Well, no, we don’t do “terms” – but there’s nothing like the whole “back to school” mania at the end of August every year to prompt a bit of taking stock. If she were in school, Emily would be just about to enter year 9 and would this year be taking “options” (at least, I’m assuming they still do that in the third year of secondary school) and deciding which subjects to drop and which subjects to take through to GCSE.
She isn’t in school, obviously – but she has spent some time this summer zeroing in further on where her interests and skills lie, and on where she thinks she might like to end up later in life. Mostly where she’d like to end up later in life is owning several of these and running a business where these figure largely…….
…but she has thankfully realised that this requires either a) a lottery win, b) successful self-employment of some kind or c) a well paying job, so academics which might lead to b or c are firmly back on her agenda. And we’re buying lottery tickets.
Fitting in said academics while caring for and riding Blue five days a week is still proving to be an interesting challenge for Emily; fitting all that in and caring for Jon’s (exceptionally grumpy) father, and writing full time, and maintaining collective family sanity…well, that’s proving a very challenging type of challenge for me and Jon, and I’m not entirely convinced we’ve fully got the hang of it.
Anyway, time management crises aside, we do have “a plan”. Neither Emily nor we are convinced of the value of doing GCSEs, so there’s no change in our position on that. We are all agreed, though, that Emily now settles down to some hefty work in her chosen subjects. These are: English, maths, English literature, psychology, sociology, law, biology, latin, French, photography and history. We’ve pretty much covered the whole of the GCSE-ish politics and economics courses over the last year, so we’re having a break from that, although Emily is interested in going back to politics/economics in a year or so, possibly as A levels, OU courses, or just under her own steam.
After a few years of fun Monday afternoons with my Dad, Emily’s also taking a break from IT projects with him – they were already working roughly at A level in some areas in any case, so she’s more than equipped with skills to pick that topic back up again later too.
Career-wise, it’s fairly clear that Emily’s most interested in a social sciences direction, with psychologist currently top of the list, closely followed by political researcher. Personally, I think she would make an outstanding barrister, but although she’s interested in law she’s not feeling the lurrve for that particular career path at the moment. I also think she’d thrive as a journalist or photographer, but having lived through the ups and downs (there have been a lot of downs….) of self employment via her parents, I think she’s quite keen on the luxury of a regular income, lol. Mind you, she’s 13 – anything could (and probably will) change!
For the moment, our Mondays-Fridays (when we’re not out/doing more exciting things) are settling into a pattern of a few hours work in the morning, followed by stables/riding, followed by lots of free time for Emily which I sometimes pinch (having come over all homeschooly) by giving her “homework” to do, which in turn she usually treats with the disdain it probably deserves.
Progress is being made. We have dutifully printed out the GCSE syllabi of the subjects on the list, and we’ve arranged them tidily into a big folder, in lovely plastic sleeves. All pristine and organised. Very unlike us. Even though she has no intention of sitting the exams, it’s a guide. Some topics are being ticked off these lists. An awful lot more work is being done which was never on the syllabi to being with and is far more interesting than the topics which are. Nothing to tick off there, then, but we cope 😉 Sarcastic comments abound about how restrictive the history syllabus in particular is, particularly for a teen who’d quite like to do all of it and more, thanks very much, not have to pick and choose one topic from this six and one topic from that eight and one project which must fit such and such a criteria.
And so the “new term” is nearly upon us, and social media everywhere is full of parents rejoicing at the fact that they are nearly “shot of” their kids. We, on the other hand, are rejoicing that other people’s kids are back in the system they’ve chosen, leaving us free to explore our world in peace, in quiet, and without having to queue or fight the crowds. Which in turn gives us even more time to do this….. happy days 🙂