Last Day of Not School

In a matter of days my oldest will hand in her last piece of ‘schoolwork’.

It seems she has finished ‘school’ as we know it in wider society. She is 17, would be in year 11 right now if we did that sort of thing. There will be no graduation or party night to celebrate. It seems to have come and gone, without a fanfare, just a normal part of life.

The thing is, she has been living and learning, and that won’t stop at a designated point, she will just continue to be.

This magical last piece of ‘schoolwork’ she will hand in (virtually) is her Italian assessment. She has been doing Italian since year 7 / age 13, through Distance education Victorian School of Languages. It’s been a great base for learning a language, and she now looks forward to spending time in Italy next year to consolidate those skills. She’s ready to get out there and speak the language, maybe order a gelato or two, even a vino once she’s 18.

During this year she has worked as a kitchen hand in a local café.

During the dish washing and bin emptying, there have been discussions about books, movies, travel and life, with the other kitchen staff. Bringing in her own money and getting some independence from that, has been a goal since the early days of selling sewing projects and art work around age 10.

I’m reflecting for my own benefit (thanks for reading) really,

as I suppose I would if I had paid huge private school fees, and recapping some of the highlights, the parts I’m proud of, and the beautiful ordinary days that have woven together over the past 11 years of her home educating journey.

She has a ‘books to read’ pile that spans the entire fire place mantle piece. Win. Nothing much has changed there. She was sitting in the corner bookshelf age 1, ‘reading’ the picture books for hours on end. I wonder where that love of stories will take her.

I almost forgot she did her first solo overseas trip this year.

Spending two weeks in NZ working as an intern for Bennetto Natural Foods Co.

was a highlight. They make chocolate, I mean, how hard could it be. She gained so many skills, from commercial photography to recipe testing, to smashing up chocolate bars for cooking. It was fun, it was mind expanding, and she loved the independence of staying with Lucy and her cat in Christchurch.

With two units of Uni study under her belt, she’s ready to apply for a degree, if she wants. Tick. She has everything anyone else would have after doing VCE. Remember, no ATAR does not mean no Uni. Whether she goes or not is up to her.

Her plans? Well you’ll have to ask her about that.

I know it involves spending time in Italy, some writing maybe, some discovering of what’s out there.

So that’s one out of 4! As of nowish, I’m back to 3 school age kids. Phew.

And really looking forward to some sun. Road trip anyone? I think it’s time we headed north.


PS April has her own blog here

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