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Wabi Sabi

Anyone ever send a kid to school just for one grading period? UPDATED

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My 10 year old has pretty much gotten through most of her curricula for the year, most of her classes have finished their current session and I haven't signed her up for the next session yet, and she's curious about school. She wants to still be a homeschooler, but is also VERY curious about school. Our state just finished their standardized testing and is about to start the final 9 week grading period. We took a tour where she got to meet many of the teachers, the principal seemed very kind, and my dd was super psyched that the 4th graders are *just* starting the recorder/flutophone AND that there is a school talent show at the end of the year in which she could play one of her piano recital pieces if she would like. 

We are strongly leaning towards enrolling her just for the last 9 weeks. The bus will pick her up right at our front door and bring her back at the end of each day. I don't think the school is very strong academically speaking, thus why we started homeschooling in the first place, but it's safe and could be fun for her. If she goes it would just be with the intention of finishing out the year, and going back to homeschooling afterwards.

Has anyone else ever done something similar and if so, is there anything about your experience you would warn against or something perhaps we haven't considered yet? We haven't thought of any potential downsides other than her falling in love and wanting to go back next year (which may or may not even be a "downside"), and the inconvenience of having to rearrange her piano lessons... 
 

SEE UPDATE ADDED ON 4/5/18. 

UPDATE #2 ON 5/9/18.

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If you are seriously o.k. with her possibly continuing at that school next year then I don't think there would necessarily be an issue.  However, if you are absolutely NOT wanting her to attend school and she does fall in love you are setting both of you up for a hard time.  You already took the tour, though, so I assume you have indicated to her that you would be o.k. with this.

 

If she really wants to go to try it out and you are o.k. with her possibly wanting to continue in the fall, then sure, let her.  

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Have you looked into what your state requires as far as ancillary services? Some states have laws that require homeschoolers to be allowed to participate in things like music and sports without requiring them to enroll at all.

 

 

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If you are seriously o.k. with her possibly continuing at that school next year then I don't think there would necessarily be an issue.  However, if you are absolutely NOT wanting her to attend school and she does fall in love you are setting both of you up for a hard time.  You already took the tour, though, so I assume you have indicated to her that you would be o.k. with this.

 

If she really wants to go to try it out and you are o.k. with her possibly wanting to continue in the fall, then sure, let her.  

I really am not ready to be done homeschooling her, and she knows this, so we've made it pretty clear that this is a 9-week activity, just like any other class or extracurricular she has signed up for that only lasts for X weeks and then is done. She did say that if she really likes it that she will be inspired to work hard to complete her homeschooling math and writing curricula by spring break again next year, and then once again go just for the final quarter. 

 

Have you looked into what your state requires as far as ancillary services? Some states have laws that require homeschoolers to be allowed to participate in things like music and sports without requiring them to enroll at all.

 

 

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In our state it is up to the discretion of the superintendent of each individual school district, and our district absolutely will NOT allow homeschoolers to participate in any sports, activities, or even taking just one or two classes. You're either enrolled full time or not at all, no in between. 

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I really am not ready to be done homeschooling her, and she knows this, so we've made it pretty clear that this is a 9-week activity, just like any other class or extracurricular she has signed up for that only lasts for X weeks and then is done. She did say that if she really likes it that she will be inspired to work hard to complete her homeschooling math and writing curricula by spring break again next year, and then once again go just for the final quarter. 

 

 

In our state it is up to the discretion of the superintendent of each individual school district, and our district absolutely will NOT allow homeschoolers to participate in any sports, activities, or even taking just one or two classes. You're either enrolled full time or not at all, no in between. 

I would not at all count on the school being o.k. with her joining in classes as a student just for the last 9 weeks of school each year.  Have you actually asked them if that would be o.k.?  I really doubt they would approve.  This is actually NOT just a 9 week activity.  It is a school and a teacher that has been teaching these students for several months, including lesson plans that build on each other, plus group dynamics and a whole host of things that go into making a classroom functional.  Classrooms are not set up for students to just randomly show up just for a few weeks when they feel like it.

 

In other words, your child will be coming in for the last grading period of a year of school, not for a 9 week summer camp.  Do you know what materials they are using and where your child would place?   Frankly, I am a little concerned now.  Please do not treat this as something like a 9 week activity or summer camp that she can just sign up for each year.  I doubt the teacher or the school will appreciate that viewpoint.

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ITA with a previous poster. I wouldn’t send her unless you are okay with her wanting to continue next year. School isn’t an extra curricular class or activity to jump in and out of when you feel like it.

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It is also not fair to the school to consider sending her for the last 9 weeks of the year every year. Their funding is often based on enrollment in Sept and Jan so they would not receive any funding for her to attend.

 

For this year if you were considering keeping her in school that would be OK as they do have students move in and out through the year but to repeatedly do that takes advantage of them and uses them as a free 9 week camp for which she would be uses resources, etc but they would not get funding for.

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I wouldn't do it.  It's treating the school as a babysitter, convenient for you and a burden for them.

 

DS8 is finishing up his work for the year.  We'll be doing a unit study for the last few weeks from Moving Beyond The Page to round the year out.  If we wanted there are also after-school activities run through the rec department that go by the school calendar, but I think we'll take the time to breathe after so many activities this year.

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It would be a social nightmare unless she already has friends there.  My district has students who do something similar, attend when the parent is working in the area, then go back to the home country for the winter, where there is no schooling.  Tough to break in to established friendships, tough to slip right in  where the class is since so much instruction has been missed.  I would instead begin private lessons on another instrument and look for other places to play piano -- perhaps nursing home or library, then move her in to private ensembles such as youth orchestra.  If she's looking for social, 4H, scouting and so forth is a better way to fill the need.

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Two more potential downsides:

 

1. It can be hard to be the new girl at the end of the year in fourth grade.

 

2. She is going to be spending most of her beautiful spring days cooped up in a classroom, so she is relinquishing part of the joy of homeschool-- spring field trips, picnics, outdoor time, nature hikes.

 

One's freedom and one's time-- those moments one spends alive on this planet-- aren't really the kinds of thing you can show off on a tour, though. Nor the opportunity to build your relationship with a parent and bond with a parent when academic expectations are off your shoulders. What if you were to do the thought experiment where she imagines her perfect day (inspired by Rethinking School)? What if you were to offer to teach her any electives she wants this spring?

 

It costs more, but this is what I consider summer camp to be for-- not school. Does she know what she'd be giving up?

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Not to pile on, but a different angle: It's probably impossible for a kid to see a period of school enrollment as just another outside activity like summer camp.

 

Homeschooled kids are hyper aware of their alternative school status. Whether good, bad, or neutral, a school attempt of nine weeks will be pretty influential, not just about whether she likes it but about whether she still wants to be alternative. Nine weeks can be an epoch in the life of a child, doing something new and intense with peers - all the pressure and drama of school included.

 

Also, the summer camps and classes have a true end date. Even hsers know that school goes on forever, until you graduate. For a one semester bowling class, none of the kids are still there bowling after she stops going. The summer camp doesn't exist the following week. But school will resume in the fall without her, and you will be dealing with at least one of the following:

 

1. Scars from negative experiences (possibly including blame toward you),

2. Resentment that you took her away from her friends and teachers, if she loves it,

3. Ambivalence about going back, which will not be fun to try to sort.

 

Obviously, I wouldn't do it. If you thought school was what your child needed and you were making a decision to change her educational environment for the long haul, then you would set her up for success - putting her in at the start of the year, not the end, for example. And you would set up the whole family to deal with the changes. But if homeschool is the plan, just do that.

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My gut says that it’s a little inconsiderate of the teacher and the school. It’s not meant to be camp or babysitting.

 

 

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IF you are seriously considering enrolling her for next year, then I think it would be okay.  But I don't think you should treat it as a camp or recreational activity because that's not fair to anyone, and I don't think you should think of that as an option for next spring if you decide you still want to homeschool.  The schools aren't likely receiving funding for a student who enters at this point in the year, and while I think using 9 weeks' worth of funding isn't a horrible thing if you're strongly considering sending her there next school year and need a low stakes way to get a feel for what it would really be like, I think it's really rude to do it if you are absolutely certain you're not going to send her next year.  If all the homeschoolers in your district did that, it would seriously detract from the resources available for the public schoolers.

 

In addition, check about the testing schedule.  My local district does testing every day (I really hope it's just part of the day) for like two weeks in April!  That would be a terrible time for my kids to try out school.  Plus, there may be field trips, fun days, field days, etc. as the year winds down, which isn't necessarily a fair representation of what an average day in October or February is like.

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If you plan on letting her attend next year as well, then I don't see an issue. I do feel that enrolling with the intention to *only* do the last 9 weeks if kind of unfair to the school and the teachers, as previous posters have mentioned. Are there any alternatives locally that she could do instead (such as a drop of homeschool program a day or two a week, etc etc)? Also, I'm not sure the school would find it ideal to only enroll the last 9 weeks of every year if she chose to do it again next year, to me, that would send up some odd red flags. 

 

IMO, if you do plan on homeschooling her next year, I wouldn't personally enroll her for the last 9 weeks. If you're open to the idea of continuing with the school next year, then that is a completely different situation.  If you feel the school isn't strong academically speaking, it might not be a good idea to enroll in those last weeks as well, it definitely could change the dynamics if you chose to continue homeschooling her next year. Just a few thoughts. Good luck with whatever you decide!

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I have less of a problem with the funding issue, hey homeschoolers pay tax dollars for the school as well.  I would concern me that it would be much more of a fight with your dd to homeschool next year and you may have attitudes develop that you don't like.  I wouldn't do it.

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I have less of a problem with the funding issue, hey homeschoolers pay tax dollars for the school as well.  I would concern me that it would be much more of a fight with your dd to homeschool next year and you may have attitudes develop that you don't like.  I wouldn't do it.

 

Yes, homeschoolers pay, but their local school doesn't get money for them since they aren't enrolled.  If the OP were concerned about the funding issue, she would enroll her child for the *first* nine weeks of school.  That way the school would get funding for her child for the whole year.  At least it would in our state.

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I see the risk here as too great that something awful will come out of it. And I don't see the chance of much of a reward to make it worth the risk.

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I did. But, it wasn't intentional. I enrolled dd8 in second grade in January. The idea was to stick out the second semester and then re-evaluate for third. I'm going to the school to withdraw tomorrow. Didn't even get the report card because she was out that day. I waited to make sure and to let her finish her library books. It was a plethora of reasons. But, I don't know if I'd enroll for one term on purpose. By the time she gets settled in and they work out the kinks you'll be done.

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Given the new info from OPs replies, I’d definitely no especially if it’s going to be something that happens more than one year. Not only because of the difficulty with the child getting attached or dealing with being dropped into the classroom late in the year, but the superintendent sounds like he already has a bad view of homeschoolers and this would probably make it worse.

 

 

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Well, I'll buck the group. If you want to do it, go ahead. They're required to let her in. Kids come in and out of public school classes all the time. It won't destroy them, especially not if she's a nice kid.

 

I don't think I'd personally do it, but I don't think it's as bad as others are making out.

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Thanks for all of your input. Some of you have given me issues to consider that hadn't occurred to me. (We were out of town for a few days after my original post.) 

The one thing that gives me some pause is the issue of school funding and knowing that it is past the time of year for which they school would get any reimbursement for an extra student. That is definitely something to think about. 

That is really the only real concern I would have in our situation. Otherwise I'm not worried about any social or academic adjustments that my daughter would have to make, nor am I worried about her causing any extra work for a teacher. She's the kind of kid who fits pretty seamlessly into various situations and thrives in a classroom setting requiring no extra intervention, help or attention. She has taken homeschool classes for several years, and going to school would mean missing them for the rest of the year which is really her only hesitation.

She is near the top of the waiting list for a different public school for next year, and there is a chance she will go there if a spot becomes available (maybe a 50/50 chance at this point) so this would also give us a chance to see what she thinks of a traditional school schedule. I feel a little in limbo now because if she stays home next year I'd like to enroll her in 1-2 WTMA classes, but I haven't signed her up yet because I first want to see if she even likes going to school for a full day before we decide whether to hold out for the charter school or just go ahead with WTMA.

We'll have to make a decision by the end of the week because if she starts it would be next Monday. 

Edited by Wabi Sabi
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I don't see a problem with this. At all. Frankly, the arguments about funding, and "it wouldn't be fair", etc., are way off base.

 

You pay school taxes, yes? Your district elects to allow no part-time enrollment for any purpose, no extracurricular activities, nothing.

 

But you're still paying those taxes (I know, we all pay, even if we don't have kids, etc.).

 

Why SHOULDN'T your child be allowed to experience the public school environment if you're OK with the potential downsides?

 

Frankly, I would totally do this but for a few key issues that would stop me (namely, that our district has a lot of behavior management issues and my kids don't need any exposure to that, lol).

 

I think my kids would benefit from experiencing a classroom environment, complete with homework, long ridiculous projects, etc.

 

At least they'd be able to take music lessons and art class.

 

Again, I don't see anything at all wrong with this. You're not using them as a babysitter, you're broadening your child's experiences.

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Re: funding...

 

Again, your family has paid school taxes for however long you've lived there and your child has never benefitted from them. Mostly because your district has chosen to be close-minded to homeschoolers.

 

I feel no sadness for them.

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Well, I'll buck the group. If you want to do it, go ahead. They're required to let her in. Kids come in and out of public school classes all the time. It won't destroy them, especially not if she's a nice kid.

 

I don't think I'd personally do it, but I don't think it's as bad as others are making out.

I agree.

 

Also, school funding here covers kids who enroll late. I wouldn’t assume that the school isn’t able to be compensated for her participation.

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Going by all that you posted, I would think of it as free summer camp (in the spring) and send her.

 

My three girls are signed up for one week of summer camp, and it was definitely NOT free. They would go for all five weeks of camp, if they could. School is the hard work, camp is for fun.

 

It sounds like she will have fun. She's done the hard work of academics, she's practiced her instrument, she's been an angel, right? Now she's curious and ready for an adventure. So reward the angel.   :Angel_anim:

 

I would take a deep breath and tell myself over and over, "It's just like camp, it's just like camp, it's just like camp." They go, they come home, life goes on. 

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Wow. After I posted, I went to the top and read the replies. :huh: FWIW, I don't see this as "inconsiderate" to the school, not at all. The school is there for the children in the community, and your child is one of those children. Since the superintendent makes participation an "all or nothing" decision, you can spend seven to eight months of the year on homeschooling, two months on school enrollment, and two or three months on summer break. I really do not see a problem with this.  :confused1:

 

Farrar is right -- children come in and out of public schools all the time. Teachers make adjustments all year long, as students flow in and out of the classroom. A decent teacher should have no trouble at all folding in one well-motivated 4th grade student for nine weeks! Sheesh!

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I've been so on the fence about this (and dd keeps going back and forth as well), but  think we've decided to go for it. I'm going to drop off her registration papers tomorrow and she'll start on Monday. 

Years ago when I was having a hard time making a decision with whether or not to send her to preschool/kindergarten a homeschooling friend gave me some advice that really resonated, and thanks to her advice we decided to keep her home. I had taken my older son out of a private school we really couldn't afford in order to homeschool him, but I thought that I owed dd the chance to go there for a few years too to keep it fair. At the time my friend suggested that I shouldn't consider that I was depriving her of an opportunity if I didn't send her to Montessori, and instead reframe it as opening up new opportunities for her.

That same friend, listening to me debate what to do these past few weeks, gave me some advice again that seems wise. We have talked about doing this year after year, but have never once taken the plunge. My friend suggested that maybe we just should do it this time so that we can get it out of our system, otherwise she suspects that we'll continue to have this debate year after year. Neither dd or I are really ready to be done homeschooling, but the curiosity about school has always been there plus I work full time and started a new job this year that has made homeschooling trickier for us. It would be nice to finally put the issue to rest, to give her a chance to experience it for herself, hopefully get this restlessness out of our systems, and know that whatever we decide to do for next year will at least be an informed decision. 

Edited by Wabi Sabi
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Said gently:

 

One day on the bus may put it to rest. Most kids I know loathe the bus.

 

I think maybe you have an unrealistic view of school. It is not all recorders and talent shows. However, if testing is over, some schools only do movie days, etc. and not a lot of real teaching.

 

But I hope everything turns out the best for you in the end. Maybe you do need to just get it out of your system as your friend says.

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I did this with my dd in 2nd grade because she really wanted to go to school, so we tried it out the last month or so. Dd has stayed in school since.

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Said gently:

 

One day on the bus may put it to rest. Most kids I know loathe the bus.

 

I think maybe you have an unrealistic view of school. It is not all recorders and talent shows. However, if testing is over, some schools only do movie days, etc. and not a lot of real teaching.

 

But I hope everything turns out the best for you in the end. Maybe you do need to just get it out of your system as your friend says.

 

That's funny because my kids LOVE the bus. In fact, they pretty much throw a fit whenever I say I'm going to pick them up. 4 kids-they all love the bus!

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I've been so on the fence about this (and dd keeps going back and forth as well), but  think we've decided to go for it. I'm going to drop off her registration papers tomorrow and she'll start on Monday. 

 

Years ago when I was having a hard time making a decision with whether or not to send her to preschool/kindergarten a homeschooling friend gave me some advice that really resonated, and thanks to her advice we decided to keep her home. I had taken my older son out of a private school we really couldn't afford in order to homeschool him, but I thought that I owed dd the chance to go there for a few years too to keep it fair. At the time my friend suggested that I shouldn't consider that I was depriving her of an opportunity if I didn't send her to Montessori, and instead reframe it as opening up new opportunities for her.

 

That same friend, listening to me debate what to do these past few weeks, gave me some advice again that seems wise. We have talked about doing this year after year, but have never once taken the plunge. My friend suggested that maybe we just should do it this time so that we can get it out of our system, otherwise she suspects that we'll continue to have this debate year after year. Neither dd or I are really ready to be done homeschooling, but the curiosity about school has always been there plus I work full time and started a new job this year that has made homeschooling trickier for us. It would be nice to finally put the issue to rest, to give her a chance to experience it for herself, hopefully get this restlessness out of our systems, and know that whatever we decide to do for next year will at least be an informed decision. 

 

I think this is wise thinking. Sometimes we can mull things over and over and over and over in our heads...and make ourselves crazy. You're right in that this will give her a chance to try it and then you will both *know*. However, realize that you are also opening a can of worms. How will you feel if she absolutely LOVES it? You said you weren't ready to be done homeschooling, but once you see a child go to school and fall in love with it, it's very hard to get that same child to embrace homeschooling again. Ask me how I know...We put the kids in school this year. A few of them act like they get to go to Disneyworld every day. My oldest so gets excited about *everything*...he even said one Sunday night that he was so excited for school tomorrow. I asked him why, and said it was because he got to take the spelling pre-test! I know not every child is this way, but if she is an extrovert (as my son is), then she very well may just fall in love with it. For my oldest, there is no going back. But I've realized that I have to be okay with that because it's not about what I want with him, it's about what he wants and what makes him thrive. And for him, that's school. 

Edited by Meadowlark
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I think this is wise thinking. Sometimes we can mull things over and over and over and over in our heads...and make ourselves crazy. You're right in that this will give her a chance to try it and then you will both *know*. However, realize that you are also opening a can of worms. How will you feel if she absolutely LOVES it? You said you weren't ready to be done homeschooling, but once you see a child go to school and fall in love with it, it's very hard to get that same child to embrace homeschooling again. Ask me how I know...We put the kids in school this year. A few of them act like they get to go to Disneyworld every day. My oldest so gets excited about *everything*...he even said one Sunday night that he was so excited for school tomorrow. I asked him why, and said it was because he got to take the spelling pre-test! I know not every child is this way, but if she is an extrovert (as my son is), then she very well may just fall in love with it. For my oldest, there is no going back. But I've realized that I have to be okay with that because it's not about what I want with him, it's about what he wants and what makes him thrive. And for him, that's school. 

 

This is SO my kids.  My kids think of the public school as some kind of CandyLand where their friends frolic and play all day every day.  

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Well, it's a done deal- we enrolled her today, she got to meet her teacher and will start on Monday which just happens to be an all day field trip, so she's super excited and cannot wait for the weekend to be over! 
 

Said gently:

 

One day on the bus may put it to rest. Most kids I know loathe the bus.

 

I think maybe you have an unrealistic view of school. It is not all recorders and talent shows. However, if testing is over, some schools only do movie days, etc. and not a lot of real teaching.

 

But I hope everything turns out the best for you in the end. Maybe you do need to just get it out of your system as your friend says.

 

Ironically, the bus ride is one of the things she is most excited about experiencing. I'll have to pick her up in the afternoons to get to her extracurricular activities on time, but she's looking forward to riding the bus in the mornings. In addition to the talent show and recorders, the fourth graders have THREE (!!) field trips scheduled in the next two weeks plus an upcoming spring field day.  We know it's not going to be all fun and games, but I do think I have a fairly realistic idea about what to expect considering that my oldest also attends public school, albeit not the same school that dd will attend (even as a sibling she is still on the waitlist for his school.)
 

I think this is wise thinking. Sometimes we can mull things over and over and over and over in our heads...and make ourselves crazy. You're right in that this will give her a chance to try it and then you will both *know*. However, realize that you are also opening a can of worms. How will you feel if she absolutely LOVES it? You said you weren't ready to be done homeschooling, but once you see a child go to school and fall in love with it, it's very hard to get that same child to embrace homeschooling again. Ask me how I know...We put the kids in school this year. A few of them act like they get to go to Disneyworld every day. My oldest so gets excited about *everything*...he even said one Sunday night that he was so excited for school tomorrow. I asked him why, and said it was because he got to take the spelling pre-test! I know not every child is this way, but if she is an extrovert (as my son is), then she very well may just fall in love with it. For my oldest, there is no going back. But I've realized that I have to be okay with that because it's not about what I want with him, it's about what he wants and what makes him thrive. And for him, that's school. 

 

Oh, yes, that is my daughter totally! She is a real extrovert and a people person who is excited about EVERYTHING! I can see her having the same reaction to a spelling test, lol. I don't *want* to be done homeschooling, but if the school is able to academically meet her needs, she's happy, and wants to stay I would ultimately have to swallow my own feelings and do whatever we felt was best for her, not what is best for me. And while I say now that I want to continue homeschooling, the fact of the matter is that as a mother who works full time and homeschools, there's a part of me that wonders if I might not end up feeling some relief too, so I'm willing to at least keep an open mind and just see what happens. 

Edited by Wabi Sabi
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I taught school before having children. A new student would have barely been a blip on my radar unless he/she was difficult in class.

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Well, I'll buck the group. If you want to do it, go ahead. They're required to let her in. Kids come in and out of public school classes all the time. It won't destroy them, especially not if she's a nice kid.

 

I don't think I'd personally do it, but I don't think it's as bad as others are making out.

Farrar you are always the leveled voice of reason ;)

 

I agree. I doubt it will make or brake her in the grand scheme of things. Is it ideal? No. Is it something I would do? Probably not. Yet if she is comfortable in new groups of kids, doesn't set her identity in what others think and can pick up well where the class is currently at then I am sure she will be ok.

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Update: 

Dd started school last week and is nearing the end of her second week now. 

She was super excited the first several days, but we hit a slump on days #5 and #6 in which she really didn't want to go (she was tired, not used to the schedule), but we pushed through those days and now she's getting up every morning excited for school. Her class has already been on two field trips with a third tomorrow and a fourth in a couple of weeks! 

In addition to the field trips she's been excited to experience a book fair, and even though I thought state testing was over for the year it turns out that there is a second round of testing in two weeks. They've been doing practice tests, and she's actually eager to take her first standardized test. She's quite confident that she'll do very well and can't wait to see her scores to confirm that she's as smart as she is convinced that she is, lol. 

Academically the work is all very easy, and the teacher (a very kind, experienced woman) says she is doing great. She's been accepted easily by her classmates (she's a people person, I tell ya) and has a big group of new friends already. (She came home the other day laughing that some of the other girls in her class told her something that could be taken as a compliment and an insult at the same time, lol: "Hey, you know what, we would have never guessed you were homeschooled! You're pretty cool!")  She has started playing recorder, signed up for the school talent show, loves the class parakeet, just started raising meal worms for science class this week, and they are doing something with guppies and sow bugs next week. She loves PE and music, and was surprised that art class was not very fun (she claims the teacher is quite "mean," and feedback from a couple of friends with kids who attended this school confirms this to be true.) She also loves riding the bus, and of course recess is the highlight of her day! 

All that said, while she's keen on finishing the year, she's also quite certain that she still wants to be homeschooled after this experience. The work is too easy for her and she is annoyed that "it takes all day to do what I could do in two hours on my own at home!" She is also quite tired at the end of each day, and laments that she doesn't have much time for her own interests, hobbies and recreational activities, and she gets frustrated by some of the other students' misbehavior. Lunch stresses her out a little (she doesn't like eating in front of a large group) but she's handling it ok. 

Overall I'm glad (so far) that we've done this, and regardless of what we end up doing next year, this has been a good way for her to experience what "normal" school is like, a low-pressure introduction to standardized testing, and it's been good for her to push a little outside of her comfort zone and meet kids from a different walk of life. So far it's a success!

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41 minutes ago, Wabi Sabi said:

Update: 

Dd started school last week and is nearing the end of her second week now. 

She was super excited the first several days, but we hit a slump on days #5 and #6 in which she really didn't want to go (she was tired, not used to the schedule), but we pushed through those days and now she's getting up every morning excited for school. Her class has already been on two field trips with a third tomorrow and a fourth in a couple of weeks! 

In addition to the field trips she's been excited to experience a book fair, and even though I thought state testing was over for the year it turns out that there is a second round of testing in two weeks. They've been doing practice tests, and she's actually eager to take her first standardized test. She's quite confident that she'll do very well and can't wait to see her scores to confirm that she's as smart as she is convinced that she is, lol. 

Academically the work is all very easy, and the teacher (a very kind, experienced woman) says she is doing great. She's been accepted easily by her classmates (she's a people person, I tell ya) and has a big group of new friends already. (She came home the other day laughing that some of the other girls in her class told her something that could be taken as a compliment and an insult at the same time, lol: "Hey, you know what, we would have never guessed you were homeschooled! You're pretty cool!")  She has started playing recorder, signed up for the school talent show, loves the class parakeet, just started raising meal worms for science class this week, and they are doing something with guppies and sow bugs next week. She loves PE and music, and was surprised that art class was not very fun (she claims the teacher is quite "mean," and feedback from a couple of friends with kids who attended this school confirms this to be true.) She also loves riding the bus, and of course recess is the highlight of her day! 

All that said, while she's keen on finishing the year, she's also quite certain that she still wants to be homeschooled after this experience. The work is too easy for her and she is annoyed that "it takes all day to do what I could do in two hours on my own at home!" She is also quite tired at the end of each day, and laments that she doesn't have much time for her own interests, hobbies and recreational activities, and she gets frustrated by some of the other students' misbehavior. Lunch stresses her out a little (she doesn't like eating in front of a large group) but she's handling it ok. 

Overall I'm glad (so far) that we've done this, and regardless of what we end up doing next year, this has been a good way for her to experience what "normal" school is like, a low-pressure introduction to standardized testing, and it's been good for her to push a little outside of her comfort zone and meet kids from a different walk of life. So far it's a success!

 

 

!! 4 Field trips in two weeks. That's -- a lot.

Our elementary schools do 2 field trips a year in the younger years (1 in the older years). And usually one in the fall, one in the Spring.

 

And yes, testing is not over. In fact here (in Texas) it is just beginning. 4th and 5th does some STAAR testing next week and more in May.

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2 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

 

!! 4 Field trips in two weeks. That's -- a lot.

Our elementary schools do 2 field trips a year in the younger years (1 in the older years). And usually one in the fall, one in the Spring.

 

And yes, testing is not over. In fact here (in Texas) it is just beginning. 4th and 5th does some STAAR testing next week and more in May.


I get the impression that this is highly unprecedented even for her school, but we're not complaining! So far they've been to science center for hands-on STEM activities, they went to see part of an opera, and tomorrow they go to an international festival. The field trip in a couple of weeks will be to see a local community theater production of Robin Hood. 

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This is one of those cases when it feels so good to have been wrong. I'm so glad your daughter is happy and getting to enjoy a new experience!

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I have another update: 

Dd is loving school. She was readily accepted by her classmates and has made a good group of friends. She is still tired at the end of each day and laments that she doesn't have as much free time as before, but overall she has found that she really likes having a highly structured day with a predictable schedule, something that I always struggled with at home. 

Academically she's far ahead of her classmates, finding most of the work easy and not at all challenging, and I requested that she be tested for the gifted and talented program. The school system agreed to the tests but cautioned me that they only have room for 30 kids out of approximately 800 for the program and cautioned that the likelihood of getting in was very slim. Well, dd is a rockstar! In addition to completing state standardized testing (which we thought was over with already for the year, but there was a round 2 I wasn't aware of at first) over the last two weeks she was also pulled out of class for three additional days of testing for the G&T program (NWEA and the InView cognitive skills assessment). She's never taken any sort of test before, not even a spelling or math test for me at home, so this was totally new to her. We just got her results back for the G&T testing, and her scores are excellent! She officially received an invitation for the G&T program next year!

Now we have a big decision to make. I only intended for this to be a 9 week experience, but she genuinely loves her school now, and I've been pleasantly surprised as well. If we choose to enroll her in the G&T program it would mean switching schools again next year since they consolidate all of the G&T kids from across the district (roughly 15 different elementary schools) to one school located on the other side of town. She knows quite a few kids in that program already, including her best friend whom she has known since she was a newborn, but she also has made new friends at the current school who she doesn't wish to leave.  

So, back home next year? Give the G&T class a try (which I do think would be a very good fit for her, FWIW) or send her back to the home elementary school? We have lots of choices, but at this point I'm convinced that she'll thrive no matter what we end up choosing. 

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My first reaction is, "aren't they required to give an appropriate education to a student at their home school?" Magnet programs are great, but I've never heard of consolidating all the GT kids in one place like that before. How is that different from consolidating special ed students in one place?

Still, if you're keeping her in school, I'd send her to the GT program. Boredom is too likely to lead to problems otherwise.

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4 minutes ago, Ravin said:

My first reaction is, "aren't they required to give an appropriate education to a student at their home school?" Magnet programs are great, but I've never heard of consolidating all the GT kids in one place like that before. How is that different from consolidating special ed students in one place?

Still, if you're keeping her in school, I'd send her to the GT program. Boredom is too likely to lead to problems otherwise.

 

They have two GT programs in our school system. Every school has their pull out Gifted & Talented that they serve the kids that fit the program. But they also have a special program where 30 of the top kids (Chosen as a class, not just by the kids with the highest scores) are bussed to one school starting in 4th grade. They stay together as a class going farther.  This class pushes farther and faster than the kids that are pulled out for a hour/90 minutes a week.  (So they are in 5th grade this year and taking the 6th grade STAAR for math.) 

 

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5 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

They have two GT programs in our school system. Every school has their pull out Gifted & Talented that they serve the kids that fit the program. But they also have a special program where 30 of the top kids (Chosen as a class, not just by the kids with the highest scores) are bussed to one school starting in 4th grade. They stay together as a class going farther.  This class pushes farther and faster than the kids that are pulled out for a hour/90 minutes a week.  (So they are in 5th grade this year and taking the 6th grade STAAR for math.) 

 


Yes, that is similar to how it works here. If we choose to send her back to the home school next year they will pull her out once or twice a week for enrichment activities, but the G&T class is an international baccalureate curriculum, starts in 4th grade, and those kids stay together as a self contained accelerated class. 

FWIW, special ed is pretty much the same way: kids who can remain in a regular class do so and they are pulled out for extra help. Kids who have more significant delays or behavioral needs are sent to a different school with a self contained special ed classroom. I think there are 3 or 4 schools with the more comprehensive special ed programs throughout the district, the school with the G&T program being one of them. 

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Dh was in a similar program and LOVED it. I would keep her in school, tbh. You always have the option to bring her home if it doesn’t work out, but she’s telling you she likes the structure and social aspects, and it looks like the academics might become a good match too.

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5 hours ago, Ravin said:

My first reaction is, "aren't they required to give an appropriate education to a student at their home school?" Magnet programs are great, but I've never heard of consolidating all the GT kids in one place like that before. How is that different from consolidating special ed students in one place?

Still, if you're keeping her in school, I'd send her to the GT program. Boredom is too likely to lead to problems otherwise.

 

Yes, I was surprised at how they handle it in my public district as well.  Instead of having pull-out TAG programs at each elementary and middle school, they have the students take a test and apply to a separate magnet school beginning in 3rd grade.  Students stay enrolled at the school through middle school and then can switch back to the regular high school.  It's nice for them, because then you are in a school only with the students who take academics seriously.  

 

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So your daughter was thriving at home and homeschooling her produced a bright and talented girl who is self motivated to learn and has lots of outside interests and hobbies. She is bored and unchallenged at regular elementary school but is enjoying the novelty of it and the social aspects of school as well as the "star student" treatment because of her giftedness. But how has her curiosity about the world and her academic progress been these last 9 weeks? How much time and energy has she had to pursue her own projects? That's what I'd be looking at.

As a parent whose kids were in public school for 8 years (oldest in the gifted program, such as it was) I would take this positive experience as a gift and leave before it becomes negative. Seriously. I know there are some worthwhile G&T programs out there, but as kids gets older the programs become less fun and more of a grind and they don't learn nearly as much from structured academic activities chosen by a teacher as they do from activities they choose themselves and have an invested interest in. And the older they get the more homework they get and the more you're expected to cede authority over your kid to the school. I'm glad you and she have had a good experience so far and that's great, but if you're pleased with your daughter's development up to this point, I'd be looking at what types of experiences and education have led her to be so obviously successful and above her peers that they offer her a spot in this program after just a couple of weeks. It sounds like that's a result of what she's done with *you*, not a result of her experience at school.

Just my 2 cents, ymmv.

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I would try the GT program, one can always opt out.

IB Primary is for learning how to take charge of one's education, and if that is your dd's goal, thats good.  It would not have worked for my dc unless there were options at their instructional level in math and science. 

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On 3/16/2018 at 6:38 PM, Wabi Sabi said:

I really am not ready to be done homeschooling her, and she knows this, so we've made it pretty clear that this is a 9-week activity, just like any other class or extracurricular she has signed up for that only lasts for X weeks and then is done.

I was just rereading the first part of the thread to remind myself of your goals with this experiment. It sounds like you are very flattered by her "rock star" status and possibly other aspects of this experiment you haven't mentioned.

Some gave you a heads up that you or she would want to keep this situation going. I'd definitely reread your own posts in this thread and make sure you were making a decision from a non-emotional spot because the stars in your eyes might be blocking your view.

Nothing wrong with sending your kid to the G&T school or keeping her local. Just want you to remember what your original goals were.  

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