As some of you know I was very reluctant to send my eldest son to school. Alex is my close friend and a prized pupil. Teaching him was a joy. I missed all the books we would read together and all the creativity he brought to our school lessons at home. I spent more time with him than anyone else in the last 12 years. Therefore, this past year was bitter sweet. I released him to learn in a different environment. There were times he was puzzled by his talkative and inattentive classmates and I'm sure his studiousness puzzled most of them. For so long I taught Alex that we master something before we move on and he being conscientious and hard-working continued the tradition. He is never content with 97 when he could get 100. He loves to learn and has a fabulous memory for crazy, detailed things. He is analytical and firm in his convictions. I am so proud of the man he is becoming. He is tender to God and self-disciplined.
Well, Alex was the very last of the 120 students to cross the stage yesterday (being at the end of the alphabet requires patience). He looked so grown-up and handsome. He was ramrod straight and all I could think of is his comportment reflects his character. He won't compromise his standards in a relative society. Because of all the years of my investment in him, I was doubly proud when unbeknownst to me he was valedictorian.
For all the derogatory comments I have received about homeschooling through the years, I delighted that Alex is a testimony that homeschooling works. He came into the school reading harder books, working at a higher level of math and significantly more mature and thoughtful than his peers. I had one person who kept asking for Alex's transcripts, because it seemed they had a hard time believing he could do so well without ever attending "real" school. People are constantly shocked that a home schooled kid, who doesn't have the classroom advantages their kids had, can actually attain more in a shorter period of time. My premature baby, who didn't talk till he was three, has done things late, but always well. He has been a tortoise among hares. And I am proud of his work ethic and integrity. And I know we are entering a new period of life, because when I asked Alex to do a chore the other day it was so out of character when my young man quipped, "I'm sorry, your call has been disconnected." I laughed, because, of course, yesterday's telephone operator is out mowing the lawn today.