As long-time readers of the blog know, we've been home-schooling the kid for the past few years.
It's been great in many ways. Homeschooling has let the kid direct her own education, so that we could focus heavily on her art and on the subjects she was interested in -- anthropology, for instance, and Latin -- which were not offered in the local public schools.
And we have a great art tutor who's also brilliant at math. That second bit has been essential, since my math skills are basic.
But we're at the point now where she needs more education that she can do on her own, so this fall she's going back to public high school. The local high schools here are really good, and she's going to one of the best ones. That's all fine.
On the other hand, it develops that we missed a few classes. She should have been studying something called physical science instead of anthropology, and we didn't study civics at all. (Who knew?) So now she has to pass "competency" exams in these subjects to enter high school on level. Also competency exams in Algebra I and English I, but these exams shouldn't be an issue.
Physical Science is a kind of intro to physic and chemistry. The kid's enjoying it, mostly, and her math tutor is helping her with the sticky bits.
Civics she's complaining about a lot, especially the second half of the book, which she's into now, and which is entirely economics. "Why do I have to learn this?" she demands. "What do economics have to do with being an American citizen?"
"Because what is the true religion of America?" I ask.
This is a point I have made before and more than once, so she rolls her eyes.
"Capitalism," I say. "The job of the book is to explain to you what Capitalism is, and how it works, and why it is the best system ever."
She sighs heavily.
"Just make sure you say that on the exam," I tell her. "Don't be a socialist on the exam."
"It's explaining about labor unions now," she informed me.
"Why would anyone not want to be in a union?" she demanded. "That's just stupid."
"Propaganda," I explain. "Wal-Mart, when you get hired there, Wal-Mart spends a whole day teaching you that unions are evil and destroy jobs and will take your money and give you nothing in return. And if you don't know the truth -- what's the book saying about unions?"
The book, interestingly, was actually giving good data on unions. And, so far, from what I can tell, all of the information in her textbooks is accurate and well presented.
The high school is also really well-run, and its counselors and its teachers and its physical plant -- everything I have seen so far seems very promising. The physics and chemistry labs, for instance, rivaled those at our university. And the school offers not just three years of Latin, but AP classes in biology, physics, European history, English, and several other classes.
I'm hopeful, is what I'm saying.
44 minutes ago