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Wordsworth

Just dropped off my son at Duke TIP

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He's at Davidson for three weeks and he couldn't have been happier to FINALLY be there after me talking about it all summer.

I'm apprehensive he will return from this and be very resistant to continued homeschooling. He definitely wants more structure than I have been giving him, and I think he sees school as a place of unfettered academic exploration and new challenges. I try not to issue opinions of Regular School whatsoever because I want to leave open the possibility of my kids returning to school. Our family needs that flexibility, although we are going on our seventh year of homeschooling and everyone has survived so far.

 

He'll be an eighth grader next year and I want to school him with an eye towards him possibly going to one of our public high schools. We're going to try to make it work financially for him to do club swimming so that he could try out for the high school swim team and have a built-in group of friends should we go that route. At the same time, even though I know he may not feel that he is thriving, I definitely do. We have been fairly unstructured aside from math for the past few years and I just feed him library books at every meal. In some ways, this seems like the best model for him, since he eagerly reads about anything and everything, at a high level. But he lacks a sense of accomplishment and a trust in his own abilities (despite winning various contests, etc.) and I think he sees school as the answer to that.

 

So, these are my random thoughts on Day 1 of Duke TIP. Will he come home begging to go to regular school so he can be with kids like his TIPster friends? Will he feel more relaxed about his own abilities once he sees he can hang with the best of them? Will he take proper care of the new shoes I bought him? Time will tell.

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I'm confused why it would bother you. If you want to school with an eye toward him possibly going to public high school, wouldn't you want him to want to go? Do you just what to wait until 9th?

 

For what it's worth, my DD has never returned from Duke Tip or any other academic camp wanting to go to public school. Every child is different, though.

 

No guarantee with the new shoes!!! ;)

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I have fond memories of the summer I went to TIP.  He probably won't take care of the shoes. ;)

 

I wasn't homeschooled, but TIP was not at all like school.  Okay, there were some aspects that were, but the whole environment was significantly different.  It was a 3-week summer camp where instead of the camp stuff I was never good at doing, I got to do algebra 2.  Not to make any statement about whether your DS should go to a traditional school or not, but if he comes home from TIP believing school would be like that, I'd make sure he had some opportunities to shadow a student at a regular school for a few days before making that decision.

 

As far as structure in your homeschool goes, since he is leading a lot of his learning anyway, maybe it would be a good idea to let him take the lead on developing some structure?  Getting a plan written out rather than just waiting to see what library books show up could make him feel more...steady, for lack of a better word.  If his TIP class has a syllabus, he could use that as a format for working out his own plan of learning.

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Well, my DD returned from her first GT program ready to go to the institution that hosted it :). Local high schools aren't even on her radar.

 

Oh, and my DD's shoes came back fine, but she "customized" several t-shirts along with the rest of the "Pineapple Apocalypse"- which was what the girls on her hallway named themselves.

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I'm confused why it would bother you. If you want to school with an eye toward him possibly going to public high school, wouldn't you want him to want to go? Do you just what to wait until 9th?

 

For what it's worth, my DD has never returned from Duke Tip or any other academic camp wanting to go to public school. Every child is different, though.

 

No guarantee with the new shoes!!! ;)

 

I guess it would mostly bother me because I'm bothered about a lot of things about homeschooling right now (related to our specific circumstances at the moment), but still think it is the best of our options at present. Homeschooling is working well for us in a lot of ways but I'm not sure we have the resources to make it work well for high school. That is disappointing to me because homeschooling has been a great choice as far as our family's well-being and our lives not revolving around the school calendar, etc. I'm sort of putting an "exit plan" in place so that if we DO send him to public high school, he'll land more easily on his feet. My preference at this point would be to continue homeschooling all the way through, though.

 

Ah, well, we'll see how it goes! dmmetler - hadn't thought about that aspect! Maybe he'll come home and lobby for going to college asap instead! 

 

And definitely shadowing a friend at school would be a great idea. 

 

(Edited): Realizing that my original post made it sound like "next year my goal is to prepare him for the public high school" when really, I want him to have a great year all-around next year and be less skeptical that homeschooling is a sufficiently rigorous approach to education. And to be ready to go to the public high school if it looks like that is going to be the best option. 

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Thanks for clarifying! I understand better now. :)

 

I might have missed this somewhere, but have you considered online classes? They might be a good option for the structure he craves, while still having many benefits of homeschooling. Maybe just a class or two would help.

 

Just a thought. :)

 

Hope he has a great time at camp!

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When your ds returns from TIP, could you post a brief review of the program?  (I hope he has a great time!)  

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Definitely! So far, his only complaint is that his mean parents didn't let him take his laptop, and EVERYONE else has a laptop to play on during Free Time. EVERYONE, Mom.

 

I told him to go down to their student lounge with a deck of cards and tape a sign to his shirt that says "Mean parents kidnapped laptop. Please talk to me." Surely that would get some kids to look up from their screens.  :laugh: 

He's been really busy and is enjoying his class so far, along with the various Mandatory Fun activities. I think this is going to be a great experience for him. 

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If real school were like TIP I would have been much happier to send my kids to school, but it wasn't and they didn't think so either.  In fact if it were, there would be no TIP, or at least not at those tuition rates.  I wouldn't worry at all, I would just be glad there is such a place where they can get some good instruction and meet new friends.

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I was worried about the same thing too during my son's first year at TIP camp. I had to pay the balance of his homeschool class tuition while he was gone and I was a little worried that he'd come back wanting to go to a brick-and-mortar school. He came back totally recommitted to homeschooling. I think he saw how good he has it!

 

I just picked him up from UGA for his second year of TIP camp. Once again, he absolutely loved it. He participated in the Criminal Law and Mock Trial class where his teacher was a lawyer with 36 years experience as a criminal defense attorney. She brought in a lot of guest speakers: judges, public defenders, George Zimmerman's defense attorney, a lawyer who has argued in front of the Supreme Court, etc. He learned a lot and benefited from his teacher's encouragement that he has the brains and temperament for being a lawyer.

 

The social aspect was great for him too. He got to spend three weeks with his intellectual peers. It was a breath of fresh air for him to make all the witty jokes he wanted, knowing that the people around him would actually get them. :-) They keep the kids busy during the evening with things that interest bright kids. And for a growing boy, a college cafeteria with unlimited food is heaven. 

 

He's already talking about next year. He has to decide if he wants to go back to UGA or head to the main campus at Duke. Decisions, decisions.

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Coming back to post a review, a few months down the road.

 

Sending him to the Summer Studies program was one of the best things we've done for him. It allayed a great deal of his "how do I know I'm keeping up with the Joneses?" anxieties about his abilities and accomplishments compared to his peers.He was well-prepared for the class and received a positive review from his instructor. In the months since then, I have seen his confidence increase and his motivation is more mature in terms of - this is a goal I have, here is how I will accomplish it. 

He'd love to go again next year but I'm not sure we can swing it. I'm hoping my daughter will be eligible in 2017 and I'm not sure we want to set the precedent of "kids in this house who qualify get to go more than once," haha.

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