Planning has always been a very important part of our homeschool. When the girls reach high school age, things get a little more complicated. Decisions about where to focus their energy and how to balance their passions with the “stuff universities want to see” becomes critical.
For the past year we have counted on the fact that Bella had another 4.5 years before serving a mission. Her passion to pursue Chinese language skills now (because we are here) made attendance at NJU a top priority and left ‘college prep in second place. She had time, after all to finish the 2 year language program, then take some independent study classes (that she would have normally taken as ‘dual enrollment’ during her junior and senior years), apply to university as a transfer student and then start her U.S. university experience… all before serving a mission at age 21.
We’ve been talking and scheming for three days now. Between church, regular school classes and prepping for a big Young Women’s activity tomorrow, we’ve managed to figure out what President Monson’s announcement means for Bella.
It may not seem like a big change, but it took some prayers, hours talking it through, and a lot of rearranging to get it all down on paper. Now that it is there, I keep saying, “is that it?” Should I be surprised that in the end, it is actually a better plan than before? Probably not! The Lord knows!
First off, we’ve decided to have Bella complete this semester at NJU and then switch to a personal tutor for Chinese. She loves being a “university student” but feels that she can do the same amount of work in less time with a one-on-one tutor. She’ll have 1 year of classes on an official transcript from NJU for her university applications then she can take the HSK to show continued improvement.
After this semester is finished, she will start on the next phase of her plan. In addition to working with a private tutor for her Chinese language learning and continuing her study of the viola, she will add two BYU Independent study classes each term. We have gone through the catalog and have chosen 36 credits worth of general education classes that she can complete before her mission. She has also decided to resume her piano lessons (put on hold when her viola teacher decided that he could teach every week) and has chosen an ambitious cap stone project for her “high school” years. She has set a goal of completing that by her 18th birthday.
We are so proud of this daughter of ours for her willingness to work hard to accomplish her dreams, and for her desire to serve the Lord.
On Friday, after the big Young Women’s activity tomorrow and a trip out to the Immigrant/Transient Worker School on Thursday, we’ll have time to sit down with Chloe and rehash her “life plan.” She has a few more years to plan, but she is anxious to take a look at what this means for her too! (She has already figured out when Bella will be home and how long after that she can go, etc.)
We are definitely not alone in the fact that we’ve spent this week rearranging schedules! I am getting emails from friends and family (esp. from those that homeschool) all over the globe telling me that this announcement has, “changed everything!” I’ll be interesting to see the changes that come about within BYU and the Church. I have so many questions about what the new policy will mean for all of us.
- Will girls be able to take out their endowments at 19 even if they choose not to serve?
- Will girls start serving missions more often than not?
- Will this effectively double the number of LDS missionaries in the field?
- Will boys add “return missionary” to their list for prospective wives? (I know that many already do, and I believe that it will become more widespread.)
I’m looking forward to the changes. I’m looking forward to the fruits of having a Relief Society filled with return missionaries and having a generation of children raised by women who have had this life changing experience! (An experience that can not be duplicated any where else.) I believe that our congregations and the generations that follow will be blessed immensly by this change, and that our numbers aren’t the only thing that are going to grow!