Test-Taking Blues

Sometimes, when we pray for direction, we get it through success - and sometimes we get it through failure. Most of us dislike failure and some of us play it safe and try to avoid it as much as possible. Despite best laid plans, failures still happen, and the older I get and the more I learn about life, I am finding out that failure isn't always as bad as I used to think.

Now that Luke is in 10th grade, we're spending a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what he might be interested in pursuing vocationally. His first love and passion - and where his most talent lies - is in music. Of course, making a good living in music alone can be challenging and he's already pretty sure he doesn't want to be a worship pastor. So....

He showed a lot of interest in a communications degree that emphasizes social media. It was interesting to him and seems like an area that could have a good future and could be something he could build his own business around, if he so wanted.

After some research, and discussions with admissions, we decided that he would work on CLEPing out of a bunch of subjects through Modernstates, submit those to Liberty University, and then he'd complete his degree, online, through Liberty.

We decided to work on Biology because he'd taken a full year of Apologia's Biology. Then we took the Biology test prep course through Modern States where he did well enough to gain a voucher for a free CLEP.

In addition to both of those, I purchased a CLEP prep book. He whizzed through the practice test and we both felt pretty confident at his ability to pass the CLEP.


It did not go well at all. Luke said the test was incredibly difficult because the questions were nothing like he'd practiced. None of the resources mentioned above adequately prepared him for the actual test. He and I were both frustrated to say the least.

After much discussion, it became clear to us that we needed to consider other options. As comforting as it was to feel like we had an iron-clad plan, it was unrealistic. As nice as it would be to have everything decided on so that we could save both time and money, Luke is still just a 15 year old boy who has a lot to learn about himself and the world. I was letting my fear control the process.

So, we discussed it some more and decided that maybe out next step is to try dual enrollment through the local community college. It's still inexpensive and he'll be able to count credits toward high school and college so his time will be well spent.

We're back to the drawing board and it's been a good reminder that the school years - and sometimes even the school process itself - isn't all about academic, but is also about how to navigate life in general. There are set backs and unexpected situations that come up. We can't always choose what happens, but we can choose how we respond.

Failure can show us where we need to grow, where we need to adjust our expectations, and where we need to look into other options. It's not always the brick wall we think it is, it's a reroute of sorts, forcing us off the path we thought made sense and taking us in a new direction. 


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