will we go to college?

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Yesterday was the Medallion Ceremony for Tucker’s graduating class, and today he graduated in a class of eleven, from the Pennoni Honors College of Drexel University’s Custom-Designed Major Program. Even in that very elite group, he was the only student to receive both Honors with Distinction, and graduate Summa Cum Laude.

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It had gotten both of the kids thinking earlier this week: are they going to college? Do they want to? Do they need to? How do homeschoolers apply to college?

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I do not have all the answers but I believe that the trend toward self-directed education and its benefits will be something that colleges look for in students, and will be quite in demand by the time Béla and Claudia are ready to make these decisions. I believe they are on pretty different paths; Béla has for years insisted he’s going to be a doctor (this started with the toddler goal of driving an ambulance, but has been somewhat refined) and Claudia knows she wants to perform, but also knows she’s going to need to know how to do some kind of other work to keep body and soul together while she does that. (Fame and fortune never seem to be the goal for her: just performing.) She has recently asked to find a way to learn to help take care of younger children, as a mother’s helper, or to find a class to take in how to care for babies. She has always loved to take care of littler kids.

They were very proud of Tucker, of course, and have seen how hard he has to work, how little he sleeps, how tired he is, how much he sacrifices. They also know that the work Tucker wants to do in life can only come from attending not just four years of college but more like… eleven?

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They also know it makes him really happy.

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They don’t have to decide any time soon, of course. After commencement, we went to an exhibit at Drexel of the work of Howard Pyle and a number of other illustrators from the Brandywine School. Then lunch at Oyster House.

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We have waited for today for many years. The kids remember being at Tucker’s high school graduation, which, because it had taken place in a gymnasium and because the graduates had worn white tuxedos instead of regalia, the four-year-old Claudia had referred to as Tucker’s “YMCA wedding”.

The kids will have to be thinking seriously about whether they want to go right to college after finishing high school, in whatever way they do it, right around the time Tucker is finishing his PhD… but for right now, we are just happy to have wrapped up so much between Friday and Monday.