I've mentioned on many occasions the fantastic experiences Elizabeth enjoyed at the arts-based charter school that she attended from kindergarten through 8th grade. She still holds a great deal of fondness for that place and appreciation for her time there. Back in the summer, when I mentioned that she should find somewhere in the community to volunteer once she started homeschooling, her thoughts naturally turned to her beloved school. After considering the opportunities there, she asked her former 2nd grade teacher if she could assist in reading time once a week.
Now, every Wednesday afternoon, while I otherwise engage myself, often photographing for the school yearbook, Elizabeth returns to her old classroom and listens to burgeoning 2nd grade readers. They get to know a "big kid" who encourages their developing skills, and my teenager learns to slow down and listen to and care for younger students. When people ask what we're doing for "socialization", the age-old homeschooling concern, this is one of the activities I list. Socialization isn't limited to same-age interaction. (In fact, an argument can be made that socialization with only same-age individuals isn't generally the most positive socialization.) This year has been about stepping outside of our comfort zone and embracing new experiences. And although she won't get a high school credit for this, she will become a more well-rounded individual, which is ultimately the goal of high school, right?