School. A very important daily activity for young children.
I used to love school when I was in it. I grew up (and started high school) in Southeast Central Florida, where the standards of education suck (for lack of a better way to describe it). I was an A+ student in the south, and I mastered the English language and reading at such a young age. I thrived off of knowledge. It was my drug of choice. It was my best friend, lover.
When I was 15, I moved up to Vermont. That move was the single worst thing for my education, yet the single best thing as well. Moving 2100 miles from the way I learned how to learn, screwed me up not only mentally but emotionally as well. The standards were so much higher that I got up there with “gifted” status, yet I was only at a 7th grade level. I was in the 10th grade, but I looked as if I was only starting 7th in Math and Science.
Long story cut WAY in half, I was 16 when I dropped out. I didn’t technically drop out completely. I would go to school every morning to attend my first class. It was “Perspectives of English and History”. Those were my 2 favorite subjects. For almost an entire year, I would show up ONLY for that class, until they finally caught on and I dropped out officially.
For many years after that I wanted to get my GED. When I was 18, I started working as a Pharmacy Technician and didn’t have the time to study or work towards my GED. I was fine with that. When I left that job (at 22ish) I got a job making $14 an hour just being a cashier at a Mobil station. This is when I became pregnant with my twin sons. I had no time, once again. Attaining my GED wasn’t even on my radar any longer. My main focus was being a single mother to twins, while working full time to support them. I was “too good” to go on assistance (except childcare subsidy).
When I finally got into a good routine with the boys, I started contemplating my GED again. I was still young (23), the boys were in an awesome daycare, and I had a little extra money to put towards the test. At 4 months, my son, Logan, passed away from the flu. I dropped all plans like a hot iron had touched my skin and went into a funk that took a few years to overcome.
When I was 26 I started researching GED requirements for the state of Vermont. They had changed things from the last time I had looked into it. The price had gone up substantially, and you were now required to take classes geared towards the test. You couldn’t just show up anymore and take it. I was still a single working mother, making much less than before, and I didn’t have the time or money to devote to my quest. My first priority was to make sure my child had food, clothes and a roof over his head, not my education. I didn’t think about my GED for 3 more years.
I am now 29, married to an active duty soldier, staying at home with 3 boys. My oldest is now in 1st grade and asking me to help with homework. I sat down with him a while back and was confused by his math work. FIRST GRADE! How on earth did I forget how to do BASIC math? The first thought through my head was “You REALLY need to get back to school and become a better example to your children!”
So, here I am. Blogging about my journey from a high school drop out to a good example for my children.
I am now living in New York. The testing process is about the same as Vermont. I am required to put at LEAST 30 hours in of class time before I am even allowed to take the official test, BUT I don’t have to pay. It is completely free. I now have the extra time to put in. It may cut into my time socializing on the internet with my “online BFF’s”, but I’ll take an inactive social life over being a drop out the rest of my life.
Wish me luck.