So I'll admit it, I have a problem, I have no control over it, I have been obsessed with O's college plans and opportunities, probably in inverse proportion to O's interest in that very same subject. O is quite content to stay at home and read manga, play video games and chat with friends (which sends me into a frenzy of fear that O will turn into this guy, but that's my own problem, really.)
So, after pulling many, many teeth, figuratively speaking, O and I seem to have worked out a workable plan for his college entry.
My biggest concerns have been that I just don't think O will be ready for university at 18 on the dot, considering he's almost 15 now and seems to have so much more childhood in him. He just doesn't really know what he wants to study or if he even really wants to go and I really don't want him taking out a student loan to figure this stuff out (he has all the time in the world at home to find himself.)
His big concerns have been understanding enough math to get into Engineering or Science, and where he will play football. The whole high school football thing is still an issue (O can only play on a school team if he is a "bona fide" student of the school, Manitoba High School Athletics rules, not school rules, grrr), so his choices are to enroll in high school, at least for 3 or 4 classes, in order to qualify to play football (he may be able to play rugby, since that's not a MHSA sport), or to play for the midget team in our catchment area.
Now I really, REALLY don't want him playing for this midget team. Last year, in the bantam age group (the oldest of the youth football age groups), this team was the worst in terms of dirty play, deliberately trying to injure star players to take them out of the game, and the parents were a nightmare. Almost every single parent behavior incident in the whole league were the fault of this one team's parents. This included an incident where a ref was physically threatened and almost assaulted. I really don't want to be part of this organization, and neither does O, but his old team does not have a midget level team (most players go to the local high school teams, which are very competitive and actively recruit.) His only options are to either go to high school, play for the bad team, or we will have to move into a catchment for a better team. None of these are exactly great options, sigh.
So, after long discussions (on my part, with O mostly trying to redirect the conversation to penguins, or monkeys, or an unholy race of penguin/monkeys--Menguins--with whom he will someday subjugate the earth,) we seem to have decided on something like a plan that will suit both our needs:
1) O will play for the local midget team for 2 years, at which point he can try out for the Winnipeg Rifles and (hopefully) play junior football until he is 21. Bonus is the Rifles are a traveling team and are seen as very desirable experience for college football, so there still may be a small chance of some scholarship money, once he decides to go.)
2) O will apply for the U of M as a mature student at 21, with my fervent hope that the U of M doesn't change any of its requirements for mature student entry in the next 6.5 years. This will mean the most amount of time for O to be a kid, allow both of us to save up some money for tuition and books, and eliminate the need for much documentation on my part. Not that I'm totally averse to documentation, but the U of M's homeschool entry requirements are that we show he has completed the equivalent of all public high school grad standards (and one of the reasons we hs is that I think much of these standards are pointless, at best) and that we demonstrate this with transcripts (official ones), outside classes, photocopies of the table of contents of text books used, etc. This means necessarily having to do much more of a school at home than either O or I are willing to submit to. I really hate the documentation game, too, because I get so caught up in "have we done something today that I can document" that I lose my appreciation for what O is doing right now. It's really pointless to live entirely in the future, trying to prepare for something O doesn't really understand, and I'm not sure if either of us want.
All in all, this whole plan has really helped me to relax from my "we're so far behind" panic, and to remember that I'm only educating O, and he's right on time for who he is. O seems pretty happy with it too, except for the midget team thing, though mostly I think he's happy with the thought of putting off adulthood for at least a few more years ;)