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dmmetler

Vent-“I don’t know where you find these opportunities”

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I have one semi-friend (same homeschool circles) who has, several times in the last few weeks, asked questions and commented “I don’t know where you find these opportunities”. 

Well, first of all, I share everything I find unless it is invitation only with anyone that I think might be interested. That includes a lot of stuff DD doesn’t do. So, she’s saying that she’s never heard of gifted programs. I’ve posted them all-usually at least once a year, on both the group pages and often on my personal page-and she’s on both. Same for local conferences, talks at local schools, good online classes, webinars, etc. When the pre-baccalaureate program DD is in opens applications, I post it every year. So does DD, on her herp advocacy pages, and on pages for her class.  If I think it might be useful, I share. I especially try to share cheap/free programs that might be useful. She’s even “liked” some of those posts. 

 

And second, you have to actually do stuff to get opportunities. Her DD is apparently showing interest in Herpetology, but suggestions like “follow professional organizations and local colleges on FB, join a professional org or two-here are the cheapest ones-and go to meetings and meet people, and see what happens” apparently isn’t enough. I really get the feeling like she thinks there is some magic I can do and “poof”, her DD will get the opportunities that mine is getting now. And I can’t do that. There was a lot of serendipity involved in many of DD’s steps-but ultimately, it happened because of things like going to local guest speaker talks, state meetings, and being willing to spend long periods of time helping on other people’s projects. I don’t know any other path to suggest. 

Edited by dmmetler
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6 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

I have one semi-friend (same homeschool circles) who has, several times in the last few weeks, asked questions and commented “I don’t know where you find these opportunities”. 

Well, first of all, I share everything I find unless it is invitation only with anyone that I think might be interested. That includes a lot of stuff DD doesn’t do. So, she’s saying that she’s never heard of gifted programs. I’ve posted them all-usually at least once a year, on both the group pages and often on my personal page-and she’s on both. Same for local conferences, talks at local schools, good online classes, webinars, etc. When the pre-baccalaureate program DD is in opens applications, I post it every year. So does DD, on her herp advocacy pages, and on pages for her class.  If I think it might be useful, I share. I especially try to share cheap/free programs that might be useful. She’s even “liked” some of those posts. 

 

And second, you have to actually do stuff to get opportunities. Her DD is apparently showing interest in Herpetology, but suggestions like “follow professional organizations and local colleges on FB, join a professional org or two-here are the cheapest ones-and go to meetings and meet people, and see what happens” apparently isn’t enough. I really get the feeling like she thinks there is some magic I can do and “poof”, her DD will get the opportunities that mine is getting now. And I can’t do that. There was a lot of serendipity involved in many of DD’s steps-but ultimately, it happened because of things like going to local guest speaker talks, state meetings, and being willing to spend long periods of time helping on other people’s projects. I don’t know any other path to suggest. 

I think too many people tend to think that opportunity just knocks on the door, when it reality it's sitting out in the woods waiting for people to find it.  

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I hear you. Not the same as your story but I’ll tag on:

My husband works with a woman who had a son graduating the same year as my second ds. My ds ultimately changed course but for awhile they planned to attend the same college. My ds had an ACT seven points higher than her ds and got an automatic MERIT award that her ds did not qualify for. 

Everytime I see this woman at a work event she makes a comment about how expensive college is and how her ds didn’t get scholarships. She said this at a company picnic: 

“You had the right idea with scholarships. It is really too expensive without scholarships. I guess I should have quit my job and stayed home so we were broke enough to get scholarships like you guys”.

Ugh. 

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Teachermom2834 I would have matter-of-factly told her that the scholarship was based on your son's ACT scores, not your income.

OP, some people just don't have connections, or time, or money, or the right combination of them, to land enough of the serendipitous opportunities, and/or also don't have the drive to go looking. That lack of drive is beyond your control even if you offer connections.

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When I was in college, 2 guy friends were saying that the females got all of the internships.  Based on when this was, it was entirely possible that we were disproportionately chosen for the spots. In an attempt to commiserate, I asked how many they had applied for...none.  All 4 of the female STEMes had applied to 5+ programs, which surely influenced the fact that all 4 of us had summer internships and they didnt...

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14 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I hear you. Not the same as your story but I’ll tag on:

My husband works with a woman who had a son graduating the same year as my second ds. My ds ultimately changed course but for awhile they planned to attend the same college. My ds had an ACT seven points higher than her ds and got an automatic MERIT award that her ds did not qualify for. 

Everytime I see this woman at a work event she makes a comment about how expensive college is and how her ds didn’t get scholarships. She said this at a company picnic: 

“You had the right idea with scholarships. It is really too expensive without scholarships. I guess I should have quit my job and stayed home so we were broke enough to get scholarships like you guys”.

Ugh. 

bless her heart.   maybe she should have quit her job and did more herding her child to make sure he was taking more academic classes, getting better grades and scored higher on standardized admissions tests.

I got sick of hearing that sort of thing with my girls too.  "oh, they're so smart".... well, I didn't encourage them to play hooky from school so they could go shopping, or skiing, etc. either!  

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some people are also completely oblivious.   you can put it in front of them, but they won't see it.   you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.  same idea.

there is the factor of you have to be out there, meeting people, and "doing".  2dd is really good at that sort of stuff, and has had some amazing opportunities just land in her lap. it is a skill, and dd claims being social was something she had to learn, but that did get her on other people's radar as well.

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It is a different spin on a welfare mindset?  My cousin (welfare baby with welfare babies) complains all the time about what we have vs what they have.  Her DH has never worked a job that requires more than 10 hours per week and he changes jobs constantly.  She has never worked a day in her life.  My DH works incredibly hard, 60+ hours a week most weeks, and he has worked at the same company for 16+ years.  I work and homeschool.  In her mind, we are just lucky and have found some sort of magic formula for success.  She will say "ya'll are so lucky".

Many homeschool moms who mean well and would never verbally agree with this mindset make similar comments.  You will not believe how many people write it off as "your kids are just super smart and mine aren't" when I know (from other conversations) that their kids barely did school most days, they never sought opportunities, and they are scratching their heads looking for opportunities in April of Senior year.  

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Even if you offer connections and opportunities most people don't have the money or want to spend the time.  If I had a dollar for every time someone in my extended in law family wanted me to come to a party instead of chauffeur to youth orchestra, scouts, varsity sports etc, I'd have no need to save anything to pay for college plus high school electives. I suspect if most extended families would sacrifice the cost of a six pack per month per person each year,  each child that wanted to go to college would be fully funded. 

The best one for me was the parents of the kid who wanted to have ds's first chair in one of his ensembles.  I knew them from scouts.   Every concert they'd tell me their kid was better.  I'd smile and nod.  Obviously the director disagreed, as well as the judges at All County and anyway none of us are professional musicians.  Senior year dad blurts out:  "well, X would be first, except he needs to practice more, but he's still the best".  X  in the end decided the way to get first chair was to claim it on stage at a concert which of course made it difficult for my kid to rise and go to his solo spot as he now had an obstacle course ....like the director really needed to have that convo the next day.  Yes, you actually have to do stuff- like practice and develop expertise -- to get opportunity even if its someone who you know that got you in the door.  The kids with solos gave up time to practice at home and with the director weekly at lunch, so they would develop their skills;  the child  who wanted first couldn't be bothered. 

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10 minutes ago, Attolia said:

It is a different spin on a welfare mindset?  My cousin (welfare baby with welfare babies) complains all the time about what we have vs what they have.  Her DH has never worked a job that requires more than 10 hours per week and he changes jobs constantly.  She has never worked a day in her life.  My DH works incredibly hard, 60+ hours a week most weeks, and he has worked at the same company for 16+ years.  I work and homeschool.  In her mind, we are just lucky and have found some sort of magic formula for success.  She will say "ya'll are so lucky".

Many homeschool moms who mean well and would never verbally agree with this mindset make similar comments.  You will not believe how many people write it off as "your kids are just super smart and mine aren't" when I know (from other conversations) that their kids barely did school most days, they never sought opportunities, and they are scratching their heads looking for opportunities in April of Senior year.  

THIS THIS THIS!!!!!

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I will commiserate with you. I have "friends" who complain non-stop about how busy they are, and their kids have so much going on, and they just can't fit everything in, blah, blah, blah......   But their kids are less involved than my kids are, my kids are taking more difficult classes and working part-time, I have less help from my spouse than they do AND yes, I do manage to fit it all in. I understand different energy levels, different commitment levels, and different needs, but I just wish they'd shut up already.  I work really hard to make this work and I don't have time to go out for coffee and watch Netflix like they do, but they complain as if there's some magic to getting it all done. Magic is spelled w-o-r-k.  Vent over.  Just wanting to say, "I hear you." 

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Same.  My dc have often  been frustrated by complaining friends (and their parents) who see their skills and think it all came easily. Stop complaining, put in the zillion hours of work needed to build your skills to an appropriate level, build relationships with people who know more, and apply/show up/ ask for the opportunities that interest you. Really, it's not that complicated. Do the work.

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I have a few friends who are genuinely grateful, a few neighbors that expect me to be free Math competition tutors when they could easily afford to pay, and a neighbor who “stalk” me and my kids because she is scared my DS14 would deprive her only child of a spot in college admissions. The competitive neighbor was so “stalkish” that I have to put on hold books under my husband’s name since she can’t remember my husband and my kids last name (I didn’t change my last name on marriage).

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nm

Edited by Attolia

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44 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

The best one for me was the parents of the kid who wanted to have ds's first chair in one of his ensembles.  I knew them from scouts.   Every concert they'd tell me their kid was better.  I'd smile and nod.  Obviously the director disagreed, as well as the judges at All County and anyway none of us are professional musicians.  Senior year dad blurts out:  "well, X would be first, except he needs to practice more, but he's still the best".  X  in the end decided the way to get first chair was to claim it on stage at a concert which of course made it difficult for my kid to rise and go to his solo spot as he now had an obstacle course ....like the director really needed to have that convo the next day.  Yes, you actually have to do stuff- like practice and develop expertise -- to get opportunity even if its someone who you know that got you in the door.  The kids with solos gave up time to practice at home and with the director weekly at lunch, so they would develop their skills;  the child  who wanted first couldn't be bothered. 

Oh man, that would drive me nuts! My daughter in high school really wanted first chair, she spent a couple of years talking about it and complaining about not getting it, and finally in junior year had the epiphany that she didn't really deserve it and became content with third.  We were so proud of her, lol.  We both played instruments in high school and knew how much practicing was required. It was pretty obvious she wasn't willing to put in the time, and we were happy when she realized that practice and getting first chair were related. She found her passion in other areas and realized that band was just a great place to have friends.  

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1 hour ago, HeighHo said:

 

X  in the end decided the way to get first chair was to claim it on stage at a concert which of course made it difficult for my kid to rise and go to his solo spot as he now had an obstacle course ....like the director really needed to have that convo the next day. 

Oh my gosh, I had that happen to me in college! Thankfully it was only during a rehearsal.  The guy not only swiped my chair by showing up late and shoving an extra chair at the end, (rather than take his regular seat), but when it was time for my solo, he just started playing it over me!  The entire orchestra, including the conductor, just *stared* at the dude.  And this was at a music college!  Like, dude! You KNOW how this works, and this is not it! Lol

Edited by MissLemon
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1 hour ago, Attolia said:

 

Many homeschool moms who mean well and would never verbally agree with this mindset make similar comments.  You will not believe how many people write it off as "your kids are just super smart and mine aren't" when I know (from other conversations) that their kids barely did school most days, they never sought opportunities, and they are scratching their heads looking for opportunities in April of Senior year.  

Oh, I've gotten this SO many times!!!! I've tested a lot of kids over the years (I only charge for the test) but the flip side is that you will listen to me for 30 minutes whilst we talk about test results. I got the, "Oh, I don't know what to do with my kids' math scores! You're so lucky. Your kids are just SMART in math!" Um, no, sweetie. If you'd quit being in church 10 hours a day, and actually DO ALL the Saxon math problems, your kids would have good scores too. Choices have consequences, and your chickens have come home to roost. "Oh, it's just not FAIR that your kids get into all these fabulous colleges!" Well, dear, you put in the work, you see the reward. You allow your kid to spend hours and hours and days and days in ONE sport, and skip schoolwork over and over, well, you see the result. And then the kid gets hurt and can no longer do the sport. Bummer. That's right--your kid is living in your basement now, playing video games. Let me know how that worked out for him. 

We're dealing with this with a Scout. He announced to me that he wants to drop out of the troop. That's too bad. Nope, I'm not going to beg you to stay. Frankly, the kid only causes work. So, now you're thinking of 4-H. Good luck with that. Guess what--there are still VOLUMINOUS requirements, but you can do the bare minimum, just like you did in Scouts. And then county fair will come, and your kid will be dead last. And again, you won't see the correlation between work and results. Welcome to the real world where not everyone gets the big purple ribbon. Again, bummer. 

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27 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

Oh my gosh, I had that happen to me in college! Thankfully it was only during a rehearsal.  The guy not only swiped my chair by showing up late and shoving an extra chair at the end, (rather than take his regular seat), but when it was time for my solo, he just started playing it over me!  The entire orchestra, including the conductor, just *stared* at the dude.  And this was at a music college!  Like, dude! You KNOW how this works, and this is not it! Lol

That happened to one of my musicians. It's REALLY embarrassing for the kid when the conductor stops, moves the kid to the BACK of the section for that stunt, and puts the actual principal back where she belongs. I watched a hs mom pull this stunt. They were clueless about orchestra, so I wanted her know that her kid (new to the ensemble) needed to come in and sit at the very back. Then, the conductor can move him up, if warranted. Nope, didn't listen, because mom knows everything. Conductor stops, moves kid back, and on they go. And kid is mortified. I also had explained that inside stand has to bring the pencil and turn the pages. When the college student has to explain this, said student was not kind. If you're going to be part of a college ensemble in high school, you better keep your head down and be humble and helpful. 

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3 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Thomas Edison 

Yup! Another version:

More people would recognize opportunity if it weren’t disguised as hard work. 

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When we were first married, I used to get very annoyed by “you’re so lucky” OR “you’re so blessed” remarks when the speaker was saying them about my house, which dh built, which took two years as he did every possible thing he could himself. He roofed, he tiled, he plumed, he electrified, he carpentered, he painted (well, I painted, too), he laid hardwood flooring... 

I mean, sure, lucky or blessed in one sense - dh has these skills, he didn’t fall off the roof and become disabled, he had excellent guidance from his parents and good advice, all those things. But he worked his butt off! He worked at his highly physical job all day and then went to work on the house until late in the night. For two years! 

So, yeah. It irked me when people would chalk that up to luck or, worse, Divinely-sprinkled goodies. I thought it dismissed his effort when people said this. 

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I hear you. I share, share, and share still more. It seems to me even fewer people are willing to put forth the effort and time to take their kids to local free stuff. The opportunities that don't cost much to participate in. That the times/dates are known and relatively minor. Etc. I don't get it. They want the advantages but they do not want to actually put in the work. For a couple of years, I even hauled some of their kids around so they could take advantage of those opportunities.  But once I couldn't due to our schedule, they no longer participated. 

 

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I feel like I don't so much see people who don't take advantage of the free/easy stuff, but rather lots of people who don't seem to understand how much of it is kid-driven here. Like, yeah, sometimes I drag my kids off to do something or other, but most of the "big" things my kids do that look cool on paper and show off their successes are things they chose, they worked hard for, and they rose through the "ranks" so to speak. A few people seem to think it happened by magic or that I somehow made it happen.

The other thing I've seen is people who aren't willing to let their kids do anything that costs money. Like, DE isn't free here and I've talked to some parents who won't do it. It's like, it's a couple hundred dollars a class (depends on which CC/area you're in) for a college credit. Why is that too much? What are you going to do when your kids get to college? Or they won't pay for online classes that aren't Outschool level underpriced cheap. Or people who are judgy about how much we spend on BalletBoy's dance. It's like, yeah, but this is his passion. He's obsessed. If we can make it work, it's worth it. And then they appreciate how far he's come and all the good it does for him, but are really dismissive about the money. I get that we *are* lucky/blessed/privileged to be able to do it, but also, things cost money.

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I have some people like that that seem to be like “how do you know about all this stuff”

i do think there’s an element of you can only do what you do - in a bigger family or different circumstances throwing everything at one kids passion can work out badly for the rest.  And there’s an element of luck to everything.  But hard work will get you further than no work every time.

the other thing that can be going on especially with homeschool types is social anxiety that makes it really hard to get the kids out there and doing stuff.  I struggle but push myself for the kids sake but it’s an ongoing battle to go talk to people and navigate clubs etc that I have no knowledge about.

and of course there’s the kids internal drive.  We spent several years running to an activity to finally have a kid just quit cold turkey (getting close to teenage and pushing does not work with this kid).

my dh gets comments like this all the time. People think he’s lucky but he works hard, talks to literally everyone, and follows up on opportunities.  Of course to some degree he’s able to that because he’s got a wife that makes sure the laundry is done and we have food.

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52 minutes ago, Quill said:

When we were first married, I used to get very annoyed by “you’re so lucky” OR “you’re so blessed” remarks when the speaker was saying them about my house, which dh built, which took two years as he did every possible thing he could himself. He roofed, he tiled, he plumed, he electrified, he carpentered, he painted (well, I painted, too), he laid hardwood flooring... 

I mean, sure, lucky or blessed in one sense - dh has these skills, he didn’t fall off the roof and become disabled, he had excellent guidance from his parents and good advice, all those things. But he worked his butt off! He worked at his highly physical job all day and then went to work on the house until late in the night. For two years! 

So, yeah. It irked me when people would chalk that up to luck or, worse, Divinely-sprinkled goodies. I thought it dismissed his effort when people said this. 

 

Preach it, girl! We acted as our own GC and it was one of the hardest things we've ever done. A woman from church always told people how long it took us to get into our house, and kind of smiled/laughed when she told it. What she didn't' know so couldn't also tell was that we took so long b/c we didn't schedule work by subs until we had the money to pay them. There was no 30 days of their waiting to get paid. If they passed the inspection, they got paid. Period. Right then. Our electrician told us how rare that was. Another sub was astonished. So, yeah, we took a little longer, but we paid our subs as soon as possible. 

We also did a ton of work ourselves. All of our work passed inspection the first time. Not so with some Class A contractors!!!!

What Dh and I still shake our heads about is that he worked more hours at his job that year than ever in his life, and he also logged hours and hours (and many late nights) at the house working on it. God math, Otherwise it just doesn't add up at all 

 

Edited by Angie in VA
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53 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I feel like I don't so much see people who don't take advantage of the free/easy stuff, but rather lots of people who don't seem to understand how much of it is kid-driven here. Like, yeah, sometimes I drag my kids off to do something or other, but most of the "big" things my kids do that look cool on paper and show off their successes are things they chose, they worked hard for, and they rose through the "ranks" so to speak. A few people seem to think it happened by magic or that I somehow made it happen.

The other thing I've seen is people who aren't willing to let their kids do anything that costs money. Like, DE isn't free here and I've talked to some parents who won't do it. It's like, it's a couple hundred dollars a class (depends on which CC/area you're in) for a college credit. Why is that too much? What are you going to do when your kids get to college? Or they won't pay for online classes that aren't Outschool level underpriced cheap. Or people who are judgy about how much we spend on BalletBoy's dance. It's like, yeah, but this is his passion. He's obsessed. If we can make it work, it's worth it. And then they appreciate how far he's come and all the good it does for him, but are really dismissive about the money. I get that we *are* lucky/blessed/privileged to be able to do it, but also, things cost money.

 

I have friends who can afford really amazing things that we can't. The awesome lessons they take for $200/week would be $6K a month if we did that with all of our kids. But there is no jealousy. It's an incredible opportunity that they have, and the decisions we have made for our family mean we just need to find different opportunities.

I would jump on that DE cost in a heartbeat though! That's the cost per credit here, not per course. It's still a bargain at half the cost that regularly enrolled students pay. I can't imagine declining that option just because of the cost!

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2 hours ago, Bambam said:

I hear you. I share, share, and share still more. It seems to me even fewer people are willing to put forth the effort and time to take their kids to local free stuff. The opportunities that don't cost much to participate in. That the times/dates are known and relatively minor. Etc. I don't get it. They want the advantages but they do not want to actually put in the work. For a couple of years, I even hauled some of their kids around so they could take advantage of those opportunities.  But once I couldn't due to our schedule, they no longer participated. 

 

I see this a lot in my area.  The local homeschool fb groups are full of people sighing and crying about how bored and lonely they and their children are.  But they never come out to anything!  We had a few moms that would come to park days and stand away from people and not talk to anyone.  They later complained they felt excluded.  Lady, I walked up, introduced myself, tried to engage you in conversation, introduced you to everyone else at the park day, and you still wouldn't sit down and join us at the picnic table to chat.  I'm not really sure what else I can do to help you feel included.  

I quit running my town's fb group because I was worn down from people expecting opportunities to be a) tailor-made to their very nit-picky specific interests and family dynamics and b) require absolutely no effort, cost, or thought.  There was one mom that has 12 kids and wanted me to set up a field trip *just for her family*, and was annoyed/confused when I declined to set that up for her.  No one else on the trip!  Just her and her kids!  And I'd never even met her, either!     

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20 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

I see this a lot in my area.  The local homeschool fb groups are full of people sighing and crying about how bored and lonely they and their children are.  But they never come out to anything!  We had a few moms that would come to park days and stand away from people and not talk to anyone.  They later complained they felt excluded.  Lady, I walked up, introduced myself, tried to engage you in conversation, introduced you to everyone else at the park day, and you still wouldn't sit down and join us at the picnic table to chat.  I'm not really sure what else I can do to help you feel included.  

 

We have the same people here in our group! I really don't know how to help them. I don't know what they are expecting. I don't know what else one could reasonably do.  

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Same story here. DS earned - EARNED - a top merit scholarship in our state. He got into the Honors college. And he works his tail off in school, at piano, in sports, in everything he does. Sometimes self-motivated, sometimes with nudging, although the nudging became less and less. A friend commented how "lucky" DS was. Her son - who by Her Own Admission - is a really nice but unmotivated kid who doesn't do his schoolwork (they homeschool and she is sort of hands off in high school) - will be going to the tech college, although at one time he thought engineering would be great. No, not lucky.

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4 minutes ago, linders said:

Same story here. DS earned - EARNED - a top merit scholarship in our state. He got into the Honors college. And he works his tail off in school, at piano, in sports, in everything he does. Sometimes self-motivated, sometimes with nudging, although the nudging became less and less. A friend commented how "lucky" DS was. Her son - who by Her Own Admission - is a really nice but unmotivated kid who doesn't do his schoolwork (they homeschool and she is sort of hands off in high school) - will be going to the tech college, although at one time he thought engineering would be great. No, not lucky.

Nope. Not lucky. Hard working. 

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We run into this in Scouts all the time. Cue the grumbling when one kid advances and earns merit badges, and some don't. Well that kid has WORKED! He opens his handbook every day and says, "What can I accomplish?" Funny, how it's all the same kids, all the time, who make the time to help with color guard. And then the others, who can't be bothered. It's REALLY obvious at Courts of Honor. "And Jimmy has earned his 2nd year pin." End of announcement. "And George has earned his 2nd year pin, his Citzenships in the Community, Nation, and World. And his FIngerprinting. And Communications. And Camping." etc. etc.  

Edited by Margaret in CO
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Since we're grumbling...

The other thing I see all the time is that people are jealous or think I'm braggy about something. It's like, but your kid is doing... I don't know... scouts or gymnastics or taking two AP sciences or reading War and Peace for fun... no one can do all the things. It's impossible! It's okay that you (or, hopefully, your kid!) chose a different path. My kid isn't doing those things. 

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Oh I have another one- a homeschooling aquaintance that thinks I don’t tell her stuff that I do tell her. 

Like the fact that dual enrollment registration starts in March for fall semester of the following school year. Students must have taken the ACT and apply for acceptance. So some planning ahead is necessary. I mentioned it in the fall and was laughed off as being uptight and planning so far in advance. So...I am waiting for the frantic text mid July asking how to register. And how was she supposed to be thinking about the following year before summer??? And how it isn’t fair because there is no ACT scheduled she can take in time and so ridiculous that the college had this set up and how was anyone supposed to know about it.

I figure we all must know these people! 

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Choices are hard. Sacrifice (time, money, and/or effort) is hard. I don’t think it’s unusual, even if it might be unfair, to frame things in “I can’t” instead of “I won’t.”  It feels less like personal responsibility/choice then. It also relieves a bit of the feeling of need to justify.

There are lots of things I “can’t” do... because I prioritize other things. Just like there are lots of things I “can’t” buy, because I spend money on other things. (In some stages, those things may have been food and rent, lol.). I try to own my choices, but sometimes it’s simpler to vent “can’t”.

I was (reluctantly) having a political conversation with a relative once, and said something about the benefits of watching actual speeches and reading transcripts instead of summarized news pieces.  My relative’s response was that she doesn’t have time to sit around doing that.  As she, a non-working, childless, wealthy woman, was saying this, I think her brain was piecing together the fact that she was talking to a mother of five, homeschooling four, volunteering out the wazoo (at the time), driving people from place to place like a mad woman, still finding time to check primary sources before jumping on any sound bites.  We both know the right word was “won’t”, even without her saying it.

Frankly, my kids will tell you that I spend too much time on the internet. To a certain extent, they’re right. But a whole bunch of that time over these years has been to find and arrange the awesome things they get to do. (Which may include all of the online shopping I do so I have more time to be their coordinator!)

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Yeah, I used to hear all the time how "lucky" my kids were that they "got" all those great opportunities. Well, the truth was that they got those opportunities because I worked really hard to find them and they worked really hard to deserve them. 

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"Chance favours the prepared mind" -- Pasteur

You have to know what you are looking for. You have to be primed to see it. Nothing falls in your lap, ever. 

I research all the time on topics my children are interested in so that I can advise when they ask. Currently I'm studying condensed matter physics and physical geography. Chance favours the prepared mind. When I see something important, I will actually now recognize it and be able to pass it on.

Ruth in NZ

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It’s been nagging at me, so I just wanted to add that I assume we’re venting about people who are living within the same levels of privilege that we are. I don’t want to sound like I’m disparaging people who haven’t had the framework or resources to know what possibilities might be attainable.

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On 4/5/2019 at 6:30 AM, Carrie12345 said:

It’s been nagging at me, so I just wanted to add that I assume we’re venting about people who are living within the same levels of privilege that we are. I don’t want to sound like I’m disparaging people who haven’t had the framework or resources to know what possibilities might be attainable.

 

This was my assumption?  Maybe someone else is thinking of it differently?  To be honest, I have never had to the money to "buy" opportunities for my kids.  I can't send them to expensive writing camps that they may drool over, I can't buy summer opportunities for them, I have never been able to afford music lessons, dance, etc.  My kids honestly got the short end of the stick.  But we still worked hard, pursued passions, sought opportunities where we could afford them, etc.  My kids worked hard and earned scholarships into programs "for the wealthy", not even based on income but on merit.  Also, many of the people who complain to me the most have tons of money to throw at activities and opportunities.  Their kids participate in so many costly activities, but have no real passions, school has been half hearted, etc.  From my limited view and experience, the ability to throw money into things nonchalantly has created some of my peer's kid's passionless attitudes. 

Edited by Attolia
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Quoted from linked WaPo article in Farrar’s post in another thread, I do see what I quoted locally.

“These worst offenders are outliers, Barnard said, typically concentrated in the most elite schools and the most affluent communities. But there are subtler methods of sabotage that are more pervasive, such as what he refers to as “opportunity-hoarding.”

“Instead of embracing the opportunity to share resources with students who might not have as many resources, some parents are guiding their students to not reveal where they’re applying, to not talk about college visits, or not share information about summer programs or opportunities that might help other kids be stronger applicants,” he said. “I think that sends damaging messages to young people about individualism versus commitment to others.”

Ned Johnson, founder of D.C.-based tutoring service PrepMatters, is familiar with this phenomenon. Years ago, he asked the parent of one of the students he was coaching for an introduction to the teen’s school counselor, “because things generally work better when I’m on the same page with the child’s school,” he said.

The mother said she’d be happy to make the introduction — but only after her younger child had graduated from high school. “She said, ‘I don’t want other people to know about you,’ ” he said. She made the comment with a smile, he added, but it wasn’t a joke: “She was serious as a heart attack.”

Barnard wishes these kinds of parents would stop to question themselves and to listen to their children about what “success” really means.”

 

 

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Opportunity hoarding- that is exactly what we have seen around here. Especially around sports recruiting. Dh and I decided to be completely open about recruiting and what we know about coaches, programs, etc. 

But most people here (affluent area) are extremely cagey about opportunities, especially for their teens.  They don't seem to understand that teens talk freely. If I get around to asking you- I probably already know what your kid is doing.

Jeepers. There is opportunity for all.

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If anything, the more opportunities DD gets, the more are open for other kids. A lot of times, she comes into a project where the PI is reluctant because a grad student brings her in (usually because they need someone who will be willing to do stuff for free), and then I get questions like “can you find us more kids who want to participate?”- but often, when I do share this, down to “I can pick your kid up at 7:30, have them wear long sleeves and pants that they don’t mind getting muddy”, no one takes me up on it. The conference grant she originally got a few years back is now open to middle schoolers, not just high school students, because she was successful before high school. Usually the only ones who take me up on that kind of offer are undergrads, not homeschoolers. Last year the state conference was local. $20 registration, including one dinner and snacks. I posted it on several homeschool boards and classes. As usual, the only pre-college age kids there were DD and the 7 yr old son of one of the state wildlife agents. 

We run a local club for kids-but it usually is the same three families, who also are parents who tend to arrange, post and organize things. Same when I’ve tried to offer the National Mythology exam, or math team, or most other opportunities. 

DD sorts and collates and shares tons of information on her social media pages, with the goal of picking things that are appropriate for parents to share with kids. And she also teaches her online Herpetology classes which aren’t free, but at less than $5/session are on the inexpensive side, especially given as much time as goes into them. 

I will happily share how to get into the local community college early (although since the DE grant doesn’t apply, you’ll have to find a way to pay for it), how to register your child for the ACT under age 13, and that some of these summer programs do have competitive scholarships.  If I find a good college scholarship,or a school with great merit aid, I share it. 

I truly don’t understand “opportunity hoarding”

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13 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

I truly don’t understand “opportunity hoarding”

 

I understand why local parents hoard opportunities for academics because they feel class rank and AMC scores play a part in getting their kids to selective colleges (private and state universities) like UCB, Caltech, MIT. I know someone who opt to send his son to his local school district which is “weaker” so that his son’s class rank is higher, and the rigor of the classes taken look better compared to what the public high school offers. It’s like if AP Physics 1 & 2 classes is the highest offered in that public high school, then not having AP Physics C is not a big deal. 

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My school district is deliberately not offering advanced classes, partially in order to manipulate the rankings, as val & sal have a huge payoff  There is no AP science at all, so the opportunity to differentiate between students academically is not there. Add in select choir is weighted and band & DE math aren't, so the gals win unless the guy sings..there are far more choir slots for gals than guys, and the parents game the system by not alowing the taking of the math so they don't lower the gal gpa.

We had a lot of issues with scholarships.  The local ones that are open to all would have some students telling others not to apply as that would be stealing from the poor, who really need it..the poor have scholarships based on income in this state at state schools, as long as they have the gpa.  Many local scholarships were based on income, so the family with a govt job/pension had many more possibilities than those whose salaries were higher bc they had to fund their own retirement.

I"m a bit tired of the gaming.  Just go back to offering everyone classes that are academically appropriate, and fund the state schools with taxes so tuition is affordable for the middle class.

Edited by HeighHo

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On 4/3/2019 at 8:39 PM, MissLemon said:

I see this a lot in my area.  The local homeschool fb groups are full of people sighing and crying about how bored and lonely they and their children are.  But they never come out to anything!    

I'm shocked by the homeschool community in my new area.  I have never met so many adults with such learned helplessness in my life!  "It might rain, so we can't go to the park day because my kids might get wet. " Good heavens, it's not a torrential storm, it's a light sprinkle and the seating area is ample and covered!  Take a change of clothes/shoes per kid,  a plastic bag, and a rain coat.  Change them into dry clothes in the bathroom before you load them in the car to go home.  And then the park day is officially off if it isn't at least 50 degrees outside.  Buy $&#^@&%#$ long underwear at Walmart like I did and layer a sweater and coat over that.  In Maine and Seattle kids are still playing outside even if it isn't 50 degrees or dry.  And if it is between 50 and 60 degrees most people still won't show up because it's too cold. Today, AGAIN,  no one is going because even though the high is 61 degrees, there's a light rain in the forecast, which is lovely, but Southerners seem to equate all precipitation with "nasty weather" to be avoided at all costs.  Meanwhile this homeschooler from PHX, one from Los Angeles, and one from NY put on some layers and and hang out at the park, but our kids are not near each other in age. Then they whine about their kids not having enough social time with other homeschoolers.
 

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On 4/3/2019 at 6:27 PM, Farrar said:

 I get that we *are* lucky/blessed/privileged to be able to do it, but also, things cost money.

Yes!  When homeschoolers complain about the cost of things I'm now in the habit of responding, "Well, most people don't work for free and that takes a lot of work to put together." I'm so tired of homeschoolers asking for freebies then whining that each didn't suit their specific preferences in some way.  

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10 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I'm shocked by the homeschool community in my new area.  I have never met so many adults with such learned helplessness in my life! 

Is that learned helplessness or personal preference? I'm probably geographically close to where you are, but I feel no compulsion to sit outside on a damp or chilly day. Not gonna happen, lol. 

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45 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

Is that learned helplessness or personal preference? I'm probably geographically close to where you are, but I feel no compulsion to sit outside on a damp or chilly day. Not gonna happen, lol. 

I would classify not being able to ever take your kids outside if it's forecast for rain lightly falls into learned helplessness.  I hear people around here constantly talking about how glad they are when the weather is dry because the kids were going crazy at home and the moms were going crazy because of it. It's the most popular topic of conversation the first dry park day after a rain. I also hear people say thing things like, "Well, we can't go to the park because it might rain. That's too bad, we really could use some time outside and social interaction."

Then I have conversations with people about yard work, "Oh! I'm so sore from yard work because we're stuck inside all winter." Uh, I was doing yard work all winter putting in planting beds and cutting down miles of cat briar. It's not so impossible.  You really can do yardwork before a spring month even though all of your neighbors hide inside an complain about cabin fever.

I think when people haven't acclimated to the weather they've been in and complain about being stuck, they've learned to be helpless. I'm not talking about extreme weather that can be an immediate threat to life and health.  They could make simple, common, readily available adaptations to stay warm and dry at the park in those given circumstances.  It's not too cold to go out, it's too cold to go out in the number of layers you're in or in clothes with the fiber content you currently own. There's covered seating, so you only need an rain coat or umbrella to stay dry when getting to it.  Instead of complaining about the effects of cabin fever and how you don't socialize as much as you want, simply make an inexpensive purchase or add another layer or two and BAM! your problem is solved.

I really do think it's generational and learned. All the talk I hear about "nasty weather" when it's mild like today teaches kids to classify things incorrectly.  Kids who have parents who encourage them to play in the rain and bundle up and play outside in cold and snow are probably future adults who don't stay trapped in their houses wishing for dry days while the kids climb the walls and drive them nuts.

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Oh, I'd love if it was 61 degrees out today!

If they're doing their complaining on some sort of online group have you tried getting there first? "Lovely weather, here are pics of my kids enjoying the beautiful springtime!"

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