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WWYD?? Dd 12 asking to go to public school


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I need some feedback so I am hoping some will respond.

 

Dd12 is very social and has asked to try public school for 7grade. She wants peer interaction every day. She's been doing two full day program for homeschoolers and is quite happy, however says she wants more. I am reluctant to send her bc of class size, curriculum and the nonsense that goes on in middle school, esp 7th grade. However, I don't want her unhappy at home. Getting her social needs has been a challenge - God knows I have tried. I drive her all over the place for classes, programs, you name it. She also does several online classes. However, she says she wants a change and wants to try public school in preparation for high school. I told her we would explore high school when the time came, but that she would remain homeschooled for middle school. Wwyd? I want to make the decision as the parent, however I am second guessing myself since she has asked and has been talking about it nonstop for months.

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Can you invite people over on a consistent basis from the homeschooling community so she has the opportunity to develop deeper relationships? Maybe start a club or something?

 

Is she pursuing an area of interest that others share and could join her in pursuing/perfecting?

 

What are the schools like where you live?

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Thanks one step at a time. We actually started a monthly book club just for that same reason, wanting to develop deeper rships. We have two girls and a sibling and they are one year younger than Dd. We've been running it for over one year. It's been okay, not great. Dd seems bored with it. We've tried forming other groups in order to meet people and develop rships but have had no luck. The schools in the area are ok, we live in a fairly big city with large (1000+) to medium (750) size middle schools. They all have the standard curriculum and it is also by lottery, so at this point who knows where DD would get sent. We also have a 3day option at a private school, but it is 15k for 3 days - that sounds crazy to me. She has two more years till high school would it be so terrible if we continue with what we already do? Or is this preteen social desire something that I really need to address or I will be in trouble.....???

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Quick question for Drum: When is the deadline for the lotteries? Has it already passed? If so, you could find yourself at the tail end of a wait list.

 

As to your overall question, I would tend to keep to the original plan. I might, however, try to include the student in making decisions about what she is studying (if you don't already). Middle school is a tough time to re-enter. Another point to stress with her is you don't get much socializing time in school. Good luck with your decision-making!

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Agree with EthelM. But honestly this is such a tough call. If she has been wanting to go for a long time and getting more unhappy/frustrated/etc. her emotional and academic state could start to deteriorate. She may build up school in b and m as the solution to all issues.

 

Would it be possible to shadow at a school for several days before the end of the year? It might help her get a more realistic view and you both a better idea on what would be the better option. Some kids thrive in ps. 7th grade would not be my 1st choice as a transition year though...

 

Hugs Mom. I know this is worrisome.

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I wonder if she has a realistic view of what public school relationships will be like?  Despite being with people every day all day, you don't  necessarily make deep friendships.  Of course some do and some don't.  

 

To answer your later question, you will not be ruining her life if you tell her that she has to wait a couple of years.  She may tell you otherwise, but of course as adults seeing the bigger picture we know that is not the case.  

 

I have a social child and I've sent her to the Y every single day for the past couple of years.  She's made her closest friends while volunteering there though she has also done sports (swimming esp.) and has done things with the teen program.  

 

 

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I agree with Jean.  And middle school can be a very rough time for kids.  I do not look back fondly on that time at all. 

 

That said, if my kid really wanted to try it, I would see no harm in that, but I would require she remain in good academic standing.  School is just not about socializing. 

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She has two more years till high school would it be so terrible if we continue with what we already do? Or is this preteen social desire something that I really need to address or I will be in trouble.....???

 

I'm sure lots of people are going to disagree, but I would worry about my relationship with my DD in this case. I would worry that the resentment would fester. I don't want my kids in school until at least high school, which is the point at which I have always said I would let them choose for themselves what they would like to do. I hate the idea of middle school. I think it is generally the worst of the worst, both socially and educationally. 

 

BUT I have a very social DD10. I loved school from start to finish. Yes, even middle school, although it was my least favorite period. I can see her loving school. Yes, for the social aspect. I can even see her having a good experience. But I know she wouldn't get a better education there. And, worse, I have daymares about her falling in with the wrong crowd and changing from her sweet, sassy, independent-in-the-best way self to a tween shrew who is convinced her parents are just out to kill her spirit and impose their will on her. Like, dude....  :ohmy:

 

I hear you saying you take her lots of places and she is around lots of people. That will also be the case at school. But does she have any friends? Not just acquaintances. Friends. Girls who come over to play with her and whose house she goes over to to play? Does she have and attend sleepovers (if you allow them)? Does she have a BFF? She may or may not find one through school, but if she is social like my DD is social, this is what she craves.

 

Right now, my DD has four girls, two in our neighborhood (played with almost daily, whole days are spent playing together on the weekends, and there are frequent sleepovers...we know the parents very well) and two from swim team (seen at least 4x a week, entire days are spent hanging during swim meets, and playdates are frequent). Without these close friendships, as differentiated from mere acquaintances, I am 100% certain my DD would hate her life. I have no doubt about that. And the rest of her life is awesome, LOL, but the lack of social connection would kill her.

 

Personally, I would not put the DD in school...this year at least. But I would bend over backward to help her find close friends (even just one "BFF" could do the trick) who satisfy that desire in her. We kind of lucked into this by finding perfect neighborhood friends and with swimming. Swim team made me aware of how helpful it is for my DD to see the same group of kids every single day. I think it helps to build friendship more than being involved in lots of different activities, seeing different kids every day but not really having a routine and timetable that help friendship blossom. I don't know what other activities do this besides swim, or if your DD is interested in swim (although I know team climates are different, of course). But I would focus on meaningful connections. And I would sympathize, sympathize, sympathize and try my best to not become defensive.

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First and foremost, I think you need to make a clear decision and stop the nagging she's giving you. Even if the clear decision is "not this year, but we can re-evaluate for the following year." She knows you're on the fence and she's playing that.

 

There's no way short of absolute necessity or serious crisis that I would send a kid to school for the first time in 7th grade. If I was open to doing it, I'd wait until 8th or 9th. I think 7th grade is a pit of school despair, the absolute nadir or school. And I say this as a former middle school teacher who loves 7th grade and 7th graders. It's just not a good time for the vast majority of schools and kids.

 

 

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Happy Mother's Day to all of you amazing and wise moms!! Thank u so much for all of your thoughts and words...Your words are giving me the courage to do what I believe is the right thing, not sending her and making sure that I continue forging ahead with relationships and groups that she can be a part of. You are right Farrar that she is playing my uncertainty...

 

Again, thank you for sharing your experiences. I'm so glad I reached out, it is often so hard to seek advice when people are not homeschooling.

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Happy Mother's Day to all of you amazing and wise moms!! Thank u so much for all of your thoughts and words...Your words are giving me the courage to do what I believe is the right thing, not sending her and making sure that I continue forging ahead with relationships and groups that she can be a part of. You are right Farrar that she is playing my uncertainty...

 

Again, thank you for sharing your experiences. I'm so glad I reached out, it is often so hard to seek advice when people are not homeschooling.

 

I think you have made the right choice even if it is a tough one.  Of all the grades to keep a child out of school, 7th grade is it, followed closely by 8th.  This puberty phase is not a good social time for girls or boys, necessarily.  Sure, they can still make a few friends while going through it.  But as I'm sure you know there is also a lot of meanness, inappropriate activities and other socially undesirable aspects to public middle school as well.  This includes an obsession with the opposite sex along with the latest overpriced clothing brands, trendy fashions, etc...  Its just a difficult phase to go through, period.  All those hormones and insecurities seem to peak during this period of life.  It's nice seeing my son getting through it now as he prepares for high school.  There are going to be bumps in the road no matter what.  But its so much better without all that extra social drama and peer pressure added to it.  That is why we're determined to see them all homeschooled until after middle school as a minimum.  Once high school rolls around there are many other options available.

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Does your school system allow you to attend just a few classes? We've had our dds take band and science in middle school in preparation for full time public school starting in high school. They have both really enjoyed it, and it certainly made for an easier transition to high school for my current 9th grader. She had a set of kids she "belonged" with (band kids). My youngest also does cross country and track with the middle school and her good friends from her soccer team also do these activities. My kids are able to get some fun out of middle school, but they also see the issues that would make them not want to be full time students there (busy work, institutionalism, lower academic standards). It works for us, but then they are more introverted and not extremely social.

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Just to throw this out there, if you are considering sending her to public high school, you should check your district tracking policy. Some districts begin setting up the necessary prerequisite classes for AP or honors track in early middle school. My husband's district begins in sixth grade with PreAP. The neighboring district does in Seventh with "college readiness" they call it. Our rural district doesn't at all. It can really vary.

 

If they do track kids, often math tracks are established in seventh and eighth grades. Sciences often by eighth grade. Foreign languages by seventh. It can be difficult for a homeschooled kid to enter these tracks if they try to do so in 9th grade. Many districts do not allow it unless the student has taken outside accredited courses which prove competency. Mom transcripts often do not work. They can get the child placed in Algebra (or whatever) but not tracked with academically minded peers and not with the best teachers.

 

I do not know if that even matters to you, but your mentioning of class size and behavior concerns makes me think it might be. You should most definitely have some discussions with the district and the high school teachers (not the counselor if at all possible) to find out the best course of action if you are wanting to integrate her for high school. Many will often advocate transitioning in 8th grade as well, so permanent record concerns can be eased. It allows for the student to stumble a bit without it killing them long term.

 

I agree with you that middle school is ugly and brutal. It is my favorite chunk to teach in public school, because they are make it or break it years for many kids. You know your kid best, so stick with your gut. Most people just do not realize how early many districts have their students already pigeon holed and refuse to budge! In our state, "High School And Beyond Plans" are written in sixth grade.

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I agree with others that 7th grade is not the best time to enter public school. I switched from a very small, very conservative Christian school to a public school when I started 7th grade, and it was brutal (but I survived).

 

I would let your DD know that you take her wishes seriously and that you will work toward transitioning her to PS in ______th grade (8th or 9th), then maybe meet with a guidance counselor at the school to get feedback on how to prepare for that change. But I think you've made a good decision to say no to sending her in 7th.

 

In my state, if a student wants to attend public high school, they start as a 9th grader, no matter how old, or they must take the PS's end of course exams for every class they took from an "unaccredited" source that they wish to receive credit for. It's nearly impossible to homeschool for 9th and/or 10th grade, THEN transfer in to PS. So many people here will homeschool through 8th, then send their kids to public high school starting in 9th.

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Just to throw this out there, if you are considering sending her to public high school, you should check your district tracking policy. Some districts begin setting up the necessary prerequisite classes for AP or honors track in early middle school. My husband's district begins in sixth grade with PreAP. The neighboring district does in Seventh with "college readiness" they call it. Our rural district doesn't at all. It can really vary.

 

If they do track kids, often math tracks are established in seventh and eighth grades. Sciences often by eighth grade. Foreign languages by seventh. It can be difficult for a homeschooled kid to enter these tracks if they try to do so in 9th grade. Many districts do not allow it unless the student has taken outside accredited courses which prove competency. Mom transcripts often do not work. They can get the child placed in Algebra (or whatever) but not tracked with academically minded peers and not with the best teachers.

 

*snip*

 

It's the opposite where we live. It's nearly impossible to get kids placed correctly in middle school, because of all the bureaucratic rules surrounding acceleration and placement for K-8 kids. It's easy to get kids placed in the correct track in 9th. You just go into the high school to register your kids with a copy of their middle school transcript in hand. If you say they took Advanced English in 8th grade and got an A, then you can have them placed in Honors English with no problem. It helps to have standardized tests to back up the grades, but the school system generally takes your word for it. Really, they don't care if your kid can't cut it and fails Honors English.

 

This was similar to my experience moving in high school. I had no problem getting placed into the Honors track at each of the 3 high schools I attended, because I walked in with a previous report card showing straight A's in the previous school's Honors courses. In contrast, my younger siblings in middle school had a terrible time getting placed, because the middle schools wouldn't accept the IQ scores and gifted designations of another school district. High schools don't care about things like that, so it can be a much more straightforward transition.

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Have you tried googling for "your area + micro school"? We have a one in our area that caters to homeschoolers and they can come anywhere from a single class for one quarter to 6 classes per year (3/quarter). But they're two classes/quarter are on the same day of the week, so between the 4 hours of classes,  breaks, and lunch, they are there all day. The cost is about $3,000 for this option for the year. The exact cost depends on the level of classes taken.

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