Thursday, June 10, 2010

It takes a village to graduate a Tanner

Also beginning in late February Tanner and Alicia moved in with us. They are students at the high school Matt works at. I volunteer there, teaching creative writing. (We won't go into the details of the whys behind their moving in, but contrary to jokes among the staff, we don't plan to take on two kids every year. The house is full up for now.)

At right is Alicia, catching up on some English homework, while Tanner does math.

After settling in, Tanner suddenly decided (in May) that he wanted to graduate this year after all, rather than after fall term -- a decision that required piles of work to be done: 180 pages of math worksheets, plus 28 hours logged on a computer for more math, two books read and two 4-page reports written about them, among other assignments. There was absolutely no way he could do it all without a set schedule that portioned all the work out into one small mountain to be summited each night. We all pitched in, including Ronan, who supplied us with math formulas for calculating percentages over and over again when we couldn't remember them from one problem to the next. Although Tanner likes science fiction, reading is not something that comes easily for him, so I did a "Story Time" every night for an hour or so to get those books done. I intend to pick "Story Time" back up and make it a regular family event ... starting maybe after graduation. Which Tanner is going to!! Saturday! June 12!!! He's not the only one counting down the days. [Above is Matthew taking a shift at helping with math.]

Tanner also has his first real job interview today, in just a couple of hours. For Oregon Woods. He wants to do wildland firefighting this summer (if it ever stops raining). He's all nervous ... and clean, and shaved, and dressed neatly. It's so cute. (Man, this is the way to have teenagers -- get them after they've done all their crazy rebellious stuff. ... or so we hope.)

At right is a picture of Tanner helping make pizza for dinner. Between rolling out crusts, he drew a picture of an oak tree in floor on the new stainless steel counter. He was taking a picture of his artwork.

Alicia is at least two years away from graduating. She'll be doing independent projects from home next year, studying writing, sewing, gardening, auto mechanics, math, and art -- for starters. We both hope we can make that work for her.

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