Abbey laughed when she saw my previous post with the words “senior pictures” in quotes. That’s because our “senior picture” timing is quite different from the mainstream tradition. First, it seems to happen around 19 some time because that’s when the shift seems to occur for my children in moving away from the home-based lifestyle.
Let me back it up a bit more than that. It goes back to that age-old question we hear all the time as parents of school-aged children, “What grade are you in?” My children have never known how to answer that question; heck, I’ve never known how to answer that question. Just yesterday, I took my 17-year-old son, Eli, and my 7-year-old son, Joseph, to get their medical physicals done. One of the questions: “What grade are you in?” Joseph immediately said, “kindergarten.” He has said that for three years now . . . LOL! Because he heard that “Oh, are you going to kindergarten, question, so often at 5, it has stuck with him as the answer to the question. It works for now 🙂 For Eli, we looked at each other, and said, “I don’t know, are you a senior? Are you a college student? Put, first year college student.” He’s taking community college classes this year as he has been my child that has desired college since he was probably 14. We have mapped out “a plan” that should work very well for him with his strengths and weaknesses. He’s excited. But, we both still consider him a home-based learner, though he takes community college classes . . .
. . . he isn’t ready to transition yet out of the home. And that is what seems to constitute my idea of “senior picture” time and/or “graduation time”. Because I don’t have “criteria” for them to pass in order to be out of our homeschool, because we don’t grade or test, because we don’t sift and sort, we have allowed life to let us know when we feel a desire to celebrate a new beginning. And that seems to be when each child is ready to transition away from home, whether short-term or long-term.
For instance, Eli was more than ready to take community college classes, but he views it as the next step of his learning path from home. Abbey was tentatively ready to work full time last January, but also viewed it as the next step of her life journey living and learning from home. Neither of these indicated a “transition” from their home-based life learning path.
This past summer, Abbey decided suddenly that she was ready to pursue a college track and desired to leave home to seek her adult path. Her eyes were set for leaving in January. So, that prompted me to schedule her “senior pictures”. Because I set a precedent with her older brother, I went all out with a local professional photographer where she could change outfits and bring in “props” that represented her personality and style. Here is the pictorial result:
This is the pose she chose as the picture she will send to everyone. She has always been a casual-type of gal, so she loved the color and being outdoors; both of which reflect her personality.
This is the pose, obviously, with her guitar, but she thought her particular style of jewelry, which she doesn’t wear often (neither do I), would go well together. Though she says she looks like a “rocker chick”, she and I know it is actually reflective of a different style altogether that is all “Abbey”.
These are two of her bestest friends: Precious (on the left) and Spencer (on the right). This was at the end of the shoot, and the dogs weren’t that thrilled (Precious was highly suspicious of the photographer!), we were able to capture this moment that Abbey liked the most, though her smile was not typical, it still reflected a natural moment from her perspective. I chose a different pose that had it’s pros and cons. There were also a couple other outfit/poses that we chose for various reasons. Overall, she had a lot of fun and found shots that we could be excited about as reflective of who she is.
Because she didn’t make the October 1 deadline, she has been postponed to enter college in the spring (though she’s looking now to postpone to summer for logical reasons) (more on this in another post). So, we may postpone sending out the transition/graduation announcement until closer to her time to leave. As always, Abbey took the postponement with grace and optimism. Everything happens for a reason!