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    Joined: Jun 2012
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    Melessa Offline OP
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    I realize this is not a novel question around here; but is one keeping me up at night (and you are the only people I can bounce ideas off of/ go to for advice and guidance.)

    My ds6 is in 1st grade ps. I have a lot of concerns about if this school is right for him. We are still in the process of gifted eligibility (although we have private scores). Differentiation and pull out are dependent on MAP scores. (Yet, even though his reading is 99%, he doesn't get pulled out.) otherwise, gt is just enrichment 1x/ week.

    Ds is complaining that everything is easy at school. He is back to acting "very silly" to. Get attention from kids at school. Overall, I am worried about underachievement. He also wants to fit in with these kids. I also am afraid that the overall pace of school is too slow (ex. Last year he would do activities on Compass Learning/ Time for learning. This year, he hates it and gets frustrated and and angry. He tries to click ahead, but can't.

    These are the current options ive come up with:

    I've wondered about homeschool; but I'm terrified. However, there a coop near by that seems good. Not to mention of the fun classes in the surrounding area.

    Private gifted school that's an hour away. Challenging for the distance esp because we have a younger ds.

    Virtual school: yet, I'm concerned about "clocking" hours, connection to other students, and how moving through the material really works.

    Montessori- there is one about 15-20mins away in city. i am not sure about the Montessori way or if this is right for my ds (3 year class, with last year being a mentor).

    Oh and next year would be a new school for ds, because re- districting is happening. I realize there is no "right" answer;but would love to hear feedback or persona experience with above schooling option.

    Thanks!

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    If they are re-districting, what would the school be like next year? Maybe better?

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    Melessa Offline OP
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    Blackcat- sorry wrong wordage- re-zone, same district.

    Joined: Mar 2012
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    I would not rule out that Private gifted school if I were you. If it is at all doable, I would visit them and attend open houses there and see if that is an option that would work - I am speaking as a mom of a DS6 who was acting silly in PS and dumbing himself down in order to fit in.

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    Does the private school have strict entrance requirements or is it open to anyone who can pay the tuition? If it has an open enrollment, be wary of the fact you may just end up paying for the privilege of having your child dumb himself down to fit in.

    I am new to a virtual school and love it so far. I know there are others on here who have been with a virtual school much longer than I and don't feel favorably about it. The way I look at it though is if my kids finish their work quickly during the day, we can work on whatever we want. It sounds like you have some options for classes nearby that will be fun for your child and will allow for enrichment and interaction.

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    Melessa Offline OP
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    ashley and Zookeeper, thank you.

    Zookeeper- the private school has IQ / achievement test requirements- which ds meets. The tuition is low to help serve gt kids that need it.

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    Hi Melessa,

    Choosing schools, and continuing to advocate to be sure that whatever school you ultimately choose works for your child is not (usually) easy. Most schools aren't really ideal for any child, and you have to do your best to research all options and make the best choice you can. So with that said, I can't really say I have any advice, because all school situations are so different!

    I do have a few thoughts for you though - the hour long drive to school - is it an hour both ways? Even one way is a long commute for a kid, and it can take a huge chunk of time away from family time. We've had longer commutes and shorter commutes, and the shorter commute has been so much better all around. I just find my kids have more energy at the end of their day, we have time to get through homework before dinner, we have time to relax and have fun together as a family, and we're not running around tired from driving all the time.

    Re the Montessori which is advertising "mentoring" in the 3rd year of each multi-grade split - I'm skeptical of that for two reasons. First, sure, mentoring is great but only if it can take place in addition to appropriate academic challenge - you don't want it replacing challenge, and if it's advertised up-front, I'd wonder about that a little bit. So ask how they challenge the upper level students in each split. The second reason - whether or not a child enjoys mentoring depends a lot on the child's personality. My youngest dd was set in place as a mentor one year in early elementary when she was the upper grade level in a 2-grade combined classroom, and she was working quickly through her work. Whenever she finished something, the teacher had her help another student as opposed to giving my dd more challenging work. She absolutely *hated* this situation and complained about it a lot - she wanted to be doing actual academic work of her own, not helping other kids all the time... plus the academic work she was receiving was too easy, hence the reason she was available to mentor. My ds has also had teachers try to nudge him into a different type of mentoring - digging deeper into topics his class is studying, and then sharing his extended knowledge with his peers in class. He also totally resists and has no interest in doing that - it just makes him feel different. He's a-ok with sharing what everyone learns together in class, but doesn't want to be put under any kind of spotlight that says "He's the smart kid so he's going to dazzle us with his brilliance". He wants the teachers to be teachers, and he wants to be the student.

    I'd also give your current school's gifted pullouts a chance (because I think what you're saying is he'll eventually get into them but it's just been a slow process going through the motions - is that what's up?).

    Good luck thinking everything through -

    polarbear

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    You are wise to be aware of the warning signs you are seeing and stay on top of them.

    As far as options go... my top pick is home school.

    We did hour away gifted with an only child. It was very hard but possible. I usually spent 4-5hrs in the car daily and drove 500 miles a week. With another child... I'm not sure we could have done it. With homework outside of school and extracurriculars outside of school offerings it would have been impossible. The school itself was only a good fit for one year. Different teacher made a totally different environment.

    With homeschool there is always the ability to change if it just doesn't work. Public HAS to take you back if you change your mind at any time. It's a no risk trial. smile At private schools most require tuition commitments. If it doesn't go well or something changes, if they totally lie about what they will do for and with your child, you still owe ALL the tuition.... even if the school is destroyed in a natural disaster. I haven't seen a private yet without those types of clauses in the tuition agreements.

    Personally, I was convinced I couldn't survive home schooling my child and I had to explore all possible options before I tried it. He is intense and always doing something, he's never quiet, and won't be in a different room alone, he constantly wants to be in physical contact with me, he melts down with any pencil activities, and he gets STUCK like cement on ideas and things he wants... and my husband had just moved out so it was all me all the time. I thought my mental health was at risk if I lost the hours of freedom and quiet that school was providing. So I really understand concern about doing this with a 2e kid. And truthfully I absolutely never WANTED to home school. I know lots of home schoolers including my MIL and my husband and I were generally against it as an option in our family. It was something we had talked at length about over the years.

    Having said that however, actually doing home schooling has been wonderful. There is much more peace in my life without school dramas and dealing with the every day aftermath of who my child was after spending those hours there. I'm no longer fighting "their" battles of getting him to do the ridiculously too easy assignments they piled on for homework or forcing him to go there every day or trying to get THEM to do what he needs. I've effectively fired the middle man.

    My son is much more enjoyable to spend time with since he now has loads of free time to explore on his own after he finishes his home school work for the day and he isn't getting put through the wringer of a bad fit environment. I'm also getting the opportunity to find solutions to the 2e shut downs myself and teach him the skills he needs to be successful on his course ahead wherever it may lead. I feel this has been invaluable and timely. To hit his academic level he needs these skills right away. With those in place, we have more options for school choices should we want to change.

    I sure hope you find a good fit for your son and family. It is certainly priceless and worth the effort to get.

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    Well, transitioning from virtual into pure homeschooling is certainly easy enough if you opt for that.

    Also-- with a child that doesn't MIND demonstrating skills that s/he has mastered years ago, the virtual model isn't necessarily awful. It just takes up a fair amount of time in what amounts to busywork.

    But it does make afterschooling easy as pie, and it also makes for a nice compromise position in terms of having an official (not just mom-derived) transcript and report cards to fall back on in terms of validation for admission into external enrichment at the proper levels (as opposed to 'ages').



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Melessa Offline OP
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    Thanks everyone for their thoughts. Gives me more to think about. Dh told me he is not for any of these options; but will support my decision.


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