classes through the homeschool co-op:
Creative writing- Novel
Geography ( with another teen group)
Classes taken previous years with the co-op and other groups:
Ancient history: Egypt, Roman, Greek
Civil War Day
He is a member of the library leadership team
He helps in his sister's organic egg business and on our small farm.He takes part in a 4 day unschooling conference each August.
He took part at a teen camp in NY this summer.
He traveled to San Diego this summer, alone and confident, to spend a few weeks with his older brother.
He also took a standardized test in June, the first test ever, and scored well above grade level.
This letter is to let you have a glimpse of our son and his life up until now, instead of just his name on a page. His name is _________________and he is looking forward to becoming a student at your high school this September.
I believe parents are here to love and guide their children through life and help when needed, allowing them to try many things, and above all, believe in them, respect and honor their choices, and trust that they do know what they want and need.
My son wants to try school. That is his choice, and the bottom line is, I want him to be happy. I look at it as just another learning experience along life's journey, whether he stays in school or not. Being unschooled all his life, he is a freethinker and more than prepared to handle what comes his way.
This letter was written to the principal and asst superintendent because he IS more than a name, and honestly, they are very lucky to have him :)