My youngest child just turned 13, so she's in seventh grade. Lately there have been a lot of issues with her and her academics and such. She was tested in second grade and put into the gifted program, which at that point was a group of six kids who met with this wacky teacher and they talked and researched whatever they wanted. It was amazing. They could really do what they wanted, and the teacher was great about treating them like equals. Once they decided to put on a sketch comedy show, but they researched and practiced the dialects of Australia, England, Scotland, South Africa, etc. as well as try to adopt the satirical eye that comedians on shows such as SNL took. It was just great. But that teacher retired, and since then the gifted program has flopped. All they would do were "independent study" projects where they basically just had to do extra work at home. The honors classes were huge, far too easy to test in to, and in all just moved at a normal pace and had very easy subject matter. Nothing was done for her EALP in writing. I tried to talk to the teachers every year, but there is only so much I can do. In middle school, the honors classes have the same problem as well as the gifted class. She loves all of the kids in the gifted group, but the thing's that they are doing are boring and tedious to most, if not all, of them.
So because of this she's pretty much lost interest in everything. She's doing ballet at a pre-professional level, but she won't call it that because she doesn't want to dance professionally. She enjoys it at the studio, I guess. She does have a lot of friends, but she isn't very close with any of them on a personal level. I don't know if she isn't getting enough exercise or something, because she's very restless and often says she "has an urge to punch something". We're thinking of joining a boxing club or something. It's not as though she's all dark and depressed, though. She and her older sister act like idiots and make parodies and do stupid teen stuff. She lives for comedy, like "The Office" and "Saturday Night Live". She's told me that her latest gig is doing sketches in the locker room before and after gym class for that period's girls. She's dead-set on writing for screen or television. She writes, plays games, and all that.
But she's just so bored. Day in and day out, whether she's in school or not. She tells me that class is basically a game to see just how much sarcastic wit she can give before the teachers get mad at her. She's not the kid who already knows everything in math class, but she picks it up and doesn't require any repetition. Once she spent five hours making a list of every human name she could think of because she couldn't think of anything better to do. Now she infatuates herself with fictional realities like Middle Earth and the universe of Doctor Who, and I feel like she lives there. She's more interested in fictional people than she is in her friends. She's very, very good with people, almost to a manipulative level. She can out on eight different faces in one day and talk her way into or out of anything. She gets sent to her room every other day for being snarky. I can see how her ease with people lets her identify easily with characters and integrate herself within the stories. Her actual role model is Sherlock Holmes, for God's sake. Minus the detached-sociopath part, she says.
A big problem is my husband or I can't homeschool her; it just won't work. We can't relocate, since we have jobs and two other teenage children. She wants to go to a boarding school but my husband and I don't want her to. We don't think that's a good option for a thirteen year old. She wants to become an extra in movies to get a sense of how the set works. She says it's the only job a kid can have, acting, and she has experience in theater and she wants to go learn up on movies for when she writes and directs. But again, that won't work. The only time she's absolutely happy is when she's at summer camp, which for her isn't even an academic or selective camp. It's this little co-ed camp at a boychoir school that she goes to, and she just loves everything about it. We're thinking of maybe trying the Johns Hopkins CTY intensive studies programs this year. She’s interested in the creative writing, cryptology, and humanities courses. We really are just looking for things to keep her sane for the next seven years while she continues middle and high school. School, summer, any programs. We live within an hour of NYC, so that opens some doors.
Advice? Solutions? Similar problems? I don't know; this could be a normal thing for gifted kids around this age. If anyone knows of summer programs similar to CTY, that would be great. Any help is appreciated.