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"gap year" - anyone planning to do this?


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Why are you doing it? HOW will you do it? What does your student think about it? How will you handle grade-segregated activities (youth group, AWANA, Sunday School, sports, etc.)? How do you think it will affect relationships with friends, particularly when it comes time for everyone else except your student to graduate?

 

ETA - my original subject specified "between 8th and 9th grade," but for some strange reason I got an error every time. And by the time it finally worked I was too frustrated to remember any other kind of gap year LOLOLOL.

 

I'm referring to a gap between 8th and 9th grade, to allow the student to mature, progress some more, etc. prior to starting high school level work.

Edited by razorbackmama
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I hope that Calvin will take one, as he will only be 17 1/2 when he leaves school. Typical gap years might include six months of working followed by six months of travelling alone or with a friend independently around the Far East, Africa or South America. Most people don't go on organised trips.

 

The norm is to apply for university as during the last year at school, and receive a place deferred for a year. Most universities/courses are happy to do this.

 

Calvin is interested in working in the US for a while (he has dual UK/US nationality) and perhaps spending time studying/working in China. I'm sure all that will change, and it will of course depend on whether jobs are available four years from now.

 

It sounds like you might be talking about a gap year before leaving school. Is that right? How does that fit with transcripts/compulsory education?

 

Laura

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We are still a good way away from that, but I will encourage dd to take a gap year to the point that I don't think I would be willing to support her financially if she went straight to Uni.

 

I think it is bizarre that an 18yr old with no experience of the working world should be expected to decide their future. I did my under-grad degree through correspondence while working full-time, then went on to do my Master's full-time, studying mostly with students who had left school and been studying solidly since then. With a few exceptions I found them immature in their approach to studying, and more interested in getting out of work than doing it properly. They simply did not value the opportunity to study in the same way I did, having studied part-time and worked full-time. I found the attitude frustrating, and my experience has certainly coloured my views on this.

 

I wouldn't encourage a gap year before high school graduation, at least not the travel-around-the-world type of gap year. A work-experience gap year might be a different situation, but that could just as easily be done after graduation.

 

Nikki

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I'm thinking about it! My 14-year-old is a little slow to mature. She needs a bit of extra time to grow "on the inside" and learn responsibility. She's not where I want her to be academically -- she's an excellent student, but she works slowly and often doesn't finish her daily assignments because her extracurriculars (mainly ballet) interfere. Also, there are opportunities available for her during the high school years (the ballet company, our county's EMT/paramedic training program, great local art classes) that will serve her well later, and I don't want to rush her past those.

 

I can envision her as a slightly older college freshman with many AP credits, many accomplishments, and a mature outlook on life. A student like that would be more likely to graduate in three years and have a smoother time in college than an immature student who flounders aimlessly for four years.

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Why are you doing it? HOW will you do it? What does your student think about it? How will you handle grade-segregated activities (youth group, AWANA, Sunday School, sports, etc.)? How do you think it will affect relationships with friends, particularly when it comes time for everyone else except your student to graduate?

 

Are you talking gap year or super senior year?

 

Gap year, as SWB's son did, they actually do graduate and postpone college entrance for a year. During that year they do activities, jobs, internships, etc. Some colleges actually grant admission and postpone entrance. She talks about this in her blog.

 

Super Senior, is postponing graduation, extending high school work one more year (5 year plan).

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So sorry - for some reason the forum software didn't like my original subject title (got "fatal error" numerous times before I changed it).

 

What I mean is an extra year between 8th and 9th grades - BEFORE high school. They do not actually take a year off of school but take a year maturing/progressing/getting caught up before starting the demands of high school.

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Dh had a gap between 9th and 10th. He'd been one of the youngest in his kindergarten class so even with the gap, he still graduated before he turned 18.

 

His parents were moving and he was already struggling due to being shy and unconfident. The teacher's wanted to place him in special ed for high school even though his IQ tests came back very high and he did not have any learning disabilities. So, his dad withdrew him from school for six months when they moved and just spent a lot of time on projects which helped bolster dh's confidence. When he went back to school, he was a different person. He took exclusively honors level classes and got straight A's. Unfortunately, no 4.0 because of that first 9th grade year with low grades. The thing is, since they were moving, his dad simply withdrew him from his high school in Seattle, and did not enroll him in Florida. He was able to "fly under the radar" though it was technically illegal.

 

I think a gap year for maturity is great. However, if you are in a legally restrictive state and must have an end of year portfolio review or submit curiculum plans, you'll need to be creative in order to show that he is progressing. But, you shouldn't feel pressured to start issuing high school credit and have him working at that level if he isn't ready. I think there are probably some very innovative and politically correct ways of getting around any naysayers if you are in Pennsylvania or other states with lots of regulations.

 

I do think that if you can find some volunteer position for him, that would be great. I've found that volunteerism and a little responsibility goes a long way towards gaining ground in emotional maturity. Our 4-H program allows 8th graders to tutor and be reading buddies to k-2nd graders in an after school program for low income, at risk students. 9th-12th graders can tutor through the 6th grade.

 

Faith

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Sorry...again I'm thinking I didn't word my question correctly.

 

If I did this with a student, he wouldn't take time off from school. He would still do a full year. I guess TECHNICALLY he'd be repeating 8th grade??? I've just heard this called a "gap year," which apparently was incorrect. *blush*

 

Sorry for any confusion.

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My ds is an older 7th grader. We debated about allowing this to be his 8th grade year and set the criteria he would have to met. Unfortunately we had such turmoil with a move/late start/life stuff, that we decided to delay the decision until the end of next year. He hasn't been given a fair chance to prove himself, if that makes sense.

 

So we are continuing & planning with next year technically going to be 8th, but planning that it could be 9th if necessary. Mostly for labeling on a transcript and counting credits.

 

That's kind of backward from what you were asking, but we're not changing what year it's called. We're keeping the options open and not calling this year a defeat, which is what I feel like we were saying if we closed all options right now.

 

Hope that makes some semblance of sense, my mind is trying to do too many things at this moment. :lol:

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My thought is that you can technically 'hold him back' in the same grade as you see fit. But.. that said, my kids are ALE students and I doubt the State would sign on for my dd to do that without a cause. I too have been wondering about this, as I have a younger dd who will graduate at 17 and I regret not starting her later. Academically she is fine, but socially and emotionally she is below grade level which is the very reason I am now hsing her. I would love to think I could give her an extra year.. whether it be now, later, or the 'gap' year between highschool and univ. to develop a bit as a strong individual. But I am wondering how well that plays out when you are going to be applying for scholarships to attend univ. Do the scholarship committees generally support 'gap' years? And if you feel like your child might not be emotionally or socially ready to go out into the world, when IS the best time to stop the forward momentum.. as I said, academically she is more than fine.. probably AHEAD by many standards.

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My thought is that you can technically 'hold him back' in the same grade as you see fit.

 

Oh definitely. I'm just wondering about the logistics outside of school, particularly when it comes to social stuff. My ds is VERY well aware of what grade he is in LOL.

 

But.. that said, my kids are ALE students and I doubt the State would sign on for my dd to do that without a cause.

 

ALE?

 

I too have been wondering about this, as I have a younger dd who will graduate at 17 and I regret not starting her later. Academically she is fine, but socially and emotionally she is below grade level which is the very reason I am now hsing her. I would love to think I could give her an extra year.. whether it be now, later, or the 'gap' year between highschool and univ. to develop a bit as a strong individual.

 

Your kids are in 4th and 1st right? I think there is still quite a bit of time to mature and change, particularly if you're talking about the 1st grader.:grouphug:

 

But I am wondering how well that plays out when you are going to be applying for scholarships to attend univ. Do the scholarship committees generally support 'gap' years?

 

LOL my kids are SO not scholarship material, so that honestly hasn't been a concern of mine at all.:lol: BUT I *believe* that if you do intend for there to be a gap it should be done prior to high school, since typically the scholarship committees would be looking for an immediate move from high school to college.

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Yes... my dd9 (she's the 4th grader) is also well aware of what grade she is in.. so not much chance in now informing her that, "By the way, you are repeating 4th grade again, aren't you excited!" ;-)

 

I too was the youngest in my class, and you are right.. I did feel like I matured along the way. It's hard to say though, as I am stuck on dds past few years and the bad experiences she has had with those ps 'friends'.... and one of my main reasons for pulling her besides being able to offer her a better education, was the fact that she just wasn't meshing at school at the grade she was at. They were already talking about boys, dating, marriage and what they were wearing. She... wasn't even close to all of that. So, for me it's more of a social development I am looking for with bringing her home, along with the higher level of learning she is getting access to. (Not that I am interested in THAT kind of social development anyway. lol) I just want her to know her own mind so she doesn't cave to people like that.

 

ALE are Alternative Learning Experience students. In WA State you can sign your student up as a virtual public school student, but through CVA (a particular school) I am able to customize their education to what I want them learning. It's not online schooling, unless I choose that for a particular subject. So, they can take foreign languages (things not available at the ps elementary), formal grammar study in elementary, etc. and the state of WA pays for it. They pay for all of their curriculum. They also pay for gymnastics (p.e.) and piano (music lessons) each month. They have field trips, etc. that are reimbursed also during the year. Having said all of that, I DO have a lot of paperwork and I have to report a weekly contact to an advisory teacher about what they have studied that week, sometimes giving samples, etc.

 

Yes.. I am thinking by high school I will have to integrate them back into PS just so they CAN have access to scholarships for school. We will see. Like you said, I have plenty of time to think about it. ;-)

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Your gap year can be post high school. I wouldn't automatically assume this will hurt the student's chances for scholarships. SWB's boy, Christopher, had a gap year and traveled/volunteered. He had NO problem with college admissions. Harvard has announced that it LOVES the older freshman who took a year to mature and be certain that they know what they want to do with their lives. Many, many professors are open about loving that extra mature freshman.

 

If your child is not taking college classes, but instead having work, travel, volunteer, apprenticeship, project oriented/purpose driven gap year, then he/she will come in as a freshman not as a transfer student. It's not as unusual as it once was.

 

SWB had some blogs about this on her Well Trained Mind blog...you could search the archives.

 

Faith

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Why are you doing it? HOW will you do it? What does your student think about it? How will you handle grade-segregated activities (youth group, AWANA, Sunday School, sports, etc.)? How do you think it will affect relationships with friends, particularly when it comes time for everyone else except your student to graduate?

 

 

 

This has been on my mind with dd11. She is registered as 6th grade this year but isn't doing any "6th" grade work and is not ready for solid logic stage work. I wish I had had her repeat 4th when I pulled her out of ps but...hindsight and all that. So now I'm faced with a dc that really needs a solid three years of middle school work to prepare her for highschool and we've already spent over half a year dealing with attitude\emotional\learning problems. I truly don't feel we have made much progress academically this year. Her maturity leaves a lot to be desired too.

 

I have talked to her about doing another 6th grade year and she gets very upset about it. She still has friends from when she was in ps and because she has self esteem issues anyway, the prospect of not staying within the same grade level as her friends is a real blow to her. I know that I need to do what is best for her but I'm not sure how to handle the emotional aspect of it (on her part).

 

For us the only issue is how it affects her self-image and how it makes her feel in comparison to her friends. All of her other activities aren't grade level dependent. So, I just have to make the decision to be the bad guy and do what I know she needs in order to be successful in her academics. I don't think he friends are going to make as big a deal out of it as she will. They already know that things in our homeschool are VERY different than what they do...and it isn't as if they get together and compare math or grammar notes.

 

Our plan is specific to our situation. We are going to work (from now until the end of next year) getting her math skills solidified (we've gone backwards and are re-mediating specific areas), getting her reading level and comprehension level to a 7th grade level, and getting her to grade level in writing (Classical Writing's grade level). Those are the three biggies. Secondarily we will continue to work on behavioral\attitude issues and maturity (if that is even something I can try to push along). I'm also going to focus on getting her to be more purposeful in her personal interest studies; show her how to be more efficient in planning and implementing her research and projects. This is where she works on content subjects.

 

Basically we are just progressing on from where we are and will continue to move ahead at her pace. The only thing that will be different is that she will spend another year listed as 6th with our cover school.

 

I don't know if this is the type of info you are looking for and I know it isn't really applicable to your situation. But, there it is.:D

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Kirstin, I guess what I would ask yourself is whether this is something that is going to CHANGE with a year of maturity, or if it's just things becoming obvious of who he is and what his strengths and weaknesses are, kwim? Does he have a fall birthday? Have you done standardized testing? I think some standardized testing could be pretty compelling for him. If his skills aren't on track to do what he wants to do or can do or is bent to do, then more time would be good. As you say, high school does need to be high school level. But not all high school tracks are the same. I would start getting really serious about what he wants. If what he really wants is to go to the local vo-tech school and study carpentry (just pulling something out of a hat, a very fine career option), then it might not matter that he's on the popular track for CW and logic and rhetoric, kwim? All that would matter is that he's on the normal skills track for what he wants to do and where he wants to go. This is a very good time to start asking that. See where he wants to end up and work backwards.

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I SO understand where you are coming from!!!

 

If it weren't for the friend issue I would just count him as one grade and allow him to be in another grade socially. But then when the all-important graduation time rolled around......:confused::confused::confused: I think I'd rather have him be a grade "behind" on the front end of high school rather than getting through high school and him still having a year while his friends went on.

 

I guess we could also call it "5-year high school.";)

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Kirstin, I guess what I would ask yourself is whether this is something that is going to CHANGE with a year of maturity, or if it's just things becoming obvious of who he is and what his strengths and weaknesses are, kwim? Does he have a fall birthday? Have you done standardized testing? I think some standardized testing could be pretty compelling for him. If his skills aren't on track to do what he wants to do or can do or is bent to do, then more time would be good. As you say, high school does need to be high school level. But not all high school tracks are the same. I would start getting really serious about what he wants. If what he really wants is to go to the local vo-tech school and study carpentry (just pulling something out of a hat, a very fine career option), then it might not matter that he's on the popular track for CW and logic and rhetoric, kwim? All that would matter is that he's on the normal skills track for what he wants to do and where he wants to go. This is a very good time to start asking that. See where he wants to end up and work backwards.

 

He has a spring birthday - he started K at 5.5.

 

We have done the Iowa from 3rd-7th grades, and his Core Total has averaged at the 26th percentile.

 

I am definitely not expecting honors work out of him. But in the 8th grade he is slogging through 6th grade stuff. I don't see him being able to be up to 9th grade level stuff by the time September rolls around, especially if we continue on like we have been, which means halfheartedly working through his issues.

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For me I am doing 4th 1/2 this year with DD. She needs a lot of hand holding, especially with narration, dictation, paragraphs, spelling..... What really frustrates me is that she left PS last year with straight A's:glare:. Really? She is not a straight A student. She is a july birthday which is younger for VA since our cutoff is Sept 31st. I see her maturing slowly but she is still so young in many ways. There is no way she would survive public middle school. The very thought scares the crap out of me. She realizes that she needs some extra help and that she will be taking CC courses at the high school level so having an actual "grade" is not a huge deal. We are trying very hard to shake the whole school thing but it is hard with the older boys in PS(because they WANT to be).

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Kirstin, is this a dc you were thinking of having evaluated by a neuropsych? To be honest, with those test scores I think the homeschooling laws in our state would kick in and require reviews. I think the why's are even more important at this point. If you were thinking of getting him evaluated, this would be a good time to do that. The professional could then help you sort through what is being held back by fixable problems or will improve with time vs. where you need an accommodating track.

 

Don't know why you'd listen to me, as I've never btdt. But there you go. If you were thinking he needs to be evaluated, I'd get that done and let that help you decide.

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I SO understand where you are coming from!!!

 

If it weren't for the friend issue I would just count him as one grade and allow him to be in another grade socially. But then when the all-important graduation time rolled around......:confused::confused::confused: I think I'd rather have him be a grade "behind" on the front end of high school rather than getting through high school and him still having a year while his friends went on.

 

I guess we could also call it "5-year high school.";)

 

Dh was the voice of reason when I was lamenting over the whole graduating later than her friends issue. First he said basically the same as you...that it is better to spend an extra year now than wish for an extra year later. He also said, regarding the friend issue, that her true friends are going to encourage her and make her feel good about doing what it takes to get a good education. The ones that make her feel bad about it don't need to be around her anyway. He also said this is just one of many times in her life that she will have to learn to deal with the need instead of the want. All the other options are just to convoluted...I'd considered adding half years but really the easiest option is to just have her be "6th" again. She will get over it and I think in the long run she will appreciate having the extra time.

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This has been on my mind with dd11. She is registered as 6th grade this year but isn't doing any "6th" grade work and is not ready for solid logic stage work. I wish I had had her repeat 4th when I pulled her out of ps but...hindsight and all that. So now I'm faced with a dc that really needs a solid three years of middle school work to prepare her for highschool and we've already spent over half a year dealing with attitude\emotional\learning problems. I truly don't feel we have made much progress academically this year. Her maturity leaves a lot to be desired too.

 

I have talked to her about doing another 6th grade year and she gets very upset about it. She still has friends from when she was in ps and because she has self esteem issues anyway, the prospect of not staying within the same grade level as her friends is a real blow to her. I know that I need to do what is best for her but I'm not sure how to handle the emotional aspect of it (on her part).

 

For us the only issue is how it affects her self-image and how it makes her feel in comparison to her friends. All of her other activities aren't grade level dependent. So, I just have to make the decision to be the bad guy and do what I know she needs in order to be successful in her academics. I don't think he friends are going to make as big a deal out of it as she will. They already know that things in our homeschool are VERY different than what they do...and it isn't as if they get together and compare math or grammar notes.

 

Our plan is specific to our situation. We are going to work (from now until the end of next year) getting her math skills solidified (we've gone backwards and are re-mediating specific areas), getting her reading level and comprehension level to a 7th grade level, and getting her to grade level in writing (Classical Writing's grade level). Those are the three biggies. Secondarily we will continue to work on behavioral\attitude issues and maturity (if that is even something I can try to push along). I'm also going to focus on getting her to be more purposeful in her personal interest studies; show her how to be more efficient in planning and implementing her research and projects. This is where she works on content subjects.

 

Basically we are just progressing on from where we are and will continue to move ahead at her pace. The only thing that will be different is that she will spend another year listed as 6th with our cover school.

 

I don't know if this is the type of info you are looking for and I know it isn't really applicable to your situation. But, there it is.:D

I could have written all of this about my 5th grader. She is not doing 5th grade level work in math particularly and needs another year to develop independence and social skills. But it's so hard to tell them you are "holding them back" when they have friends that are moving on. I guess we are fortunate that we are doing Classical Conversations because it's not so grade-centric, but it might be an issue in a few years when it's clear she will still be in school when those friends are graduating.

 

I guess what you say is so true though, we have to do the hard thing, be the bad guy and do what's right.

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Kirstin, is this a dc you were thinking of having evaluated by a neuropsych? To be honest, with those test scores I think the homeschooling laws in our state would kick in and require reviews. I think the why's are even more important at this point. If you were thinking of getting him evaluated, this would be a good time to do that. The professional could then help you sort through what is being held back by fixable problems or will improve with time vs. where you need an accommodating track.

 

Don't know why you'd listen to me, as I've never btdt. But there you go. If you were thinking he needs to be evaluated, I'd get that done and let that help you decide.

 

He is having a CAPD evaluation on March 1st, and I am looking into getting some cognitive testing done for him (waiting for a call back from a lady).

 

Our state requires Iowa scores to be above the 13th percentile. At the end of 7th grade his Core grade equivalent was 6th grade, 3rd month, so 1.5 years behind.

 

However, that is PRECISELY why I am considering adding a year in, so we can work on the "behind the scenes" stuff so that learning the OTHER stuff will be easier for him.

 

Dh was the voice of reason when I was lamenting over the whole graduating later than her friends issue. First he said basically the same as you...that it is better to spend an extra year now than wish for an extra year later. He also said, regarding the friend issue, that her true friends are going to encourage her and make her feel good about doing what it takes to get a good education. The ones that make her feel bad about it don't need to be around her anyway. He also said this is just one of many times in her life that she will have to learn to deal with the need instead of the want. All the other options are just to convoluted...I'd considered adding half years but really the easiest option is to just have her be "6th" again. She will get over it and I think in the long run she will appreciate having the extra time.

 

That's a very good point. Thanks!

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And maybe that will be easier to explain to him once you have that evaluation. We lost 9+ months of schooling (anything full like we would normally do) to therapy stuff.

Yep, I'm thinking that's what it will take here.

 

He's so fed up with all the evaluations and stuff, so I think even though he'd know WHY, he'd hate it.:(

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Kirstin.. I just looked at your sig and you have a beautiful family that I know keeps you busy busy! I do want to apologize as I was not understanding your son's specific circumstances. I was in my own little head thinking about my dd9 and blathering about scholarships and gap years, etc. sorry.. ;-(

 

I think it is so hard when we are living in the here and now, we tend (at least I do) to forget that we are preparing them for the rest of their lives. Of course it would affect him a great deal initially being held back. I remember the day I chose to pull dd9 from ps last May. She was upset, confused and hurt by all the things that had happened to her there. These days she is calmer, more confident and doesn't seem to get so down on herself. I can't say that she is prepared enough to go back into ps anytime soon. Ironically we started a homeschool co-op this year and it's been a blessing to the kids. In that particular group of kids, it doesn't seem to matter WHAT grade you are in.. everyone is accepted equally from little ones into high school. It's an entirely different dynamic than ps peer groups.

 

I also wanted to say how impressed I am with all the amazing ladies on here. It's like having a big, supportive family to walk you through VERY important decisions. Good luck with yours by the way! I know whatever you choose it will be the best thing for him.

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Oh SaDonna, you're so sweet! No worries! It has been a huge adjustment for me because I was always a year ahead in school, had scholarships, etc. Combine that with the whole "homeschooled kids are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much smarter than public schooled kids" myth, and it's been interesting LOL!

 

He really is a bright kid - but his language processing gets in the way. And unfortunately when it comes to learning stuff...you need language, ya know?:tongue_smilie:

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We're doing this this year with my ds. I started him early (Dec b'day) because he was ready to learn to read, so I figured, why not? I knew he wasn't ready socially for school, but we were homeschooling, so it didn't matter. I don't regret this. But, I called him a ker that year and progressed him accordingly. It all came to a head last year when he started doing more outside activities. He's just fits better with his proper age-mates. Also, he's my firstborn and he'd had all the mistakes of a hs mom schooling her firstborn. A break from workbooks & plowing to the next thing would be nice. So, this year he doesn't have a grade and next year he'll start 5th. (he resented this being called his 4th grade year, since he already did 4th grade. So we'll just wait to call a grade until next year.) Acedemically, he still does math, but everything else he does is reading. It's been a good year so far. He likes the freedom and lack of busywork (though he wouldn't yet say he likes school) and it's causing me to rethink what I'm doing with the girls. (they're insanely jealous thwt he gets to read fun books and call it school) our extra curriculars changed a bit this year, so that worked smoothly. I just enrolled him as a 4th grader and let him call himself whatever he wanted to his peers.

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I think I'd do 3-year middle school before I did 5-year high school. You are right, by the time they have done all the graduation stuff for Senior year, the child is absolutely not going to want to go another year in high school. Especially not when all his peers have moved on.

 

Worrying about the psychological impact of being 'held back' was a major consideration for me as well when dh and I made the decision to have my ds repeat 5th again next year. In reality, he will just stay at the 5th grade designation for our church-related activities. For school, we are just keeping on plugging away where he is, so he's not really "repeating" anything. This was a relatively recent decision, though I'd been mulling it over for a couple of years. I posted about it here and got some great feedback.

 

Sometimes Momma's got to do the hard thing, especially when you know in your heart what needs to happen :grouphug:

 

Yep!

 

Yeah, we wouldn't be repeating anything. When he's in 8th right now and doing 6th grade work, if he were in 8th next year we'd have him do 7th grade work LOL!

 

I just think it would eliminate a whole lot of pressure for him to jump 2 grade levels in 6 months, especially while I'm trying to remediate him at the same time.:glare:

 

That makes sense about having middle school be longer. Right now he is in Trek for AWANA, which is for 7th and 8th graders (some 6th, but we choose to keep them in T&T for 6th). Journey is for 9th. So he is all gung ho for getting to start in Journey next year. Same goes for youth group if he ever gets a chance to go LOL. We have a 6th-8th grade youth group and a 9th-12th grade. Fortunately his Sunday School class is for 6th-12th grades, so it's a non-issue there.

 

I wonder if maybe I could have him "repeat" *9th* grade so that he can still enter the high school group on time yet have an extra year in there somewhere.:confused:

 

The social aspects are my main concern. His friends are a great group of kids and would be supportive, but I don't want HIM feeling weird about it, KWIM?

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I sure wish I knew if we were going to be moving prior to his graduation. That would make it very easy - I'd just call him a grade lower whenever we move.

 

Another thing I'm wondering about...we have to notify the school district every year, and whatever grade they are in determines whether we have to turn in their Iowa scores. I wonder what sort of problems it would cause to list him as a different grade with the school district.:confused:

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Another concern - albeit small...he has already gone through puberty. Shaves, voice as deep as my husband's (my poor mom and sister have no idea who is answering the phone LOL), etc. He is 5'7" and weighs about 160. So definitely not immature physically for his age.

 

I don't THINK that would make a huge difference at this point...but I don't want him to be the 9th grader with a full beard either LOLOLOL.

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Kristen,

 

From your posts I can tell you have so many "what ifs" running around in your head and it is making it hard for you to make a decision. I can commiserate because I went through all of that too, even talked about moving which would negate the worry about her graduating at the same time as close friends. But, ultimately I had to make a decision to help her NOW. Having another year of middle school could make such a difference for him. Especially if you spend 3\4 of your time focusing on shoring up those skills he is behind in and letting the content subjects happen when there is time. No, he isn't going to like it; yes, it is going to make him feel awkward for a little while; yes, it is what is best for him. Starting 9th half a year behind is much easier to deal with over breaks and summer than starting a whole year and a half behind and if you both go into his second 8th grade year with good attitudes he could make some huge leaps.

 

I know in my situation dd is going to have a chip on her shoulder for awhile and I will face the repercussions of her sour attitude about it, but I'm willing to put up with it (to a certain degree) because I know what the alternatives are...5 to 6 years of struggling to keep up, struggling to understand, lowering my standards of education just so I can get her to graduation. I don't want that for her. I'd rather invest in the pain and suffering now so that the remaining years aren't so difficult. I want her to have fond memories of her last 4 years under my tutelage.

 

Anyway, I'm not trying to come across as telling you what to do; I just sense you are really struggling with the decision and feel badly for you. When I told dh how guilty I felt about making our dd repeat he said, "Feel guilty all you want but this isn't about your guilt or her disappointment, it's about doing what is best for her education now and in the future." He is so right; the friends, the groups, the graduation year...none of that matters. I'll quit preaching now:blushing:.

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Aime, I think you are right. I plan to talk about it with dh tonight. I don't know how on board he'll be because he doesn't even believe anything is wrong with ds, so he thinks he just needs to try and work harder. I'm sorry. An almost 14yo kid who cannot use "until" or "after" in a sentence correctly (he uses them interchangeably) and mixes up "how" and "why" has something wrong - it's MORE than just needing to try harder. BIG SIGH.

 

Honestly, now that I think about it, I almost expect more flak and lack of understanding from the other adults in his life (grandparents in PARTICULAR:glare: ). UGH UGH UGH. How did you happen to handle THAT?

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Kirstin,

I liked the idea someone had of allowing him to continue at his original grade level in all the Awana, sports, etc. Is that not allowed? It would be nice for him initially, if to the outside world he appeared in the same grade level, while also allowing you to slow things down to whatever level he is at academically. I know this might get a bit dicey by the time 'graduation' was supposed to roll around.. but I am thinking that in the long run he is going to be better prepared, happier, and more confident if he is truly ready for graduation.

 

It seems like in your mind the decision has just about been made. Good luck getting everyone else on board. ;-)

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Kirstin,

I liked the idea someone had of allowing him to continue at his original grade level in all the Awana, sports, etc. Is that not allowed? It would be nice for him initially, if to the outside world he appeared in the same grade level, while also allowing you to slow things down to whatever level he is at academically. I know this might get a bit dicey by the time 'graduation' was supposed to roll around.. but I am thinking that in the long run he is going to be better prepared, happier, and more confident if he is truly ready for graduation.

 

It seems like in your mind the decision has just about been made. Good luck getting everyone else on board. ;-)

 

That's why I'm thinking maybe "repeating" 9th grade (on the outside) might work better. It wouldn't affect AWANA, etc. at all. The only place it might get tricky would be when I notify the school district, for testing purposes. I would simply count his SECOND 9th grade year as his true freshman year, for transcript purposes.

 

Oh for crying out loud. As I sit here and think about all this, I think what I might do is offer him a CHOICE of how he wants to handle it.

 

Sheesh. I really AM an intelligent person LOL!!!:lol:

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Kristen,

 

I don't have to deal with the school district so I can't offer any help there but my first inclination would be to just call them\someone and explain the situation and see if they can offer any advice. (?)

 

As far as having him repeat 8th or 9th...I don't know for sure which I would choose but I think I would opt for 8th so as not to make highschool transcripts\ credits difficult to figure out. But I'm not in your shoes so I suppose I would sit down with your son and make a list of pros and cons for each scenario and see which will have the least impact on other things in his life.

 

As far as other people being on board with holding her back...I'm extremely lucky to have all of our family on my side and dh's side very supportive of the decisions I make for our dc. I have always carried on a dialog of how each of the dc are doing in their academic studies with everyone, so they are all aware of the issues dd has. I did ask my mom and my sister what they thought about holding her back a year and they both asked if that wasn't one of the benefits of homeschooling...to be able to make those decisions for the good of the child, instead of just continuing to move them on for the sake of their age matching their grade level. They are wonderful. It really should only matter what your dh thinks...I know you know that though. I have no advice as to how to convince him that what you are proposing to do is the best thing for your son. I wish I did.

 

You have a lot to think about and to consider...I hope you can come to some resolution soon as I know how not having things set can eat away at you...at least that is how it is for me. :grouphug:

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Kristen,

 

I don't have to deal with the school district so I can't offer any help there but my first inclination would be to just call them\someone and explain the situation and see if they can offer any advice. (?)

Yes, that's probably what I'll do. I happened to remember that I held back my now 2nd grader when he was in 1st in this same school district. They didn't seem to notice a lick. Of course he was not compulsory age yet either, and there's a big difference between 1st and 9th.

 

As far as having him repeat 8th or 9th...I don't know for sure which I would choose but I think I would opt for 8th so as not to make highschool transcripts\ credits difficult to figure out. But I'm not in your shoes so I suppose I would sit down with your son and make a list of pros and cons for each scenario and see which will have the least impact on other things in his life.

 

What I'm thinking is that on MY end of things (transcripts, etc.), I'll have him repeat 8th. But in "public," I'll have him repeat 9th, just because the stuff he's involved in is segregated as 6th-8th and 9th-12th groups.

 

As far as other people being on board with holding her back...I'm extremely lucky to have all of our family on my side and dh's side very supportive of the decisions I make for our dc. I have always carried on a dialog of how each of the dc are doing in their academic studies with everyone, so they are all aware of the issues dd has. I did ask my mom and my sister what they thought about holding her back a year and they both asked if that wasn't one of the benefits of homeschooling...to be able to make those decisions for the good of the child, instead of just continuing to move them on for the sake of their age matching their grade level. They are wonderful.
You are very fortunate! My mom would most likely be OK with it. My in-laws...eh. They are not real crazy about homeschooling, although now that we're in our 10th year they've gotten the hint that it's here to stay.;) They believe that the only people qualified to teach are those who have Master's degrees in the subject they teach. *ahem* (And what is interesting is that I'm actually planning to eventually go on and get a Master's in literacy. Take THAT, in-laws! LOL) Anyway, I'm sure they'll think that the reason I'm having to hold him back is because of me. Oh well. We live 18 hours away from them on purpose.:lol:

 

Thanks for your support. This definitely does cause me a lot of angst, and it's helpful to hash it out here!

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Dh and I talked last night. He's very sad, disappointed, etc. He thinks that most of ds's problem is that he doesn't try hard enough and needs to be more motivated. I said, "All the motivation in the world won't help him understand the difference between the words 'until' and 'after.'"

 

Dh also wonders if part of this is because ds wasn't raised on a farm like he was. Whatever.

 

He also is sad that ds has the learning problems that he does. I said I understand, but I guess since I've been dealing with them everyday, I'm over the sadness. (What I can't gather is just where dh has been for the past 3 years as I've tried to get help for ds LOL!!!)

 

I did point out that honestly, all 4 of our older kids have issues. I held #2 back at the very beginning because he has an Aug. birthday. #3 has diagnosed dyslexia. #4 I held back in 1st grade because of an overall lack of maturity and struggles academically, and he has an April birthday.

 

Dh can't seem to get past "well when I was a kid" blahblahblah.

 

All in all, it didn't go very well. But he said to talk to ds, so I'll be doing that.

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Kristen,

 

I'm so glad that you updated us. I was thinking about you last night and wondering if you had spoken to either dh or ds. I'm sorry that things didn't go well with your conversation with dh but hopefully he will at least let you do what you think is best for your ds. I am surprised though, that considering your dh had learning difficulties (If I read that correctly) that he wouldn't be willing to do whatever it takes to make things easier for your son. I'm wondering if your dh hasn't been disconnected from the problems your having because he feels in some way responsible...that he passed down LD genes or something? Could you just explain to him that his support is very important to you even if he doesn't 100% agree with what you think is going on. I would maybe tell him too, that holding your son back can not in any way be detrimental to his education...even a student that is on track could certainly benefit from an additional year of study.

 

I think we all are too focused on graduation age, imo. I've always told my dc, and my dh agrees, that just because they are 17 or 18 doesn't mean I'm going to graduate them. They will have to have proven proficiency in certain skills and will have to have gained a certain body of knowledge.

 

I know this is probably a sore point with everyone right now but I would bet that once the decision is made and all of the discussion about it dies down everyone will be at peace with it. It will all just seem like business as usual again. Let us know how things go with your conversation with ds. I'll be sending good thoughts your way!:grouphug:

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Thanks, Aime!

 

I just talked with ds, and just as I suspected, he doesn't want to do it. So now I have to come up with a set of standards for a bare minimum of high school level work and have him work toward that. I plan to thoroughly investigate the things they do at the local public high schools, to come up with my set of standards.;)

 

My dh doesn't believe that he has any sort of learning disability. He worked his bum off and managed to get a doctorate, though I think he worked 10 times harder than anyone else to do it. So I do think that part of it is that he's in denial about himself, which transfers to my ds.

 

At least my son understands more that there is a set of criteria that you need to complete in high school - it's more than just "being done" with school and stuff.

 

He said he may want to enlist in the Army or Marines after high school, so I may start to work towards that. He is going to join the Young Marines this summer, so maybe that will help with any sort of motivation thing.

 

I wish I could say I'm feeling better about this, but oh well. What do I know...I'm just the teacher/mom.:glare:

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Thanks, Aime!

 

I just talked with ds, and just as I suspected, he doesn't want to do it. So now I have to come up with a set of standards for a bare minimum of high school level work and have him work toward that. I plan to thoroughly investigate the things they do at the local public high schools, to come up with my set of standards.;) Well, at least you can move forward now!

 

My dh doesn't believe that he has any sort of learning disability. He worked his bum off and managed to get a doctorate, though I think he worked 10 times harder than anyone else to do it. So I do think that part of it is that he's in denial about himself, which transfers to my ds.

 

At least my son understands more that there is a set of criteria that you need to complete in high school - it's more than just "being done" with school and stuff. Perhaps this discussion of holding him back may be the eye-opener he needs to step things up. Many people with LDs never get diagnosed and learn to compensate for the problems they have...it sounds like your dh realized that he had to work harder because of his learning issues. Perhaps your dh could mentor your son in that capacity.

 

He said he may want to enlist in the Army or Marines after high school, so I may start to work towards that. He is going to join the Young Marines this summer, so maybe that will help with any sort of motivation thing. My husband is from a military family and did an early enlistment in the Air Force in his Junior year of high school. His problem was that he was bored in school but the training that he got in the AF was perfect for his abilities and interests. He took the ASFAB and scored extremely high in math. He spent 4 years and got trained as a Precision Measurement and Electronic Technician. His official title is Metrologist, which is the science and study of measurement. The military served him very well. He now works on an AFB doing what he loves doing and makes a very good living.

 

All of that to say that I think going into the military is a very good option for lots of dc. We have even told our dc that if they aren't sure of what they want to do close to graduating that they should consider doing 4 years in one of the armed services (we are partial to the AF and Marines). They could get trained for a specific job, travel, meet new people, mature, gain some discipline, and then when they get out they are still young enough to go on to college if they choose.

 

If your ds is serious about the military, look into early enlistment (they don't actually become active duty until after they graduate). You have a better chance of getting placed into the career path that you choose rather than getting placed into whatever field they need filled at the moment, if you wait and enlist after graduation. At least that's the way it is in the AF...I think that may be the way it is for all of them.

 

I wish I could say I'm feeling better about this, but oh well. What do I know...I'm just the teacher/mom.:glare:

 

I think that your son is very lucky that he has a momma that is trying to do the very best for him, and he's lucky that his momma is willing to acquiesce to his wishes and work within those parameters to continue to try to help him. If my dd were a little older I might be in your exact position but she is only 11 so,....I get my way this time.:tongue_smilie: Keep your chin up! Your doing a good job!

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My dh was commissioned into the Army the day after my oldest was born, so the first 4 years of ds's life he was an Army Brat.:D Dh went in as an officer (he had his doctorate by then), but we loved Army life. I told ds I'd really have a hard time thinking of him as a Marine...I'd be SO proud, but UGH, my momma's heart might implode!:lol:

 

It's been EONS since I took the ASVAB - what areas should I focus on with him? I can't even remember what all is on it.

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My dh was commissioned into the Army the day after my oldest was born, so the first 4 years of ds's life he was an Army Brat.:D Dh went in as an officer (he had his doctorate by then), but we loved Army life. I told ds I'd really have a hard time thinking of him as a Marine...I'd be SO proud, but UGH, my momma's heart might implode!:lol:

 

It's been EONS since I took the ASVAB - what areas should I focus on with him? I can't even remember what all is on it.

 

Well, I couldn't tell you specifically but this might help you out. I have it bookmarked...just in case.;) http://www.asvabprogram.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=overview.test

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