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Noreen Claire

going back to the public school for an AL

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Thinking about the future here, for when DS10, currently in 5th grade, will most likely go back to the public school for high school. How do you even begin to plan for enrolling a child who will be several years/courses ahead in (at least) one subject as an incoming freshman? Has anyone had experience in this that could share?

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Here’s our experience with talking with schools here. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck. 

 

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If you are only single subject accelerated, probably not much to worry about.  We have always afterschooled math. My 9th grader is taking alg 2 at school. Afterschool he is completing college calc 2.  His luxury of being able to all school HW in class, gives an extra hour a day to work on other subjects, and to play team sports.  When he hits the 11th grade, we will deal with the calculus ab/bc issue when it comes up.. 

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You plan for it just like any other parent who is transferring schools. Begin conferring with Guidance and the Dept Chairs early the semester before, so that your student gets a seat in the courses he needs to have on his schedule.  If you are in a district that offers electives such as Calculus, your difficulty is getting a seat, as they aren't going to drop a senior to place a freshman...but since some seats are set aside for transfers, you can grab one of those.  For any dual enrollment, discuss in detail with the right person.  Some DE providers have age/grade barriers,and you will want to know the out of pocket cost up front. Tip:  the provider can refuse enrollment for college credit at the high school campus, but the student can take the class for high school credit for free.  No one is crying in their soup here about taking math that way, since DE is not cheap & many colleges will place based on the junior and senior year coursework when the provider will give credit (and provider is not going to request that the child repeat the pre-reqs he took while underage).  If music is subject accelerated, you work with the director.  In our area, that means that your student may not get the major roles, as those are for developing students who don't have those skills -- your student will be getting his development thru his ecs,  some of which can be via the school system. If athletics is the subject accelerated, you are wide open....no restrictions. You can do club and be on the varsity...you just have to work out attendance while at the preOlympic/Olympic events.

Our personal experience is that the school will be out of coursework very early on for accelerated students and unable to provide internet access to online course providers. There is no way to keep a laptop secure -- lockers and vehicles are easily broken in to.  There is a way to sign out once attendance is taken, so if one puts ones courses together in the morning, one does not need to be at school trying to do online work in study hall.  Buy a cheap undesireable tablet to put e-texts and pdfs on to reduce your theft loss and make study hall useful...phone screens are a bit too small.

Edited by HeighHo
clarification
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I can only speak to my personal experience as a student, not a parent. In my case the only way the school district was willing to place me at a higher level than the very lowest tier of freshman courses was for me to test into each subject individually. The tests for various classes were often scheduled for the same time slot, so I had to pick & choose which subjects to prioritize. 

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It depends on your local school district. In my area, where there is a large population of kids who are accelerated, school districts have varying policies ranging from "Challenge Tests" for placement held in the Summer before school to accepting transcripts issued from accredited institutions and many other hybrid policies based on a case-by-case basis. Most kids who are in AP Calculus by 9th or 10th grade end up doing DE at the CC for post-AP options. So, it is best to get in touch with the Department Chair of the subject for which you need special considerations the year before high school to see what they can do for you.

ETA: I remember that @Arcadia did some research on this for her radically accelerated boys some time ago. Hope she sees this thread.

Edited by mathnerd
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32 minutes ago, mathnerd said:

ETA: I remember that @Arcadia did some research on this for her radically accelerated boys some time ago. Hope she sees this thread.

 

DS15 completed AP Calculus BC and AP Computer Science A in 7th, AP Chemistry and AP Physics C in 8th. He did AP Statistics, AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics the summer before 9th grade. 

 I emailed the principal of our assigned high school as well as carbon copy the head of guidance counselor in the fall of his 8th grade year. I listed the high school subjects he has completed and is planning to complete. The reply I got was that I should sit down and do his four year high school plan with the vice principal and that the parents would be for responsible for driving him to and from dual enrollment classes. Since I don’t drive, that would not be a feasible solution without paying lots of Uber rides. 

DS15 is now attending community college five days a week as a 10th grade dual enrollment homeschooler. They allow 10 credits free per quarter for dual enrollment but he is taking 14.5 credits this quarter so we pay less than $500 for three subjects (tuition and miscellaneous student fees). He does get free rides on his student pass on the VTA public transport to our home so that’s a saving of at least $2.50 per weekday (my husband usually drop us off before work).

The community college did accept his AP calculus BC exam scores for math placement so he didn’t need to sit for the math placement test. 

Foothill does Math 1C (the class after AP calculus BC) and Math 1D at Mountain View High School, Los Altos High School, Palo Alto High School and Monte Vista High school. So their high school students do not need to leave campus for math after AP Calculus BC. 

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16 hours ago, Noreen Claire said:

Thinking about the future here, for when DS10, currently in 5th grade, will most likely go back to the public school for high school. How do you even begin to plan for enrolling a child who will be several years/courses ahead in (at least) one subject as an incoming freshman?


When DS15 was in 5th grade, we were taking a hyper relaxed first year homeschooling. He started AoPS algebra book in 4th grade and just continued at his own pace. For both my kids, I plan with them a semester at a time. We school year round so we plan for fall, spring and summer term. There is no way I could have predicted how their 5th to current grade would have unfold. DS14 opt to take a break after precalculus to do AP statistics and then do AP Calculus BC. 

By supporting my kids subject acceleration with whatever resources (including classes) we could find, my kids are on track to being able to double or triple major if they want to when they go to college. 

We did tour private schools and private IB schools in 7th grade to see if kids would like to attend. 

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On 1/22/2020 at 11:05 PM, dmmetler said:

Here’s our experience with talking with schools here. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck. 

 

 

Just looked through this thread. I may be getting way ahead of myself, but with a 7 year old doing well with algebra and reading at a middle school level, I can't help but worry about this. The kind of experiences you had are exactly what I'm concerned about. We're in NYC, so there ought to be lots of options, but I'm worried it's going to also turn out to be a decision between social and academic satisfaction... 

Edited by square_25
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8 hours ago, square_25 said:

I'm worried it's going to also turn out to be a decision between social and academic satisfaction... 

This was what happened with my younger son.  He made the decision to attend the local public high school full time in 9th grade for social reasons.  By the middle of 10th grade he was miserable.  We were able to pull him out of the classes that were truly awful (for him) and he continued in the classes that were either furthering his knowledge or that he enjoyed.  He is a senior now and we have been able to balance his intellectual needs with hyperintellectual homeschool work combined with classes at the high school that he enjoys (for whatever reason--subject, teacher, friends in the class, etc).  I know that being able to use the public schools part time isn't possible in all states (or even most of them), but it has been a lifesaver here.

I will say that after raising two kids to adulthood or thereabouts, I now realize how very important the social piece is.

 

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1 hour ago, EKS said:

I will say that after raising two kids to adulthood or thereabouts, I now realize how very important the social piece is.

 

Yeah, I don't have any illusions about that :-/. NYC does have plenty of social outlets for homeschoolers, but it's definitely much thinner at the high school level. Which is why we keep feeling very indecisive about what's going to happen for high school... on the one hand, we want her to have friends.... on the other hand, I'm sure she'll be ready for college classes by then... on the third tentacle, college kids won't be a real peer group and fellow homeschoolers may not be interested in the same things she is... I go around and around in circles in my head. (And of course, it's probably pointless to think about, anyway, since I'm sure by then she'll have her own strong opinions about what to do!) 

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29 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Which is why we keep feeling very indecisive about what's going to happen for high school... on the one hand, we want her to have friends.... on the other hand, I'm sure she'll be ready for college classes by then... on the third tentacle, college kids won't be a real peer group and fellow homeschoolers may not be interested in the same things she is..


After DS15 decided that he didn’t want to go to any of the private schools within commute distance that we could afford, we started touring community colleges.  We would spend hours there in each campus that we could commute to basically observing people and eating lunch at their dining halls. Community colleges have clubs and we have been enjoying the club days events even though DS15 has not joined any club yet. Just this week they had a small chinese new year celebration in the dining hall. Last week they had events for jewish festival. DS15 is finding more peer interactions available in community college as many have picked a major and so there is a sizable number of people in each class who are interested in the subject versus checking the box for high school credit. 
The swim team were swimming laps when we walk past the outdoor pool at 8:40am. Sports facilities are great. There is a lovely grand piano in the dining hall which anyone can use. Someone played Frozen while I was doing my homework there, DS15 was in class. 

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12 hours ago, Arcadia said:


After DS15 decided that he didn’t want to go to any of the private schools within commute distance that we could afford, we started touring community colleges.  We would spend hours there in each campus that we could commute to basically observing people and eating lunch at their dining halls. Community colleges have clubs and we have been enjoying the club days events even though DS15 has not joined any club yet. Just this week they had a small chinese new year celebration in the dining hall. Last week they had events for jewish festival. DS15 is finding more peer interactions available in community college as many have picked a major and so there is a sizable number of people in each class who are interested in the subject versus checking the box for high school credit. 
The swim team were swimming laps when we walk past the outdoor pool at 8:40am. Sports facilities are great. There is a lovely grand piano in the dining hall which anyone can use. Someone played Frozen while I was doing my homework there, DS15 was in class. 

 

My hubby wasn't technically homeschooled, but he mostly took college classes when in high school (this required a lot of fighting with his local school, but his parents prevailed.) He said this was academically great but socially difficult. College kids didn't necessarily treat him seriously as a person, even though lots of them were perfectly nice to him. His social outlets were mostly kids his age, who he largely interacted with through extracurriculars. But this was easier for him because he had known the same kids since he was in elementary school.

This is all to say that while I trust college to produce academic stimulation, I think kids need friends their own age. I'm sure this does depend on the kid, and we'll have to cross that bridge while we get there. In the meantime, I worry! 

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11 minutes ago, square_25 said:

My hubby wasn't technically homeschooled, but he mostly took college classes when in high school (this required a lot of fighting with his local school, but his parents prevailed.) He said this was academically great but socially difficult. College kids didn't necessarily treat him seriously as a person, even though lots of them were perfectly nice to him.

 

There are a few factors which help my kid blend in.

Firstly, he is taller than many adults when he was 13, and because of that people assumed he is a high school graduate. No one asked his age and no classmate knows he is a high school student so far. He is slightly over 6 feet tall.

Secondly, we have the luxury of arriving early to campus and staying after class. If his classmates wanted to form a study group, he could participate and I gave him money to use for the school cafe as students tend to buy coffee and chai from the cafe. 

It is a personality issue though. Both my kids aren’t needing buddies their own age. They have age peers in German and tennis classes and that satisfy their need for age peer “gossiping”. When they were in public elementary school, they were friendly but were not interested in making chums. If they were, I would have strongly encouraged scouting as I was a Girl Scout.

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11 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

It is a personality issue though. Both my kids aren’t needing buddies their own age. They have age peers in German and tennis classes and that satisfy their need for age peer “gossiping”. When they were in public elementary school, they were friendly but were not interested in making chums. If they were, I would have strongly encouraged scouting as I was a Girl Scout.

 

Yeah, my hubby only got to his full height when he was a freshman in college... when he was taking college classes as a high school student, he was like 5 feet tall. I'm sure that didn't help! 

And it's almost certainly partially a personality thing! Friends were always important to my husband; they still are. They seem less important to my daughter, although she currently prefers kids who are slightly younger to herself (she likes "organizing" other kids to practice her leadership skills, lol). We'll really have to evaluate when she's older. 

Edited by square_25

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19 minutes ago, square_25 said:

They seem less important to my daughter, although she currently prefers kids who are slightly younger to herself (she likes "organizing" other kids to practice her leadership skills, lol). We'll really have to evaluate when she's older. 

 

My DS15 has a beard too because of sensory issues, he doesn’t dare to shave. He gets carded to prove he is that young instead 😂

I can empathize with you though. It was DS14 that we were worried about in terms of socialization. DS15 behaves like a stereotypical first born and he was already “bossing” the 2nd graders in public school when he was a 4 year old kindergartener (December baby, youngest in grade). 

We had autism and ADHD evaluations done for DS14 when he was 7, then WISC testing when he was 8. He is a “late bloomer” on the social maturity aspect. 

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1 minute ago, Arcadia said:

 

My DS15 has a beard too because of sensory issues, he doesn’t dare to shave. He gets carded to prove he is that young instead 😂

I can empathize with you though. It was DS14 that we were worried about in terms of socialization. DS15 behaves like a stereotypical first born and he was already “bossing” the 2nd graders in public school when he was a 4 year old kindergartener (December baby, youngest in grade). 

We had autism and ADHD evaluations done for DS14 when he was 7, then WISC testing when he was 8. He is a “late bloomer” on the social maturity aspect. 

 

Yeah, DD is also a bit of a late bloomer. Not so late that we were really worried, but we definitely didn't think it would be reasonable for her to skip a grade (which was more than academically indicated.) And indeed, playing with kids a bit younger than herself (mostly up to a year younger, but some even younger than that) has been really good for her socially. In general, unstructured social time has really benefited her so far, much more so than actually going to kindergarten did. It's a good opportunity to practice negotiating with your peers.

How does your younger son manage the social aspect now?  

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10 minutes ago, square_25 said:

How does your younger son manage the social aspect now?  

 

We grade skip him when he was a 2nd grade public school kid. He was ready after he turned 8 and asked to be skipped. He is a December baby that missed the birthday cutoff or he won’t need to be skipped.

He held his own when he attended summer AP classes as a 12 year old. He was about 1.65m tall then and is now 1.76m tall. He is now “bossing” peers his age and older. He bloomed a lot in 6th grade when he took SAT, ACT and his first AP exam. He developed his social self confidence. Now I am not worried about him starting community college classes this summer.

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My DD was a very, very young 12 when she started at the CC, and really hasn't used the CC for social reasons. There are two parts to this-the first is that the campus she attends seems to have more adult students who come in and squeeze classes in around their workday, vs recent high school grads, and most of the "college experience" stuff is actually on the downtown campus. Hers is large and has a lot of academic and pre-professional classes, but you don't get the campus life. Many classes are held at night and on weekends, or early in the morning, to get around work schedules.  One thing she likes about it is that, compared to a high school, it is very spread out and blissfully quiet and calm, and my guess is that there are fewer students present at, say, 10:00 on a Thursday  than at any high school, spread over a MUCH larger campus with multiple buildings. The second is that she really hasn't sought them out. She generally has one or two people in a given class who she might talk to, especially those she has seen in multiple classes or done projects with, but she has never expected social connection with them.  I think part of that is that as a homeschooler she has always separated academics from social-so sees no reason to do differently now. She has been frustrated with other students at summer programs who prioritize social over academics, and then complain about not getting enough sleep or having enough time to do the work, because, for her, if you go to a class, you go to work, not to spend hours passing memes back and forth or giggling over youtube videos. 

At this point (age 15), honestly, if she weren't already "known" on campus, she would probably blend in. But since she was there so young, usually she ends up getting "outed" as a younger kid pretty early into any semester/class. And by age 16, DE is fairly common (that's when the state starts paying for it), so the amount of time that her age is surprising is almost over, which I think she is looking forward to pretty avidly. 

 

She gets her social connection from her friends outside of school, a mix of kids her age and adults, and all of her friendships come from shared interests. It seems to work-but it has taken concerted effort to keep those social connections going and prioritizing that time. 

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We thought we had a solid plan figured out for high school, with my kid getting accepted to a public performing arts high school that promised flexibility in academic placements (with admission based only on auditions and portfolios, the school has a wide range of academic abilities among admitted students).  Ninth grade went pretty well, after a LOT of back and forth about math placement, when they let my kid take math with the 11 graders, and honors placements in all of the core courses (this involved placement test in multiple subjects the spring before, plus extra testing in math, taking a final exam during the first week of school). Tenth grade blew up the following September though, when the agreed-upon math class (calculus, approved at the end of grade 9 by their math teacher, the calculus teacher, and the guidance counselor) interfered with a required class scheduled at the same time. The school was unwilling to allow independent study for a tenth grader, and put my kid in the only available math class they hadn't taken yet, which was basically a practical math skills class for seniors uncomfortable with math.  It was too late for fall dual enrollment at that point too.  Plus the high school had temporarily relocated while the building was being remodeled, and was no longer close to the colleges that the students usually used for advanced classes. They wouldn't be back in their normal location until senior year.  The last straw in math I think was the syllabus in that class said some crap about getting your overall grade dropped for each instance of "excessive bathroom use," which was defined as more than once per week. 

Anyway, the decision to go back to homeschooling was more complicated than that, but 2 weeks into the school year I agreed to file the homeschool paperwork. My big lesson is that with a highly advance learner, it is good to plan, but plan for things to fall through, and plan to be flexible.

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What you can do now is keep proper records. I didn’t and had to churn a transcript using my expenses records. As in I have a spreadsheet of all outsourced classes and tuition expenses but I did not have a spreadsheet of classes took per academic year. 

When I submitted DS15’s transcript to the community college admissions dept in fall of 9th grade, his math was from 6th grade onwards and 6th to 8th grade math was listed as non-credit. I figured he would be taking math every year of high school so there is no need to count the 7th and 8th grade math to fulfill the high school math requirements. 

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@square_25

 

I'm struggling with the academic vs. social piece here. DD11 is very shy, very much so a social late bloomer. We are out of the house in activities 6 days a week, but somehow she still mostly sticks to herself, even in activities where she's been around the same kids for 5+ years. (The only exception is language school, where she somehow clicked better with the other kids - she will actively play with them after class.)

I've been mulling over the importance of developing social skills, and wondering whether she really just needs more social immersion. I can't handle more driving than we currently do, so increasing the social immersion would be, for us, not more activities, but actually putting her in some kind of school. There is a 2 day a week hybrid school in our area, or we could go the traditional school route. The problem is that she's accelerated and I don't know how that will work. If you're technically in 7th grade age-wise, but taking 8th or 9th or 10th grade classes, what does your peer group actually look like? Do you have a chance to actually mix with kids closer to your own age? I guess she could just go to whatever grade she's slotted for (age-wise) and if the classes are boring or not particularly challenging, so be it. It just seems like a colossal waste of time, but I have to remind myself that learning how to deal with people is not a waste of time.

I've been pretty down on myself about this because we've homeschooled from the start, and I can't help wondering if I did her a disservice by not providing enough social opportunities along the way. 

We had thought we'd go the CC route with her (we're near Foothill, too, @Arcadia) but now I worry it will still be socially isolating for her. She's small for her age, and (currently) super shy, and I could see her just going to class and not interacting with anyone but the TAs. That being said, we're not thinking about using the CC for another few years (maybe she'll bloom socially a bit by that time)-  I was going to wait until she was high-school aged before considering CC. 

Edited by JHLWTM
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24 minutes ago, JHLWTM said:

There is a 2 day a week hybrid school in our area, or we could go the traditional school route. The problem is that she's accelerated and I don't know how that will work. If you're technically in 7th grade age-wise, but taking 8th or 9th or 10th grade classes, what does your peer group actually look like? 

 

We did Quantum Camp Palo Alto for two years for the socialization. DS15 took the high school physics class in 6th grade and there were two kids his age in that class https://www.quantumcamp.com/high-school-physics

DS15 attended a Math day camp at SJSU in the summer before 8th grade. That gave him the same social group for Monday to Saturday for two weeks and he was happy. Unfortunately they (Awesome Math) didn’t have a day camp locally the next year and my kid doesn’t want residential camps. 

DS15 was willing to start Foothill in 9th grade but he was really all in for it in the summer before 10th grade. DS14 is willing to start but his workload is heavy right now so we will wait until summer. For DS14, height plays a part as he didn’t want to stand out for being short. Now that he is 1.76m tall and has a mustache, it’s not so obvious that he is 14. He follows us to Foothill sometimes and he blends right in. I don’t think his Math 1D and JAPN 1 have any TAs. No TAs either when he took Math 1C. 

My kids age peer group are in German class and tennis class. They chat about high school GPA, class rankings and college admissions. My kids didn’t mind the college applications talk when they were middle school kids taking classes with high school students at Legend in Cupertino. 

Foothill didn’t let homeschool students start applying for classes as a 9th grader until the PSA is filed in October. So without trying for any “back door”, the earliest start is January (Winter quarter) of the 9th grade year. The good thing is it’s free for high school students unless you want to exceed 10 credits per quarter for Fall, Winter, Spring. That’s why we are paying full time rate as DS15 is taking 14.5 credits this Winter quarter. He took 9.5 credits in Fall quarter and we didn’t pay a single cent.

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On 1/25/2020 at 9:38 PM, slackermom said:

We thought we had a solid plan figured out for high school, with my kid getting accepted to a public performing arts high school that promised flexibility in academic placements (with admission based only on auditions and portfolios, the school has a wide range of academic abilities among admitted students).  Ninth grade went pretty well, after a LOT of back and forth about math placement, when they let my kid take math with the 11 graders, and honors placements in all of the core courses (this involved placement test in multiple subjects the spring before, plus extra testing in math, taking a final exam during the first week of school). Tenth grade blew up the following September though, when the agreed-upon math class (calculus, approved at the end of grade 9 by their math teacher, the calculus teacher, and the guidance counselor) interfered with a required class scheduled at the same time. The school was unwilling to allow independent study for a tenth grader, and put my kid in the only available math class they hadn't taken yet, which was basically a practical math skills class for seniors uncomfortable with math.  It was too late for fall dual enrollment at that point too.  Plus the high school had temporarily relocated while the building was being remodeled, and was no longer close to the colleges that the students usually used for advanced classes. They wouldn't be back in their normal location until senior year.  The last straw in math I think was the syllabus in that class said some crap about getting your overall grade dropped for each instance of "excessive bathroom use," which was defined as more than once per week. 

 

The lesson we learned is that the school has other plans that the gc can't tell you and any influx of large subgroups will derail nonmandated courses. Nothing is set in stone from spring to summer.  My then 8th grader signed up for the IB track.....unknown to parents, it had been cancelled but the school put the charade on and had everyone sign up.  Students were notified one to three days before classes started via an incomplete schedule in the mail.  The school was still scrambling on opening day to figure out how to staff so that the students had required classes.  The funding is just not keeping up with the population mobility, and anyone on or above grade level here is going to study hall as there is no money for electives.  That's not bad -- parents can and do sign their children out after attendance is taken and go home and do online classes or take private lessons instead of sitting thru multiple study halls. Other students buy ASVAB prep books and have the kids work 'em in study hall.

Edited by HeighHo

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23 hours ago, JHLWTM said:

 

I'm struggling with the academic vs. social piece here. DD11 is very shy, very much so a social late bloomer.....

I've been mulling over the importance of developing social skills, and wondering whether she really just needs more social immersion......It just seems like a colossal waste of time, but I have to remind myself that learning how to deal with people is not a waste of time.

I've been pretty down on myself about this because we've homeschooled from the start, and I can't help wondering if I did her a disservice by not providing enough social opportunities along the way. 

..... now I worry it will still be socially isolating for her. She's small for her age, and (currently) super shy, and I could see her just going to class and not interacting with anyone but the TAs. 

I just wanted to share that with my sample size of 8, all raised pretty much the same way with the same amt of social outlets, etc, that I have extreme extroverts and extreme introverts.  No amt of socializating will turn my introverts into extroverts. Some of my introverts will force themselves to interact (while interiorly hating it); some will always sit and be silent observers, never actively engaging exteriorly but absorbing interiorly. 

My 18 yr old  dd is the latter. She'll go to youth group and not talk.  She'll go to choir and not sit and chat. It is just who she is. Her 10 yr old sister will never stop talking even to complete strangers. 

My introverts will all engage in scenarios where they know they need to. But, when there is no real compelling reason, probably not going to happen. Having more social situations doesnt change who they are or how they choose to function.

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On 1/27/2020 at 9:18 AM, JHLWTM said:

I guess she could just go to whatever grade she's slotted for (age-wise) and if the classes are boring or not particularly challenging, so be it. It just seems like a colossal waste of time, but I have to remind myself that learning how to deal with people is not a waste of time.

 

I'm sure it depends on the child, but for my older girl, the most beneficial thing for learning to socialize has been (supervised) unstructured time with other kids. I've signed her up for a variety of non-academic classes that come with "recess" or "lunch break," and the point for us has definitely been the socialization. When kids hang out in unstructured settings, they get to negotiate boundaries and figure out how to deal with their peers. I've seen really marked improvements in her over when she went to preschool and kindergarten, actually. 

I'm sure it's heavily personality-dependent, but practice also does help. My parents were very academically oriented and put me in school a year early, and I can safely say that this was bad for me socially, because I was also a late bloomer and didn't want to play with kids a year older at all. I would have done far better if my classmates had been my age or even a bit younger, despite being ready for the academics at the younger age. 

I've also definitely had to think of "social time" as separate from academics. One of the classes my daughter is signed up for is explicitly committed to teaching them nothing academic, lol... and that's OK! I just think of it as a different kind of learning experience. 

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On 1/27/2020 at 6:18 AM, JHLWTM said:

 

I've been mulling over the importance of developing social skills, and wondering whether she really just needs more social immersion.


What kind of social skills are you concern about. For social immersion, it’s quality over quantity. Depending on what social skills you are targeting, some activities are more suited than others.  For example, CSMA group music and ceramics classes aren’t useful for social skills but did help DS14 become more patient when he was 8. Drop in events/activities at the library were effective for honing DS14’s social skills as he has to adapt to different people in a group setting for every event/activity.

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On 1/22/2020 at 7:42 PM, Noreen Claire said:

Thinking about the future here, for when DS10, currently in 5th grade, will most likely go back to the public school for high school. How do you even begin to plan for enrolling a child who will be several years/courses ahead in (at least) one subject as an incoming freshman? Has anyone had experience in this that could share?

 

My dd was homeschooled through 8th grade and then enrolled in private high school.  Because she had already been taking high school level classes what helped was:

(1) Being well-prepared for the math placement test.  Ask for a copy of the syllabus or ask what the placement test will cover or anything else that will help to get the placement you want.

(2) Surprisingly, having a high SAT subject test score was helpful for avoiding summer school.  At this particular school, if you hadn't taken their middle school science class, they make you take summer school before AP bio.  We argued and they only relented when we provided a high SAT subject test score.  

But schools vary and YMMV.  You can ask questions about placement at your particular high school.  

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On 1/28/2020 at 9:27 AM, Arcadia said:


What kind of social skills are you concern about. For social immersion, it’s quality over quantity. Depending on what social skills you are targeting, some activities are more suited than others.  For example, CSMA group music and ceramics classes aren’t useful for social skills but did help DS14 become more patient when he was 8. Drop in events/activities at the library were effective for honing DS14’s social skills as he has to adapt to different people in a group setting for every event/activity.

Thanks Arcadia. Mostly shyness and learning how to connect with people. In the past, we've tried to find activities where there is a stable cohort of kids over a period of time, so that DD can slowly warm up and make connections.

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53 minutes ago, JHLWTM said:

Mostly shyness and learning how to connect with people. In the past, we've tried to find activities where there is a stable cohort of kids over a period of time, so that DD can slowly warm up and make connections.

 

It took DS14 five years to make connections with his German class classmates; it’s a weekly Saturday class during the academic year though.   

For DS14, we just keep providing opportunities to socialize and DS15 even went to some activities because DS14 did not want to go alone.  DS14 interest is in engineering and computer science mainly, as we find the most success in getting him interacting well is in activities like makerspace and hackathon. His interests make him more willing to come out of his shell. 

When he started tennis two years ago, it was because I insisted on a recreational sport for both kids for health reasons. Now he is interested and interacting well with instructors and other kids. 

He has definitely “improved” a lot during puberty. 

So just keep prodding/nudging and providing opportunities.

ETA:

free makerspace at Palo Alto https://www.makexpaloalto.org

Edited by Arcadia
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On 1/22/2020 at 9:42 PM, Noreen Claire said:

Thinking about the future here, for when DS10, currently in 5th grade, will most likely go back to the public school for high school. How do you even begin to plan for enrolling a child who will be several years/courses ahead in (at least) one subject as an incoming freshman? Has anyone had experience in this that could share?

I think it's district- and school-specific for the most part. I agree with HeighHo that many schools will simply run out of coursework for accelerated students, and not have good alternatives. If you research and find out you're in an area with lots of accelerated academics and a long-standing, solid commitment to that, you're probably fine, but if schools are just starting to offer certain classes or they are piloting programs, what happens in four years is much dicier. 

On 1/25/2020 at 9:35 AM, square_25 said:

This is all to say that while I trust college to produce academic stimulation, I think kids need friends their own age. I'm sure this does depend on the kid, and we'll have to cross that bridge while we get there. In the meantime, I worry! 

I agree, or at least I agree to the extent that kids should have kids their own age to hang out and do things with (some kids don't have close friends in high school no matter where they are). I would caution against assuming school is going to provide lots of chances for social interaction and making friends. Some do, some don't. I'm teaching classes at a high school and lunch is 25 minutes, with 4 minutes to get to your next class. That's not a lot of time to eat, much less socialize, especially when you consider getting your lunch, picking it up, and going to the bathroom! In class, I try to create opportunities for the kids to talk but of course it's related to class. There's just not a lot of time, and they are excited beyond belief when we are done with even three minutes to spare and they can talk. 

I think it's easiest when kids in your close neighborhood go to that school and are in the same classes. You have the common ground but the actual socializing is after school. 

On 1/27/2020 at 8:18 AM, JHLWTM said:

 

I'm struggling with the academic vs. social piece here. DD11 is very shy, very much so a social late bloomer. We are out of the house in activities 6 days a week, but somehow she still mostly sticks to herself, even in activities where she's been around the same kids for 5+ years. (The only exception is language school, where she somehow clicked better with the other kids - she will actively play with them after class.)

I've been mulling over the importance of developing social skills, and wondering whether she really just needs more social immersion. I can't handle more driving than we currently do, so increasing the social immersion would be, for us, not more activities, but actually putting her in some kind of school. There is a 2 day a week hybrid school in our area, or we could go the traditional school route. The problem is that she's accelerated and I don't know how that will work. If you're technically in 7th grade age-wise, but taking 8th or 9th or 10th grade classes, what does your peer group actually look like? Do you have a chance to actually mix with kids closer to your own age? I guess she could just go to whatever grade she's slotted for (age-wise) and if the classes are boring or not particularly challenging, so be it. It just seems like a colossal waste of time, but I have to remind myself that learning how to deal with people is not a waste of time.

 

Activities 6 days a week is quite a lot of social immersion! I don't know that I would consider upping that to be the answer, particularly as some of them have been long-term. I'd probably lean toward showing up early and staying late for more social time with the same people. Also, maybe planning an activity outside of the structured activity, like skating, trampoline, park day, that kind of thing. Bring it up with the other moms first if possible (if they help plan it, they are more likely to go). 

Oops, dd has to get to work, more in a bit. 

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1 hour ago, katilac said:

I agree, or at least I agree to the extent that kids should have kids their own age to hang out and do things with (some kids don't have close friends in high school no matter where they are). I would caution against assuming school is going to provide lots of chances for social interaction and making friends. Some do, some don't. I'm teaching classes at a high school and lunch is 25 minutes, with 4 minutes to get to your next class. That's not a lot of time to eat, much less socialize, especially when you consider getting your lunch, picking it up, and going to the bathroom! In class, I try to create opportunities for the kids to talk but of course it's related to class. There's just not a lot of time, and they are excited beyond belief when we are done with even three minutes to spare and they can talk. 

 

I'm sure you're right! However, there are a couple of things school is better for. When my daughter was in kindergarten, she saw the same kids day in, day out. Right now, we see kids every day, but they are not always the same kids, and that means she has less time to adjust to them and to get close to her. She's a social kid, but she's not necessarily going to opt to get close to other kids if she's not around them a lot. I'm like that myself -- it's easier for me to become close friends with someone I'm "forced" to spend a lot of time with.

You're also around a greater variety of people when you're in school. We keep running into the same kids in all the homeschool activities, and we're in NYC, which is about as dense as it gets! 

Right now, we're managing with lots of activities, homeschool classes and playdates. I'd say that our current set up works very well, because she gets much, much more unstructured time to practice her social skills in. However, I can imagine her wanting more consistency and more variety as she gets older. 

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On 1/28/2020 at 8:05 AM, 8FillTheHeart said:

I just wanted to share that with my sample size of 8, all raised pretty much the same way with the same amt of social outlets, etc, that I have extreme extroverts and extreme introverts.  No amt of socializating will turn my introverts into extroverts. Some of my introverts will force themselves to interact (while interiorly hating it); some will always sit and be silent observers, never actively engaging exteriorly but absorbing interiorly. 

This is important to recognize. A kid who is in tons of activities, some of them with the same kids for 5+ years, and is still keeping mostly to herself, is not likely to suddenly going to become more social because she's in school. And again, school does not always allow for much social time during the school day, it's really case by case. 

On 1/27/2020 at 8:18 AM, JHLWTM said:

There is a 2 day a week hybrid school in our area, or we could go the traditional school route. The problem is that she's accelerated and I don't know how that will work. If you're technically in 7th grade age-wise, but taking 8th or 9th or 10th grade classes, what does your peer group actually look like? Do you have a chance to actually mix with kids closer to your own age? I guess she could just go to whatever grade she's slotted for (age-wise) and if the classes are boring or not particularly challenging, so be it. It just seems like a colossal waste of time, but I have to remind myself that learning how to deal with people is not a waste of time.

I've been pretty down on myself about this because we've homeschooled from the start, and I can't help wondering if I did her a disservice by not providing enough social opportunities along the way. 

We had thought we'd go the CC route with her (we're near Foothill, too, @Arcadia) but now I worry it will still be socially isolating for her. She's small for her age, and (currently) super shy, and I could see her just going to class and not interacting with anyone but the TAs. That being said, we're not thinking about using the CC for another few years (maybe she'll bloom socially a bit by that time)-  I was going to wait until she was high-school aged before considering CC. 

Bolding by me: In many middle schools, it's rare to take anything beyond 9th-grade classes, because they simply aren't available. You're either in high school or you're in middle school, so it's dependent on what that school offers. 

If it does work out that you are in 7th taking 8th or 9th grade classes, you will usually mix with 7th-graders in homeroom and then possibly in clubs and at lunch. If you aren't in clubs or classes with 7th-graders, then you aren't likely to eat lunch with them. 

I don't think you've done her a disservice; it sounds like she's had many social opportunities! And yes, don't make assumptions about CC or DE based on her at 11 if she's not going till she's 14 or 15. Heck, one of my kids wouldn't order her own Subway sandwich at 16, but she did DE at the main campus of a local university with no problems. Neither of my kids made more than very casual friends during their two years of DE, but it was still very positive both academically and socially. They saw how capable they were academically, and experienced the social aspect of a classroom, walking across the quad and chatting with classmates, that type of thing. And I have no doubt that kids who were more invested in socializing and finding friends could have done so, especially senior year. fwiw, they're both still noticeably smaller than the majority of their classmates as actual college students, and they will go on to be noticeably smaller than the majority of their co-workers, lol. As a girl, she's likely to be about as tall as she's going to get in a few years, give or take an inch. 

Has your dd herself expressed unhappiness about her social life? Don't worry too much based on the stereotypical teen experience. Yes, teens need the opportunity to socialize and they need ongoing groups where they have the opportunity to make friends, but school is not some magic portal to that. Some kids enjoy the clamor and stimulation of being in a group all day, and that's fine and a legit reason to consider school, but lots of kids hate it. And plenty of kids keep to themselves even if they've gone to school since kinder. 

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18 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 

I'm sure you're right! However, there are a couple of things school is better for. When my daughter was in kindergarten, she saw the same kids day in, day out. Right now, we see kids every day, but they are not always the same kids, and that means she has less time to adjust to them and to get close to her. She's a social kid, but she's not necessarily going to opt to get close to other kids if she's not around them a lot. I'm like that myself -- it's easier for me to become close friends with someone I'm "forced" to spend a lot of time with.

You're also around a greater variety of people when you're in school. We keep running into the same kids in all the homeschool activities, and we're in NYC, which is about as dense as it gets! 

Right now, we're managing with lots of activities, homeschool classes and playdates. I'd say that our current set up works very well, because she gets much, much more unstructured time to practice her social skills in. However, I can imagine her wanting more consistency and more variety as she gets older. 

Consistency for sure takes more effort when they are homeschooled! If you can get a weekly park day going with a core group of some of those kids, that can help a lot. Once you see a group of kids twice a week or so (once for an XC, once for park day), you'll likely graduate to playdates with some of them. The group activities, the occasional bigger playdate, plus the weekly playdate with their besties . . . that was pretty much enough for my kids until the tween years. Of course, they were two years apart and also had each other, that helps. But when the early teens hit, I banked a lot of miles on the road for sure. 

Full disclosure: we organized a lot of teen activities throughout high school, including purely social ones, and they did extras and spent a good amount of time with age peers, but that still didn't result in my kids having a gang of actual close friends. They didn't, and they grew apart from the ones who were their close friends at a younger age (still friends, but not that closeness, just not much in common anymore).

But I didn't think then, and I don't think now, that school would have necessarily solved that. They met plenty of people, y'know? They saw a lot of the same people consistently over many years. Part of it was that many of them were more religious than we were, but school for them would have meant Catholic school, which would not have solved that problem 😄

They were the type, one of them in particular, to be happy to see their friends but just as happy to go home after. They didn't want to be texting for hours and whatnot (at the time, they've gotten past that, heh). On the one hand, they kind of wanted to do all the typical teen things that look so fun on tv, but on the other hand, they could be pretty impatient with the reality of it, lol. 

All of which is my very long way to agree with 8 that a lot of it comes down to personality, and some kids aren't going to put themselves out there or spend the time on friendships that others will. 

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On 1/27/2020 at 12:33 PM, HeighHo said:

The lesson we learned is that the school has other plans that the gc can't tell you and any influx of large subgroups will derail nonmandated courses. Nothing is set in stone from spring to summer.   

Or from Monday to Tuesday. The biggest driving factor in school is logistics. 

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On 1/24/2020 at 7:01 PM, EKS said:

I know that being able to use the public schools part time isn't possible in all states (or even most of them), but it has been a lifesaver here.

It annoys me greatly that this isn't a thing everywhere. 

On 1/25/2020 at 1:02 PM, dmmetler said:

One thing she likes about it is that, compared to a high school, it is very spread out and blissfully quiet and calm, and my guess is that there are fewer students present at, say, 10:00 on a Thursday  than at any high school, spread over a MUCH larger campus with multiple buildings. T

She has been frustrated with other students at summer programs who prioritize social over academics

Yes! School is so. very. loud! I'm teaching on two different high school campuses this semester, and the noise and chaos is unbelievable. Even though I miss the worst of it because I go straight into a class and then leave, it's still disconcerting. Then, class is interrupted almost every single day with announcements over the loudspeaker, it's nuts. There's no way my kids could have handled the noise and chaos. College is a whole different story. 

To the second: that was my child! Even when it wasn't a strictly academic program or camp 😂

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5 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 

We see lots of them more than once a week, actually. We're at our local homeschooling center four times a week, and we often have play dates. I also transport one of her friends with us to the classes, resulting in extra time together. There are probably 6 or 7 kids she sees at least twice a week, and I'm always willing to make play dates. And she does have a sister, who she plays with nicely, despite her being 3.5 years younger. I've been working really hard to get her a social life that makes her happy, and overall, I'd say I've succeeded :-). She loves hanging out at the homeschooling center, and for now, it works better than the school environment did for her. 

I don't mean to be snarky, and I know you meant this in the kindest spirit possible, but this is exactly the attitude that can bug me in homeschoolers, where any advantages to school are downplayed. We're already homeschooling, so you're preaching to the choir -- clearly, I already decided that the trade-offs are absolutely worth it to us. In fact, as I mentioned before, I think my daughter is growing MORE socially from homeschooling than she did in school! However, I do think there are positives about the school environment that I am not entirely able to replicate while homeschooling, and I wish we could have a conversation about them without people immediately explaining how homeschooling is just as good in every single possible way. Nothing in life is like that... almost everything comes with a downside.

I'm sorry it came across that way. I went back and read my post and honestly don't see those implications. You specifically mentioned seeing the same kids more often, which is why I addressed that. You talked about it being a benefit that she saw the same kids day in and day out in kinder, so I did make the assumption that she wasn't already seeing the same kids multiple times per week. It was the wrong assumption, but I think a fairly reasonable one. 

Truly, I don't understand how you think I'm downplaying any advantages to school and saying that homeschool is always just as good in every single possible way. I specifically stated that the social aspect was not ideal for us, and I specifically stated that my kids in fact did NOT have a group of close friends in high school. I'm not sure how that translates into homeschooling being perfect in every way 😕

I can assure you I didn't mean it that way. Homeschooling is not a solution for every problem any more than b&m school is an automatic solution for socialization; however, in a thread that is about going to school for socialization, I certainly think pointing out some of the potential drawbacks is pertinent. Some schools do indeed offer time and space for positive socialization, and that's awesome and amazing, but it's not something that can be assumed. 

A homeschool center sounds fab! I wish one had existed for us. 

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1 minute ago, katilac said:

I'm sorry it came across that way. I went back and read my post and honestly don't see those implications. You specifically mentioned seeing the same kids more often, which is why I addressed that. You talked about it being a benefit that she saw the same kids day in and day out in kinder, so I did make the assumption that she wasn't already seeing the same kids multiple times per week. It was the wrong assumption, but I think a fairly reasonable one. 

Truly, I don't understand how you think I'm downplaying any advantages to school and saying that homeschool is always just as good in every single possible way. I specifically stated that the social aspect was not ideal for us, and I specifically stated that my kids in fact did NOT have a group of close friends in high school. I'm not sure how that translates into homeschooling being perfect in every way 😕

I can assure you I didn't mean it that way. Homeschooling is not a solution for every problem any more than b&m school is an automatic solution for socialization; however, in a thread that is about going to school for socialization, I certainly think pointing out some of the potential drawbacks is pertinent. Some schools do indeed offer time and space for positive socialization, and that's awesome and amazing, but it's not something that can be assumed. 

A homeschool center sounds fab! I wish one had existed for us. 

Yeah, I’m sorry — I got mixed up with the threads, and the implications with the other thread would have been different! Didn’t delete in time, I see.

We love our HSing center!! My daughter says that’s her favorite thing about homeschooling... followed by learning stuff she likes at her pace, lol.

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

Yeah, I’m sorry — I got mixed up with the threads, and the implications with the other thread would have been different! Didn’t delete in time, I see.

We love our HSing center!! My daughter says that’s her favorite thing about homeschooling... followed by learning stuff she likes at her pace, lol.

Okay, no worries! 

 

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