8th Grade Graduation: Stepping into Success

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After having spent the past 20 years homeschooling my children, the decision was made last year to enroll the remaining children in public school. As the school year unfolded and the girls began to adjust to new routines and schedules, I was apprehensive about how it would unfold. While I expected the youngest to enjoy her experiences in elementary school, I was much more concerned about my middle one who was trying to figure out 8th grade.

From my own experiences in middle school, it is admittedly the hardest period of public school. Teachers often complain about trying to teach the so-called ‘hormones with feet’ as this age group is often referred to with much chagrin. Though my eighth grader found some of her classes more challenging than others, she continued to make steady progress in improving her grades and class room participation.

As the months rolled by, my daughter’s naturally easy going personality reasserted itself and she even began to look forward to her chorus concerts which she first balked at. The one class that she struggled with the most also became a challenge that she began to look forward to with a goal of wanting to understand her assignments rather than just trying to endure it.

Finally, after watching all three girls grow and blossom in their new learning environments, the end of the academic year was finally upon us. Though the other girls had class picnics to mark the ending of the year, the middle school planned to mark the milestone in a more formal manner complete with an 8th grade graduation ceremony. Admittedly, I thought the idea was sort of silly as the children were merely moving on to the next grade. However, I could not have been more wrong.

The morning of the graduation dawned as if it was special ordered for the occasion. The weather was perfect for a mid-June day and it almost seemed a shame to be confined to the high school gym for the ceremony. My daughter donned her dress without a complaint and seemed resigned to the ordeal. As is common for school functions, there were the inevitable delays and parents and younger siblings were getting restless.

All was forgotten once the program began. As each teacher spoke about their experiences teaching this group of kids, each review was more glowing than the last. The class was extremely attentive throughout and carried themselves like much older teens. Each speaker drove home the point that rather than this being a mere stepping stone into high school, it was instead a new beginning that could set the stage for a life of success and achievement.

Though each teacher had a different story to share about the class of 2022, each one expressed their admiration for this particular class of children who not only excelled academically, but also demonstrated a level of caring for one another that was unusual. I left that ceremony thankful for the journey that lead both my daughter and me to that memorable moment.

 

Writer Bio:  Angela Mose

I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years.  I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia.  A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.

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