Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo

School Refusal -- Help!


34 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 11 February 2017 - 03:24 PM

I posted about dd11 back in Dec (having what I believed to be anxiety issues--she has been seeing a counselor every other week since end of Dec, but we still have not heard any feedback from her....we thought we'd hear something this week, and the appt didn't happen.  Supposedly she needed 5 sessions to evaluate (which means 2.5 months to evaluate!!!)  Dd may be doing better, but its really hard to tell.)

 

Anyway, when dd started having the mental issues, I cut back on her schoolwork thinking that would relieve some stress.  Unfortunately, dd wants to return to public school because she misses her friends (she did it for one year only--last year for 4th.)  She is refusing schoolwork to force us to put her back in school.  And...well, its beginning to work.  However, the public school let her do nothing last year (since she was ahead), and this would be the last year in elementary school before she would attend a very rough middle school that I feel would be a very bad idea for her (particularly with the issues she is having.)  I really don't want her to return.  However, she's done very little schoolwork over the last 4 months, and I'm beginning to worry that I may not be able to avoid some other arrangement.

 

I'm attempting to have her do 2 pages of MM5 and Bravewriter/Faultering Ownership each day.  It happens maybe 1-2 days per week, with possibly another 1-2 days over the weekend if there is a big enough carrot.  She takes outside art, piano, and swim team, so she gets out of the house 4 days/week.  I would like to add a co-op, but my part-time work prevents me from making this happen.  She spends most of her time reading fiction, since she has no computer privileges (one of the carrots...that only works occasionally.)    This work should be very easy for her...there is nothing remotely challenging, because I didn't want to stress her out.  However, she's also not challenged/engaged with it, either.  She was doing BA previously (successfully), but stated she'd rather do something easier, so I switched...then she refused even more!  I can't win. 

 

When she asked to return to homeschool she thought she could grade skip.  (That was part of why she wanted to return home.)  I convinced her that might not be in her best interest, since she'd be more likely to get scholarships if at the top of her grade level.  But...maybe that would have been more motivating?   She is totally unmotivated and uninterested in school at the moment.  If I ask about interests she'd like to explore, she doesn't know.  She likes music and art, but I don't think she'd particularly like art history or music history (maybe.)  She says she likes science, but wasn't doing that either.

 

What should I do about the school refusal?   Electronics/tv privileges are somewhat motivational, but not enough.  I've tried hovering and refocusing her...she really shuts down with this.  I've tried having her do jumping jacks for every 5 minutes she refuses.  It worked temporarily.  I've tried doing the work with her.  She does not like working with me, and is not cooperative at all.  If I tell her to sit down and work, she daydreams or draws.  If I release her she reads (which is better than daydreaming.)   She is smart enough to work around anything I try to motivate her.....so my thought is that she would work better for someone else (but there isn't a good solution/school for that!)

 

Help!

 



#2 Tibbie Dunbar

Tibbie Dunbar

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6159 posts

Posted 11 February 2017 - 03:50 PM

I posted about dd11 back in Dec (having what I believed to be anxiety issues--she has been seeing a counselor every other week since end of Dec, but we still have not heard any feedback from her....we thought we'd hear something this week, and the appt didn't happen.  Supposedly she needed 5 sessions to evaluate (which means 2.5 months to evaluate!!!)  Dd may be doing better, but its really hard to tell.)

 

Anyway, when dd started having the mental issues, I cut back on her schoolwork thinking that would relieve some stress.  Unfortunately, dd wants to return to public school because she misses her friends (she did it for one year only--last year for 4th.)  She is refusing schoolwork to force us to put her back in school.  And...well, its beginning to work.  However, the public school let her do nothing last year (since she was ahead), and this would be the last year in elementary school before she would attend a very rough middle school that I feel would be a very bad idea for her (particularly with the issues she is having.)  I really don't want her to return.  However, she's done very little schoolwork over the last 4 months, and I'm beginning to worry that I may not be able to avoid some other arrangement.

 

I'm attempting to have her do 2 pages of MM5 and Bravewriter/Faultering Ownership each day.  It happens maybe 1-2 days per week, with possibly another 1-2 days over the weekend if there is a big enough carrot.  She takes outside art, piano, and swim team, so she gets out of the house 4 days/week.  I would like to add a co-op, but my part-time work prevents me from making this happen.  She spends most of her time reading fiction, since she has no computer privileges (one of the carrots...that only works occasionally.)    This work should be very easy for her...there is nothing remotely challenging, because I didn't want to stress her out.  However, she's also not challenged/engaged with it, either.  She was doing BA previously (successfully), but stated she'd rather do something easier, so I switched...then she refused even more!  I can't win. 

 

When she asked to return to homeschool she thought she could grade skip.  (That was part of why she wanted to return home.)  I convinced her that might not be in her best interest, since she'd be more likely to get scholarships if at the top of her grade level.  But...maybe that would have been more motivating?   She is totally unmotivated and uninterested in school at the moment.  If I ask about interests she'd like to explore, she doesn't know.  She likes music and art, but I don't think she'd particularly like art history or music history (maybe.)  She says she likes science, but wasn't doing that either.

 

What should I do about the school refusal?   Electronics/tv privileges are somewhat motivational, but not enough.  I've tried hovering and refocusing her...she really shuts down with this.  I've tried having her do jumping jacks for every 5 minutes she refuses.  It worked temporarily.  I've tried doing the work with her.  She does not like working with me, and is not cooperative at all.  If I tell her to sit down and work, she daydreams or draws.  If I release her she reads (which is better than daydreaming.)   She is smart enough to work around anything I try to motivate her.....so my thought is that she would work better for someone else (but there isn't a good solution/school for that!)

 

Help!

 

First of all, have you tried anything from this thread, other than a twice-per-month appointment with a counselor? I'm sorry things aren't any better since you last posted. :(

 

http://forums.welltr...fessional-help/



#3 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 11 February 2017 - 06:17 PM

First of all, have you tried anything from this thread, other than a twice-per-month appointment with a counselor? I'm sorry things aren't any better since you last posted. :(

 

http://forums.welltr...fessional-help/

 

That post was not focused on school refusal.  As I stated, on that matter I am waiting to hear what the counselor says.  I have not had an opportunity to address school concerns with her, and I'm losing patience in waiting.



#4 Sadie

Sadie

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22282 posts

Posted 11 February 2017 - 06:37 PM

Fwiw, when my children are going through anxiety issues, very little work gets done. The anxiety has to be addressed before focusing on productivity, imo. And that goes for either homeschool or b&m.

 

I'd just concentrate on 'getting though' right at the moment, until you have a diagnosis and a treatment plan. I'd suggest a psychologist or psychiatrist rather than a counsellor. Counsellors are great! But for a child with suspected mental health issues, a psychologist or psych is better, at least initially. And yes, it does take time...to work out what's going on, to decide on a plan, to implement treatment and to see a result. 

 

You could also work on mindfulness or mediation with your dd. Check out the Smiling Minds app in the meantime, and continue to encourage getting out and doing things and seeing friends.

 

School work/decisions will come easier once the mental health issues are under control.

 

 

 

 


  • bluedarling, maize, EndOfOrdinary and 1 other like this

#5 EndOfOrdinary

EndOfOrdinary

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3169 posts

Posted 11 February 2017 - 08:31 PM

Can she explain why she does not want to do it? She honestly might not want to or might not know. If she is doing things for outside providers, swim/art/music, could this be an instance where Mom is just not okay anymore?

We definitely went through that. Next year is almost completely outsourced. It just works better right now.

When I was between 11-15, I essentially shut down with school. I realized that public school was a giant game and I was not going to play. Nothing could make me. I was not learning. It was ridiculous. It was not about motivating me. I felt that the adults in my life were lying to me.

More than likely she can get a lot out of art, reading, and music. It looks like she is 10 (from signature). I think backing of and allowing her to choose another outsourced class might go quite a ways.
  • bluedarling, slackermom and TerriM like this

#6 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 11 February 2017 - 09:32 PM

Can she explain why she does not want to do it? She honestly might not want to or might not know. If she is doing things for outside providers, swim/art/music, could this be an instance where Mom is just not okay anymore?

It could be Mom.  I tried to defer to dad, and dad says he gets the same flack I do.  She is working well for outside instructors (non-academics), but she did NOTHING last year for her ps teacher.  The teacher said she was fine with letting her focus on social interaction.

We definitely went through that. Next year is almost completely outsourced. It just works better right now.

I've offered several different online classes, and she has refused them all. (Also, she needs to be supervised on the computer...that was part of the issue.)  I haven't found a local academic class that we can get her to/enroll now.

When I was between 11-15, I essentially shut down with school. I realized that public school was a giant game and I was not going to play. Nothing could make me. I was not learning. It was ridiculous. It was not about motivating me. I felt that the adults in my life were lying to me.

THIS!!   She complains she doesn't see the point in any of it!  She doesn't see the value in learning history.  She likes science, but doesn't feel the curriculum will have any lasting impact.  She thinks she knows enough to be a perfectly acceptable adult.  And...to be honest...she does know more than me in a lot of respects (except for math...I know more math.)  I've wondered if "real world math" might be better for her, but she's really close to being ready for algebra, and I think she'll like math better once she gets to that. (I know my older daughter and I both took off with math once we got to algebra.)  Fractions and decimals aren't nearly as fun.

More than likely she can get a lot out of art, reading, and music. It looks like she is 10 (from signature). I think backing of and allowing her to choose another outsourced class might go quite a ways.

She's 11 now, and I am working on believing this.  I want to believe its enough for now, but I am waiting for someone to accuse me of educational neglect because we're not teaching all the subjects....and there are days she does no academics!!  (Though if they tested her, I'm not worried about the results!)  


  • EndOfOrdinary likes this

#7 Incognito

Incognito

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2248 posts

Posted 12 February 2017 - 01:31 AM

Since you are homeschooling her, are you allowing her to be challenged in her subjects?  It sounds like you are keeping her in her "grade."  If she is advanced, let her advance to a place where she feels like she is actually learning something.


  • StephanieZ and bluedarling like this

#8 EndOfOrdinary

EndOfOrdinary

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3169 posts

Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:01 AM

I am trying to think if there is something someone could have told me to get me to understand that no one cared how I felt like everyone was full of crap. The following might not be of any help at all, but it is what saved me even if it happend too late.

I found independent study in high school and took off. Essentially, unschooling only with a rough framework. It allowed me to check boxes and become reinterested in learning. No authority figures, really, just letting me be. Could you propose something like this? Something where it was not about grades or adults or even giving her feedback. More like just having her begin quantifying her output into some catagories to cover your butt? Something like, pick a song or painting or artist and write up a paragraph about why you like it. If she does not want personal, then why it should be taught or considered school. Yo don't even correct it. Just thank her for it, put it in a folder, and have it if you need it. A week or two later, ask for another one.

Four books to give her: Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School & Get a Real Life and a Real Education; Lies My Teacher Told Me; Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli; My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Feel free to proof read them. All of them are essentially angsty teen and preteen books about how stupid school is and how awesome learning is. They do not sugar coat or talk down. They are designed to motivate youth to care about learning and being themselves regardless of society. If she likes any of them, I have a stack more.

My Ishmael is about an 11 or 12 year old girl hating the game that is public education and going on a wild adventure. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is about recognizing cultural mythology and deciding to live your own life. It blew my mind at 17. If she does not like My Ishmael, you can try Ishmael. It is just designed for a slightly older audience.

Stargirl is about a free spirited, homeschooled girl who decides she wants to go to public school where she really does not fit. She decides to change for a boy and become what everyone wants her to be, only to realize that it makes her extremely unhappy. She decides to leave boy and return to homeschooling and being herself. I have Stargirl tattooed on my arm.

Lies My Teacher Told Me is about how U.S. History is white washed patriarchy. The author uses a stack of sources to take apart all of the "stories" we are told about history in school and shows them to be complete lies that make us feel better. It is history wrapped up in feeling like a complete rebel detective. It reignited my desire to learn and "stick it to The Man."

Teenage Liberation Handbook is written to teens as a way to essentially convince their parents they can unschool and teach themselves. The author addresses teens as people, and discusses how to respectfully request ownership over their education. It is then filled with a giant pile of resources so that teens can explain how they are learning to their parents. It would give her the tools to acutally design her courses herself and you could look like she is being educated (because she is). It also has a whole lot of talk about asking for help, not being a total butthead to adults, and being reasonable with your parent's concerns.
  • bluedarling, Runningmom80, Tibbie Dunbar and 2 others like this

#9 Arcadia

Arcadia

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15977 posts

Posted 12 February 2017 - 10:47 AM

My DS11 is sluggish for anything other than playtime. Yesterday his outside B&M class German test, he scored 2 points higher than DS12 and he told me WTMA German paid off. My oldest retain most things at first go but DS11 doesn't so he needs daily revision. My husband has worse luck getting him to work. Outside teachers didn't work either unless it is a group class. So ironically I pay less per hour for a group class than tutoring and he studies harder. This kid is competitive with peers.

He has gone through sluggish, don't want to do academic work before. What worked was Khan, Duolingo with me or my husband 3 feet away reading our stuff. We would look sporadically to see that he is on task. We also have Qustodio installed on his laptop since this child enjoy gaming. For English he just read. His writing is not great but decent so we can catch up later.

We checked out a private center which caters to homeschoolers and afterschoolers yesterday. Typical classrooms with typical school furniture. We'll send him there if he is still sluggish next academic year. This academic year he only had German done properly and he has German class on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday so 5.5hrs per week. That is the amount of class time per subject that works for him. He did music theory as a one week intensive 3hrs daily B&M class in summer and it worked for him.

Edited by Arcadia, 12 February 2017 - 12:48 PM.

  • bluedarling likes this

#10 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 12 February 2017 - 12:27 PM

Since you are homeschooling her, are you allowing her to be challenged in her subjects?  It sounds like you are keeping her in her "grade."  If she is advanced, let her advance to a place where she feels like she is actually learning something.

 

We started the year doing LL7.  She was totally capable, but she seemed stressed by it, so we dropped it.  She was doing BA5 (math is not her best subject but she is still very good at it.)  She was doing it beautifully, but requested something easier.  I *think* I attempted to challenge her, but honestly, she is wicked smart but unmotivated.  I'm not sure I know how to challenge her!!



#11 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 12 February 2017 - 12:41 PM

I am trying to think if there is something someone could have told me to get me to understand that no one cared how I felt like everyone was full of crap. The following might not be of any help at all, but it is what saved me even if it happend too late.

I found independent study in high school and took off. Essentially, unschooling only with a rough framework. It allowed me to check boxes and become reinterested in learning. No authority figures, really, just letting me be. Could you propose something like this? Something where it was not about grades or adults or even giving her feedback. More like just having her begin quantifying her output into some catagories to cover your butt? Something like, pick a song or painting or artist and write up a paragraph about why you like it. If she does not want personal, then why it should be taught or considered school. Yo don't even correct it. Just thank her for it, put it in a folder, and have it if you need it. A week or two later, ask for another one.

Four books to give her: Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School & Get a Real Life and a Real Education; Lies My Teacher Told Me; Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli; My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Feel free to proof read them. All of them are essentially angsty teen and preteen books about how stupid school is and how awesome learning is. They do not sugar coat or talk down. They are designed to motivate youth to care about learning and being themselves regardless of society. If she likes any of them, I have a stack more.

My Ishmael is about an 11 or 12 year old girl hating the game that is public education and going on a wild adventure. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is about recognizing cultural mythology and deciding to live your own life. It blew my mind at 17. If she does not like My Ishmael, you can try Ishmael. It is just designed for a slightly older audience.

Stargirl is about a free spirited, homeschooled girl who decides she wants to go to public school where she really does not fit. She decides to change for a boy and become what everyone wants her to be, only to realize that it makes her extremely unhappy. She decides to leave boy and return to homeschooling and being herself. I have Stargirl tattooed on my arm.

Lies My Teacher Told Me is about how U.S. History is white washed patriarchy. The author uses a stack of sources to take apart all of the "stories" we are told about history in school and shows them to be complete lies that make us feel better. It is history wrapped up in feeling like a complete rebel detective. It reignited my desire to learn and "stick it to The Man."

Teenage Liberation Handbook is written to teens as a way to essentially convince their parents they can unschool and teach themselves. The author addresses teens as people, and discusses how to respectfully request ownership over their education. It is then filled with a giant pile of resources so that teens can explain how they are learning to their parents. It would give her the tools to acutally design her courses herself and you could look like she is being educated (because she is). It also has a whole lot of talk about asking for help, not being a total butthead to adults, and being reasonable with your parent's concerns.

 

I had considered something of this sort, but I am scared to try it!!  I lack confidence that it will all come out fine on the other end...that she'll have all the math she needs (she wouldn't CHOOSE to do math) and be able to write well (though it apparently worked for you!)  First step, I suppose, is to read the books myself (she may have read StarGirl....or at least it was checked out of the library at some point.)  It will be hard to have books around that she doesn't pick up and read before I finish them, but I'll give this a shot.  I recall her sister wanting to be unschooled about this same age...because of a youtube video she saw. (So perhaps this is an age thing.)  But trying with a child whose not doing much of anything anyhow....I suppose I don't have much to lose in trying! 

 


  • EndOfOrdinary likes this

#12 Arcadia

Arcadia

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15977 posts

Posted 12 February 2017 - 01:19 PM

My DS12 slack in 5th grade when we started homeschooling then double up in 6th. At the end of 6th grade, he more than caught up. Now he is complaining about boredom :p
My DS11 was okay K-2nd PS, skip 3rd grade, then slack in 4th grade when we started homeschooling. Was okay in 5th grade when he was in four outside B&M group class (science, flute, Chinese, German), then now slacking again in 6th except for the German outside class. So annoying as it is, we know he can catch up when he has the impetus to.
  • bluedarling likes this

#13 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 12 February 2017 - 04:21 PM

My DS12 slack in 5th grade when we started homeschooling then double up in 6th. At the end of 6th grade, he more than caught up. Now he is complaining about boredom :p
My DS11 was okay K-2nd PS, skip 3rd grade, then slack in 4th grade when we started homeschooling. Was okay in 5th grade when he was in four outside B&M group class (science, flute, Chinese, German), then now slacking again in 6th except for the German outside class. So annoying as it is, we know he can catch up when he has the impetus to.

 

That is an encouraging thought...and this child has always cycled like that, too.  Perhaps this is just a really long cycle....maybe as she grows the cycles become longer?    Its food for thought.



#14 Arcadia

Arcadia

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15977 posts

Posted 12 February 2017 - 05:55 PM

My DS11 is insecure though so part of the problem he has with homeschooling is a lack of sense of identity as a student. When other kids show their school ID for AMC8 and AMC10, he uses his passport. Even though he does not need ID for SAT or ACT, he sees plenty of students having an ID. So he has to come into his own identity to move forward.

My DS12 is tall for age since an infant and has always been treated as being at least two years older than his age. Invigilators/Proctors always stare at the birthdate on his passport. For him, it is more of a mental spurt, followed by a growth spurt where he literally slept for most of 48hrs, then mental spurt again. He turned 12 in December and is 5'6". This kid does bother about a student identity, he is a people watcher and doesn't really care how others classify him. What he care for is rigid structure so he has a school timetable and if we don't leave for the library at 1pm after DS11's WTMA german class, I get a really sulky boy. He is very independent but unschooling make him felt lost. He wants targets and tasks and deadlines. So we cater to his semi-rigidity and do school at home. Whenever he slows down, growth spurt is round the corner.

#15 SarahW

SarahW

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2230 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 04:40 AM

I've been busy the past few days, but wanted to come back to this - 

 

First, I'll project myself a bit:

 

1. How is your overall relationship with her? Is it positive? It's really hard to do hard things where you might fail with a person whom you feel negativity from.

 

2. You say she's smarter than you. Hm, maybe. Maybe in some things. You're probably still wiser than her. Have you, by any chance, told her that she's smarter than you? Or any chance she's overheard you saying that to someone else? It's really hard to try to do hard things for someone who knows less than you.

 

So anyways:

 

3. She likes to read. What does she read? Is it mostly "twaddle" or is it a broad range of books with fun reading and literature? There's lists of 100 good books, or 1000 good books. Mensa reading lists. Whichever. Pull books from the list and get them from the library and tell her she has to try at least the first 25 pages. If she likes one author, get more.

 

4. Have her write fanfiction and put it up on fanfiction.net. She'll get writing practice, and she'll get feedback (keep her login info so you can monitor her account occasionally to check how she's doing). Good writing is hard. Putting a coherent narrative together is hard, too. Making a story with a good beginning, middle, and end is hard as well. She can learn these things from an English program, but I suspect she might do better learning them by doing it herself.

 

5. Have her read all her subjects. Have her read biographies (they'll a lot like stories). I think 99.9% of historical fiction is non-educative trash, so I don't recommend historical fiction. But there are good narrative history books. Kathryn Hinds has some kid history books that are meaty and well done. So does Zahi Hawass. Start there, and then you can start pre-reading the adult history section of the library. There's books like Cairo that are interesting, would be accessible to a strong reader, and don't have "adult" themes (I don't think that one does, I read it when it came out, which I've realized is actually a while ago, lol).

 

6. She can read math and science as well. For science there's books like What A Plant Knows. Fellow boardies here can give lots of recommendations for those types of books. For math there's books like The Number Devil. Though I do not like the Fred books, I wonder if it would be good for her to run through those right now.

 

7. Is she interested in a foreign language? Find one and encourage that. If she does really get into it, she'll pick up a lot of skills and grammar with it.

 

8. Has she been evaluated for ADHD? As I understand it, the girl-version of ADHD-Inattentive presents radically differently than the usual concept of the rambunctious boy. And if she's smart, she can coast through her challenges, mostly. But when things get hard, the ADHD makes them that much harder, which leads to frustration, which leads to refusal, which can lead to depression, which would lead to more refusal. There's things in your description of her which would make me want to rule out ADHD. Just something to explore.

 

9. Finally, I'd really try to hook into a local community of smart/gifted kids. Sometimes there's specific enrichment programs, but if you can't find any of those, you could look into things which are likely to attract "nerds." A CoderDojo club, or robotics, or a mythology club. Even if it's not directly in her interest, if she'll have fun with it, and meet other smart kids, it's worth doing.

 

So read read read, read lots of different types of books, maybe some Fred, maybe some fanfiction, maybe a language, an ADHD checklist, and a like-minded "tribe." Yeah, I think that would be fine for now.


  • bluedarling and Runningmom80 like this

#16 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:22 AM

I've been busy the past few days, but wanted to come back to this - 

 

First, I'll project myself a bit:

 

1. How is your overall relationship with her? Is it positive? It's really hard to do hard things where you might fail with a person whom you feel negativity from.

Not sure.  She's very quiet, and tends to get ignored (not purposely.)  She was wanting to take walks with me, so I don't think she hates me.  Has she ever heard negativity?  Yes, mostly from refusal.

 

2. You say she's smarter than you. Hm, maybe. Maybe in some things. You're probably still wiser than her. Have you, by any chance, told her that she's smarter than you? Or any chance she's overheard you saying that to someone else? It's really hard to try to do hard things for someone who knows less than you.

Yes, she has been told how smart she is from a very young age, because she wows me all the time.  She used to like the fact that she wowed us, but she doesn't want to be "different" now.  She doesn't like any compliment (no matter what is.)  If I say her art is amazing (because it is--I'm not just being encouraging) she'll argue how horrible it is.  She's very perfectionistic and hard on herself.  I don't demand perfection...I just want her to try and I've tried to reiterate that.

 

So anyways:

 

3. She likes to read. What does she read? Is it mostly "twaddle" or is it a broad range of books with fun reading and literature? There's lists of 100 good books, or 1000 good books. Mensa reading lists. Whichever. Pull books from the list and get them from the library and tell her she has to try at least the first 25 pages. If she likes one author, get more.

Right now she is reading mostly Riordan.  I had printed both the 4-6 grade Mensa list and the 7-8 list for her, but she had no interest in reading from a list.  That said, she has read  many of the books on both lists.  She'll read just about anything she finds around the house.   I like your plan!  I don't even have to tell her its from the list....just have them lying around and I'll bet she reads most of them.  She prefers fantasy and sci-fi, and dystopian (but I have to watch that because she stresses our world will become dystopian.) 

 

4. Have her write fanfiction and put it up on fanfiction.net. She'll get writing practice, and she'll get feedback (keep her login info so you can monitor her account occasionally to check how she's doing). Good writing is hard. Putting a coherent narrative together is hard, too. Making a story with a good beginning, middle, and end is hard as well. She can learn these things from an English program, but I suspect she might do better learning them by doing it herself.

Ugh.  This is an absolutely excellent idea, but will require a lot from me, as I will have to sit with her at the computer because the computer was involved in her issues.

 

5. Have her read all her subjects. Have her read biographies (they'll a lot like stories). I think 99.9% of historical fiction is non-educative trash, so I don't recommend historical fiction. But there are good narrative history books. Kathryn Hinds has some kid history books that are meaty and well done. So does Zahi Hawass. Start there, and then you can start pre-reading the adult history section of the library. There's books like Cairo that are interesting, would be accessible to a strong reader, and don't have "adult" themes (I don't think that one does, I read it when it came out, which I've realized is actually a while ago, lol).

Great idea!!  Just having the books around is all that is required.  No assigning even necessary!

 

6. She can read math and science as well. For science there's books like What A Plant Knows. Fellow boardies here can give lots of recommendations for those types of books. For math there's books like The Number Devil. Though I do not like the Fred books, I wonder if it would be good for her to run through those right now.

Yep, same as above.  Give me titles!

 

7. Is she interested in a foreign language? Find one and encourage that. If she does really get into it, she'll pick up a lot of skills and grammar with it.

She was, unitl I killed any desire with SfC. I have a Spanish tutor working with her older sister, but was afraid to ask her to tutor the younger as well because there is a good chance she'll way outperform older sis and cause her not to try.  dd11 memorizes so easily, and its a lot of work for big sis.  Open to suggestions.  Duolingo?  (Computer is hard, though.)

 

8. Has she been evaluated for ADHD? As I understand it, the girl-version of ADHD-Inattentive presents radically differently than the usual concept of the rambunctious boy. And if she's smart, she can coast through her challenges, mostly. But when things get hard, the ADHD makes them that much harder, which leads to frustration, which leads to refusal, which can lead to depression, which would lead to more refusal. There's things in your description of her which would make me want to rule out ADHD. Just something to explore.

No, she hasn't but EVERYONE else in the family is ADHD (though not all of us are diagnosed.)  She never exhibited any signs when she was younger.  I wouldn't rule it out, though...just masked by her giftedness possibly.

 

9. Finally, I'd really try to hook into a local community of smart/gifted kids. Sometimes there's specific enrichment programs, but if you can't find any of those, you could look into things which are likely to attract "nerds." A CoderDojo club, or robotics, or a mythology club. Even if it's not directly in her interest, if she'll have fun with it, and meet other smart kids, it's worth doing.

I'll see what I can find.  Most would require going to the city...we don't have a lot around here.  Might be hard to schedule in with her swim team and my part-time job.

 

So read read read, read lots of different types of books, maybe some Fred, maybe some fanfiction, maybe a language, an ADHD checklist, and a like-minded "tribe." Yeah, I think that would be fine for now.

 



#17 TerriM

TerriM

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 01:14 PM

There are some kids that will forge their own path no matter what you try to do.   I think that the most important thing with these kids is to gain their respect so that they see you as a trusted advisor, not an ignorant adult.  I've got one of these and my goal right now is to try to build a relationship so that when he gets to the teenage years he'll simply talk to me about what is going on.  He's got some really interesting philosophical theories that he only talks about when it's time for bed (augh!), but I really want him to learn to talk about  these so that we can make sure he's on a healthy path in life.  I was a lot like him--I didn't trust my mother, thought she was wrong about a lot of things (still do, but now I know how to discuss it with her), but I wasn't quite obstinent enough to be a lot of trouble.

 

My son acts out when he doesn't want to do things--like after school sports--becoming disruptive to others.    He has a natural talent on the piano, but refuses to take lessons and do the homework because it's boring.  He picks up pieces by ear, but his fingering is probably crap because he doesn't want to be told what to do.  I take a lot of flack for not forcing lessons on him, but my goal right now is to gain his respect, not be his task master, and a lot of people don't understand that because they've never had a kid like him.  

 

At this point, I know that another kid who is "teachable" with his talents would go very very far.  But right now, I have to teach him that having teachers is worthwhile.  He might be 18 or 25 or 30 when he finally wakes up and realizes the value of a mentor and realizes that his attitude has kept him from being the best.

 

 

I try to work with what he wants to do rather than what I want him to do--with the exception that he has to go to school even though it's boring.  I think he would be unmanageable homeschooling.   So if he wants to learn to cook, great--I try to open up ways that this could be a job--cooking pies for a farmer's market or becoming a chef.  If he wants to write stories, I try to encourage it even though I know that he'd go farther if someone would help him edit.  He's really good at drawing, so I tell him he could become a cartoonist.  Maybe I'm just trying to convince myself that he'll be employed when he grows up :)  

 

 

One thing he is not, is a perfectionist.   I do understand personally the feeling of not wanting the compliments and being a perfectionist.  I can't explain what it is and why it happens, but part of it is probably that she's decided not to trust your advice.... Maybe you should ask her what she thinks of her work, rather than telling her what you think if she's just going to ignore your praise.    Maybe she'll critique it anyways, but then you don't feel like she's being contrary because she's not contradicting your opinion.  Ask her what she thinks she will do differently next time if she doesn't like something.  Ask her if there are resources she could use that would help her.  With this kind of kid, you need them to decide what they want, because you telling them what they need gets shot down automatically.

 

 

In your situation, if it's the same kind of kid as mine, I'd send them to school again unless I thought that there would be some very dangerous pitfalls like getting into drugs.   If she doesn't want to learn, then she doesn't want to learn.  I know it sucks to watch a kid waste their childhood like that, but the first problem is growing your relationship with her.


  • EndOfOrdinary likes this

#18 Tibbie Dunbar

Tibbie Dunbar

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6159 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 02:18 PM

I think EndofOrdinary has hit upon it -- it seems your daughter is gifted, but your particular giftedness, if you are gifted, does not match hers. The institutional settings certainly do not, either...

 

those of us who are "getting away with" homeschooling our PG kids? I really believe it's possible because we have a similar, or at least very complementary, way of learning. We understand how they think, even if they outstrip us in some areas.

 

Your saying, "To be honest, she does know more than me, in a lot of respects," is very telling. She may be smarter but she's only 10; she knows she's a child, and she knows she's supposed to be learning, but she's not learning because there's nothing that feels challenging or new. And she knows she may be smarter than all the adults shoving books at her.

 

I understand how she feels. I was there, myself, at her age. I developed so many bizarre ideas about school. Here's a classic Little Tibbie stream of thought: "Why are Kim and Rachel listening so attentively; 'we' knew exactly what the lesson was about when we walked in the room, just from the notes on the blackboard. Why are they taking notes??? Why is the teacher going over it again so slowly, and telling them 'good job' for asking such stupid questions? Kim and Rachel are willing to put on this show to please the teacher, but I'm not going to play dumb like that. I'd feel like an idiot. This is all so embarrassing."

 

Guess what I didn't know? Kim and Rachel were not kissing up to the teacher, or playing a social skills game I didn't understand. They were learning. And the teacher wasn't wasting her breath, or treating intelligent persons like they were imbeciles. She was teaching. I was the one who wasn't learning anything -- I was just marking days of attendance until I could graduate (early). I did my learning at the library after school, on my own.

 

I didn't understand all of this until I began teaching my own children at home, in which case I knew them so intimately that I could tell whether they were pretending. I learned how children learn. But I really did go through my own school years thinking the other children were stupidly playing at "doing school." Which I think is tragic. I wish someone would have told me the truth.

 

That all said, my actual point regarding your daughter is this: I have a few suggestions.

 

1. I wonder if you could find a sympathetic, similarly gifted adult to help mentor her through this season? Someone who would meet with her at least weekly, to discuss whatever she's interested in, no matter what the topic? Just to feed that brain, and help restart the idea that there are wonderful things we DON'T know yet. The method of learning Does Not Matter. Videos, talk with someone, read a book. Just start growing the brain. Nobody can be happy believing they know more than everybody else.

 

2. I'd keep working on finding the tribe. My kids' tribe includes people of all ages, from crazy-smart preschoolers who are funny and happy, to 85yo neighbors who are talented and wise. "Peer" doesn't mean age-mates to us. It means people whose brains work similarly. Although my kids do also need age-mates for other reasons; one of my most gifted sons plays a lot of sports, because nothing matters but the game. These ball players have become his best friends. He doesn't even mind being "the smart one," because they all just accept and love each other. I was never able to help him find that in an academic or club setting.

 

3. EndofOrdinary's suggestions about letting your daughter learn on her own are so good. But I don't know why you need to preread everything before she reads it...does this not slow her down a LOT? If you're worried about objectionable content, look at reviews at goodreads or other sites. Teach her your values, apart from whatever she's reading. But if she is going to be an autodidact, she can't wait for her mother to pre-read and pre-digest all the stimuli. If you're brave enough, she can join the throngs of too-smart people who got their real education at the library, following her own questions and rabbit trails. Freedom to do so is the only thing that keeps some people in school.

 

 

 

 

 


  • Incognito, CadenceSophia, EndOfOrdinary and 2 others like this

#19 TerriM

TerriM

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 04:55 PM

 She complains she doesn't see the point in any of it!  She doesn't see the value in learning history.  She likes science, but doesn't feel the curriculum will have any lasting impact.  She thinks she knows enough to be a perfectly acceptable adult.

 

Here's the problem:   A perfectly acceptable adult is employable.  She may very well know more than the average waitress or gas station attendant.  She might know more than many teachers.  Maybe she knows more than a lot of people. But can she get a job doing something she wants to do--whatever it is that she wants to do?  If not, then it's not perfectly acceptable.   If so, then go get a job.  

 

Now, I wouldn't normally toss "What do you want to do with your life?" onto an 11 year old, but the ultimate goal of an education is to get a job to put food on the table, buy clothes, pay the rent or buy a house.   She needs to understand that--not in a demeaning "you have no idea what life is about kind of way" because she thinks she knows more than you do, but in a "ok, you know what you need to know, so let's be done with all but the minimum state requirements for  school and do what we do with an education--get a job."  So what does she want to do?   If she wants to "teach", can she volunteer at a school tutoring?  If she wants to program, can she take on jobs designing web pages?  If she wants to do art, can she sell it on etsy, at art fairs, or farmer's markets?  I would--very tactfully and not in a "you have no clue" kind of way--urge her to put her belief to the test.  Treat her like an adult.  Help her to start a business.

 

 

Also, frankly, I didn't see any value at all in studying history either.  It was freaking boring except for one book, one teacher.  My interest in history came about later when I started having a scientific interest about archeology and how we "know" things about the past, and also in conjunction with religion.  So, yeah.  It has no meaning or purpose to her right now.  But when it does, she'll get into it.  That's just the way things are :(


Edited by tiuzzol2, 14 February 2017 - 04:55 PM.

  • Runningmom80 likes this

#20 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:08 PM

I think EndofOrdinary has hit upon it -- it seems your daughter is gifted, but your particular giftedness, if you are gifted, does not match hers. The institutional settings certainly do not, either...

Could be!    (I am not universally gifted like her...I qualified in just one area.)

 

those of us who are "getting away with" homeschooling our PG kids? I really believe it's possible because we have a similar, or at least very complementary, way of learning. We understand how they think, even if they outstrip us in some areas.

 

Your saying, "To be honest, she does know more than me, in a lot of respects," is very telling. She may be smarter but she's only 10; she knows she's a child, and she knows she's supposed to be learning, but she's not learning because there's nothing that feels challenging or new. And she knows she may be smarter than all the adults shoving books at her.

 

I understand how she feels. I was there, myself, at her age. I developed so many bizarre ideas about school. Here's a classic Little Tibbie stream of thought: "Why are Kim and Rachel listening so attentively; 'we' knew exactly what the lesson was about when we walked in the room, just from the notes on the blackboard. Why are they taking notes??? Why is the teacher going over it again so slowly, and telling them 'good job' for asking such stupid questions? Kim and Rachel are willing to put on this show to please the teacher, but I'm not going to play dumb like that. I'd feel like an idiot. This is all so embarrassing."

I could totally see her having those thoughts last year in ps gifted program.  I was hoping to save her from that at home.   I'm thinking perhaps testing is in order.  We do have a gifted specialist for testing at the facility she's getting couseling from.  A friend that used her for her PG dd said she made recommendations on special programs, but in the end they decided on grade skipping as their solution of choice.  My dd is not quite as PG as that child (but was still "beyond" the gifted class.)  Her teacher explained that in a class of 22 kids, there were 2-3 that were light years beyond the others, and my dd was one of them.  She felt bad not calling on my daughter all the time, but she had to ignore her to give other kids a chance, so dd learned not to bother participating...she occupied her time learning to draw.

 

Guess what I didn't know? Kim and Rachel were not kissing up to the teacher, or playing a social skills game I didn't understand. They were learning. And the teacher wasn't wasting her breath, or treating intelligent persons like they were imbeciles. She was teaching. I was the one who wasn't learning anything -- I was just marking days of attendance until I could graduate (early). I did my learning at the library after school, on my own.

I think my dd realized the other kids were learning and the teacher was teaching, she just didn't see the point in engaging with it.  The teacher didn't like her answering every question, so dd overreacted and disengaged entirely.  Like you, she'd rather just learn through reading (no writing, no activities, just read.)  But at home? 

 

I didn't understand all of this until I began teaching my own children at home, in which case I knew them so intimately that I could tell whether they were pretending. I learned how children learn. But I really did go through my own school years thinking the other children were stupidly playing at "doing school." Which I think is tragic. I wish someone would have told me the truth.

 

That all said, my actual point regarding your daughter is this: I have a few suggestions.

 

1. I wonder if you could find a sympathetic, similarly gifted adult to help mentor her through this season? Someone who would meet with her at least weekly, to discuss whatever she's interested in, no matter what the topic? Just to feed that brain, and help restart the idea that there are wonderful things we DON'T know yet. The method of learning Does Not Matter. Videos, talk with someone, read a book. Just start growing the brain. Nobody can be happy believing they know more than everybody else.

Any volunteers?  (Seriously, I don't know how to find anyone local to fulfill that.  A couple of my mom friends seem like they're pretty smart, but that's probably not going to appeal to my daughter too much to befriend one of my friends.  I can think of one I can ask...she helped teach my boys writing over the computer.  Maybe she could do the same with her.  She got my dd temporarily interested in latin at one point! ...til Mom tried it as schoolwork, then the interest faded quickly. )

 

2. I'd keep working on finding the tribe. My kids' tribe includes people of all ages, from crazy-smart preschoolers who are funny and happy, to 85yo neighbors who are talented and wise. "Peer" doesn't mean age-mates to us. It means people whose brains work similarly. Although my kids do also need age-mates for other reasons; one of my most gifted sons plays a lot of sports, because nothing matters but the game. These ball players have become his best friends. He doesn't even mind being "the smart one," because they all just accept and love each other. I was never able to help him find that in an academic or club setting.

I am hoping swim team will help here.  I'll continue to look for other opportunities.  There was a book club I really wanted to try with her, but it conflicted with art class, so I didn't even ask her...I knew the answer.  A book club would be perfect for her...perhaps I should start one on a day we CAN make!  Only thing is that I feel very ill-equipped to lead a book discussion!)

 

3. EndofOrdinary's suggestions about letting your daughter learn on her own are so good. But I don't know why you need to preread everything before she reads it...does this not slow her down a LOT? If you're worried about objectionable content, look at reviews at goodreads or other sites. Teach her your values, apart from whatever she's reading. But if she is going to be an autodidact, she can't wait for her mother to pre-read and pre-digest all the stimuli. If you're brave enough, she can join the throngs of too-smart people who got their real education at the library, following her own questions and rabbit trails. Freedom to do so is the only thing that keeps some people in school.

I am not pre-reading everything!  Just the unschooling books, because I want to make sure its a philosophy I can buy into before she goes down that road!  General fiction we look up on common sense media, generally.  By the way, does anyone know if House of the Scorpion would be ok for an 11yo?  I was undecided, and she's pressing me for an answer.  There is absolutely no way I could pre-read all her stuff--not even close!

 



#21 TerriM

TerriM

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:12 PM

The teacher didn't like her answering every question, so dd overreacted and disengaged entirely. 

 

Yeah.  It's pretty frustrating to have to sit through stuff you know and then be treated by a teacher as a second class citizen for knowing it all. :(



#22 TerriM

TerriM

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:17 PM

Can you move closer to the city?  You said you're 45 minutes away--would all these resources that are not close to you be available in that city?  



#23 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:28 PM

There are some kids that will forge their own path no matter what you try to do.   I think that the most important thing with these kids is to gain their respect so that they see you as a trusted advisor, not an ignorant adult.  I've got one of these and my goal right now is to try to build a relationship so that when he gets to the teenage years he'll simply talk to me about what is going on.  He's got some really interesting philosophical theories that he only talks about when it's time for bed (augh!), but I really want him to learn to talk about  these so that we can make sure he's on a healthy path in life.  I was a lot like him--I didn't trust my mother, thought she was wrong about a lot of things (still do, but now I know how to discuss it with her), but I wasn't quite obstinent enough to be a lot of trouble.

This isn't the first suggestion I've seen for focus on relationship.  I think its good advice.  Now is a very good time for me to focus on this, and getting to know her better may help me make better decisions for her education. She's not easy to get to know (much like myself)...my mom has always been my very best friend, and I want the same for her.

 

My son acts out when he doesn't want to do things--like after school sports--becoming disruptive to others.    He has a natural talent on the piano, but refuses to take lessons and do the homework because it's boring.  He picks up pieces by ear, but his fingering is probably crap because he doesn't want to be told what to do.  I take a lot of flack for not forcing lessons on him, but my goal right now is to gain his respect, not be his task master, and a lot of people don't understand that because they've never had a kid like him.  

My dd got through 3 years of orchestra without learning to read notes!!  Her piano teacher caught it after one year (private lesson advantage.)  My dd has such an amazing ear that she fools everyone that she is reading notes.  She is teachable, though...just likes to shortcut the process!  Why learn to read notes if you don't have to?  Her eldest brother sounds a lot like your son (aspergers)--he was very difficult to teach, but homeschool was a still a better fit for him because of the gifted/LD. 

 

At this point, I know that another kid who is "teachable" with his talents would go very very far.  But right now, I have to teach him that having teachers is worthwhile.  He might be 18 or 25 or 30 when he finally wakes up and realizes the value of a mentor and realizes that his attitude has kept him from being the best.

 

 

I try to work with what he wants to do rather than what I want him to do--with the exception that he has to go to school even though it's boring.  I think he would be unmanageable homeschooling.   So if he wants to learn to cook, great--I try to open up ways that this could be a job--cooking pies for a farmer's market or becoming a chef.  If he wants to write stories, I try to encourage it even though I know that he'd go farther if someone would help him edit.  He's really good at drawing, so I tell him he could become a cartoonist.  Maybe I'm just trying to convince myself that he'll be employed when he grows up :)

dd currently wants to be a naturopath/herbalist.  The week before it was a housewife (which I poo-pooed, despite the fact I was one for 16 years....I told her it would be a waste of her gifts.)  Exploring herbs....for 5th grade science, I suppose.  Problem is...next week she'll be ready to move on to something different.

 

One thing he is not, is a perfectionist.   I do understand personally the feeling of not wanting the compliments and being a perfectionist.  I can't explain what it is and why it happens, but part of it is probably that she's decided not to trust your advice.... Maybe you should ask her what she thinks of her work, rather than telling her what you think if she's just going to ignore your praise.    Maybe she'll critique it anyways, but then you don't feel like she's being contrary because she's not contradicting your opinion.  Ask her what she thinks she will do differently next time if she doesn't like something.  Ask her if there are resources she could use that would help her.  With this kind of kid, you need them to decide what they want, because you telling them what they need gets shot down automatically.

Good advise, I will attempt to do better here.

 

In your situation, if it's the same kind of kid as mine, I'd send them to school again unless I thought that there would be some very dangerous pitfalls like getting into drugs.   If she doesn't want to learn, then she doesn't want to learn.  I know it sucks to watch a kid waste their childhood like that, but the first problem is growing your relationship with her.

School might be dangerous for her--its not a risk I'm willing to consider yet. I think the advice to focus on relationship right now is good. 

 



#24 TerriM

TerriM

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:49 PM

dd currently wants to be a naturopath/herbalist

 

I'd take it and run with it for a while--ask her to give any of these ideas at least a month or two.  If this  helps her engage in learning--great!   Hands on for that would be researching what the herbs do (english/science) and  growing a garden (science), have her find out what tribes used what herbs for treating what ailments (history).  Do we still believe that those herbs do what the tribes say they did?  Personally this part of history, i now find FASCINATING!!!!!  I used to think that we are so enlightened and now have modern medicine and people in the past were backwards, etc.  But now I think it's really cool that people used the herbs for real purposes that we can also use them for now.  Did the tribes get it right?  Does bay leaf really clear out your sinuses?  Does garlic really have antibacterial properties (can she design an experiment to figure it out?).     How do you make essential oils out of stuff from your garden?

 

Ask her to think through making this an educational plan for something like two months.  Ask her to propose things she can do, then your job is just encouraging her to see it through that two months.  But I'd recommend engaging her as much as possible in making the decisions.  She doesn't *have* to make this a long term career, but it'd be great if she got to the point of understanding what it would mean for her as a career.

 

You can throw in natural soap making, candle making, and a bunch of other fun stuff. 

 

And she can sell the soap on Etsy :)


  • bluedarling and Runningmom80 like this

#25 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 06:15 PM

Can you move closer to the city?  You said you're 45 minutes away--would all these resources that are not close to you be available in that city?  

 

A move is not very feasible at this time.  Maybe in a few years.

 

I know all the resources would be available 1.5-2 hours from here (larger city.)  They might be available 45 min away (smaller city.)  I'd rather drive the 45 minutes than move.  If it seems we need the resources of the bigger city...that would be very unsettling!!  I don't think she's that PG that it would be necessary, but there is an early university program there. 



#26 TerriM

TerriM

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 07:50 PM

There are some kids that will forge their own path no matter what you try to do.   I think that the most important thing with these kids is to gain their respect so that they see you as a trusted advisor, not an ignorant adult.  I've got one of these and my goal right now is to try to build a relationship so that when he gets to the teenage years he'll simply talk to me about what is going on.  He's got some really interesting philosophical theories that he only talks about when it's time for bed (augh!), but I really want him to learn to talk about  these so that we can make sure he's on a healthy path in life.  I was a lot like him--I didn't trust my mother, thought she was wrong about a lot of things (still do, but now I know how to discuss it with her), but I wasn't quite obstinent enough to be a lot of trouble.

This isn't the first suggestion I've seen for focus on relationship.  I think its good advice.  Now is a very good time for me to focus on this, and getting to know her better may help me make better decisions for her education. She's not easy to get to know (much like myself)...my mom has always been my very best friend, and I want the same for her.

 

One of the reasons I chose to focus on my relationship with DS2 is that I saw in him a lot of the same personality as my brother.   A lot of things went wrong for my brother--and sadly still are--because of personality clashes with my mom, and so my sole goal was to head things in a different direction as soon as possible.   My mother was a strong-willed parent and both of us were strong-willed kids.  It's not a good match, honestly.  

 

Since my son believed that he was in charge of his life and wanted me to stop telling him what to do (ie, homework, piano lessons, etc.), I let it all go.  My only rule was that he had to go to school, and he had to be in bed at a certain time.  If he didn't want to do homework, fine.  If he wanted to watch TV all day after school and through the summer (which he did!), fine.  My general goal is to make sure that he's gainfully employed after he's 18 and can live on his own, and that we have a peaceful relationship even if it means he doesn't live up to his potential.

 

Overall, I'd say it worked to an extent.   Our disagreements are much more manageable and generally restricted to how he talks (or talks back to) people and how he treats his siblings.  He's taken ownership of his homework which is all I can hope for.  He may have even taken ownership of cleaning and organizing his stuff, which would be fantastic.  I think he's finally gotten the "I'm not your maid" idea, so at least he doesn't talk back to me when I ask him to clean up his dishes/socks/shoes etc..   I think we're still a bit far off from knowing that he will be comfortable confiding in me when he has one of those life problems you're afraid to talk to your parents about.  We'll see if we get there before he gets there.    But if he's not thinking of running away, I feel like we're doing well.  Low bar, but both my brother and I really wanted to get out of the house before we were 10.....   I waited until it was time to leave for college.  He didn't.

 

Low bar, but..... You start where you can.


  • bluedarling and Runningmom80 like this

#27 SarahW

SarahW

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2230 posts

Posted 15 February 2017 - 04:02 AM

dd currently wants to be a naturopath/herbalist.  The week before it was a housewife (which I poo-pooed, despite the fact I was one for 16 years....I told her it would be a waste of her gifts.)  Exploring herbs....for 5th grade science, I suppose.  Problem is...next week she'll be ready to move on to something different.

 

I don't understand why you would wait until "5th grade science" to do something she's interested in now. She says she likes herbs - get her to the library and check out every single book there about herbs, and growing herbs, and uses of herbs, and history of herbs, and how to make essential oils. In two weeks when the books are due, ask "Sweetie, do you need to renew any of the books we got out last time? Is there anything else you want to get from the library today?" Maybe she'll take all the books about herbs back and check out every book about manga, the history of manga, how to draw manga, Japanese, etc.. It doesn't matter. Just do it. If she does say, "Oh, I want to learn more about herbs, do you think there's a better book about growing them?" Then you can start researching it with her, and ILL'ing some more books, and see if there's a gardening club in your area, and so on.

 

 

And about the fanfiction - she can write up stories during the week in a notebook, and then on Saturday morning type them up and then decide whether to post them online. I would just log in to her account once a week to make sure she's not being bullied/trolled, it's the internet after all. 


  • bluedarling, Runningmom80 and slackermom like this

#28 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 15 February 2017 - 09:32 PM

Thanks all for your advice!!  I feel much better.

Today dd and I watched Sound of Music and did the discussion questions on teachwithmovies.org.   Unschooling books are on order at the library.  I contacted a friend to see if she'd be interested in mentoring dd (she's thinking about it.)  I ordered a slew of herb books from the library (all adult books, but I don't think dd will mind), along with some Mensa list books.  And yesterday dd read a cookbook from the cupboard (of her own accord) and made me a salad!  So sweet. We have a plan (it doesn't include math...learning decimals...but she's smart and I can trust she can pick that up quickly when she is ready to tackle it.)  I feel good about it!  (for now, anyway.)  Oh, and as I type this she just thanked me for the herb books and book of Greek Myths!!


  • Runningmom80, azucena, Tibbie Dunbar and 5 others like this

#29 Heigh Ho

Heigh Ho

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11560 posts

Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:16 AM

House of Scorpion is fine for an 11. Do your research on death panels and plan to discuss the ethics of organ harvesting and othering.
  • bluedarling likes this

#30 fourisenough

fourisenough

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1917 posts

Posted 16 February 2017 - 09:24 PM

Sorry, I didn't read many of the responses to the OP, but just chiming in to say that anxiety takes up so much 'band width' that your DD may not be refusing to do school work, but rather she maybe unable to do the work. It's an important distinction. Has she been diagnosed with anxiety? Are you treating it with medication/therapy? If not, I encourage you to consider it. Zoloft has been life-changing for my high-IQ anxious DD; therapy has been helpful, too, but would have been impossible without first getting things under control with medication. If none of this resonates or if I misunderstood, feel free to ignore.
  • bluedarling and Sadie like this

#31 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 16 February 2017 - 09:51 PM

Sorry, I didn't read many of the responses to the OP, but just chiming in to say that anxiety takes up so much 'band width' that your DD may not be refusing to do school work, but rather she maybe unable to do the work. It's an important distinction. Has she been diagnosed with anxiety? Are you treating it with medication/therapy? If not, I encourage you to consider it. Zoloft has been life-changing for my high-IQ anxious DD; therapy has been helpful, too, but would have been impossible without first getting things under control with medication. If none of this resonates or if I misunderstood, feel free to ignore.

 

That was one of the first things mentioned, but having it reiterated helps...and I like the way you explained it.  I stressed a little today about no math happening, but reminded myself she could easily catch up.  We are waiting on evaluation results before we decide next step (drugs, therapy, etc.)  Thanks for the post, though!  It was helpful.


  • fourisenough likes this

#32 TerriM

TerriM

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:41 AM

I don't at all want this post to come across badly as I know parenting is really really tough, and parenting a gifted strong-willed child is REALLY tough but..... a lot of what you've said seems to me like you guys are having a major power struggle and huge disagreements that could be creating, and certainly contributing to, her anxiety, and I have to wonder if medication is really necessary.  Is she anxious or are you guys simply having very stressful disagreements about her schooling and life in general that are stressing her (and you!) out to the max? She wants to be put ahead a grade, you want her at grade level.  She wants to read books, you want her to do something else.   She wants to go back to school to be with her friends, you want her home.  You want her to work, she hates it when you are hover over her.  You want her to study history, she sees no point to it.   Teachers are boring and disrespectful to her, yet she wants to go back.  You're stressed that missing a day of math is going to be bad, she's not worried about it.  She doesn't sound anxious, she sounds trapped!!!!   Trapped by rules and regulations and people telling her what to do.  I'm feeling the stress just over the web.   :(

 

I suspect what would be best is for her to be in a B&M school with other gifted kids.   Yet, the nearest city is 45 minutes away.  I think the first thing would be to explore those options--what exactly are they?  Exactly how far away are they?  Exactly how gifted is she?    If they're expensive, apply for Fin-aid.  Don't give up until you know it's really not possible. 

 

But if your only option really is to homeschool, could you sit down with her and no matter how young she is, treat her like an adult, and help her to understand the laws she (and you) are under homeschooling, and allow her to propose a plan that satisfies the state and makes her happy even if it makes *you* anxious for her future?  Can you let go and let her make these decisions for herself and give her the freedom she craves within the minimum necessary boundaries?   Can you figure out what minimum test standards she needs to satisfy to stay under the radar and to learn how she wants?  Can you let go of your worries and stress, and let her take control.  And no judging--it's ok for her to make mistakes.  If she's gifted, she'll recover from them very easily, but let her figure things out and make decisions and see how things turn out.   That's how we learn.  It sounds a lot to me like she thinks she knows best, and you think you know best, and even though somewhere in the middle is the truth, the biggest problem is that you guys aren't on the same team.....At all.   :(  And you won't be until she feels that she can trust you to be a teammate rather than a referee.  And at this point, that's going to take a lot of time.  But the more you fight her, the more she's going to dig in and the longer it will take.

 

 

I let my oldest make decisions himself--where to go to school, whether to homeschool, what classes to take, what extracurriculars to do.  Within the context of what is manageable to me as the adult who has to pay and drive him, of course.   I have since he was 4 or 5... because he listens to people and he's very self-aware, so I advise him on his choices and their consequences, and he makes those choices, and they're always good ones.   But it drives my mom NUTS. My mom.....She just doesn't understand.  "Why don't you just tell him what to do?!!!!!  Why do you ask him what HE wants?  Why don't you just make him do it?  Children should be seen but not heard"  Because that was her way of parenting--order us around and spank when we don't do exactly what she wants.  I'm not saying this is you, but if you feel like it's your job to order your daughter to do things, then this is why you're having fights.  Because DD wants you to treat her like a mature adult.    Even if she is a kid, let her rise to the occasion of being a mature adult.  Don't make her prove to you anything, let her make mistakes without blame.  No "I told you so"s.    Help her to understand the pros and cons of everything, and let her choose.  And try not to stress about any of it.  The stress is worse than no math, no history, no whatever it is.    You guys need no-fights, no nail biting, no nervousness, no hovering, just hugs and happiness.  And i wonder if she could be less anxious if you guys were at peace with each other.


Edited by tiuzzol2, 17 February 2017 - 01:40 PM.


#33 bluedarling

bluedarling

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 812 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:10 PM

I don't at all want this post to come across badly as I know parenting is really really tough, and parenting a gifted strong-willed child is REALLY tough but..... a lot of what you've said seems to me like you guys are having a major power struggle and huge disagreements that could be creating, and certainly contributing to, her anxiety, and I have to wonder if medication is really necessary.  Is she anxious or are you guys simply having very stressful disagreements about her schooling and life in general that are stressing her (and you!) out to the max? She wants to be put ahead a grade, you want her at grade level.  She wants to read books, you want her to do something else.   She wants to go back to school to be with her friends, you want her home.  You want her to work, she hates it when you are hover over her.  You want her to study history, she sees no point to it.   Teachers are boring and disrespectful to her, yet she wants to go back.  You're stressed that missing a day of math is going to be bad, she's not worried about it.  She doesn't sound anxious, she sounds trapped!!!!   Trapped by rules and regulations and people telling her what to do.  I'm feeling the stress just over the web.   :(

 

I suspect what would be best is for her to be in a B&M school with other gifted kids.   Yet, the nearest city is 45 minutes away.  I think the first thing would be to explore those options--what exactly are they?  Exactly how far away are they?  Exactly how gifted is she?    If they're expensive, apply for Fin-aid.  Don't give up until you know it's really not possible. 

 

But if your only option really is to homeschool, could you sit down with her and no matter how young she is, treat her like an adult, and help her to understand the laws she (and you) are under homeschooling, and allow her to propose a plan that satisfies the state and makes her happy even if it makes *you* anxious for her future?  Can you let go and let her make these decisions for herself and give her the freedom she craves within the minimum necessary boundaries?   Can you figure out what minimum test standards she needs to satisfy to stay under the radar and to learn how she wants?  Can you let go of your worries and stress, and let her take control.  And no judging--it's ok for her to make mistakes.  If she's gifted, she'll recover from them very easily, but let her figure things out and make decisions and see how things turn out.   That's how we learn.  It sounds a lot to me like she thinks she knows best, and you think you know best, and even though somewhere in the middle is the truth, the biggest problem is that you guys aren't on the same team.....At all.   :(  And you won't be until she feels that she can trust you to be a teammate rather than a referee.  And at this point, that's going to take a lot of time.  But the more you fight her, the more she's going to dig in and the longer it will take.

 

 

I let my oldest make decisions himself--where to go to school, whether to homeschool, what classes to take, what extracurriculars to do.  Within the context of what is manageable to me as the adult who has to pay and drive him, of course.   I have since he was 4 or 5... because he listens to people and he's very self-aware, so I advise him on his choices and their consequences, and he makes those choices, and they're always good ones.   But it drives my mom NUTS. My mom.....She just doesn't understand.  "Why don't you just tell him what to do?!!!!!  Why do you ask him what HE wants?  Why don't you just make him do it?  Children should be seen but not heard"  Because that was her way of parenting--order us around and spank when we don't do exactly what she wants.  I'm not saying this is you, but if you feel like it's your job to order your daughter to do things, then this is why you're having fights.  Because DD wants you to treat her like a mature adult.    Even if she is a kid, let her rise to the occasion of being a mature adult.  Don't make her prove to you anything, let her make mistakes without blame.  No "I told you so"s.    Help her to understand the pros and cons of everything, and let her choose.  And try not to stress about any of it.  The stress is worse than no math, no history, no whatever it is.    You guys need no-fights, no nail biting, no nervousness, no hovering, just hugs and happiness.  And i wonder if she could be less anxious if you guys were at peace with each other.

 

Actually, this is a generally compliant child...not strong-willed.  I had one of those (first-born.)  I think you're under the impression that the relationship is worse than it really is.  And...we are taking steps to give her more control and do a lot of what you suggest.  I'm not as harsh as you seem to be under the impression I am.  We had a structured school day, with consequences if work wasn't completed (such as no electronics.)  Yes, I prefer more structure, but I bend a lot too, as I am now.  I bend when I feel its best for the child, and in this case bending seems the best thing to do.  She selected all her extra-curriculars.  She has had total control there.  And I think we are on the same team...moreso than I have been with any of my other children!!    We don't fight (or at least not verbally.)  She's a very sweet girl.  The suggestions up thread have helped considerably, and I'm actually quite content with these changes!!  She seems happier, too.
 


  • TerriM likes this

#34 Runningmom80

Runningmom80

    Hugger of Books

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4680 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 05:03 PM

You've gotten lots of wonderful suggestions in this thread, they've helped me for sure. 

 

I wanted to offer this thread I have book marked and re read from time to time.  There are some good suggestions for tween angst. (Not that that's what she has, but some advise may be helpful.) http://forums.welltr...e-being-a-pill/

 

 

I'm glad to see things are looking up. :hurray:



#35 TerriM

TerriM

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 17 February 2017 - 07:13 PM

Actually, this is a generally compliant child...not strong-willed.  I had one of those (first-born.)  I think you're under the impression that the relationship is worse than it really is.  And...we are taking steps to give her more control and do a lot of what you suggest.  I'm not as harsh as you seem to be under the impression I am.  We had a structured school day, with consequences if work wasn't completed (such as no electronics.)  Yes, I prefer more structure, but I bend a lot too, as I am now.  I bend when I feel its best for the child, and in this case bending seems the best thing to do.  She selected all her extra-curriculars.  She has had total control there.  And I think we are on the same team...moreso than I have been with any of my other children!!    We don't fight (or at least not verbally.)  She's a very sweet girl.  The suggestions up thread have helped considerably, and I'm actually quite content with these changes!!  She seems happier, too.
 

 

I'm glad to hear it's not as bad as it sounds!  As I said, parenting is hard, and I didn't want it to come across the wrong way.  We're all doing our best.


  • Korrale likes this