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Would you put your daughter in Challenge A if she was the only girl?


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So far, that is the situation for next year. And the tutor is an amazing woman but new to teaching Challenge. My daughter is determined to go no matter what, but I am concerned. I could see it being less distracting with no girls to chat with. Her friends all move up the following year so I suggested she wait for them but she says she will just do Challenge twice instead. She so wants a dialectic format. Any thoughts?

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It would depend 100% on the tutor and the other young men. I would be concerned about a brand new Challenge tutor, though not as much if she has experience teaching groups of teens and with the material. And it would depend on the young men: it wouldn't likely be a problem for me (dd is into computers and robots, so she is usually around mostly guys,) but I would want to know a bit about them to ensure it wouldn't be uncomfortable.

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I don't know the other young men but one of them is her son. She is coming from a coaching background and I know she will be fabulous with the kids, but I don't know how much she knows the material. I don't think that will be a problem, though. I'm more concerned about the social dynamic and what would happen if she continues to move up with a group of boys.....

 

I tried offering many other solutions and she would have none of them so probably we will just move forward and hope it works out. I just wanted to see what some other moms would think about that situation. Another small possibility would be having my husband drive her to another campus, but then that would be a pain to do for more than one year.....

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I don't know what Challenge A is. I don't see why being the only girl would be a problem so long as they are supervised properly. Teen girls tend to be more vicious/vindictive than teen boys, so I think it would probably be fewer social problems. In packs, many teen girls can be down right...uh, brutal?

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Have her own it and rock both those X chromosomes! We need more confident women to own their smarts, interact with boys and men equally, and not segregate based in gender. As kids grow up, they need to find subjects which are not within their directly known peer group so they extend themselves out a bit. It does not mean they need to break their friend bonds, but be sure they are true to who they are instead of merely limiting themselves to friend or cultural norms.

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I haven't heard of people planning in advance to do a challenge level twice.  Is she already 12?  If she will be a 7th grader next year and wants to do Challenge A, then go for it.  But I would tell her that that would mean doing Challenge B in 8th grade, etc.  My 8th grade ds is just finishing Challenge A now and will be doing Challenge B as a 9th grader.  This is not ideal because we have to add extra to have high school worthy credits for the transcript, but I guess there are quite a few that go ahead and make this work.  Some moms decide their dc needs an extra year of maturity or that they need another year of Essentials or Foundations, and some want to be sure their dc is on target to begin Challenge 1 when they enter high school (I guess it is also possible to skip Challenge B if you have an 8th grader doing Ch. A).  There are many options, but I have not heard of deliberately choosing to do Challenge A two years in a row.  This does not sound like good planning to me.

 

Now, regarding the ratio of boys to girls in the class, we have experienced this firsthand this year, as my ds's class has a ratio of 9 to 4!  Next year, it is looking like my dd's class for Challenge A will be mostly girls.  I see this as a definite benefit to both, although if there had been more girls in my ds's class, maybe it would've been quieter during Latin class and he would have been able to pay attention better!  But he is an extrovert and has definitely thrived with all the classroom discussions and presentations.  I would ask yourself how your dd would do in a class of mostly boys... is her personality such that she has no problem raising her hand and participating in this scenario?  Would she feel intimidated and just let the boys do most of the talking?  I personally think it could be a bit lonely for her, but maybe more girls will join by next year, or maybe your dd doesn't care a hoot if she is the only girl.  I am just trying to give you some things to think about in advance as you ponder which way to choose. 

 

Blessings,

 

Brenda

 

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Oh, I missed the part about doing Challenge A twice. I wouldn't do that, first because there just isn't enough material for two years, and second because that would put her in high school doing Challenge B. Unless you intend to hold her back on entering high school?

 

Anyway, it sounds like the tutor has enough experience to handle the dynamics. I would still want to know her experience with teaching Latin and math especially.  IF she continues on with the group, hopefully a girl would join eventually. Or is there another girl who would like to move up early with her (my middle dd did Challenge A a year early, and it was no problem)?

 

 

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While I can't see any of mine ever participating in CC, I wouldn't have any issue with my daughters being the only girl in that type of a setting.

 

As someone who went to a three week summer camp where I was the only girl in my "class" (learning the Pascal computer language - way back when!) and someone who was frequently the only girl in my engineering classes in college, I think there are more advantages than disadvantages.

 

Now, only one of my three girls thinks like me, so I doubt two of them would be remotely interested in a mostly male environment. I can't imagine ME nixing the idea just because she's the only girl. 

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My quick, choppy thoughts: Our 12 year old ds is finishing Challenge A, his first CC experience. Brand new tutor, brand new Challenge program at our campus. Our son is introverted but he has thrived with the discussion format of Challenge A. The ratio in his group was 2 girls to 4 boys and the kids were all very kind and supportive of each other. I would encourage your dd to go for it, and I imagine between now and Sept., there could be several girls signing up. I wouldn't make academic decisions just to wait for her friends and she will not want to do Challenge A a second time. She sounds like she knows what she wants and I would support her in that. Sometimes we are the only "girls" and that's okay. I work with my husband in the male-dominated manufacturing industry and I appreciate the direct and to-the-point communication style most of them use. She will learn a lot, and if she's academically ready for it, more power to her!

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Well, I don't know if she is academically ready for it, but developmentally she is, meaning that she is just at the point of wanting a Challenge type format vs. a Foundations/Essentials format (more discussion during class, debating, etc.)  She has two brothers so I really don't think she will hold back in class at all except in Math and Latin possibly or any of the things that need to be memorized because that is not her strong suit.  In anything that requires discussion she has very strong, well-thought out ideas to put out there and isn't afraid to do so.  She observed a Challenge class this year and she absolutely loved it and was able to join right in in many of the activities and discussions.  

 

Even though she says she will do Challenge A twice, I think she will change her mind and want to move up.  I just don't think she will want to read the books and write the papers again.  She is supposed to be in 7th grade next year so she will not be behind.  But she will be somewhere in 6/5 when she starts in Math.  So we will be forever playing catch up in math with her.  She has some Latin background and has gone halfway through LNST 3 so she knows some vocab and has done some very simple translating.  She's also been in CC for 3 years so she has had all three cycles of the memory work.  I am hoping for her to really master that over the summer and maybe finish LNST 3 but we'll see if we have time.  I'm more concerned about her reading the Challenge books, working really hard on math, and getting some grammar under her belt because she didn't pick up enough this year in Essentials.

 

Thank you all for the advice.  I will just trust that whoever is supposed to be there will be there.  And that if it doesn't seem to be a good fit we can change it up the following year in whatever way makes sense then.  If anyone has any other summer advice that would be great.  We're working on typing and drawing one map a day.  Hopefully she will be ready to go!

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