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Away-from-home high school options: update in post 28 - Page 2

post #21 of 33

I would vote for option 2 also. My main concern would be that she might be a little too much on her own emotionally, and if it were my daughter, I would try to figure out how to best stay involved in her life despite the distance. The other challenges I can see are roommate issues or your daughter feeling like she's got less of a vote than the other girl because the other mother is there more-- I think it's all manageable, I'm just pointing out things you might want to think about and plan for. 

post #22 of 33
I think an apartment is a great idea as long as she has access to contraceptives (condoms for sure but something more long lasting would br my suggestion). I moved out and started college a month before turning seventeen and it was good that I did because I was able to have the reality of the real world without too many adult world consequences.

I suggest really focusing on working out house expectations though. Being roommates with a friend can be very damaging on the relationship and it is important to hash out clear boundaries and expectations beforehand.
post #23 of 33
I just re-read this after seeing your other post and the picture out on the ice … I was just thinking about your littlest dd and what the impact might be on her to be the only child at home.    This is something that weighed on me when I was 17 and away from home for a year - I could have extended it for another year or longer, but one thing I thought of was that my two younger siblings would not have me around for support and company, etc.   
 
Not that it is a reason not to do it, but something to prepare for and try to mitigate as much as possible. 
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumi View Post
 
I was just thinking about your littlest dd and what the impact might be on her to be the only child at home

 

Definitely something we're taking into account.

 

My first thought was that it would be a tough blow for her, but at a first discussion she was surprisingly fine with it, and the more we think and talk about it the more Inclined I am to agree with her that it will have several advantages for her. Her older siblings have been attending school for the past two years, while she's been the only child at home and we don't live on a school bus route, nor do we have public transit, so that means that our days are constrained by needed to drop off and pick up the big kids. The pick-up at 3 pm is especially difficult as it prevents us from doing a lot of homeschool activities and pursue other out-of-home and out-of-town activities. Also our Tuesdays have had to revolve around getting the older siblings to town for choir, which has had dd10 away from home from 2 pm to 9 pm for nothing that has any benefit for her. That weekly expedition will no longer be necessary which will be a huge bonus for her. We've noticed that when she's on her own with her dad and me, for instance when the siblings are away on a school trip or a choir trip, she actually loves that time when the flow of daily life can serve her needs more readily.

 

In addition, our tentative plan is to go to town as usual for younger dd's Thursday evening gymnastics, and then to stay overnight with the girls at their apartment and spend Friday doing "town things" until school is over for the week at which point we'd bring her sister home with us. That would mean a day of swimming at the pool, going to the library, and likely taking part in some of the homeschooling classes and get-togethers that happen amongst the community there. The Fridays In Town would be a tremendous perk for her. 

 

We also know that when our 15-year-old is away from home for a while she is much nicer to be around when she gets back. When she's missed the comfort and company of home after a period of busy-ness and travel, she's a really lovely person to be around for a few days. Absence making the heart grow fonder and all that. So I think weekends may be really nice for both girls. 

 

Miranda

post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

 

In addition, our tentative plan is to go to town as usual for younger dd's Thursday evening gymnastics, and then to stay overnight with the girls at their apartment and spend Friday doing "town things" until school is over for the week at which point we'd bring her sister home with us. That would mean a day of swimming at the pool, going to the library, and likely taking part in some of the homeschooling classes and get-togethers that happen amongst the community there. The Fridays In Town would be a tremendous perk for her. 

 

We also know that when our 15-year-old is away from home for a while she is much nicer to be around when she gets back.

 

That all sounds wonderful for your whole family! 

 

I've been following the thread, but didn't have anything to add because everything had already been said by someone else. It is so tough when the current school situation isn't working and you need to make a switch, but this really sounds like all the pieces are falling in place. 

 

When will your DD return to the city for school? On Sunday nights, or is it close enough you could take her in on Monday morning super early?

post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 

Well, I don't doubt there will be some difficulties; I'm sure there are times it will be hard on my youngest, and I hope it works okay for my husband, who will be on his own more than ever. I think middle dd will miss home, especially on weeks that have a bit of school stress in them. But there are always pros and cons. On balance it looks like moving her will be a good move.

 

I expect we'll go into town Sunday after family dinner, do the grocery shopping and get her settled for the week. Then she'd be able to have a quiet evening, a good sleep and a leisurely next morning. My guess is that will get her better recharged for the next week than an extra sleep in her home bed. Having said that we'll probably try it both ways and see which works best.

 

Miranda

post #27 of 33

miranda first let me say i can see my now 11 year old is heading down ur dd's direction and she would be over the moon to have that opportunity.

 

my question is you are bringing her back home right when the social life begins. what if your dd does not want to come home on the weekend? what if she wants to just come home friday adn go back saturday, or stay saturday and come home on sunday am and go back sunday afternoon, evening. what would happen if she wants to stay back for a special school event and her roommate goes home. will you go and stay with her with your youngest and make it a family special trip? 

 

two years of boredom esp. in high school can be mentally damaging so i am glad you are not seriously considering keeping her there. 

 

what i have seen with my dd is that there is no true perfect solution. the moment you make a choice it also means you had to decide to let something go. from what you write i think your dd will be fine.

 

are there emancipation laws in canada? i know a few 13, 14 year olds here in the US who got legal emancipation so why cant a mature 15 year old manage on her own. 

 

but really like LOTM, i've been reading this but not really posting because its all been said. 

 

i would suspect your dd would be fine. its you and your dh who will have to adjust. 

post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 

Update: Yesterday we toured the prospective school and it was a very positive experience. Rather than being the only kid taking pre-Calc and physics, she'd be placed in one of several classes of 20-30 kids, with the option for AP courses. What a difference! It'll really give her that sense of being part of a school. It's friendly, lots of familiar faces in the halls, brilliantly set up with more options and amenities than I had at my high school of 2000 students. Music production, video and TV production, ceramics, three streams of dance, personal fitness development for girls, an adventure tourism leadership and safety program, co-op apprenticeship programs, French immersion, computer modelling and animation, plus academic options like psych, law, social justice and geology. Perhaps to most of you this doesn't seem amazing, but for the past 20 years I've lived in a town where the school has had to choose just a single senior science course which is only offered alternate years, and where students have to choose from amongst the virtually the same four elective courses over and over again from 7th through 12th grade.

 

So yes, the vice principal was encouraging and enthusiastic about her joining the school, and given the way credits accumulate on a provincial transcript here and transfer easily between schools there was no question of her not getting into whatever 12th grade courses she wants next fall. He was affable, and seemed very supportive of her desire to broaden and deepen her education over the next two years rather than graduating a year early -- which it turns out she would have enough credits to do. 

 

I don't think there's any point in legally emancipating her, since she'll only be an hour and a half away in a town we visit biweekly already, and will be home with us on weekends. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the role it plays, but in my experience it is mostly about giving legal independence as an alternative to foster care placement. She wouldn't need foster care to make our proposed arrangement kosher; there's no legal reason here that a teen can't live in a separate location with parental support. Perhaps things are different in Canada? Am I missing seeing the advantages emancipation give her? I suppose she'd have access to welfare payments, but that's not something that would feel right to us anyway.

 

Weekends ... totally negotiable. I expect she'll really want to come home, but at this point her track record is excellent and I'd have no problem with her being entirely on her own from time to time, or even more regularly. We're not committed to any particular living arrangement: at this point finding an affordable space within easy walking distance of groceries and the school is the biggest hurdle. We may end up sharing the rental of a house with a couple of other families in similar situations, where each family has their own bedroom and shares common space. Or we may luck into a separate granny suite in the home of a homeschooling family. We may find a 2bdrm apartment to share with the other girl and her mom. We may even consider a studio apartment where she'd be on her own for two to four nights a week, when dd11 and I aren't staying over. 

 

We've started dropping hints with the principal of her current school that she may not be returning. I feel really badly about deserting them. They desperately need the enrolment and every time one kid leaves two more seem to start thinking about it. The high school portion could be closed any time with numbers as low as they are, and that would be a huge blow to the community. But I won't sacrifice my girl's happiness and future prospects in order to try to make that a little less likely. She just got her mid-year report card and has the highest marks in the school in the most advanced science courses they're currently offering. She's a 10th grader who just turned 15. This school just isn't going to be able to continue to give her an optimal education, that's the reality. I'm sure they understand that.

 

Miranda

post #29 of 33

It is just the reality of rural schools.  Ours has fewer than 100 students in the whole of K-12 education.  One student leaving, and their parents' support with it, can have an undue impact on the school but there is ultimately not much to be done about it.  (OK, I can imagine some crazy and wonderful solutions, but not very realistic.)  Our school district is strongly impacted because it has several school districts in close proximity with larger schools, more programs (even though funding is supposed to be evenhanded) and better opportunities and a positively competitive atmosphere for the ambitious student.  IME, pretty much any family that can get to another district does, leaving ours filled with poor kids that have largely hands-off parenting and relatively little parental support.  How we've managed to maintain the existence of this school is beyond me, except the community as a whole seems supportive.  But between 4-H and girl scouts, I don't know a single child that doesn't go somewhere else or else homeschools-- I know not one child that goes to school here.

 

Sorry for the OT ramble.  I'm glad the school looks like a good fit, and it's too bad that your local school cannot fairly accommodate her.  

post #30 of 33

So glad the school felt right! It must seem pretty exciting to her to have all those options suddenly. 

 

Emancipation is sort of an extreme and probably not even something she'd be eligible for since the kid has to prove they have means to care for themselves. Legally, I can't speak for Canada. I know the states are a little weird about it. There are strangely no set laws in this area. It's all case-by-case. You could leave your 12-year-old home alone while you are at work and no one would think twice about it or consider you neglectful. However, if a fire started while you were gone one day, you could be charged with child-endangerment and risk all your children being placed in foster care.... even if society, on large, thinks 12 is old enough to be home alone. If your child was home alone at 16 when a fire started, most likely, no chargers would be filed. However, if you'd left the 16-year-old at home for a few days while you flew upstate to care for an ailing grandparent... and something happened, then yes, you could get charged. Again, not suggesting you jump to emancipation in the least. I'm really just mulling over the oddity of society. 

 

Anyway, good luck! I hope she gets the experience she's looking for!

post #31 of 33

sorry i did not write my thoughts fully on the emancipation issue. my thoughts were if a 13 or 14 year old CAN get emancipation, then why cant your 15 year old do what you are setting her up to do. in other words yes a mature 15 year old can live by herself ocassionally for a couple of days - if that. 

 

actually emancipation can happen from both - parents and foster parents. if you can prove your parents were neglectful and/or that you can take care of yourself and that you have been taking care of yourself. 

 

i agree the double standards of society really get to me. 

 

i am glad the weekends are negotiable. i like your philosophy on this whole situation. i can see why she is who she is. :)

 

what i am sad to learn is that schools have not changed much in the last 70 years. how you guys are all describing rural schools is exactly how one of my 85 year olds described his high school experience in a midwest rural school.

 

totally OT, because i know our community college is involved in a large scale project, i would think there would have been more movement with online classes for those in remote areas - at least in the high school grade level. 

post #32 of 33

Totally no reason to post this but for my own thoroughness: our school district has 269 students, K-12, 127 of those in 7-12th grades  Had to look that up. 

post #33 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
 

what i am sad to learn is that schools have not changed much in the last 70 years. how you guys are all describing rural schools is exactly how one of my 85 year olds described his high school experience in a midwest rural school.

 

Obviously I've been focusing here on what isn't working for my dd. I haven't said much about it in this thread but I think our rural K-12 school with 87 students is actually doing some pretty awesome innovative things that are a vast improvement on what was happening decades ago. They have a strong cross-curricular outdoor education focus (they've overnighted in snow caves this year, participated in government-run watershed ecology studies, participated in farming experiences, learned basic ground search and rescue techniques, hiked, canoed, snowshoed, skied, snowboarded, set up and run an eco-waste program that resulted in a mere two bags of garbage being produced at an outdoor event that attracted 9,000 visitors, practiced survival skills for PE, etc. etc.) and they offer some pretty cool electives and classroom enrichment stuff every year: local history documentary film production and animation, for example. And there is a great breadth of independent study options available: on-line courses allows students to take almost anything they want. My dd could take senior chemistry and senior physics next year at her current school even though the school isn't offering those courses on their roster, she'd just be doing them entirely out of textbooks and on the computer. That's how she's taking Honours English 11 and Pre-Calc 11 this year. But it's very solitary and self-directed and after this year all her academics would likely be in that format. She used to homeschool, and when she started school it was for the things that school offers that are different ... getting teaching from teachers, interacting with other students, having a sense of belonging to a community of fellow learners, experiencing a classroom environment. Doing all her remaining academic study independently isn't going to give her that. 

 

So I think there are some pretty cool things happening in at least some tiny rural schools. There just comes a point for some students when those things are not enough, or fail to address their particular needs.

 

Miranda

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