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Hello,

My DD is 11 and two years (technically, but actually more) accelerated in an online charter school. This places her starting high school this fall, which concerns me socially. She is mature for her age, but that doesn't mean she's ready for all that high school entails. We agreed to the acceleration hoping it would give her a challenge, but she's still not really challenged and is currently taking all high school honors level courses. We have a few options: homeschool next year and start high school the following year; send her to a very prestigious prep school this fall for high school; continue in her charter school; investigate local private schools, likely religious. I don't think it makes sense to hold her back a year, because academically she'd be extremely bored and with severe ADHD I'm not sure that wouldn't lead to behavior issues like chatting too much, etc. We would like her to have more opportunities to make friends, which is why in-person school is appealing. She is leaning toward continuing in her charter school, but is open to other ideas. Any thoughts?

Thanks

Edited by hippymamato3
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My son was two years accelerated at a private 6-12 school.  At the end of his eighth grade year, we decided that starting high school the next year was not in his best interests, but we also wanted to keep his options open.  So we homeschooled for two years at (his) high school level.  Then, the year he turned 14, he decided that he wanted to try the public high school full time.  To their credit, they placed him appropriately in math, and he was able to do embedded honors English, but that was it as far as "gifted" perks.  By the middle of 10th grade, he was telling me that his classes were meaningless and he was definitely disengaging, so we withdrew him from English and history (the two biggest offenders) to homeschool.  I was able to jack up the input to college level and got him interested again.  The next year he only took courses at the high school that interested him (three APs) and we homeschooled the rest at a college level.  And in his senior year, he chose to take 5 classes at the high school (all APs and honors) and we did two classes at home, again at a college level.  I designed the home-based courses so that they would be highly engaging and really stretch his thinking without completely overwhelming him with output.

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50 minutes ago, EKS said:

  So we homeschooled for two years at (his) high school level.  

This is what I was thinking too possibly. She'd still like to take a few courses at the charter (which she can definitely do) but I'd be able to pick and choose everything else. But this doesn't really address the friend issue...

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Sorry, I got distracted and posted before I made the point I wanted to make.  Here it is.  With the benefit of hindsight, I am incredibly grateful that he spent the extra two years in high school.  He really needed the maturity they brought.  We were somehow able to cobble together the social piece (which was critical for him, and which he couldn't have gotten another way given where we live), the best classes the school had to offer (he was able to choose the classes with the best teachers), and I was able to keep the interest level high at home.  It wasn't perfect, but it was as good as we could do.

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3 hours ago, hippymamato3 said:

This is what I was thinking too possibly. She'd still like to take a few courses at the charter (which she can definitely do) but I'd be able to pick and choose everything else. But this doesn't really address the friend issue...

The friend issue was a big problem during those two years for my son.  I think if I had it to do over again, I would have done some traveling and other experiential stuff with him during those years rather than worrying so much about keeping pace with the academics.

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12 hours ago, EKS said:

The friend issue was a big problem during those two years for my son.  I think if I had it to do over again, I would have done some traveling and other experiential stuff with him during those years rather than worrying so much about keeping pace with the academics.

Hi @EKS, thank you so much for sharing about your experience. You mention that you were able to “cobble together the social piece,” but also that “the friend issue was a big problem.” If you feel comfortable elaborating, could you explain more about how the social aspect of those years went for you son, and how you navigated those issues? How did you cobble together social relationships, and what aspects remained problematic?

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6 minutes ago, JHLWTM said:

Hi @EKS, thank you so much for sharing about your experience. You mention that you were able to “cobble together the social piece,” but also that “the friend issue was a big problem.” If you feel comfortable elaborating, could you explain more about how the social aspect of those years went for you son, and how you navigated those issues? How did you cobble together social relationships, and what aspects remained problematic?

The friend issue was a problem when we were homeschooling during the two years between his 8th grade year at the private school and his 9th grade year at the public high school.  He had an activity he did and a few homeschooled friends that he saw occasionally, but that was it.

Once he was at the high school, things were much better.  He was able to make friends that first year as a "normal" student, and then when he started going part time in 10th grade, he stayed firmly plugged in to the social aspects of the school.  In fact, people didn't even know he was homeschooled part time unless he told them.

The community that school provides is not something that is easily replicated by full time homeschoolers.  Some would argue that the communities homeschoolers make for themselves are better than a school community--and perhaps they can be.  But in our small town, the public high school is the only game in town for teens, and being part of that game was important to my son.

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What about using the high school for elective such as the arts, if she has any interest in such topics?

In our school system, kids can start community college courses as early as 7th grade if they test in.  The college courses count for both high school and college credit.  So I could see doing college courses for academics where the teen is that accelerated, and attending high school for less academic courses where the social aspect could be a benefit.

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6 hours ago, SKL said:

What about using the high school for elective such as the arts, if she has any interest in such topics?

In our school system, kids can start community college courses as early as 7th grade if they test in.  The college courses count for both high school and college credit.  So I could see doing college courses for academics where the teen is that accelerated, and attending high school for less academic courses where the social aspect could be a benefit.

I think even if we do decide to stay with the virtual school or homeschool next year she will take art courses (especially interested in pottery) and participate in sports at the high school. 

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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/3/2021 at 6:42 PM, hippymamato3 said:

I think even if we do decide to stay with the virtual school or homeschool next year she will take art courses (especially interested in pottery) and participate in sports at the high school. 

Just figured I'd update that DD is going to continue with her charter school for half days, and do the other half of the day at the local high school. We will see how it goes first semester and then decide from there what is working and what isn't. She's very excited about buying new school clothes. lol

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On 3/2/2021 at 11:06 AM, hippymamato3 said:

Hello,

My DD is 11 and two years (technically, but actually more) accelerated in an online charter school. This places her starting high school this fall, which concerns me socially. She is mature for her age, but that doesn't mean she's ready for all that high school entails. We agreed to the acceleration hoping it would give her a challenge, but she's still not really challenged and is currently taking all high school honors level courses. We have a few options: homeschool next year and start high school the following year; send her to a very prestigious prep school this fall for high school; continue in her charter school; investigate local private schools, likely religious. I don't think it makes sense to hold her back a year, because academically she'd be extremely bored and with severe ADHD I'm not sure that wouldn't lead to behavior issues like chatting too much, etc. We would like her to have more opportunities to make friends, which is why in-person school is appealing. She is leaning toward continuing in her charter school, but is open to other ideas. Any thoughts?

Thanks

I really do not think holding her back a year academically is going to help her get less bored. if I went to homeschooling I would make that a permanent commitment not with the intention of just holding her back in high school. Otherwise I would just let her keep going with the charter school. And as far as the prestigious private school goes, those generally are not all that they seem to be when you actually get there. what she needs is a program for the profoundly gifted. You’re trying to figure out how to fit your square peg into a round hole by switching her to different round holes. It’s just not gonna work. Just let her blossom and go. If I were deciding I would probably homeschool her and start her on college courses if that’s what she’s ready for.

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