(Here's the first part of an article of mine that AOL's ParentDish.com posted today about my daughter Annie and how I'm supporting her decision to drop out of high school. You can read the full article here. Thanks, by the way, to Ivory Madison for connecting me with the AOL folks and bringing more visitors and attention back to Red Room and its authors.)
It's graduation season and the irony, in my household, abounds.
You see, I teach graduate students at one of the top universities in the country, the same university where my husband was a professor as well. I've authored five parenting books, and I write a column for a parenting magazine. I'm often quoted as a "parenting expert." This is a home where bookshelves line the walls, where we eat dinner together every night, where we run to the dictionary for definitions of words we don't know.
My daughter Annie grew up in a hotbed of education. But high school didn't work for her, so I encouraged her to drop out. I'm proud of her for making the choice and I'm proud of myself for supporting it.
As an educator and this so-called "parenting expert," I understand the ramifications of her actions, and I believe she does, too -- as much as any 17-year-old can. Without a diploma, she can't go to a four-year university. Without a college degree, many doors will be closed to her. Sure, she could go to a community college -- she tried that last semester -- though it didn't work for her, either.