This winter we have joined several new classes and activities with the hopes of making new connections and friendships. Hands down, the hardest thing about homeschooling teens is maintaining friendships. If you happen to be part of a hybrid program that automatically builds in social time (like school) then it's easy, but we haven not chosen that path and for us, social time is equally important to academic time. We have signed up for pretty much everything that has the word “teen” in it and is in an hour radius from home!
Grace is signed up for a six week American Sign Language course in Manhattan at The Sign Language Center. It is a hike, and an expense, but it will immerse her in the language with other learners her level and Deaf instructors. We placed her in Level 2 and some of it is a review and some of it is an extension of her learning. Along with 20 students (some teens) they work for 2.5 hours on basic components of the language and culture.
Having a class from one of the best language institutes in New York validates her transcript. It substantiates her work with her tutor and demonstrates that she is capable of what I have listed for Level I and II. My goal is to have her take all six levels at The Sign Language Center, ultimately becoming fluent. The classes will be spaced over the next two years because of cost and time. There is the cost of the class, the cost of a 10 trip ticket for the rail, the Metro Card for the subway, as well as the time involved. It takes us 8 hours to do this class. The benefit is this is 8 hours of time with Grace, which reminds me of way back when, when we used to travel back and forth from skating lessons. It’s an early day and a long day, but a worthwhile day.