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Bluegoat

Return dc to homeschool? Need to clarify thoughts

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Has anyone returned a kid that wanted to do public school o homeschooling?  This is a 13 year old.

I'm kind of weighing this in my mind.  Dd went to ps in grade 6, mainly because she wanted to.  This year she moved up to the jr high for grade 7.

Aside from her preference, what the school offered academically is French immersion.  That element has been good, and dd has done well with it.

The other academics have been on the poor side.  Dd is a good math student and the program seem ok, but their social studies and English program are the pits.  

She has really enjoyed some subjects like shop and sewing, and last year she was involved a lot in different leadership activities.  Not so much this year, I think because she is in the youngest grade in the school.  That might pick up.

I think two things are what is kind of pushing me toward being actively unhappy.  One is the narrowness of the exposure they are getting to ideas, culture, etc.  There is zero attempt to teach real critical appraisal skills or look at foundations.  It almost feels a bit exploitative though not with any bad intent.  The other thing is that I'm just not crazy about the group of kids she is hanging out with.  They are nice enough kids, it's the culture of the group - completely absorbed with boys, really kind of mindless.  I don't much like the way they emphasize clothes and such either, though I have no issues with fashion.  But the endless photos with heavy filtering, drama about boys, concern about popularity, it's really over the top.  Dd has had some bad days around body issues that seem to me to be very related to this.  

OTOH - maybe this social stuff is just inevitable?  I'd hate to lose out on the French opportunity but I worry about her ability to work.  Afterschooling is touchy, she reasonably wants time to herself once she's done with school and other activities she is committed too.  The school is not at all encouraging real reading, and my opinion she seems to think is just old school, on all these issues.

I also think it would be difficult to teach a 13/14 year old who wasn't buying into it.  

 

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She sounds bored. Do you have another school option? You could probably just send her to France for a school year and be better off on the french thing. 

 

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The social stuff sounds typical for the age.  I've seen a similar social environment in our homeschool group, so it's not limited to public school.

Is your dd goal-oriented?  If she is, does she have long-term goals?  Have you discussed with her the strengths and weaknesses you see at her school and asked if she believes her long-term goals will be met well by the academics?  Even if she still wants to stay at school, if she sees that the weaknesses there won't further her goals, maybe she'd be more open to your afterschooling suggestions.  

 

 

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Unfortunately I don't think there are other school options, not unless I could maybe get her a scholarship.  I do think she is bored, or maybe I'd say not challenged. 

She's really not much of a goal oriented person. She does have extracurriculars she is keen on, piano, violin, choir, and she loves to sail.  The more social elements of those are really important to her, but left to her own devices she will really neglect practice and such.  Most of the kids she is hanging out with aren't involved in much, so they don't really get her interest.  That things might be pretty similar at home is something making me hesitate, but I am thinking she almost needs more time away from her school crowd, is part of the issue.  So maybe more separation is really what I need to achieve.

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52 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

I also think it would be difficult to teach a 13/14 year old who wasn't buying into it.  

This is the crux of the issue.  Whatever you do, she needs to feel it was her decision.  

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33 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

She's really not much of a goal oriented person. She does have extracurriculars she is keen on, piano, violin, choir, and she loves to sail.  The more social elements of those are really important to her, but left to her own devices she will really neglect practice and such.  Most of the kids she is hanging out with aren't involved in much, so they don't really get her interest.

Are any of those extracurricular activities school-sponsored? During my time in PS (which wasn't super long ago), I found that the crowd I spent the most time with was the orchestra, because we always had the same lunch period and similar academic schedules (orchestra practice took place during the school day). If the kids she hangs out with don't really understand her, getting her connected with kids in the school who do understand her would be a natural means of "fading out" those friendships. I think you're right that she's unlikely to "come quietly" back to homeschool if she loves the social aspect of PS so much.

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46 minutes ago, egao_gakari said:

Are any of those extracurricular activities school-sponsored? During my time in PS (which wasn't super long ago), I found that the crowd I spent the most time with was the orchestra, because we always had the same lunch period and similar academic schedules (orchestra practice took place during the school day). If the kids she hangs out with don't really understand her, getting her connected with kids in the school who do understand her would be a natural means of "fading out" those friendships. I think you're right that she's unlikely to "come quietly" back to homeschool if she loves the social aspect of PS so much.

 

She's not been very involved with things at the school.  Violin is school sponsored but a different place, and while she is friendly with some of those kids, she hasn't really connected with any.  In fact she's in the same boat in her class, she is friendly with the other kids, the ones she is spending time with are in the English program.  I've noticed that she seems to be gravitating to the kids with less going on.  I feel a bit like a jerk that it worries me, but I've never really seen her before as being so led by the other kids.

She did say she thought she would join the school choir and yearbook next year.  And maybe I need to do something about some other activities where she could meet kids.  I'm just so put out that the school isn't offering a bit more in terms of academic content.

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I don't have a daughter, so take this with a grain of salt. I'm a nearly 40 y.o. who still spends a good part of my day on fashion, in social media and tracking trends online. Maybe she is a future fashion blogger? They make bank! I don't know, the social considerations become much more important to our family at this age, so while I wouldn't want her to be underchallenged, the social aspect is important (to my boys as well).

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3 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

Has anyone returned a kid that wanted to do public school o homeschooling?  This is a 13 year old.

I'm kind of weighing this in my mind.  Dd went to ps in grade 6, mainly because she wanted to.  This year she moved up to the jr high for grade 7.

Aside from her preference, what the school offered academically is French immersion.  That element has been good, and dd has done well with it.

The other academics have been on the poor side.  Dd is a good math student and the program seem ok, but their social studies and English program are the pits.  

She has really enjoyed some subjects like shop and sewing, and last year she was involved a lot in different leadership activities.  Not so much this year, I think because she is in the youngest grade in the school.  That might pick up.

I think two things are what is kind of pushing me toward being actively unhappy.  One is the narrowness of the exposure they are getting to ideas, culture, etc.  There is zero attempt to teach real critical appraisal skills or look at foundations.  It almost feels a bit exploitative though not with any bad intent.  The other thing is that I'm just not crazy about the group of kids she is hanging out with.  They are nice enough kids, it's the culture of the group - completely absorbed with boys, really kind of mindless.  I don't much like the way they emphasize clothes and such either, though I have no issues with fashion.  But the endless photos with heavy filtering, drama about boys, concern about popularity, it's really over the top.  Dd has had some bad days around body issues that seem to me to be very related to this.  

OTOH - maybe this social stuff is just inevitable?  I'd hate to lose out on the French opportunity but I worry about her ability to work.  Afterschooling is touchy, she reasonably wants time to herself once she's done with school and other activities she is committed too.  The school is not at all encouraging real reading, and my opinion she seems to think is just old school, on all these issues.

I also think it would be difficult to teach a 13/14 year old who wasn't buying into it.  

 


I don't think the social stuff is inevitable.  I'm not a fan of taking away without giving them something of value.  So, what's the homeschooling social outlook like?

I'm almost always going to advocate for pro-homeschooling.  I've got two out of high school and two in and while I was a big homeschooling fan before this season, I'm a huge advocate for homeschooling teens.

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1 hour ago, BlsdMama said:


I don't think the social stuff is inevitable.  I'm not a fan of taking away without giving them something of value.  So, what's the homeschooling social outlook like?

I'm almost always going to advocate for pro-homeschooling.  I've got two out of high school and two in and while I was a big homeschooling fan before this season, I'm a huge advocate for homeschooling teens.

 

There is pretty good potential for her to do social things without school.  There are some really nice homeschooled teen activities.

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2 hours ago, FairProspects said:

I don't have a daughter, so take this with a grain of salt. I'm a nearly 40 y.o. who still spends a good part of my day on fashion, in social media and tracking trends online. Maybe she is a future fashion blogger? They make bank! I don't know, the social considerations become much more important to our family at this age, so while I wouldn't want her to be underchallenged, the social aspect is important (to my boys as well).

 

I really don't mind if she's keen on fashion, though, or even wanting to connect with friends.  

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5 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

Has anyone returned a kid that wanted to do public school o homeschooling?  This is a 13 year old.

I'm kind of weighing this in my mind.  Dd went to ps in grade 6, mainly because she wanted to.  This year she moved up to the jr high for grade 7.

Aside from her preference, what the school offered academically is French immersion.  That element has been good, and dd has done well with it.

The other academics have been on the poor side.  Dd is a good math student and the program seem ok, but their social studies and English program are the pits.  

She has really enjoyed some subjects like shop and sewing, and last year she was involved a lot in different leadership activities.  Not so much this year, I think because she is in the youngest grade in the school.  That might pick up.

I think two things are what is kind of pushing me toward being actively unhappy.  One is the narrowness of the exposure they are getting to ideas, culture, etc.  There is zero attempt to teach real critical appraisal skills or look at foundations.  It almost feels a bit exploitative though not with any bad intent.  The other thing is that I'm just not crazy about the group of kids she is hanging out with.  They are nice enough kids, it's the culture of the group - completely absorbed with boys, really kind of mindless.  I don't much like the way they emphasize clothes and such either, though I have no issues with fashion.  But the endless photos with heavy filtering, drama about boys, concern about popularity, it's really over the top.  Dd has had some bad days around body issues that seem to me to be very related to this.  

OTOH - maybe this social stuff is just inevitable?  I'd hate to lose out on the French opportunity but I worry about her ability to work.  Afterschooling is touchy, she reasonably wants time to herself once she's done with school and other activities she is committed too.  The school is not at all encouraging real reading, and my opinion she seems to think is just old school, on all these issues.

I also think it would be difficult to teach a 13/14 year old who wasn't buying into it.  

 

I also agree that the social issues are not inevitable **in terms of being the focus of friendships.** Are those social issues always going to be out there? Yes.  But, whether or not they become the focus of a group of friends is a completely different discussion.  I would not be happy about friendship groups built around such transitory/superficial precepts (popularity, unrealistic body image (photoshopping), boy crazy).

I would plan a conference with her with a prepared list of topics to discuss the pros and cons of the different options--academically and socially.  I would ask the important questions in a way that makes her truly reflect on the strength of the friendships she has.  For example, ask if she was all of a sudden unpopular at large, how many of the girls would stand by her and be her friend no matter what or are they more of the fair weather friend personalities (I ask that bc based on your description I assume the latter.)

FWIW, I wouldn't forfeit quality of education for immersion.  They can reach fluency without it or even later on.  (One professor we met with didn't even start learning Russian until 25 and is fluent.)  Everything does not need to be accomplished now. 

But, your family needs to generate its own list of values and priorities.

 

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Being interested in fashion and maybe even a little boy crazy wouldn't thrill me, but it wouldn't overly concern me.  The body issues would be a red flag though.   I understand trying to meet her social needs, but self esteem is a huge mental health issue for teens.  If her peer group is ultimately bringing her down and causing her to focus too much on externals and become overly critical of herself, I would try to bring in some new peers in some way or another.  Whether that is by her branching out into more school activities with other kids or by homeschooling and running in a different social group.  

  Middle school can be so hard on girls.   Maybe try making a pro and con list with her about both options and see how it goes.  

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Thanks - I have tried to talk to her about this at various times, with varying results - I try and remember my own thought processes at that age to put things in perspective a bit, because I know I thought a lot of things that were pretty silly.  

And I know she has the intellectual knowledge around things like body image, how women's bodies and clothing and the media are sexualized - she has a hard time though putting that together with her own experience.  Which makes sense I guess, the pressures are still there.

She says she is really not interested in homeschooling again, she'd rather after-school.  Which might be helpful in terms some of the academic stuff, honestly at this point if I could convince her she needs to read some better books I'd be happy.  Perhaps I could try a carrot stick approach on that during the summer and see how it goes, as in, if you can't show me you will do something about this we will have to go back to homeschooling.

A bit of an aside, but I remember finding summers a bit of a refuge from the school drama at that age, a time to put it in some perspective, but it seems like that is harder now as they are so immersed with social media.  Dd has pretty limited access, but it still seems to be enough to keep her into it all.

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53 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

Thanks - I have tried to talk to her about this at various times, with varying results - I try and remember my own thought processes at that age to put things in perspective a bit, because I know I thought a lot of things that were pretty silly.  

And I know she has the intellectual knowledge around things like body image, how women's bodies and clothing and the media are sexualized - she has a hard time though putting that together with her own experience.  Which makes sense I guess, the pressures are still there.

She says she is really not interested in homeschooling again, she'd rather after-school.  Which might be helpful in terms some of the academic stuff, honestly at this point if I could convince her she needs to read some better books I'd be happy.  Perhaps I could try a carrot stick approach on that during the summer and see how it goes, as in, if you can't show me you will do something about this we will have to go back to homeschooling.

A bit of an aside, but I remember finding summers a bit of a refuge from the school drama at that age, a time to put it in some perspective, but it seems like that is harder now as they are so immersed with social media.  Dd has pretty limited access, but it still seems to be enough to keep her into it all.


Here's my concern and I think it is yours as well - the priorities of her friends will always rise above the priorities of your family if she is in school and school activities for the largest part of her day and we are talking about a whole "world" essentially.  If she lives in that world than that is going to essentially set her worldview - the lens through which she sees things.  I don't know that you can compete.  You have two totally separate things here.  One is academic which can be supplemented through after-schooling. Fine.  The other thing you're weighing is that you are unhappy that her current "world" is setting her priorities and what she considers important.  That won't change through after schooling and you can't directly compete with it if it's 8-10+ hours of her day.  So it is on this second issue that you must make the choice. 

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9 hours ago, BlsdMama said:


Here's my concern and I think it is yours as well - the priorities of her friends will always rise above the priorities of your family if she is in school and school activities for the largest part of her day and we are talking about a whole "world" essentially.  If she lives in that world than that is going to essentially set her worldview - the lens through which she sees things.  I don't know that you can compete.  You have two totally separate things here.  One is academic which can be supplemented through after-schooling. Fine.  The other thing you're weighing is that you are unhappy that her current "world" is setting her priorities and what she considers important.  That won't change through after schooling and you can't directly compete with it if it's 8-10+ hours of her day.  So it is on this second issue that you must make the choice. 

 

Yes, that is exactly my concern.  And if she would agree, even in a passive sort of way, I'd bring her home.  She's very much against it though.

But I guess I am wondering if it is really so bad as all that.  I was not as social at that age, but I wasn't thinking bout the things that I became interested in later in high school or university.  

One thing for sure though is that I am going to make a point of having her spend ore time in other settings.

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Keep in mind that she'll be in high school in just a year.  Academically, things could be very different.  It's a lot easier to accelerate and take more challenging course in high school. 

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On 7/18/2018 at 7:05 AM, Bluegoat said:

 Most of the kids she is hanging out with aren't involved in much, so they don't really get her interest.  That things might be pretty similar at home is something making me hesitate, but I am thinking she almost needs more time away from her school crowd, is part of the issue.  So maybe more separation is really what I need to achieve.

I can empathize with that. My kids' friends all have sports, arts, activities and communities they care about. I'm sure middle school will come with some boy stuff, but my daughter is also challenged by friends who excel at music, theater, dance, etc. I don't think any of her friends are completely without an edifying hobby.

That said, I don't know how you can achieve your goal of enriching her friend group. Taking her out of the group will cause angst. What about asking her to join a social group like Kiwanis or something in the name of community service, to get her to know a more outward-focused, less self-conscious social set?

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19 hours ago, AnniePoo said:

Keep in mind that she'll be in high school in just a year.  Academically, things could be very different.  It's a lot easier to accelerate and take more challenging course in high school. 

 

Yes, look at what the high school has to offer. 

I would personally not homeschool an unwilling teen, the job is hard enough as it is! 

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It's two years here until high school.  It will probably give her more academic challenge anyway as it's an IB program.  

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