DD7 has been homeschooling for about 2.5mos now. This decision was made after she experienced more than a year of a haphazard nonsense in which she spent most of the day an age-grouped class in which the work was well beneath her. The remainder was spent in a daily, gifted pull-out in which she was at least a year younger than everyone else, and they were teaching to the level of the older kids, so they were assuming she knew things she'd never seen. Not feeling like her needs were being met or that she belonged in either group, her confidence level cratered. Resistance to challenge and to learning was rampant.

In these past 2.5 mos, her average school day has increased from 3 hours to 4. Most of the increased time is going to her daily journal entries ("You can't time creativity, Mom."), and to extra math problems, by request. DD is actively pushing her mom for more now. For example, adding/subtracting fractions was introduced to her with values that had the same denominator... DD instantly declared it too easy and boring, so they went straight into numbers with different denominators and finding the LCD. DD jumped into that with both feet, and asked for more problems.

This newfound confidence showing up in other areas, too. DD is the youngest member of an acting class, because her age would place her in a lower group, but DD sat in for a trial in both, privately observed to DW that the first one full of babies, and the teacher was very receptive to allowing her to participate in the older group ("She certainly seems mature enough."). They're doing a play next week. She got over the initial disappointment of having one of the smaller roles quickly, because she thinks her part is hilarious. As of last night, she's the only one rehearsing without her script.

Also, she was very shy about being in a class full of older kids, at first. Now she's dressing up for class in her own unique style, bringing her doll, and doing cartwheels when she's not a part of whatever scene they're working on. She recently acquired the phone number of the class alpha-girl, who I'm guessing is 11 or 12.

A couple weeks ago DD wanted a haircut, and she wanted bangs this time. She'd done it before, and DW said she looks better without them. DD did it her own way anyway, and declared herself adorable when it was over.

Also, after we rented Hunger Games, we bought the full series of books, which DW and I quickly devoured. DD declared herself unequal to the task of reading them by herself, because they were too much. Well, she has recently decided to re-read the entire Harry Potter series instead, by herself this time (we were doing it as bedtime stories last year). That's a reading project at least 3x the size.

In short... we've got our kid back, because we recognize this as the girl we had when we first sent her to kindergarten.