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Would you move the whole family for the needs of one child?


dmmetler

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We have had a chance to check out opportunities in a totally different area, and the move seems like it would be good for DD in almost every way (almost in that she's got a large group of local mentors and ongoing projects, so we'd have to do some rebuilding there-but she'd be going into a system set up for kids like her to succeed). We would be looking at moving so she could start 7th grade.

 

Financially, DH's job situation lets us relocate at a whim to anywhere with good internet and an airport. As long as he can get back to home base (which isn't in our current hometown) a couple of weeks a year and connect to their VPN, he's good. I'm currently not working anyway (except for homeschooling, which is a full-time job). Cost of living in the new area is doable on DH's salary alone, and housing costs are reasonable, especially given our house at home is fully paid off, so we could sell "at a loss" and probably get a pretty quick sale.

 

The climate...well, DH hates it, but doesn't terribly like where we are either (he's a native Floridian. If you can't smell salt in the air and the humidity isn't near 100%, his gills start closing up...or something). For me, it's a benefit (I grew up in mountains, so hilly, rocky terrain, even if it's a completely different ecosystem makes me feel comfortable). DD would give up most of her amphibians in exchange for a large number of lizards and a few snakes. Field work would be much closer, and lab work almost certainly would be as well (this would depend on connections we could make as far as finding mentors).

 

Socially, it would be a BIG gain for DD. At home, she has friends, but really not peers. Here, she'd have a chance for both. She actually already knows and likes several kids in the area (as well as others within a few hours, including her "he's not my boyfriend, he's my age-appropriate friend of the opposite gender"), some of which would be attending the same school program we'd be moving for.

 

I don't know what I'd do (we wouldn't be homeschooling, so that would be off my plate, and it's likely DD's lab work/mentoring could be wrapped into her school day.) The job market in the new area is pretty tough, and my teaching license wouldn't be valid here (although I would be able to teach a year on a reciprocal license). I don't know that I'd want to teach in PS again anyway. Adjunct contracts would be hard to come by-the local area simply don't have huge programs in my fields. Maybe I could volunteer somewhere? I do think that the school situation would probably provide some social support for me as well.

 

DD's extracurriculars are achievable. Actually, we'd be moving from one area where her cheer program is big to another where her cheer program is big. And, to be honest, she'd probably need fewer since she would be On a traditional school schedule. The school has academic teams in practically every area known to man available.

 

We would be much farther from family. Right now, we usually manage to see my parents several times a year, and DH's family once a year or so. That would probably be less frequent, and I expect the onus would be on us to do all the traveling due to distance.

 

The question is-is it reasonable to relocate everyone (especially DH, who would probably be more "stuck" in his current job because of the need to be able to telecommute, and who is most concerned about the climate) for DD, when what we have works? I think I can meet her academic needs, but one thing that has been brought home to me recently is how different she is socially among kids who are her peers, even when there's nothing academic in the mix, and how much happier, less anxious, and less stressed she is. And, frankly, how much more pleasant she is to be around. If it wasn't such a big move, I don't think there would be a question of DD applying. But I don't want her to apply and get her hopes up if there's any question of us NOT making the move if she's accepted.

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Is there really only one location option that would provide peers and programs that would benefit your dd?  As unusual as her situation seems to be, I would think there are more options that might be superior to your current location.  I would cast a wider net, looking for a place that your dh would find both more agreeable for climate and less limiting for job flexibility if he should so desire.  I'd also try to think longer-term about your own needs.

 

In our family, with the needs of five other kids to consider, it would be highly unlikely for us to move for the needs of one child.  In your particular case, I'd at least consider it, though not to your dh's detriment.

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We have moved to the detriment of our children's immediate happiness (as in loss of friends and social outlets) for the betterment of dh's career. That benefits the entire family long-term. (His career, after all, is what allows us to homeschool.)

 

As far as moving the entire family for the needs of one of our children (and with negative associations for dh), not unless it was a serious health issue (like incredible disability or serious illness) and the resources for the child's physical well-being were limited to that geography.

 

I would think that a compromise location where both of them might not have their ideal but at least more positives might be a better option.

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Our situation is similar to yours, ddmetler. We decided to cross the Rubicon.  ;)

 

Some of the differences, though, would give me pause.

 

1. The move was an improvement in climate for us. 

2. Giving up amphibians would have been a big negative for my dd. But, she's more amphibian and less reptile, so there's that... She's glad to still have both.  :)

3. What we were doing wasn't working. We didn't have the opportunities your dd has where she is now.

4. We weren't moving for one specific program. We were moving for many different opportunities. It turned out several weren't at all what we expected and were terrible fits. I shudder to think what it would have been like to move for one program that turned out not to be a good fit. For us, just having same level giftedness doesn't equate fitting in or finding peers. There's much more to it than that. YMMV.  :)

 

 

With that said, I think I may know which program you are referring to. It's certainly unique and not easily found elsewhere. 

 

One thing we did, which had countless lasting benefits, was visiting the area we eventually moved to many times for extended stays over a period of years. We spent our days like we lived there, not doing touristy activities. (Or at least not many.) 

 

It's a huge decision with many risks. Everyone needs to be on board. There were many times of stress and doubt during our transition. I'm so glad we all had the attitude that it was a unanimous decision. No one person to blame should it be a bad decision in the end.

 

The move was a great decision for us, but I never underestimate how big of a disaster it could have been. Just try to do what you can to have Plans B and C. We had them, but thankfully didn't have to use them.

 

 

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We would do it. However, when we look at moving, we're very open to the idea of multiple moves. There's a chance of DH taking shorter-term positions (6 months to 2 years) in foreign countries within a couple years, and that would be something DH and I would love, though I expect it to be more stressful for DD. DH and I have talked between us about the possibility of relocating down the line if early college ends up looking like the best option for DD so that she could go to a college of her choice but still live at home.

 

But this appeals to us in part because both DH and I are happy with the idea of multiple moves. It engages the part of us that loves to travel and explore. And if we end up in a place that one of us doesn't like, we will know it's for no more than a few years.

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We would do it. However, when we look at moving, we're very open to the idea of multiple moves. There's a chance of DH taking shorter-term positions (6 months to 2 years) in foreign countries within a couple years, and that would be something DH and I would love, though I expect it to be more stressful for DD. DH and I have talked between us about the possibility of relocating down the line if early college ends up looking like the best option for DD so that she could go to a college of her choice but still live at home.

 

But this appeals to us in part because both DH and I are happy with the idea of multiple moves. It engages the part of us that loves to travel and explore. And if we end up in a place that one of us doesn't like, we will know it's for no more than a few years.

 

Good point and something I forgot to mention. It took us two moves to eventually make it here. We also are very much in the mindset that it's only for a few years. Once dd moves on, there will be nothing to hold us here. Of course, life happens: economies crash, heath changes, etc., so there is no guarantee another move will be possible. We made sure we could be reasonably happy long term in the new location, but also sometimes discuss where the next phase in life will take us.  :)

 

The angst I mentioned in my previous post stemmed from the fact that we could not return to life as we knew it once we moved. So much of it had been a once-in-a-lifetime type of deal. The house, the job, etc. So while we could always move on, we could never move back.  ;)

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That is a tough question.  I tend to make a lot of decisions around my kids, but I would be nervous about the main breadwinner having limited employment opportunity.  Though, I guess if it came to that, you could move again.

 

Is your husband on board?

 

You sound really sure that this would meet her needs much better than your current situation.  I hope you are right.  Often something works out differently once it's reality.  One thing to consider is that your daughter may face competition for opportunities where there isn't any now.  She has a unique situation being, well, academically unique in your area.  I understand why it could be better to have more academic peers, but it may come at a cost.

 

Well, good luck with your decision.  Let us know what you decide.  :)

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I'm just amazed there *is* a program that can meet her needs. (And I also have a hunch which one it is.)

 

I would do it. I think an age appropriate peer group, sometime before grad school, would make such a difference in her emotional development. I know too many former HG+ kids who are now in their mid-thirties/early forties and still working through teenage/early twenties identity issues and it's hindering their adult lives.

 

I got lucky. For me, socially, law school was the remedial middle school experience I really needed. So there are ways to make up for lost time. But the opportunity to have those experiences in a more typical sequence? That would be pretty great.

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I'm just amazed there *is* a program that can meet her needs. (And I also have a hunch which one it is.)

 

I would do it. I think an age appropriate peer group, sometime before grad school, would make such a difference in her emotional development. I know too many former HG+ kids who are now in their mid-thirties/early forties and still working through teenage/early twenties identity issues and it's hindering their adult lives.

 

I got lucky. For me, socially, law school was the remedial middle school experience I really needed. So there are ways to make up for lost time. But the opportunity to have those experiences in a more typical sequence? That would be pretty great.

Is it always a matter of just being around other HG kids, though? Are they all interchangeable as long as they're HG? Are friendships a given?

 

Law school is somewhat self-selecting, isn't it? It's also a different level of maturity. I've seen some HG kids who are indistinguishable from other kids, unless in an academic environment. (Sometimes they are indistinguishable even then!) Socially they blend right in. I've also seen HG kids feeling left out in situations with other HG kids, they just didn't click.

 

Middle school can be tough. I've not seen being around other HG kids automatically making the social scene a good one.

 

I also know many non HG adults working though identity issues from their teenage/early twenty years. I don't think that's unique to giftedness.

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We are looking at moving but in our case it is not just because of our kids. We are tired of here too to the extent of going from passive to actively looking.

 

While the gifted program I was in wasn't bad, it didn't provide the intellectual peer group. My cousins are the ones ending up fulfilling that role. I would have been happier in a middle/high school where school time is almost all lab time.

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We moved . . . but . . . I'm not sure I would in your situation.

 

In our situation . . .

-Dh would have a better job situation and increased opportunities in the future.

-We were moving into a better location in regards to distance from family.

-We were moving to a better climate that everyone was happy with.

-We were moving for a variety of academic/social opportunities versus just a single one. As it turned out, we are not utilizing the local opportunities and are homeschooling instead. I'm grateful that we are in an area with multiple opportunities, so that we can adjust as needed.

 

Simply being in an area with a multitude of opportunities has meant that everywhere we go, there are opportunities to find like-minded peers. Intelligent, educated parents with bright, creative, self-motivated children tend to congregate where there are many opportunities for those children.

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*snip*

 

With that said, I think I may know which program you are referring to. It's certainly unique and not easily found elsewhere. 

 

One thing we did, which had countless lasting benefits, was visiting the area we eventually moved to many times for extended stays over a period of years. We spent our days like we lived there, not doing touristy activities. (Or at least not many.) 

 

It's a huge decision with many risks. Everyone needs to be on board. There were many times of stress and doubt during our transition. I'm so glad we all had the attitude that it was a unanimous decision. No one person to blame should it be a bad decision in the end.

 

The move was a great decision for us, but I never underestimate how big of a disaster it could have been. Just try to do what you can to have Plans B and C. We had them, but thankfully didn't have to use them.

 

We did this as well. It was one of the best things we did while considering the decision.

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We moved last year for the needs of our child. Not the kind of move you are considering though. We moved in-state and in-region, not very far from our old place. We have moved across continents before for the needs of the family. And we are considering a move across the US in about 2 years for DH's and DS's needs. If your pros list is more compelling than your cons list, and you have done your research, I say go for it. For me, a move is very exciting because I love new challenges (except extreme climate-related ones). It is also stressful for me but given that, I personally would still move for the needs of one child. Well, because I only have experience with one child.

 

Good luck! Regardless of what you choose, I am very excited for your DD, and very glad for all you are doing for her.

 

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I would consider the move if it did not have a negative affect on the parent's job situation. In the beginning of your post it sounds as if your DH is really completely flexible and just dislikes the climate, but towards the end you mention "stuck in his job". That would concern me.

I would not sacrifice the parents' job situation and long term career development for the benefit of a few years enhanced educational opportunities for the child, unless the current situation is very bad for the child.

 

ETA: I personally would never consider moving to an area where I did not have a job. Me as a SAHM, and especially to a kid who is at school, would negatively affect my mental health and be a definite No for the family. YMMV, but that is something to think about.

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It's a tough call, and you've gotten some great advice here.

 

Personally, I don't think I would make the move though.  It sounds as though your DH isn't entirely thrilled about the idea, I wouldn't want to put that kind of a strain on us as a couple.  My DH was prior military and I was utterly miserable the entire duration our last move (lasted 5.5 years) and it made it really hard on us.  And that was only 2 hours away from "home."

 

Peers are great, but the resources that your daughter has really seem to make the whole experience for her.  There are lots of ways to get her engaged with true peers.  If this program is really the only one of it's kind, is there a possibility of you and she relocating temporarily to make sure it's really the fit that you think it is?  Especially since you mentioned that your house is paid off, would it be financially possible to rent an apartment short-term to test the waters?  I understand that would also be a strain between you and DH, but it might be a temporary fix just to make sure you know what you are really getting into.  If she is really blossoming, then that might help your DH be more comfortable with the move.

 

Also, I would definitely spend more time considering yourself in the move.  Other than meeting parents at school and cheer, what social support would you have?  If you are considering going back to teaching, just how would you make that work?  Is there the possibility of being hired in the program that your DD is in?  How likely is the possibility of you feeling "stuck" in the house during the day if you are not working?  It's hard to be the parent that she will need if you aren't also meeting your own needs.

 

FWIW, my husband's family moved everyone 14 hours from their home because one of his sisters had a severe eating disorder and the best treatment center was that far away.  He and I also had our DS at the time and he was in the military, but that was 10 years ago, and his sister still feels severe guilt for causing the whole family to have to move - even though everyone is happy where they are.  Obviously, she was sick so the situations aren't exactly the same, but I don't think that anyone considered the long-term effects that the move would have on her.  There is a bit more to the story, but ultimately, she feels guilty that she uprooted everyone.

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Agree with all of the above. If I could secure comparable employment there, we'd have already started the process. No other school in the US seems to compare, imho. We're making do, but we would go in an instant if it made sense overall.

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Is it always a matter of just being around other HG kids, though? Are they all interchangeable as long as they're HG? Are friendships a given?

 

Law school is somewhat self-selecting, isn't it? It's also a different level of maturity. I've seen some HG kids who are indistinguishable from other kids, unless in an academic environment. (Sometimes they are indistinguishable even then!) Socially they blend right in. I've also seen HG kids feeling left out in situations with other HG kids, they just didn't click.

 

Middle school can be tough. I've not seen being around other HG kids automatically making the social scene a good one.

 

I also know many non HG adults working though identity issues from their teenage/early twenty years. I don't think that's unique to giftedness.

No, HG kids are not all interchangeable, and friendships are never a given. However, I still think having intellectual peers is important, even if the friendship fit isn't perfect.

Law school is absolutely self selecting, and socially it worked really well for me. I'm hugely fortunate and grateful for that experience. It's not going to be the right fit for everyone, and I know really smart interesting people who didn't fit in during law school. My point about law school was just that it can be possible to socialize later in life if the opportunities aren't available earlier.

You are absolutely right that emotional and social challenges are not unique to giftedness. But they are relevant to giftedness and should be considered.

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No, HG kids are not all interchangeable, and friendships are never a given. However, I still think having intellectual peers is important, even if the friendship fit isn't perfect.

Law school is absolutely self selecting, and socially it worked really well for me. I'm hugely fortunate and grateful for that experience. It's not going to be the right fit for everyone, and I know really smart interesting people who didn't fit in during law school. My point about law school was just that it can be possible to socialize later in life if the opportunities aren't available earlier.

You are absolutely right that emotional and social challenges are not unique to giftedness. But they are relevant to giftedness and should be considered.

To clarify, my comment about law school being self-selecting was just pointing out that there was probably some common ground beyond intelligence. In the above quoted post you mention that there were really smart interesting people who didn't fit in during law school. So even common ground and intelligence aren't enough. I think we probably are in agreement there. I also agree that there are possibilities in later life for social opportunities that aren't available earlier. The odds probably increase as self-selecting opportunities do, which is my point. Just being with other HG kids might not be enough. Other things matter.

 

Agreeing again that emotional and social challenges are relevant to giftedness (as they are in all situations) and should be considered. Absolutely!

 

One differing opinion I have from some parents of gifted kids is that I don't believe being around lots more gifted kids is always the right answer. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes being around older, more mature people is a better answer than being around lots of other gifted kids the same age. I do think that increasing the number of children a child is exposed to increases the odds of a good fit, whatever that means for a given child.

 

Looking back on our own move, it was the dramatic increase in the pool of potential friends that made the difference. The area has a greater than average number of identified HG children, but it has been interesting to watch the mix of friendships dd developed. For her, I'm not sure being in a situation where she was surrounded only by HG children would be the best scerenrio. For some kids, it absolutely would be. Sometimes it's hard to know beforehand... What has been important for dd is being around people with similar interests. Many, many people of differing ages and abilities with similar interests. To, in effect, be submerged in a subculture... I'm not sure of the details of OP's situation, but I do wonder if she would lose some of what she has now. There are definitely more risks in her situation than there were in ours. (ETA: In addition to more people and the science subculture, having more opportunities, in general, has also had a significant influence on quality of life after the move.)

 

I think it's a good idea to be realistic and go in with eyes wide open. What is the potential for increase in happiness and life satisfaction? What is the potential for a decrease? What is being left behind and at what cost? This is something we grappled with recently when some gifted opportunities turned out not to be all that we had hoped. Thankfully the risk was minimal, and we learned a lot about our daughter in the process. It will help us make more informed decisions in the future.

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I agree with similar interests being more important than similar IQ. Similar IQ hasnt been good because of the cutthroat competitive culture. We do far better with the collaborative community and people who are comfortable with themselves.

 

The only problem is that some local schools have an even more competitive, cutthroat culture.  So, ymmv, I suppose.

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We did move for our son. Not crazy far, but across state lines and Dh now commutes a hundred miles a day to work and back. Our house is smaller than most people's living rooms, and Dh is far less happy here for the most part. Honestly, his lack of happiness is due to not being honest with himself (and thus not honest with us). I think if everyone is totally, brutally up front decisions are much easier. It is all those hidden obligatory things we tend to say because we feel like they are what we are supposed to say. Is your Dh being totally transparent?

 

We are considering moving again in the next couple of years if it turns out Ds wants to do an EEP he has been given an opportunity for. The kid doesn't know exactly which route he wants to go, so we are still up in the air. He knows that he does not want to "go to school" so the place you are looking at (I think) is not for him.

 

As a PG kid who was not advocated for, I go above and beyond to advocate for my kid. If he would be better off, we would move (or at least I would). I feel like a kid gets one shot to be a happy kid and as a parent it is my obligation to try the best I can to make that happen. As an adult I get a whole lot of happy years, so I can suck it up for a few if need be.

 

Dh's job is very flexible, as he is a PS teacher. I work in coffee now, so our entire region is really open. I don't think I could go back to teaching PS.

 

Who knows, maybe she won't get in. That is not meant in a snarky way, but more a "whew!" No more tough decision way. (We all know she will probably get in).

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I regret our move (which, hopefully, will only last another year) after trading a community of intellectual peers (for parents and kids alike) for a southern fringe rural town. The majority of the extracurriculars here are either religious or non-academic and while there is major city that has more opportunities, the risk getting stuck in traffic is too great and it's too hard to juggle that commute with three kids with three different needs. In our community previously my son was respected by the other kids and they were shared so much of the same interests in computer programming, robotics, math - they all spoke the same "language" and quirky was the norm. (My oldest had a friend who carried a briefcase to school in middle school and for Halloween dressed up like Steve Jobs- totally accepted!) If I didn't shield my son here so much he would feel like he had three heads. We have found 1 peer so far and we spend all of our time with her and her mom! We didn't realize how much it would affect us as well- our adult peer circle has drastically diminished.

 

With that said, climate is huge. I am from Florida, and I suffer if I am not near some large body of water, and after living in a place with pretty much the most perfect weather year round, VA weather was a complete shock.

 

Wishing you the best of luck:-)

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The "stuck" isn't the feeling unhappy now sort. It's that DH has been through two rounds of corporate mergers and buyouts where he, very literally, went to work for one company and, by the end of the day was working for another, with all the changes that entails. (One reason why we didn't take the relocation and chose to stay here is that the physical work environment after the last merger is one he simply cannot tolerate-telecommuting from a couple of states away is far more accepted than "I know I live 10 minutes from the office, but I would rather work from home-and in fact, one of his co-workers has gotten into quite a bit of heat because he's found he cannot work in the office after accepting a relocation package"). Where we live now, if DH were to decide to quit, he would almost certainly be unable to find a job in his field. The city the school is in, ditto. However, where we are now, I could probably piece together something almost immediately, because I have enough connections and am well enough known in the PS system and the local colleges, and all my certifications are valid. That fallback will vanish when we move, at least initially. (I probably would jump the hoops to transfer my certificate, and possibly pick up a gifted Ed endorsement or another masters, simply because that's something with a high interest to me, and it's a great place to do it).

 

We're just in a real desert for educational opportunities. You pull up the map for almost anything, and there's this blank, dead area over where we are now. That hasn't bothered me much until now, because I think I've done a pretty good job of finding and creating opportunities for DD. But seeing how much DD lights up when she's with other kids who think more the way she does (although she's still the snake girl in the bunch) is a major difference. It's the same happiness I see when she's with the grad students, but it doesn't have that underlying "I have to prove I'm good enough" anxiety about it that comes from always being the youngest, the kid, the outlier. There seemed to be a real relaxation when she realized she wasn't the best, most advanced at everything. The fact that my kid, who hates to change anything in her life (her changing table is currently housing toy snakes, for crying out loud!) has stated "When I go to school here...." so definitively is pretty telling.

 

I don't think DD and I moving would be a valid option because of the distance. It would be not seeing Daddy until the next major school break, because it takes at least 1, and often 2 plane connections to get from point A to point B, so 8+ hours in transit each way. You can't practically do that for a weekend. I don't think either DH or I have the personalities to make that work, either.

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Feel you there - we couldn't take that kind of separation, either. Even the kids suffer tremendously. They can function intellectually as college students, but they absolutely are still kids. Their personalities tie to both parents, not just one, and so they do best with both parents around. Many parents make that sacrifice, but I don't think we could.

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DD and I moved first to make sure the move would be in the family's best interest. Dh stayed with his job until we all felt relatively certain. Not fun, but worth it...for us. Like everything else in the process, we had a plan in place. Skype and various other technological tools were gifts from the gods. Over the phone or via texts, dh intervened during arguments dd and I were having, just like always, even though he was miles and miles away.  Skype allowed us to cook and eat dinner together. Where there's a will, there's an app... ;) 

As difficult as that time was, there are many happy memories as well. As in most difficult times, there was fertile soil for growth - for all of us.

I'm not recommending it to OP. Just throwing it out there in case there are others in similar circumstances.

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In this particular situation, it doesn't sound like there are a lot of negatives... but then, I haven't heard your husband's view on the comparative climates! It sounds like you've already made your decision :)

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I think I would push pretty hard to do it.

 

But I would try to keep the house in the original location for about a year, maybe rented out, to have a foot in the door in case it didn't work out.

 

To me this circumstance sounds similar to and frankly a lot more defensible than a family moving to get their kid in with a good gymnastics coach because they have a possibility of going national.  

 

Regarding the climate issue, my guess is that it will be far tougher than you even realize, though.  You're headed to not just a dry climate but an extraordinarily dry one, and it's got a fairly desolate landscape also.  If that is depressing, that's not going to be good. OTOH, there is dramatically gorgeous scenery in easy cruising range, even though it's still dryish there.  It will be a big adjustment, maybe even an impossible one; which is why I suggest trying to hang onto the house just in case.

 

ETA:  One thing to keep in mind is that this might be just for a season--a few years, not forever.  That might make it more tolerable for your DH.

 

Also, I would jump right onto getting licensed locally to teach.  It would drive me crazy to be too vulnerable to a job loss.

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I know that you have definitely put a lot of work into the pros and cons and that ultimately, you will make the right decision.

 

For me, I would have a very difficult time up and moving and would probably be pretty unhappy (even knowing it's temporary).  I literally had a month-to-month countdown for 5 years - so needless to say, I was pretty miserable to live with.  I'm not proud of my reactions, but truth be told, I probably had some bouts with depression during that time.  I hated the traffic, my commute to work was a total of 3 hours a day for a total of 60 miles.  I really wasn't too big of a fan of the military lifestyle, my husband's career field had very few females, and was mostly unmarried boys, so I had little in common with his co-workers.  We were the only ones with a child in his rank, where he was allowed to fraternize.  All in all, a very lonely time for me.  We came out the other end though, not without battle scars, but better for it.  It was an investment in our future - one that allowed us to live the way we do today.  Otherwise, I certainly would not be able to stay home and homeschool.  So, looking back, was it worth it?  Yes.  But it's not something I would do again without a very compelling reason with definitive success.

 

I think you pretty much know what the right thing for your family is already.  My best advice would be to keep one foot where you are now, and test the waters to make sure that this will be the fit that you believe it will be.  I hope that it's everything that you want it to be and more, an easy transition and a place where your DD can really flourish and thrive amongst peers.

 

 If this is a situation where you have to jump all in from the get-go, then if you make the leap and it isn't what you expect, I have no doubt that you will be able to rebuild and find a way to make it even better than your current situation if necessary.

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I think I've done a pretty good job of finding and creating opportunities for DD.

 

:iagree:  I think so too - that you have created some fabulous and unique opportunities that are tailor made for your DD already. My only caution is to ensure that she would get opportunities similar to the ones that she already has (I can guess where you are planning to go) for advanced research in herpetology. If that is a given, then, I don't see why you cannot give it a shot. I am curious if she will have a structured day where the schedule is already laid out or if she can pursue her interests as she sees fit. If the syllabus is already fixed, she may have to work after school (needing your help) to keep up her research work, I guess.

 

I have moved for my child's needs - but, since I am in a good area for educational opportunities, the move was a very local move (for a better commute), but, it still upset our lifestyles quite a bit. So, your concerns regarding adjustments are very valid.

 

If I were in your situation, I would have moved a long time ago (mostly because I do not have what it takes to create the fabulous opportunities that you have). Good luck and keep us posted.

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I think I would push pretty hard to do it.

 

But I would try to keep the house in the original location for about a year, maybe rented out, to have a foot in the door in case it didn't work out.

 

To me this circumstance sounds similar to and frankly a lot more defensible than a family moving to get their kid in with a good gymnastics coach because they have a possibility of going national.  

 

Regarding the climate issue, my guess is that it will be far tougher than you even realize, though.  You're headed to not just a dry climate but an extraordinarily dry one, and it's got a fairly desolate landscape also.  If that is depressing, that's not going to be good. OTOH, there is dramatically gorgeous scenery in easy cruising range, even though it's still dryish there.  It will be a big adjustment, maybe even an impossible one; which is why I suggest trying to hang onto the house just in case.

 

ETA:  One thing to keep in mind is that this might be just for a season--a few years, not forever.  That might make it more tolerable for your DH.

 

Also, I would jump right onto getting licensed locally to teach.  It would drive me crazy to be too vulnerable to a job loss.

 

As a native of Southern California, this comment struck me is funny. Do people actually like humidity? If we are talking about the same place, I wouldn't describe the area as desolate. There is amazing natural beauty and numerous outdoor activities within close proximity.

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:iagree:  I think so too - that you have created some fabulous and unique opportunities that are tailor made for your DD already. My only caution is to ensure that she would get opportunities similar to the ones that she already has (I can guess where you are planning to go) for advanced research in herpetology. If that is a given, then, I don't see why you cannot give it a shot. I am curious if she will have a structured day where the schedule is already laid out or if she can pursue her interests as she sees fit. If the syllabus is already fixed, she may have to work after school (needing your help) to keep up her research work, I guess.

 

I have moved for my child's needs - but, since I am in a good area for educational opportunities, the move was a very local move (for a better commute), but, it still upset our lifestyles quite a bit. So, your concerns regarding adjustments are very valid.

 

If I were in your situation, I would have moved a long time ago (mostly because I do not have what it takes to create the fabulous opportunities that you have). Good luck and keep us posted.

 

Mathnerd raises some good points.  How does your dd feel about required structured school days?  Do you have any concerns about her thriving in a typical school day routine (even if the classes do match her abilities)?  (Just throwing those questions out again to highlight them b/c my kids would hate schooly school. Our homeschool is not like a classroom at all and I know they wouldn't trade the freedom they have for a classroom of peers.  But my kids still have friends and enjoy summer camps as a way to connect with kids with similar intellectual type interests.)

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DS10 is a lot happier with structure (clear objectives) while DS9 gets confused when things are too free and easy. So for them having part of the day schooly stabilize them emotionally.

 

Do people actually like humidity?.

I love more than 80% humidity and don't feel warm until temperature is almost 100dF.

However my cameras loathe the humidity in my homeland and stayed in a dry box with silica gel.

 

My hubby likes the lower humidity because it is less sweaty for everyone but our skin gets flaky so we have to spent money on moisturizers year round. Humidifiers didn't work for us.

 

ETA:

My oldest was so rigid about change or transitions that he was actually happier in school. Now he could accommodate change without meltdowns.

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I am curious if she will have a structured day where the schedule is already laid out or if she can pursue her interests as she sees fit. If the syllabus is already fixed, she may have to work after school (needing your help) to keep up her research work, I guess.

 

I too think this is a good point. We have opted for some structured learning time due to various reasons (need for IRL classroom environment, IRL lab for more precise/ accurate science labs we are not able to provide, access to prof's office hours etc) but the intensity and direction of that structure is still very much in kiddo's hands because he can choose classes in an ala carte fashion. And even when syllabi is fixed, we can still enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling to enrich the content of the classes he takes via at-home explorations.

 

I know this isn't making your decisions easier though. :grouphug:

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I too think this is a good point. We have opted for some structured learning time due to various reasons (need for IRL classroom environment, IRL lab for more precise/ accurate science labs we are not able to provide, access to prof's office hours etc) but the intensity and direction of that structure is still very much in kiddo's hands because he can choose classes in an ala carte fashion. And even when syllabi is fixed, we can still enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling to enrich the content of the classes he takes via at-home explorations.

 

I know this isn't making your decisions easier though. :grouphug:

 

A la carte classes are the route we decided to go as well. 

 

So much depends on the child... OP, you know your daughter best. Thinking of you as you consider the options...  :grouphug:  

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DS10 is a lot happier with structure (clear objectives) while DS9 gets confused when things are too free and easy

 

Just pointing out that structure and schooly school are not synonyms. ;)  Our days are structured.  Self-designed a la carte might be a good comparison.  

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I would not move for a specific program because it could easily turn out to be a poor fit even if it seems great on paper.  

I would consider moving from one location to another for more general opportunities though.  We live in the heart of a major city right now and the academic opportunities are orders of magnitude above what you would find in a rural small town.  

 

I tend to look for the 80% solution.  If everyone's needs are mostly getting met then I wouldn't change anything unless it provided a major improvement for all members of the family such as income or cost of living.  If the move is causing one person to get 100% of their needs met, but everyone else's satisfaction goes down substantially then I would pass.

 

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We did this when the boys were newly diagnosed. Dh and I quit our jobs, rented out our home, packed 10 suitcases and moved to a new continent. It was very stressful. However, it ended up working out for the best. Dh ended up going back to work for the same company and basically customized his job to fit him perfectly. The boys' program was worth the stress and effort it took to move. We all grew to like our new hometown after we got used to it. In the end, our original location went to hell in a hand basket and we'd probably have had to move anyway.

 

It's hard to know how different options will work out. There are lots of twists and turns you never would have foreseen. The only thing you can do is pick the best option and make it work.

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I did grad school at Texas Tech, so it doesn't seem terribly desolate (or all that extreme) to me. And I quite like the mountains (although my Achilles' tendons and weak knee weren't thrilled with the slopes after a couple of days of hiking). And even "unseasonably hot" wasn't that bad-not given that the same day home had a heat index of 102!

 

I'm hoping to be able to make some connections directly with faculty out there at SSAR next month, and see what we could set up on the herp side. I've already connected with the herp society out there, and with a couple of local contacts in herpetoculture. (Not in looking for a move, but because we do that when we travel just about anywhere -the best way to see herps is to go with someone who knows where to look, especially when you're talking snakes, who tend to be reclusive at best).

 

We have a little time to figure it out. Really, she could enter at any time during middle school age and be Ok (like with any traditional school, entering after 9th grade from homeschooling can be problematic), and much as she'd like to, she can't get through the application and testing process in time for fall :).

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Jumping in a bit late but it's something I have thought about recently.

 

When all my kids were younger, I had to consider the needs of all and where we live now was the best option for the family for a lot of different reasons…not perfect for any but decent enough, with a lot of driving, to meet all their needs plus my work and dh's work are here. I could not sacrifice everyone else for one child's needs. If dd were an only child, things might have been different.

 

Now that the boys are older with one in college, situations are different except for the work parts of it. I often dream of places where we could possibly move to provide more options for dd. Not that we'll ever actually do it, due to work (I can't see starting over with my retirement at this point), but it's a nice daydream and I like to think about all the possibilities and their pros and cons.

 

Good luck with your decision!

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I would not move the entire family to try to meet a single child's needs. Because I have three children.

 

Back when we lived in Arizona there was a program that would have been ideal for my oldest child, then 8 years old. It was in downtown Phoenix and we lived in a suburb about 45 minutes from that part of the city. That would have meant 45 minutes each way twice a day to get her to the program. That would have been horrible for her two little brothers that were not eligible for the program, at least not at that time. Three hours a day in a car wasn't happening.

 

So we didn't do the program even though it was everything that at should have been perfect for her. Instead we did what was the least bad situation for everyone. We continued homeschooling.

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At this point, we've told DD that we'll look at the options (both locally and farther away) after she takes the SAT, since she needs that score anyway (which we'd planned on). It does mean that for the first time, she'll be taking one of these tests that means something to her (since I've never told her that the prior talent search tests were for anything-only that "these are the classes you can take" after the fact), so we'll see how she handles it. I want to do a similar tour/campus visit for Mary Baldwin, at least (my family lives near there), and if anyone can think of any other programs that might be worth looking at, please let me know. Obviously, geographic location isn't a big concern :)

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Early entrance to the University of Washington through the Robinson Center. There is a one year transition school for students under 15 and then they become full time undergrads. UW has better herp resources than Mary Baldwin. The Leache lab focuses on "evolutionary biology and systematics of reptiles and amphibians" and they currently have undergrads participating in their research.

 

Plus Seattle is damp. And you are welcome to stay with us, we are about a mile from campus.

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Lawyer&Mom,

 

do you by any chance happen to know if there is a decent public transportation connection between the ferry terminals and the university?

From the downtown ferry terminals you can walk a few blocks to the transit tunnel and catch a bus to the university. Next year there will be light rail between downtown and campus, which will be fantastic!
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Early entrance to the University of Washington through the Robinson Center. There is a one year transition school for students under 15 and then they become full time undergrads. UW has better herp resources than Mary Baldwin. The Leache lab focuses on "evolutionary biology and systematics of reptiles and amphibians" and they currently have undergrads participating in their research.

 

Plus Seattle is damp. And you are welcome to stay with us, we are about a mile from campus.

 

I don't know anything about the Leache lab, but I see Toby Bradshaw is now Biology department chair. He is a great teacher and a really quirky guy. As a long time falconer, he probably has the perspective to understand kids with an obsession about a given animal... UW EEP could be a good option.

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