Thursday, May 03, 2012

Birthday Update on B17!

It's hard to believe...but as of 3:00 this afternoon, B16 becomes B17!!

It's been an interesting year with him at home, for 10th grade.  Going to school stretched him in many ways, in 8th and 9th, but this year has challenged him in others.  His academics for the virtual school have been demanding--honestly, more than either of us expected.    He's had to push himself hard to stay on top of his classes.  He also pushes himself hard physically, running and working out regularly throughout the year.

The main reason he chose to be homeschooled this year was so that he could focus on music.  And he has! Last semester he logged double the amount of hours that were needed for a .5 credit "Fine Arts Independent Study."  He's taking voice and guitar lessons.  He's playing with two different bands and recorded a song with one of them.  He hasn't been able to log as many band practice hours this semester--all the band members have obstacles to getting together--so he's been writing songs on his own as well.

B13 and C9 join B17 onstage during The Sound of Music
He was Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.  He's played guitar and sung with our worship team at church, and lately he's been learning to set up and run sound.  Most recently, he was asked to lead worship for the cast of Charlotte's Web, and the director, a worship pastor herself, was very complimentary of his worship leading and invited him back immediately.

It's been tricky to balance it all.  If he falls just a few days behind in his classes, he pays for it for weeks. Often, what he gives up is time with friends.  I pointed out to him that if he said no to his guitar a little more often (and got caught up in his classes), he could say yes to his friends' invitations.  "Ahh, Mom," he said, with the teasing light in his eyes, "I can't say no to this girlfriend.  I can't say no to Taylor!"

B17 with his Taylor guitar
While none of us miss the social drama of high school, he does miss seeing his friends every day.  We've talked about him going back next year, but the cost in dollars and hours seems so high. A new idea we've had is for him to start taking classes at the local college next year with a homeschooled friend.  The classes would count for both high school and college credit.  Even if he just takes one a semester for his remaining two years of high school, he would earn at least one semester of college credits by the end of high school.  His virtual school has agreed to accept those credits, and we've mapped out which classes he'll take where.  (A certain amount of blog silence can be explained by that one sentence.... ;)  It seems like a good plan, and possibly even a little less time-intensive than this year has been, academically.

It's been interesting to watch B17 mature.  When he was a little boy, he didn't have strong passions or opinions about anything.  No special requests for Christmas or his birthday...well, Legos or Airsoft...whatever his brothers were into.  Music has now become the driving passion in his life, but even so, he's realistic about the whole thing.  Sure, he'd love to record and tour and get "You Tube famous," but he also wants to earn that college degree and have a steady job.  I've observed for years that he'd be a good teacher; he's patient and helpful, has strong leadership qualities and really enjoys kids.

He's always thought he'd probably go into business like his dad, but he's starting to think about teaching, too, as maybe a better blend with his musical interests. (If he did, he'd be a third-generation teacher!)

No matter what he goes into, he sees himself using his musical gifts in the church.  And that thought makes his parents' hearts sing!

Ephesians 5:19 "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, sing and make music in your hears to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Psalm 33:2-3 "Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy."

Psalm 57:7 "My heart is steadfast, O God. My heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, O Lord among the nations. I will sing of You among the peoples.


Papa Bear said...

He's certainly got the patience and gentleness required of a teacher. He's long been GL's hero.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear this; I was thinking along those lines recently for Aiden, too. We'll all pray that God will show him exactly how to proceed and in what direction for his plans for the future God has for him....Pianomum