For the past few months I have been lobbying for my daughter. Doing the figurative dance that attorneys in state legislature are notorious for, I have been presenting my cause across town to various schools in order to form a partnership which will hopefully endure through both of our girls high school days. And looking even further ahead, I am hoping to form an alliance for those coming behind me to fall into with ease. I am both a pioneer for my family and for those coming behind me, perhaps some of you.
What I need right now is a school who will order Savannahs AP tests, administer and submit them for her. Now, in the case of her AP Studio Art class, that "testing" requires no proctor, and all in all will take about 30 minutes of the schools time. They will hand her an envelope and watch her fill our her paperwork then place said paperwork plus 5 quality art pieces within the envelope. They will watch her seal it then they will put it in the mail for her. They will also forward the College Board formatted digital portfolios (24 works) which we will send to them. In other words, they are the vehicle which will deliver her work. Nothing more, nothing less. But there is nothing in it for them. Thus the obstacle, thus the dancing. They have to want to be there with me, with her, gaining only the experience and the joy of the dance.
For reasons I can not fully wrap my hands around there is an "us vs them" mentality with schools and homeschoolers. Instead of the concentration being on the student and the furthering of his/her education, there are instead unspoken arms held up in opposition. And so my lobbying dance enters stage right. I must engage them in my cause and ask them to dance alongside me. They must decide if the dance is something they are interested in experiencing.
I could have chosen to go straight through the local Community College for Savannah. Or through College Plus. Many would argue why not send her to college with 2 years of work already under her belt? Why not take advantage of the state paying for her college? I understand those thoughts, but still opt out. What most homeschooling parents of high schoolers dont understand is the advantage of AP's over college credit: you can earn up to 35-40 credits of APcredits and still apply as a freshman eligible for all the freshman financial aid. If you earn college credit directly through a college you must enter as a transfer student and then you will not be eligible for freshman scholarships. Many find this out too late. And for those of us considering certain schools, the AP training is simply training but will not count for anything in terms of credit (because they dont accept either AP or community college credit due to exacting standards) so the freshman financial aid status becomes a larger selling point.
I have no one but the Lord guiding me in this endeavor. I must research daily and study well to know how and when to act on behalf of my (and perhaps your) children. Sometimes it feels very stumbling, awkward, scary and even defeating. "No" is a hard word for a dance partner to hear over and over again. But someday soon I will find a partner, the right partner, and we will dance for the sake of the children. And it will be beautiful. After all, we are the overcomers, right?
UPDATE: The principal of the school where Savannah took her PSAT this year, called and said that he would be happy to help us with whatever AP needs we had - for the duration of the girls high school years!! Again, there is nothing in it for him. Nothing. We consider this a special Blessing to us and to the homeschool community here at large. Amazing Provision.