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    #143622 - 11/29/12 09:15 AM Getting picked on -- starting already?
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    This is just breaking my heart. Hanni is in pre-K, and has had an ongoing issue with letting an adored friend mistreat her. Now the problem seems to have expanded. The teacher is reporting to me that when other kids do or say mean things, Hanni says it's okay for them to treat her like that. At home I've heard her say things like if she stands up for herself, So-and-So won't be her friend anymore. (The teachers are, of course, working to stop the mean behavior as well as working on Hanni's reactions to it, but they can't control everything every minute.)

    I'd been hoping that she was more socially adept than most of my family tends to be as youngsters, and in many ways she seems to be. She is friendly, alert to social cues, enjoys playing with kids at preschool. But on the other hand, she is starting to show signs of serious nerd-dom. Her current preferred outfit is a rashguard with a bathingsuit over the rashguard, capri pants (yes, it's winter), and socks pulled up almost but not quite to the bottom of the capris. She looks like a total dork, and is blissfully happy in this outfit. She's not the type who will only talk about her current obsession, and her play is very age-appropriate ("We're bears! This is our cave! Let's snuggle in our cave!"), but her vocabulary and way of talking is insanely adult, and she likes odd turns of phrase.

    I don't know how much any or all of this is off-putting to the other kids. At any rate, many of the kids in her pre-K class have older siblings in public school, and they bring that vibe into the preschool. I'm wondering if Hanni is starting to get targeted for being an oddball.

    It's clear to me at this point that public school is out of the question. If she's needing extra nurturing and social guidance in this highly nurturing little preschool, imagine what would happen to her in an overcrowded public school. (Our local is the "best" school in the county, but frankly, in this day and age that's not saying much.)

    Now I'm starting to wonder, would things be particularly better at a private school. There is one private nearby that emphasizes social-emotional development and community, but they don't let kids work above grade level and they use Everyday Math. Then there's an "advanced" private school, where they do a really good job of figuring out where each kid is at academically, but I've heard reports of bullying there.

    In my heart I really really want to homeschool her. She's just such an obvious perfect fit for homeschooling. I'm just really worried about the strain of making that work. (As some of you know, I'm a single mom with a demanding career -- flexible hours, but not a lot of spare energy. Some money to throw at babysitters, but not an infinite amount.)

    Anyway, thanks for listening -- just needed to express all this.

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    #143625 - 11/29/12 09:22 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    gabalyn Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/12
    Posts: 351
    Oh, that sounds really awful! That kind of treatment from peers can be very damaging for a kid, especially one who is sensitive. And I think that kind of bullying goes on a lot in most places. I have homeschooled my two all the way through. They are 8 and 10. In many ways, I feel that homeschooling is a lot easier than most people think it is. I homeschool in a major city, and there are a lot of supports here. But it also is not nearly as time demanding as most people think it would be. If you would like to talk about the nuts and bolts of homeschooling a gifted young child, I would be happy to tell you more about how I have made it work. Feel free to PM me.

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    #143627 - 11/29/12 09:43 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    deacongirl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/03/10
    Posts: 948
    she is young for it to totally apply but I would strongly encourage you to read Rosalyn Wiseman's stuff on social aggresion in girls and how to handle it. I think that you could certainly explain it to her at her level. Hopefully she can learn that it is NOT ok to be treated like that and what to do about it.

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    #143631 - 11/29/12 09:59 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    When we contemplated homeschooling, we had feedback along the lines of "What about socialization?"
    My frequent thought (occasionally voiced): "Have you read Lord of the Flies"

    Play and playgrounds at school have a life of their own and they are handed from class to class over time as they morph and take on a life on their own that teachers have little direct control over.

    It seems so complex when the correct, "taught" way to "user your voice" particularly when it is quite an adult voice reads even nerdier to other kids.

    Successfully implemented, I think your daughter's approach can be healthy, first off: it removes the power from the people doing the teasing, secondly: it allows her to have control over the acceptable bounds by providing negative feedback when her chosen line is crossed, and if you are going to march to your own drummer, make sure he beats that drum loudly. Not everybody is comfortable with self-deprecating humor and other ways of retaking control without conflict or want their kids to be that way.

    In an ideal world...?

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    #143643 - 11/29/12 10:43 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: Zen Scanner]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Zen Scanner
    When we contemplated homeschooling, we had feedback along the lines of "What about socialization?"
    My frequent thought (occasionally voiced): "Have you read Lord of the Flies"


    I have this same thought.

    The more I think about this issue, the more I come to believe that the key to a successful adult life is to unlearn all the social behaviors you learned on the playground. The alleged social benefits of public school are actually a social hindrance, because of the toxic environment, IMO.

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    #143645 - 11/29/12 11:06 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    ellemenope Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/16/11
    Posts: 155
    We are in a similar situation with our PreK DD. She is by far the youngest in the class, with the majority of the class being at least 6 months older than her, and a few red-shirted almost 6-year-olds. DD is also small. Many of the kids in her class are a whole head taller than her. She also seems to have held onto her baby look a little longer than most. When she walks in the class many kids comment about how cute she is. They even come up to her and squeeze her cheeks or pat her on the head.

    In many ways it is great that she has always been the youngest. She is a chameleon, matching her behavior and learning to those around her. But, in other ways, it is not. She is treated like a toy. I have seen her get manipulated. She is learning to be more of a follower. I think she is becoming even more reserved. She is also an easy target for picking on. And, as I observed recently, many of the older kids in her class are introducing some mature topics into their play as well as queen bee drama.

    But, she is happy. The first few weeks were rough for her I think, looking back. But, I think she is happy to have her niche in the class. Many of the kids are writing letters and words, and I am glad she is seeing that is normal, though none are reading yet.

    We are looking into schools for next year. We, too, have pretty much decided that public school, even the magnet school, would not be a great fit for her. For one, the academics even in the academic advanced schools will not be a good fit. But, more importantly, I think she will get lost in the shuffle. She would require no attention academically and happily perform at the level of the class. A lot of the privates would be the same way.

    We have found a school that I think would work, but they are very progressive and exclusive. They are not academic focused at all, especially in the lower grades, (although thankfully they do not use everyday math.) Yet, they are doing something right because over half their upper grade students score in the top 5% on the ERBs. I think that sounds good, but its probably more a reflection on the families they attract. Their whole shtick is the sense of community, feeling loved and safe, emphasis on arts, building confidence, thinking outside the box, and having fun. It's mostly reggio with a lot of individualized instruction and a no limits attitude. It really aligns with my ideals of childhood, and I have now heard of many stories of shy children blossoming there and their parents credit the school's approaches.

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    #143697 - 11/29/12 03:30 PM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: ellemenope]
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Originally Posted By: ellemenope
    Many of the kids in her class are a whole head taller than her. She also seems to have held onto her baby look a little longer than most.

    Hanni is also really small for her age, a genuine shrimp. But she's really skinny, too, which paradoxically makes her look older (more facial definition, I think). I do wonder whether the size thing adds to the oddity. Probably size by itself wouldn't matter, but . . . the kid who looks like a little elf, wearing her raincoat backwards all day and using the word "et cetera"?

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    #143721 - 11/29/12 06:18 PM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    More info from the teachers today, and from Hanni herself. It's a whole combination of things making her into an oddball. We don't watch movies at our house, and all the other kids talk about the movies they watch, and she feels left out. The kids talk about how she's the shortest. They talk about how she has the shortest rain boots.

    Another advantage of homeschooling: kids get thrown together in all combinations of ages, sizes, dress styles, and home environments. I just want her somewhere where she can be herself.

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    #143771 - 11/30/12 07:32 PM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: Dude]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: Zen Scanner
    When we contemplated homeschooling, we had feedback along the lines of "What about socialization?"
    My frequent thought (occasionally voiced): "Have you read Lord of the Flies"


    I have this same thought.

    The more I think about this issue, the more I come to believe that the key to a successful adult life is to unlearn all the social behaviors you learned on the playground. The alleged social benefits of public school are actually a social hindrance, because of the toxic environment, IMO.



    Yup.

    No advice-- other than to note that for some kids, this kind of social acumen (that is, some combination of being a doormat and being pained at not fitting in better) seems to just BE (as opposed to being a conditioned response to something).

    My DD hasn't ever really been exposed to that kind of social scene since she's never attended a "school" setting since she was about two, and yet she's always been that way. From our perspective, it can look a lot like letting others walk all over her-- they can be really awful to her and she just shrugs rather than countering.

    She just shrugs at our assessment of things, too, and points out that her way is probably the best option overall, that anything else is only going to escalate things. Trouble is, she's all too often right about that.

    Painful to watch, though-- definitely.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #143797 - 12/01/12 05:04 PM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    SwimMom Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/20/12
    Posts: 3
    Loc: California
    Love Hanni's school outfit! Her way of wearing a rash-guard makes complete sense. Sounds like she's comfortable just being herself.

    Regarding private school, "fit" is everything. Many private schools in our area say they meet the needs of every child, but most have fixed curriculum and teachers who have no training or experience teaching to gifted kids. Kids who think outside of the box disrupt their program. It's helpful to figure out whether your child fits within a particular school. It's virtually impossible to make a school fit to your child. You may want to consider schools tailored specifically for gifted kids where it's okay to be different.

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