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dereksurfs

Anyone with extraordinarily average students attending college?

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I sometimes wonder if some of the hive members have average college kids with hopes and dreams who weren't necessarily super stars, top of their class, national merit scholars, came in with 5-10+ APs, a 4.x GPA, etc...? They didn't get into a top tier school but instead were perfectly happy to simply attend college.  These kids may even struggle with certain subjects such as math, science or other areas? If they get a good grade in one of their challenge areas it may only come with tremendous struggle and tutoring? And while they aren't bad students, they have plenty of other interests beyond academics including hobbies which they are good at?  

 

Secondly, if you have one of these wonderfully average students, is it hard for them if they live with a sibling super star?  ;)

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Derek, I always love your questions. Are you interested in stories from parents themselves? I was incredibly average academically but have hobbies in creative fields that I was (and hopefully still am) good at. I have two sibling superstars and I am wedged right in the middle (one is older, one younger). While there are days when I wish I was less intellectually/academically average, there are also days when I think my sibs don't have the resilience that I do. Had a minute and was inspired to respond. :001_smile:

 

 

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I have a 2E kid who pencils out as extremely average in college. His average sister is not in college yet in high school she’s finding it a lot easier than he did.

 

As an Aspie he actually finds it harder to compare himself on a neurological level more than the academic level. But we stress his strengths even as we still work to accommodate his weaknesses. He’s continuing to grow into a great young man of integrity and that matters much more to us than his GPA. (It helps that he got a job in his preferred field right out of high school so I don’t worry about him landing on his feet after college. )

 

 

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My son is an average student who attends a regional state university, same one as me. He is quite happy being at a non-competitive university. He science and math education were lacking at home due to a lot of reasons, but he's now a math major. His math ACT score was not stellar and he had to take the math placement test twice to get into College Algebra his first semester. He's doing well at this school because of smaller class sizes and some really great professors. 

 

His hobby has been programming and he's learned little to nothing from the computer science classes he's taken, and he's now working with a computer science professor on some research. 

 

He always has hated doing academic subjects he is not interested in. He's an average essay writer and is putting off his last required composition course. He's tenacious when he finds something he cares about - for instance the math placement test, he was 1 point shy of getting the score he needed the first time. Everyone but the chair of the department was willing to give him an override. Ds was gracious about it, but it really ticked him off and he took the test the next week and got a nearly perfect score. 

 

He's finding his niche, but at the bigger university, he would have been happy to be invisible. 

 

He's an only, so obviously no sibling rivalry. He's been pretty mature for a number of years, but he's needed these last few years to really consider what he wants out of his adult life. 20 years ago he's the type of kid that might not have gone to college. He would have found a job and probably worked happily for a number of years. It took him about 3 semesters to decide he wanted to pursue math. He needed that less competitive environment to find his path. 

 

ETA: Because of his ACT score and GPA, he started with a nice renewable scholarship that covers probably half of his tuition. He qualifies for need-based aid and lives at home, so he is going to graduate with little debt.

Edited by elegantlion
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My oldest DS has a 4.0 and a crazy high SAT and thrives with AoPS Calculus and while we consciously chose not to go the super competitive route with tons of APs and top tier Ivy League schools, he has had no trouble getting into selective schools and has received several scholarships.

 

2nd DS is very bright and very creative and is no academic slouch but he's just not in 1st DS's league academically. There has been some competition between them, especially since they're both boys and so close in age. Luckily their strengths lie in such completely different areas that they they both have found ways to "outdo" the other. 2nd DS excels in drama and speech and other creative endeavors that 1st DS participates in but doesn't shine in. 2nd DS wants to try a couple of AP courses, just because 1st DS did, not necessarily because he enjoys the challenge like 1st DS did. I want to give him the opportunity to try but I do worry how it will affect his self image if he doesn't get top scores like 1st DS.

 

2nd DS is a sophomore do I don't know what his future will hold as far as college goes. I forsee a state school for him, possibly CC first and then the state school depending on scholarships. All our kids know we can't afford to take out loans so they need to get scholarships or take the cheapest route available. We've tried to present that in economic terms for them instead of "1st DS is an exceptional student so he has more options." I'm sure they're smart enough to make the connection on their own, but we don't want that to be the message coming out of *our* mouths, iykwim.

 

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Derek, I have kids all over the place.

 

My oldest was not an academic superstar. In high school he was far more interested in hanging out with friends and his girlfriend than anything academic. He was strong academically; he just really didn't want to exert effort and it was a source of contention during his jr an sr yrs at home. He made a C in a class during his first semester of college. That said, he realized that his grades were going to matter and he buckled down and ended up graduating with honors. He also recognized during that first semester that everything we had been saying about academics was true. (Long story short, we had friends who undermined our homeschooling efforts by constantly telling him we expected too much from him and that his high school workload was unnecessary. He called me during his his first semester and the entire conversation went like this, "Mom, I have something I want to say to you. Thank you." I knew immediately what he meant.) He has also told our younger kids to listen to us bc we know what we are talking about. ;)

 

Our Aspie is a college drop out (or more like mom and dad stopped funding bc he only wanted to take classes he wanted vs taking all the courses required for completing a degree.)

 

Our oldest Dd was an avg student. Her younger brother blew past her academically when she was in 10th grade and he was in 8th. If he hadn't been severely dyslexic and therefore a very late reader, he would have passed by her at a younger age. She is my Dd who is an OTA. She loves her career choice.

 

My next 2 are incredibly strong students.

 

My 10th grader has strengths and weaknesses. She loves writing fiction, but she struggles with academic writing bc she hates it. She is a strong math student, but she is academically lazy and ultimately exerts more energy cutting corners than if she would just slow down and be more thorough in writing down steps in the first place. She is stubborn as a mule and has been so her entire life. I swear there are times when she purses her lips, tilts her head, and glares at me that she is my mother staring back at me when I was a kid when she was furious with me! (My mom had blue eyes and this Dd is the only blue-eyed babe in our bunch.) LOL! She wants to pursue meteorology through a geophysics program.I have no idea at this point how well she will do. She is like my oldest ds. I think she is completely capable, but she has to find her motivation to spur her on to exert the effort.

 

My 6th grader just struggles. No question about it. She is dyslexic like her older brothers, but she is also more of an avg student in general like our oldest Dd. She has a friend who is severely dyslexic combined with a lower IQ. That young lady is a teenager and her mother is fantastic about helping her Dd learn skills. The 2 of them have talked about starting some sort of catering business with the friend doing flower arrangements and decorating and Dd providing the cake decorating and food. My Dd has said she wants to be a cake decorator and pastry chef for the past several yrs. (For Christmas she is getting mostly professional grade cake decorating tools bc she has been using our cheap stuff.) I dont see any reason for her not to start perfecting her skills now if this is something she really wants to do. We can use the money we would normally spend on college to help her start a business instead. If she changes her mind over the next few yrs, she has mastered a skill she can always use for her own pleasure, and she can still pursue a more traditional college path if she wants bc that is the education she will receive at home. Win-win from my perspective.

 

My youngest Dd is incredibly bright. I suspect she will be similar to my 2 current college kids.

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Secondly, if you have one of these wonderfully average students, is it hard for them if they live with a sibling super star?  ;)

 

We have this situation in our house, Derek. Our older son was an academic superstar in high school and continues to be in college. I'll refrain from momma-bragging his stats! ;-)

 

My husband and I determined long ago to teach each child to his (and now, her!) strengths and interests, so our younger son's high school path has been very, very different from older son's. He has taken different courses, and we have used completely different materials for those classes which are required for graduation (and done them at different times). Younger son may not even take physics...he has requested marine biology for his senior year!?! We also went so far as to use a different umbrella school (required in TN) with younger son because we did not want to rehash the same graduation ceremony as older son's (who received numerous accolades and had to make a speech at his graduation--and yes, younger son was VERY proud of his brother for those awards).  

 

Younger son did not take the PSAT or SAT nor any AP classes. He may not even take a dual-enrollment class (still making that decision for his senior year). He has taken two years of online math with Wilson Hill (thank you for the rec!) and a couple of short online writing courses but certainly not a plethora of outsourcing. He is one-and-done with the ACT...making a score well below older son's but high enough to go either to our local 4 year university or take advantage of our state's free 2 year community college degree. 

 

The interesting thing in our situation is that younger son is a phenomenal all-around athlete, and I've seen some instances of older son's jealousy regarding younger's skills on the pitch/field/court/course. But I've also seen many moments of outright pride and complete support. They both know that they are gifted differently, and I hope and pray that those gifts can complement and assist each other throughout their lives! :-)

 

So in a nutshell...we made second son's high school experience completely different from older son's. Doing this has worked well for all of us.

 

Both boys will be long gone when our daughter reaches high school. Good thing...because she is AMAZING and is going to show both of them up in all regards!!! LOL!!

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Ask me in five years, Derek. (My kids are average with pointy ends showing the areas they are good at. The biggest difference I see isn't in academics but in drive. Mine don't have that extra umph. Dd just had a meeting with the Spanish academic advisor at a first college visit. She didn't speak more than two sentences in Spanish the entire time. Right now, this isn't a kid who will show up as a leader or a go-getter. But, she has a couple of more years to grow and change, right?)

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My youngest fits this description.  He lived in the shadow of his driven, gifted older brother (my middle son) for years and even though we tried to point out he was super talented in his own fields (mainly botany, etc) it never sunk in to him.  He became suicidal at one point.

 

Once he went away to college - a college that is quite good, but nowhere near tippy top (except for Marine Science) - he found himself better.  He's now thriving and enjoying himself tremendously.  He's discovered a gift for languages and an enjoyment of working with older folks as well as his botany love.  His grades aren't anywhere near a 4.0, but his people skills and niche fields have made him a desirable future employee.

 

And... he and middle son get along super well together - making birthday videos for each other and staying in contact, etc.

 

He just needed a chance to come out from the shadow and see that different niches are indeed fine.  We could tell him that, but we were parents. What did we know???

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Yeah, the sibling jealousy is a thing my house. Not too awful -- I wouldn't call it resentful, and the girls love each other very much. But yeah. Kid 2 is just more academically driven and successful than kid 1.

 

Ironically, the 4.0 GPA kid is likely to attend a lower ranked school than the one the 3.7 GPA kid is at already.

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I have a 2E kid whose IQ and test scores look amazing, but reality for him is that there are parts of college and parts of life that are a struggle. His stats might have appeared otherwise, but he could never have survived in a top tier college and would never have wanted to.

 

I also have a more average kid who really dislikes academics and never wanted to go to competitive college (although nursing programs are all very competitive).

 

Neither of my kids is driven to be the best, to learn the most, to get the research project, to get into the best grad school... the list of wonderful things I hear about other people's kids that mine are interested in is long. I'm happy for those who want those things are are going after them. I'm happy that mine are finding their own way.

 

I wasn't so unlike my kids. I was bright, but unmotivated with no real goals. I just wanted a peaceful, happy life full of family, pets, the outdoors, and books. I got all of that and have been happy and content with it. It think my kids have watched that and want similar lives. Not everyone can be the best. Not everyone that could, wants to. Contentment is underrated. 

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My oldest was average academically, though that is somewhat relative, I suppose. She did have a C on her transcript, and some B grades. No APs or honors, though she did do dual enrollment senior year. Average SAT score (topped out verbal, but that was balanced by a low math score and average writing score.) No subject tests. She has a high IQ, but definitely struggled with learning difficulties and mental health issues, and overcoming those was the priority during high school (and college.) She did have interesting extracurriculars and geographic diversity going for her, so received some interesting acceptances, but plenty of deferrals, and a rejection too.

 

I think there was some resentment of superstar young sibling at times, but the humility of the younger one probably saved that relationship, and they are exceptionally close now.

 

My youngest is on track to be decidedly average, with my encouragement! I don't see her as having the motivation to keep up with the workload of honors, and I want her in a situation where learning is enjoyable and not overwhelming. I also want her to have time for non-academic pursuits.

 

I do believe it is fairly common for people with kids who are different in some way to pursue homeschooling, so it's not shocking to me that there are some gifted kids here in the forum community.

Edited by GoodGrief
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No super star students here. Two later-blooming DSs who are both bright, but nothing spectacular GPA-wise or test-score-wise (one tested right at minimum for college entrance, and one tested just high enough to barely reach the small partial scholarship range at very ordinary colleges). Neither is driven / persevering in nature, and neither was "into" academics. Also, DS#2 has mild LDs, so school was harder for him throughout.

 

Neither DS was STEM-oriented OR fine arts oriented throughout homeschooling, although both enjoyed science videos and messing about with kits. Neither knew what he wanted to do career-wise or post-high school-wise, even though we DID do a fair amount of career exploration throughout high school.

 

So we spent high school working on keeping as many future doors open as possible. Each DS completed an ordinary set of college prep credits that would work for many ordinary colleges: 4 credits each of English and Math, 3 credits each of Science and Social Studies, 2 credits of Foreign Language, 1 of Fine Arts, and 6-8 credits of electives. No APs, and each DS only did 2 classes of Dual Enrollment in 12th grade as the foreign language credits. (BTW -- by waiting, both took it very seriously, worked, and both got As both semesters -- hurray! :D )

 

That gave DSs time during high school to explore through a wide variety of extracurriculars that allowed them to develop some independence, responsibility, and leadership skills, explore new areas, and make some friends. That was *very* important to me -- that they learn *balance* in their lives, and how to develop interests and learn on their own.

 

Homeschooling absolutely was the best choice to support DSs in who they are; we had GREAT relationships with them all growing up and now in their young adulthoods, we have wonderful memories of all the great books (and The Great Books ala WTM) done together, and DSs are great critical thinkers from all of the discussions and exposure to some of the classical materials we managed to include, despite mild LDs and not being academically-driven. ;)

 

Both DSs have "grown into" finding their way career-wise long AFTER high school. Both DSs went the route of straight to the community college after graduation. See my signature for the winding road each has traveled since high school. ;)

 

I am seeing many, many, MANY young adults of my DSs' ages and into their late 20s having to follow these circuitous routes and delayed paths. I just think that is the nature of these different economic times, coupled with students who do not know what they want to do, along with being on a more of a delayed blooming time-table.

 

All that to say, not everyone is going to follow that traditional path of high school-direct-to-college -- nor should they -- and everyone develops on their own timetable. Which all adds up to parents needing to be a bit more patient than in our own parents' generation of parenting us. ;) Just my 2.5 cents worth! :) Wishing you and your own DC all the BEST! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

PS -- some past threads that may be of interest:

 

"Would like to hear from moms of average kids who want to go to college" -- Aug. 2012

"s/o Average work in high school -- when did you know that's how it would be?" -- Sept. 2012 -- follow up thread to above

 

"??" -- Feb. 2010 -- Shari's thread

"s/o Shari's thread on average kids" -- Feb. 2010 -- follow up to Shari's thread

 

"Is average okay?" -- June 2010

"Proud mama to an average child" -- May 2010 -- check out the signatures of some posters to see where their DC are now

 

"With all this talk about how homeschoolers are way above their ps counterparts" (...I would like to hear from some of the people who aren't raising Einsteins and whose DC are at or below grade level) -- Dec. 2008 -- more of a general discussion; not specifically college-bound discussion

Edited by Lori D.
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I have one who is not an academic superstar.  No, its not hard to live with the superstar.  The nonacademic realized quickly that school was stupid, as he is top-down, visual spatial and disdains the verbal, bottom up approach.  He enjoyed college, but no way was he going to bash his head trying to get 95s in high school from people who couldn't provide a road map or explain a thing conceptually.  He pulled out the textbooks from yesteryear, learned the material and moved on. Yes, it was more work, but he already knows life isn't fair and work ethic will take him far. He owes his college graduation to two profs, one of whom was an excellent communicator (we were not surprised when she received a teaching award at commencement) and the other who had a very small class and knew how to evaluate orally.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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I would consider my kids fairly average.  Maybe on the top end of average.  By that, I mean, no Cs, but strong As and Bs, no AP classes (honors classes but no APs), test scores less than the top performers.

 

Oldest went to Community College first.  He has now found his way and is off to a 4 year school with a decent scholarship.  I call that a win.

 

Middle is applying to non-reach schools and is perfectly happy doing so.  He has gotten in to 2 out of the 3 so far and we are waiting a decision on the 3rd.  But he has been toying with just going to CC after all anyway.  I call him my "path of least resistance" kid.  Perfectly happy to just do a decent job and get by.  

 

Youngest is our stellar academic child.  8th grade, cares deeply about his grades, wants all honors and APs in high school, keeps asking about the IB program and how he can get in, and tests well.

Edited by DawnM
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I was the academic superstar in my family. Top scores, 4.X GPA, went to a public ivy followed by lots of grad school. My sister worked really hard, and was a solid student. But her test scores were just average, and she went to a second tier state school. Fast forward fifteen years... My sister, with just an art degree (and an amazing work ethic), is hugely successful in her tech career and makes more money than I do.

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Wow, lots of great lRL stories which I find very encouraging since we have such a wide spectrum of academic abilities in our own family. While our oldest isn't necessarily a superstar, he is much more naturally gifted and driven than our younger dds.

 

For our middle dd who struggles most, she is already sensing living underneath his shadow. It's hard for us when she asks about her trajectory in subjects like math when she's several years behind him. She's seriously struggled with math her entire life. However, in the past 1.5 years she's also grown so much in working with Derek Owens. She finally doesn't feel 'stupid' (her words) anymore. Yet she's also realized there will be no catching big bro. We're really trying to tailor her education to her natural abilities. However, I never want her to feel 'less than' or like a second class citizen. She is very strong in other areas including music and sports. I just want her to know it's fine being the best student 'she' can be apart from her siblings. Younger dd may be catching up with her soon in math which could be another blow to her rather fragile self-esteem.

 

A bit of self confession, I have always been a big math guy and they know this. I was also an only child and so I never had anyone to really compare myself with. Yet with close siblings I can that it's hard to avoid it in some cases.

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I have a 2E kid whose IQ and test scores look amazing, but reality for him is that there are parts of college and parts of life that are a struggle. His stats might have appeared otherwise, but he could never have survived in a top tier college and would never have wanted to.

 

I also have a more average kid who really dislikes academics and never wanted to go to competitive college (although nursing programs are all very competitive).

 

Neither of my kids is driven to be the best, to learn the most, to get the research project, to get into the best grad school... the list of wonderful things I hear about other people's kids that mine are interested in is long. I'm happy for those who want those things are are going after them. I'm happy that mine are finding their own way.

 

I wasn't so unlike my kids. I was bright, but unmotivated with no real goals. I just wanted a peaceful, happy life full of family, pets, the outdoors, and books. I got all of that and have been happy and content with it. It think my kids have watched that and want similar lives. Not everyone can be the best. Not everyone that could, wants to. Contentment is underrated.

I love this!!! Especially the last part in which you described yourself. Sorry, I'm on a cell on a trip and not used to posting this way. I wish I could underline the sentence 'I just wanted a peaceful, happy life full of family, pets, the outdoors and books.' You sound just like my dds!!! And I'm perfectly fine with that. I just have to help them get there in their own time and way.

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Something I tell my kids is that there is always someone who is better than you at something–and always someone who is not as good.  Comparing ourselves to others is not healthy.  Instead, compare yourself to yourself–am I learning, making progress, growing, beating a previous goal or record?  Hey, that’s worth celebrating!  And we all should celebrate those things for each other.

 

My kids are bright, funny, creative, imaginative, relatively hard-working, caring, good solid students but not top academics. Both are at our local CC and doing well. It's been wonderful to have smaller class sizes and to be able to "scaffold" with regard to some of the skills needed to do well in college. Both will make the Dean's list this fall, so that's pretty exciting (I told them to expect their mom to embarrass them on FB, and that they'll just have to take it!). There are lots of college opportunities and lots of career options for all kinds of students--not just the top 1% or those who get full-ride scholarships!

 

I'm avoiding the word "average" because--I just don't find that there are average people in the world. I find the world is full of amazingly unique individuals of all different ability levels. Some are quiet behind-the-scenes types who will never stand out and would never want to stand out--sometimes those people will blow you away if you get to know them. For me, "average" is kind of a non-word where we compare everybody, erase what's unique, and evaluate them on one scale as if all other characteristics are meaningless. 

 

Encourage your kids to be themselves and to love being themselves--what a privilege to have their unique combination of gifts, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. We can learn a lot from weaknesses--both our own and other people's. 

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I would make sure your daughter has something she can call her own. I see she is studying German and playing Saxophone. Encourage her siblings to pick different languages and different instruments. It will be good for her to have subjects and/or activities to engage in that are unique to her so she doesn’t have to compare to others in the family. Let her “own†some things.

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My ds is not in college yet, but we're going through the application process and he's been accepted to every college he's applied to so far. He's not applying to top tier schools, but most are well-respected in our area (George Mason University, University of Mary Washington). He does have very good test scores because of all of the advantages of homeschooling and being able to make sure that he mastered the material he's been exposed to over the years, and he is a very hard worker. But, I have worried and fretted so much over this kid over the years because he has some lds and it is starting to look like that worry was unfounded.

 

After years of reading on these boards, I had thought getting into college was a very cutthroat affair, but it really isn't so. Going through this process has made me realize that even our state flagship accepts at least 30% of applicants. Something else I've realized is that homeschooling in high school is great academic preparation for college, maybe especially so for a more average or typical student. Typical students in public school get most of their work and grades from being in class and participating and doing a small amount of work outside of class. College is the opposite of that and requires small amounts of class time with lots of work done independently outside of class. My son has been following the college model for years already by taking once-a-week online or coop classes and then having to schedule all his work for the week. I think having to make this shift can be a huge problem for students who have not had to do this in the past and I've only started to realize this year what a huge advantage this is going to be for my son.

 

That's not to say that there won't be issues. I think going away to college is going to be a huge adjustment for him, but it's one I think he can make. Hopefully, I'll be coming back and posting in a couple of years about how well he is doing.

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Thank you for finding and linking "Does anyone on this board have a non-superstar high school student". THAT was the thread I was trying to find, but only came up with a few older ones that I linked above. Seeing all these past threads, it's good that this general topic comes up every few years -- very needed! :)

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Something I tell my kids is that there is always someone who is better than you at something–and always someone who is not as good.  Comparing ourselves to others is not healthy.  Instead, compare yourself to yourself–am I learning, making progress, growing, beating a previous goal or record?  Hey, that’s worth celebrating!  And we all should celebrate those things for each other.

 

My kids are bright, funny, creative, imaginative, relatively hard-working, caring, good solid students but not top academics. Both are at our local CC and doing well. It's been wonderful to have smaller class sizes and to be able to "scaffold" with regard to some of the skills needed to do well in college. Both will make the Dean's list this fall, so that's pretty exciting (I told them to expect their mom to embarrass them on FB, and that they'll just have to take it!). There are lots of college opportunities and lots of career options for all kinds of students--not just the top 1% or those who get full-ride scholarships!

 

I'm avoiding the word "average" because--I just don't find that there are average people in the world. I find the world is full of amazingly unique individuals of all different ability levels. Some are quiet behind-the-scenes types who will never stand out and would never want to stand out--sometimes those people will blow you away if you get to know them. For me, "average" is kind of a non-word where we compare everybody, erase what's unique, and evaluate them on one scale as if all other characteristics are meaningless. 

 

Encourage your kids to be themselves and to love being themselves--what a privilege to have their unique combination of gifts, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. We can learn a lot from weaknesses--both our own and other people's. 

 

:001_wub:  LOVE all of this Merry. :)

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Thank you for finding and linking "Does anyone on this board have a non-superstar high school student". THAT was the thread I was trying to find, but only came up with a few older ones that I linked above. Seeing all these past threads, it's good that this general topic comes up every few years -- very needed! :)

I had a heckuva time finding it myself!

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I love that you updated your OP Kinsa in that linked thread. It was neat to read all of them. I know life twists and turns. Why I, as a high schoolers mom, struggles to remember that I don't know.

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I probably posted on some of those threads, but in case you didn't read them--

 

My son, now 28, was homeschooled for high school. He has undiagnosed ASD or something so similar it would be just like it (Aspie). He got into college, finished in 5 years (because his program was really 3 academic years with 2 summers, but he didn't get into that program until his sophmore year, so went an extra "year"). He worked in his major for a couple of years and then moved far, but is coming back this way, looking for work. 

 

He is not 2E, but he is gifted with a strong persistence, and a good work ethic. I think that can take kids farther, in some ways and for some kids, than super-bright quick intellect. 

 

His sister is very smart, doesn't have ASD, but has a strong sense of duty and responsibility. She goes to public high school (she's 10 years younger and homeschooled the early years--see siggy) and is the kind of student that diligently finishes all her homework and all her assignments. She wants to teach music. She is bright, but not gifted in that "scary smart (as a compliment)" way. Again, her persistence, duty, sense of inner drive...these will take her far. 

 

I think if parents could cultivate that, it'd be very beneficial for their kids who want to go to uni but may not be top of the class.

 

They get along fine. Both her brothers are proud of her. All my kids are very different from each other. We have different issues bc of the middle one, but in general, they love each other and want each other to succeed. 

Edited by Chris in VA
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My youngest fits this description.  He lived in the shadow of his driven, gifted older brother (my middle son) for years and even though we tried to point out he was super talented in his own fields (mainly botany, etc) it never sunk in to him.  He became suicidal at one point.

 

Once he went away to college - a college that is quite good, but nowhere near tippy top (except for Marine Science) - he found himself better.  He's now thriving and enjoying himself tremendously.  He's discovered a gift for languages and an enjoyment of working with older folks as well as his botany love.  His grades aren't anywhere near a 4.0, but his people skills and niche fields have made him a desirable future employee.

 

And... he and middle son get along super well together - making birthday videos for each other and staying in contact, etc.

 

He just needed a chance to come out from the shadow and see that different niches are indeed fine.  We could tell him that, but we were parents. What did we know???

 

Creekland,

 

I am hoping this will be the case for our middle dd who is also under older brother's shadow. She struggles so much more with school in general including general motivation. If she can find her niche like she did with sports, I think it will increase her overall enthusiasm. Regardless, we will continue to support and encourage her. We certainly don't expect her to be a super star or anything. I just hope she doesn't feel that way or look down on herself if somehow not measuring up in her own eyes.

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I had a heckuva time finding it myself!

 

Yes, thanks for the update. Its really interesting to watch their journeys as they grow, struggle, waffle and discover their interests. Not every young student knows what they want to do nor necessarily has the passion to pursue those studies in a generic sort of way. It can take time to find one's niche.

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Creekland,

 

I am hoping this will be the case for our middle dd who is also under older brother's shadow. She struggles so much more with school in general including general motivation. If she can find her niche like she did with sports, I think it will increase her overall enthusiasm. Regardless, we will continue to support and encourage her. We certainly don't expect her to be a super star or anything. I just hope she doesn't feel that way or look down on herself if somehow not measuring up in her own eyes.

 

I hope it works out similarly for your dd too.  My guy has spent a bit of time letting us know his plans after his college graduation in May.  He plans to come home and set up permaculture farming on our farm and hopefully with a local non-profit youth group that has some acreage they aren't using.  He has a plan extremely well thought out and will be super good at it.  If he can do it with his youth group too, the benefits to the community and local food banks could be immense.  It's a niche he will fit into well and I'm super excited for him.  He will have to come up with financing or get "a" job to pay bills until the farm(s) start producing, but he's more than willing to do that.  Living at home will help - and it will help us too as he will be there to take care of the place when we travel, esp when we start snowbirding.

 

It has nothing to do with his International Studies degree... but he learned a LOT about it from his "other" classes at Eckerd (Green Design, esp) and one of his classes about the Environment during his study abroad in Jordan.  He has no regrets at all about going to college and is thankful to have his focus now even though it's nothing like he was thinking when he left home and not at all related to his standing job offers (that he will be turning down).

 

He's just as happy with his planned niche as my middle son is with his plan to be a doctor.  Neither would do well if they had to switch niches.  Middle son knew his plan from 3rd grade on and didn't deviate from it.  Middle decided on his during his senior year of college.  It all should work in the end.  Mama is proud of all her cubs (oldest too, but I think because he was the oldest he wasn't as jealous of middle son).

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