after his sister, how quickly the 'ranks' are thinning! Carpenter's departure date has been rather unexpected and has happened with a rapidity that is only just sinking in. He is excited and keen to begin the next part of his life journey.
Twelve months ago Carpenter's casual job became full time in many respects. For six months he juggled a full schedule until deciding his study was suffering and he needed to scale back, during the next six months he focused on his studies and his plan was to continue this pattern in 2013. However as his 18th birthday has begun to loom closer (he is a May baby) we observed a greater level of maturity and other needs we couldn't meet in our country town. We began to perceive that perhaps the decision to continue studying at home during 2013 wasn't the correct one for him, he could indeed just be 'marking time.'
During this period Carpenter was discerning what direction to next take, always one with many passions and interests, it is often hard for him to narrow down his choices. He has long been passionate about swimming and towards the end of 2012 he became extremely keen to undertake training courses to become a swimming instructor which he has now completed. Academically we discussed various options for 2013 including Open Uni courses.
As part of Carpenter's discernment process we encouraged him to attend Summer Camp at Australia's only Catholic Liberal Arts College, the same College Anna Maria attends. On the second day of Camp he rang to enthusiastically proclaim, "Mum I want to attend here!"
"That's wonderful" I responded "I'm glad you have definite direction now."
"Mum I want to attend this year, 2013"
Hence the week became a mad rush to meet entrance criteria and beat the clock.
STAT test, which he undertakes late February, days before leaving home to begin O Week. Home educated students in Australia can often use their STAT results, converted into an ATAR score to gain entrance into University, alternatively they can undertake 2-4 Open Uni courses as another alternative pathway for entry. It is best to check with the University of your choice as some Universities have more rigorous requirements and may require high course marks.
At this stage Carpenter's passion continues to be writing and his career path is to be a published author, a direction he has felt for a few years now, he has already completed his first novel, a labour of three years, which he is currently editing and then he will begin the search for a publisher. Pursuing studies at a Liberal Arts College will only enhance and help bring these plans to fruition.
The departure of our firstborn to College changed our family dynamics and lifestyle forever, with the leaving of our 'Number One Son' bigger changes are a certainty, we will now have two children gone. Two family members leave a huge gap, a definite rent in the fabric of family dynamics. As our next son is not quite 16 we will also notice the age difference, our life is indeed shifting once again. It hits us anew we only have our children for such a short time! Carpenter is such a dynamic, vibrant member of our family, our most social child, the one always challenging us out of our comfort zones, we will surely miss his antics.
Obviously we continue to be Carpenter's parents, always willing to offer our loving support, to listen and guide, but we are forging new roles as he is now a young man. Carpenter leaves with our blessing and confidence that he has chosen the correct path for him, that he is meant to attend this College, and that he will only go from strength to strength. We eagerly anticipate watching him flourish. Number One Son we love you and are honoured to be your parents travelling this journey with you.