Help! DS Wants to go to School! LONG
Posted 04 March 2011 - 08:05 AM
He wants to go to a rigorous Catholic school. We are not Catholic, however that it not what bothers me. His beliefs are solid. It is the rigorous part.
History: DS has ADHD, is right-brained, and was a late reader. He is gifted (IQ>130), however it shows in his conceptual understanding of topics, not the mechanics of a subject (poor grammar, silly math mistakes). He now (8th grade) reads well. This is our second year of Algebra (third curriculum) because if I don't sit on top of what he is doing, he slacks off. If he gets stuck, he won't ask for help. He is the kid that just doesn't want to do school. He doesn't like to work. Period. I was used to this and working with this.
Now: He is bored. (This is all by observation and inference - he doesn't talk about internal stuff, though he talks incessantly about other things)
I have cut back the subjects that we do *so many times* because he can't get them done in the hours in the day! He is not a fast worker! Every fall I plan with great expectations, only to have him unable to get the work done.
I can definitely see why he would be bored, but I have been providing him with as much as he lets me!
The school is pricey - though cheaper than most other private school around here. There go the family vacations. Extended family will help some.
He and I went to the open house last night. Freshman homework is about two hours a night for an average kid because, "the teachers know you are transitioning to high school and so they take it easy on you." The bus leaves at 7 am and he'll get home around 4pm.
I am impressed with the school, the staff, the kids, the facilities (oh, the science labs made me envious!). They even have some organization helps for ADHD kids.
But (1) this schedule for the DS described above? and (2) why should I give up family vacations and other little comforts for DS when failure chances are high? (3) I don't want his confidence crushed.
Yes, we are the parents. We can choose to send him or not, regardless of his preferences. However, I like to be able to explain my decisions and I'd prefer to present DS with mind-changing arguments.
What have we not considered that may be affecting his decision?
Posted 04 March 2011 - 08:21 AM
I don't have any good arguments for you because I would send mine to a school like that in a heartbeat!
I wouldn't assume he will fail. I assumed my 13yo would fail and it actually worked to make him "step up" to what he needs to do. He also asked to be medicated for ADD, so I did (with the caveat that he has to do cognitive behavioral therapy in addition.)
Is there something you can do at home to increase his achievement? Can he take online classes or classes in the community? Has he told you exactly what "bored" means? I would start there and see how you can meet his needs at home.
Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:38 PM
As far as the rigor and long schedule, I would make him prove, as much as possible, that he can handle it (at home, for free). That means getting up and dressed for this school's time, making curriculum choices work rather than switching, getting a set amount of school work done, doing homework in the evening, and so on.
Has your son tested for this school? Does he test well? Where I live, you have to pass an entrance test to get into Catholic high school. You have to choose carefully, b/c you cannot take tests for multiple schools. And it's very difficult to switch even year by year; if you start at a certain Catholic school, you are expected to finish there.
Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:53 PM
Posted 05 March 2011 - 10:25 AM
Many children who have ADD and ADHD underperform in school because the classes are not structured to help them focus effectively. I suggest you consider sending him to a private schools adhd. Here are a few positive points to enrolling your child to private schools specializing in ADD/ADHD:
Classes are structured specially for children with ADD/ADHD.
Educators from private schools adhd have a huge part in the lives of children. For children with ADD/ADHD, having educators that understand them and know how to help them actually learn something in class is extremely valuable.
Edited by maveycruise, 10 March 2011 - 05:03 AM.
Posted 05 March 2011 - 10:51 AM
I would send him. A gifted kid with ADHD may actually do better in a more rigorous setting. And it will better prepare him for the rigors of college. I would also suggest the book Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted kids--it might be helpful to tease out whether it is the giftedness or ADHD that is causing the underachievment. And I would also just google underachievement and giftedness. Good luck!
I was both, but the ADD diagnosis didn't come until recently. The signs were there, though, but 2E kids fall through the cracks a lot.
Posted 05 March 2011 - 11:44 AM
My son is gifted and has been diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. All the dys diagnoses sound like a lot, but they are really just manifestations of the same LD. My son is 14 as well.
What materials are you using with him? How do you homeschool him? With my 2E son, I've needed to use materials that are intended for students at least 2+ years older than he is. And I've needed to be a very hands on teacher, presenting the material to him and checking that he is completing things several times each day. He could not work independently for long stretches and be successful. So for math, I present the lesson and have him work practice problems in my presence. Then based on his performance with that, I assign homework problems to be done the next morning. I am in the room (teaching his brother) as he does the problems and every so often I ask how it's going. After he does them, and before I present the next lesson, I make sure he did the homework right. This way, he doesn't have a chance to get behind.
So, I don't know what to say about going to the private school, but you might be able to make him feel less bored with some tweaking of materials and homeschooling style.
Posted 05 March 2011 - 12:22 PM
I think it is worth a serious consideration. The fact that he wants to do it is a really good sign. He understands the commitment. I would try very hard to make it work.
Posted 05 March 2011 - 12:38 PM
Mine tends to be more of a follower, but generally chooses good kids to follow and if others are doing their work and making decent grades, then he feels he must keep up appearances and try, as well.
So, perhaps a change might re-invigorate him and get him thinking. The competition might make him want to try harder. The shame of not doing well might motivate him to do well.... Of course, the exact opposite could happen. Only you know your own child well enough to predict - might a trial year be in order? Could he go in as a tenth grader if he shows you during ninth grade that he can handle more rigorous work and do well with it?
Posted 10 March 2011 - 09:12 PM
He has had testing - years ago - and did not have any other problems but ADHD. My DD has ADD, my DH has ADD. No surprises here. I am so used to interruptions and distractions from them that I can hardly think straight myself.