Gleeks in Training

Lucy is a senior in high school this year. We've been talking about college options for a while now. But our conversations began in earnest at the beginning of this year. She's already taken a few courses at the community college level, but what did she want to do? Where would she be interested in going? What schools best provided what she wanted?

The questions were coming fast and furiously.

Obviously, because we homeschool, we're very proactive about our kids' education. So together we began our research.

Lucy's high school experience to date has been through the Orange County Department of Education. The high school provides online classes and supportive classroom instruction as well as varied programs and clubs that meet on campus.

They have a yearbook (which she worked on last year) and they host a prom each year. There is a wonderful full drama program, which we've enjoyed immensely.

But now both Lucy and Jonathan began to want more.

As much as I love homeschooling and as much as I think people who have the temperament for it should do it, I am not "militant" about homeschooling.

Like I've said before, my highest goal has always been to raise decent human beings who have "learned how to learn." Homeschooling has been one of the richest, most rewarding experiences of my life. It's been the best educational choice for our family.

So, what to do with homeschooled kids who are curious and talented and ambitious?

In January both of them applied to the Orange County High School of the Arts. (OCHSA - pronounced "OH-SHA").  Think "Fame" but without the hoodlums. =D

Their best friends (and beloved neighbors) also put in their applications.

From January to March there was a lot of waiting and fretting and hand-wringing while we waited to hear back from the school about audition dates.

Beginning of March ALL FOUR OF THEM (!) received auditions for their respective conservatories.

Final decisions were made and letters of acceptance received in May. Again, ALL FOUR OF THEM got accepted. (A lot of happy dancing ensued, as you can imagine, but that's not important right now.)

Train riders
Lucy, Jon, Tessia & Tori waiting for the train on the first day of school.

I've homeschooled both Lucy and Jonathan for most of their formative school years. (Read about our homeschooling exploits here.) And while I was happy for them and so proud, I went through a weird sort of grieving.

I just realized that I had worked myself out of my own job. But, I think this was a very good thing. ;-)

As of this week, Lucy is commencing her senior year of high school and Jonathan is a freshman at the Orange County High School of the Arts. (<--I can't believe I just wrote that. I know. Shut up.)

Ochsa sign
They get to take the train to school each day, along with their best friends, and take creative classes. They are out-of-their-skin excited. (Eric and I are out-of-our-skin proud.)

Train girl

[Fun Fact: Famous OCHSA alum, Matthew Morrison plays Will Schuester on the hit tv show, Glee.]


So, I'm technically very happily "unemployed" now.

As we went through the new student orientation on the campus, I giddily kept hearing Irene Cara singing "Fame" in a loop in my head. All the kids were so happy to be there. They had worked hard for admission and were excited to start school.

To my everlasting delight, one of the veteran parents actually said to me, "You should come down at lunch sometime. It's like 'Fame' but without the drugs and the dancing on the cars."

What am I going to do with myself? Well, for now, I've suddenly become a "Lady who lunches." This pleases me.

As for Lucy and Jonathan Darby....all I'm saying is.... remember their names. ;-)