The other night the kids and I were sitting around the kitchen chatting about the future for each of them. Zach is beyond excited about the prospects for his future and his enthusiasm is catching. Lucas is now beginning to talk about his college choices and his goals to get there. Claire has always been my school enthusiast, but it’s becoming reinforced as she listens Zach, and now Lucas too, talk about their goals.
In the county where we live we are blessed with an abundance of educational opportunities for those kids who want, and need, extra challenges and different path to their high school education. Nearly all of our high schools offer some sort of specialty center which allows these kids to engage in learning in a whole different way. The specialty centers are small and each are dedicated to a different academic interest. For example, we have a math and science center for kids whose passion is learning about quadratic equations and combining chemicals in a beaker (obviously this is not the track I would have chosen for myself since I have no idea what I’m talking about with this one). Then there is the center for arts and drama for kids whose talents lie in entertaining others. There is the center for human development, which is for those kids who would like to enter a teaching field. We have a center for leadership, which I think is pretty self-explanatory. The list of these centers goes on and on.
Ever since Claire chose to go to the middle school where one of the IB programs is located, she’s known she wanted to go to a specialty center in high school. I say, “Go for it, Claire!” It’s not an easy process. These kids who want to go to a speciality center have to work hard in middle school. They have to really want to go to a specialty center because it could possibly take them away from their home school where most of their friends will go. They have to apply and be accepted into the specialty center. It’s not an easy path, but it’s probably the right path and definitely a good path for her.
So the other night as the kids and I were talking. Claire started telling the boys which specialty centers were of interest to her. One is located in our home high school. If Claire chose to go to that specialty center it would put her at the same school with Lucas. (Zach chose to do Air Force Jr. ROTC so he could stay with his friends at the school that was our old home high school before our county built a brand, spanking new one where Lucas now goes.) Then there are other specialty are sprinkled all over the county. In other high schools, which rival both of the boys schools.
This is when Zach piped up and said to me, “Whoa, whoa, WHOA…wait just a minute here! All three of us have gone to different middle schools. And if Claire goes to one of the other specialty centers that will mean all three of us will go to different high schools. There’s something wrong with that! They,” he said pointing at Lucas and Claire, “should both be going to Deep Run! The schools you are talking about are no where near as good as Deep Run!”
Spoken with true Wildcat pride, my sweet senior! But, and it’s a big but, you three are all different kids, different learners and are blooming at different times. You all three deserve to take the path that suits you best. And luckily for us, courtesy of our public schools, you all can do that! Three different kids. Three Different Paths.
Oh, for the love of my children….