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#1 of 30 Old 06-01-2014, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS starts college tomorrow

Mommy needs support. DS 13 is starting community college tomorrow. Years of homeschooling, a gap year last year, CTY classes, lots of nay-sayers and my kiddo is doing college at 13. He is excited, I'm nervous.

Starting off slow with one humanities class for the summer then 2 classes in the fall (math and photoshop). He is so excited he can not wait. I'm teary-eyed

All those years of 'what will I do, what should I do, is what I'm doing the right thing' seems to have paid off.

We are starting a new path with DS. DS is happy, well adjusted and can not wait for 'night school'.
As usual mommy needs all the support she can get.
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#2 of 30 Old 06-01-2014, 05:57 PM
 
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All those years of 'what will I do, what should I do, is what I'm doing the right thing' seems to have paid off.
How fabulous! I hope it's everything you imagine it will be.

I will warn you, though ... there are likely to be a few more years of "what will I do, what should I do, is what I'm doing the right thing?" I'd be willing to bet that there are a few complicated decisions yet to come that you'll be involved in. My ds is 17.5 and while I feel thoroughly validated when it comes to my unschooling approach with him until age 14 or 15, I still feel like I'm involved and partly responsible for helping him sort out his life, and the decisions aren't getting any easier: he's more independent and more in the driver's seat than ever but the stakes just keep getting higher!

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#3 of 30 Old 06-01-2014, 06:54 PM
 
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I also have a 13 year old homeschooled son who can't wait to go to college My understanding is that they can only audit (no credit) until high school age (14/15). Have you found an alternative to this? Is your son receiving credit toward his degree?
Enjoy!
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#4 of 30 Old 06-01-2014, 07:04 PM
 
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My understanding is that they can only audit (no credit) until high school age (14/15). Have you found an alternative to this? Is your son receiving credit toward his degree?
Enjoy!
These kinds of policies are set by the college -- there isn't a national standard. I suggest you visit your local community college and ask all your questions.

Ours was super, super helpful when we enrolled our DD.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 30 Old 06-01-2014, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These kinds of policies are set by the college -- there isn't a national standard. I suggest you visit your local community college and ask all your questions.

Ours was super, super helpful when we enrolled our DD.

and yes moonmamma- i expect there to be bumps to be navigated. I'm just glad we made it this far. DS is so excited to be going at 'night' and im happier for evening classes as well. hopefully there will be more adults and more people to look out for ds.

mommy is getting nervous.

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#6 of 30 Old 06-01-2014, 11:44 PM
 
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Congrats to DS! I hope he enjoys the new environment. My DD started at the community college a couple years ago and really enjoyed her time there. There was always some "mom" in class wanting to chat and give her their daughter's out-grown clothes lol. There is a much or as little interaction as a kid wants really. It's not like high school where students are actively seeking a social life. Most just do their own thing. DD was 15 not 13 but no one ever batted an eye if her age came out. She did lots of projects with 20 somethings (and older) and they never questioned her ability and were happy to accept her leadership. We know many who started at the CC between the ages of 12 and 16... no one ran away crying.

Like Miranda says... the "what should we, did we do the right thing" sort of questions don't end. DD's 17 and heading across the country to a university in a couple months and this whole year has been questions and nervousness!

Oh, and textbook renting can save you a bundle! Wish they did that when I was in college. Good Luck!
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#7 of 30 Old 06-03-2014, 04:46 PM
 
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cc was the best thing that every happened to my kid at 13.


all the nonsense of high school was non-existent. people that were there were there to learn...and she got an enormous senses of learning for the love of learning. it was a gigantic self esteem builder, believe it or not. (this was no cakewalk thing--it was HARD)


caveat: I don't homeschool. she's in public.


what we found was credit or not (mine attended a certificate-based program because she wanted to, not specifically for the certificate-that was a bonus), everyone was respectful, interested in the subject matter and shared a common goal...it was exactly what my gifted, serious minded academic student needed.


don't stress--its a good thing.


if for some reason it isn't for yours right now, there is always next year. but I think you'll find that its a great fit---cutting out the typical high school bs works wonders for some kids.


good luck to both of you ;-)
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#8 of 30 Old 06-03-2014, 04:54 PM
 
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I took a speech class with my son yrs ago at the local community college when he was 15. It was required for him and I was having fun taking a class I dreaded the first time around. It was fun. He sat on one side of the room and I on the other. Everyone knew we were related by the end of the class, but at first he did not want anything to do with me. I helped him with his work, and he helped me with mine.

My biggest problem came when the school would not give me any information about him. Here I paid for him and the clerk in the office actually stood at the window and laughed very loudly in my face. When I complained, her superior laughed at me too. My main problem was that the office had issued two id #s to my son and when it came time to send his records to another school, they sent the wrong records which delayed and complicated his enrollment elsewhere. He qualified for financial aide and scholarships, but the duplicate records and id#s made for a bureaucratic nightmare.

Bottom line - if you are the taxpaying parent, you do have something to say. Go to the president of the college and make waves.

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#9 of 30 Old 06-03-2014, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Day one yesterday, he LOVED it and can not wait to go back. He even took the inititative to email the teacher with some questions for clarifiation. WTG kiddo!
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#10 of 30 Old 06-04-2014, 06:57 PM
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DD's 17 and heading across the country to a university in a couple months and this whole year has been questions and nervousness!
How fun! What school is she going to?

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#11 of 30 Old 06-05-2014, 01:18 AM
 
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Day one yesterday, he LOVED it and can not wait to go back. He even took the inititative to email the teacher with some questions for clarifiation. WTG kiddo!

And if the kid is happy, mommy is happy, right?

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#12 of 30 Old 06-05-2014, 03:58 AM
 
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One of my kiddos is in CC full time as an early entrant, the other is in a rigorous high school program. Although I'm a fan for CC in many ways, some things on the thread don't reflect her experience.

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people that were there were there to learn.....

everyone was respectful, interested in the subject matter and shared a common goal...it was exactly what my gifted, serious minded academic student needed.

cutting out the typical high school bs works wonders for some kids.
Definitely not every one is at our local CC to learn. My DD has watched people stop showing up to class, turn in shoddy work, etc. She see far more of this behavior in CC than her sister does on the honors track in high school.

There is bs everywhere, and cool people everywhere.

The quality of teaching is less consistent at our CC than on the honors track at our high school, too. Having 2 kids on 2 paths at the same time, I see the strengths and weaknesses of both, and feel it is more about personality fit than one option being "better" than the other.

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My biggest problem came when the school would not give me any information about him. Here I paid for him and the clerk in the office actually stood at the window and laughed very loudly in my face. When I complained, her superior laughed at me too. ...

Bottom line - if you are the taxpaying parent, you do have something to say. Go to the president of the college and make waves.
it's nothing to do with taxpaying, but as our children get older and do more adult things, they are expected to learn to advocate for themselves. I some situations, they are legally required to do so.
It can come as a shock, and for we very involved parents it requires a shift in thinking.

But we don't do our teens any favors when we sort things out for them rather than supporting them in sorting things out for themselves. You would have had a different experience if your son would have been there, doing the speaking, and you were standing next to him. He would have had a different experience too, and a far more empowering one.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#13 of 30 Old 06-05-2014, 11:44 AM
 
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As for maturity, do you really think the clerk and her superior reacted with maturity?

You left out the important information re: the college's error of two identification numbers that complicated any recordkeeping for my son, an error that was made by the college, not me nor my son. This was the fault of the college. The college was responsible for the error.

And my son was standing there. He was shocked at how rude they were, and was afraid to speak up.

AS the oldest of nine children and the mother of four adult children, I am quite familiar with the growth process that transforms babies to children to adults and the responsibilties that come with age.

The two identification numbers caused much confusion and turmoil for him when he applied for his financial aide (GI Bill) and decided to transfer. The financial aid office told me he was not enrolled because the identification number that was pulled up was the wrong one and the information was going to the the other number. This snafu caused headaches and delays that could have been avoided had they done something when they were first notified.

AND oddly enough, the school sent directly to ME, the parent, a bill when he finally was at long last, able to transfer.

When it comes to the $, the colleges are after the parents, believe me. They know the students do not have it. That is why most private educational loans require a parent to co-sign.
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#14 of 30 Old 06-05-2014, 03:06 PM
 
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I took a speech class with my son yrs ago at the local community college when he was 15. It was required for him and I was having fun taking a class I dreaded the first time around. It was fun. He sat on one side of the room and I on the other. Everyone knew we were related by the end of the class, but at first he did not want anything to do with me. I helped him with his work, and he helped me with mine.

My biggest problem came when the school would not give me any information about him. Here I paid for him and the clerk in the office actually stood at the window and laughed very loudly in my face. When I complained, her superior laughed at me too. My main problem was that the office had issued two id #s to my son and when it came time to send his records to another school, they sent the wrong records which delayed and complicated his enrollment elsewhere. He qualified for financial aide and scholarships, but the duplicate records and id#s made for a bureaucratic nightmare.

Bottom line - if you are the taxpaying parent, you do have something to say. Go to the president of the college and make waves.
Applejuice, it can be a difficult line with college administration and your young teen. DD's handled everything on her own and done a bang up job of it. However, we had an issue pop-up yesterday and I'm still not totally sure how to handle it. Long story short, for DD's credits to transfer to the private university, the community college admin has to sign that the classes took place on a college campus, taught be college instructors and taught to mostly college-aged students. The registrar refuses to sign it because "Without looking up every student you ever had a class with I can't possibly know that it was mostly college students in your classes!" What? Considering the freaking mission statement says "for high school graduates or equivalent"... considering the hoops high schoolers have to go to enroll... considering that DD only ever took one class that had another high schooler in it... what the heck!

The woman was pretty nasty I guess (and DD isn't one to exaggerate.) Would she has been as nasty if a 40-year-old woman had come to the window? Or was it easier to dismiss a 17-year-old? I loathe the idea of marching in there with her but the idea of DD getting no credit when she could easily have a years worth of credit all because this one woman is appalling.

Ah well, I'm totally venting now. We'll figure it out. I just know that the college system is bogged down in red tape and some admins at the community college are as friendly as those at the DMV. I always think a kid should try to handle things themselves first but even a mature teenager could need some back-up.

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.

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#15 of 30 Old 06-05-2014, 04:40 PM
 
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If you have to go in with her, get all your papers and other points of evidence lined up and go to the professors who have refused to sign off, the clerk, the clerk's superior, or to the college president.

Honestly many clerks are overwhelmed by the line of needy people in front of them for hours, so go and straighten it out. I am sure you helped pay for those classes. Your daughter's time in those classes should count, so make sure it does.

And I am sorry that you have to endure this indignity.
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#16 of 30 Old 06-05-2014, 04:44 PM
 
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Let me add whatsnextmom, that I got a vibe off of many of the professors and adminstrators that they were a bit tired of homeschoolers sending their teenage children to the community college instead of the high school.


Just my impression after sending all of my children to community college early after 10 yrs.
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#17 of 30 Old 06-06-2014, 09:29 AM
 
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#18 of 30 Old 06-06-2014, 09:32 AM
 
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And my son was standing there. He was shocked at how rude they were, and was afraid to speak up.
This sounds like a pretty nasty situation, precipitated by an unfortunate administrative mistake. I don't quite understand the above, though. You said he was standing right beside you, but that they were not willing to release his information to you. Why wouldn't they release it to the 15-year-old standing beside you? Who would they have been willing to release it to? I wonder if perhaps the situation had just escalated emotionally to the point where it needed to be dealt with at another moment, through other means. In which case it's not surprising that you weren't making any headway.

My ds17 had an issue yesterday that straddled the teen/adult high-school/college divide. He received notice that his admission to university for next year had been revoked due to a missing grade on his interim high school report (we're in Canada, and final exams aren't written until late June, so the interim marks are crucial). He's taking one of his courses as a cross-enrolled student in a distance-learning program in another school district, he started the course very late in the year, and for whatever reason it just hadn't got entered in the province-wide computer system. Add to this the wrinkle that teachers here are in the midst of a series of rotating strikes.

While I'm able to call teachers and administrators at the distance education school on his behalf, we knew that the college would only deal directly with him. So I signed him out of school for the morning and we worked away together at getting the whole mess straightened away. He did all the phoning and emailing, though I helped him navigate the intricacies of who to call and how to phrase his request and how to work his way through receptionists to the people who could actually make things happen. Thank goodness that it worked: by mid-afternoon we'd gone from "admission offer revoked, feel free to re-apply for 2015" to "Welcome to college!"

Now, my ds is 17 and getting close to traditional college-age, but I think this type of situation is something one needs to take into account any time one is enrolling a teen early in college courses: it's not just the content, social milieu and format of instruction that will be different from high school, but the independence required when interfacing with the administration. I'd been through transition once before, when my eldest moved across the country before reaching traditional graduation age and legal adulthood, so I knew it ahead of time: if you put your teen in a more adult situation for educational reasons, they need to be ready to be adults in other ways, because you as a parent can't necessarily do it for them.

Whatsnextmom, I hope things work out with your dd's transfer courses. Good luck! ETA: Could she request letters from her professors stating that the student body in those courses was mostly college-aged, and then go back to the administration with those notes?

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#19 of 30 Old 06-06-2014, 10:25 AM
 
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I wonder if perhaps the situation had just escalated emotionally to the point where it needed to be dealt with at another moment, through other means. In which case it's not surprising that you weren't making any headway.
No that is not what happened, but thank you for reading.
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#20 of 30 Old 06-06-2014, 01:23 PM
 
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And my son was standing there. He was shocked at how rude they were, and was afraid to speak up.

Why hadn't he asked the question in the first place? If he was standing right there? It doesn't make sense.

They weren't rude until after you asked for his information. And it escalated instead of them just saying they needed to speak to him. Your story doesn't add up.

Look, my kid in community college has autism and a social anxiety disorder. I get walking our kids through things, standing next to them, and helping.

Which is why your story doesn't add up to me. I'm the parent of a minor child doing adult things who really needs a lot of help to do them. That doesn't change my focus of helping her become independent and deal with her own life.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#21 of 30 Old 06-06-2014, 02:01 PM
 
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I also have a 13 year old homeschooled son who can't wait to go to college My understanding is that they can only audit (no credit) until high school age (14/15). Have you found an alternative to this? Is your son receiving credit toward his degree?
Enjoy!
This definitely varies by school.
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#22 of 30 Old 06-06-2014, 02:36 PM
 
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Whatsnextmom, I hope things work out with your dd's transfer courses. Good luck! ETA: Could she request letters from her professors stating that the student body in those courses was mostly college-aged, and then go back to the administration with those notes?

Miranda
It would be difficult since it's now summer session (limited class offerings) and most of her teachers aren't on campus again until Fall. Transferring these units not only gets rid of some GE's (which there is no real hurry to transfer) but lifts all the specific to Freshmen requirements (which she has to register for beginning of July.)

DD went in again this afternoon on her own and at least got them to sign off on the rest of the form and write "unknown" instead of leaving the question about students blank. We'll send it out. We'll know in a week or so if the university takes issue with it. If they do, we'll go back and argue.

Glad your son's issue was resolved! How scary to open up that letter. Just drives me batty how difficult they make it. No one wants to talk to each other directly. They just keep sending you back to the other party with messages!

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#23 of 30 Old 06-16-2014, 06:36 PM
 
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Thankful to have found this thread. We're considering entering our son early. He's only 10 and really, we're only considering it for science since this is where he is voraciously and viciously interested. I looked at the 100-level biology courses and I truly believe he could do it. He's just so minimally motivated a lot of the time that I'm worried more about the workload involved. I'd hate to have him audit the class, bang it out and then not get the credit for it. On the flip, I'd hate to have him feel horrible if he can't manage the actual workload.

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#24 of 30 Old 06-16-2014, 08:58 PM
 
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I looked at the 100-level biology courses and I truly believe he could do it. He's just so minimally motivated a lot of the time that I'm worried more about the workload involved.
This is the thing with bio ... it's not that the material is all that complex, there's just such a lot of it, and a full college course requires a ton of reading and memorizing. I don't really think there would be much point, if you're concerned about his motivation and stamina, to subject him to that kind of pressure (or on the other hand to invest time and money in auditing the course) at this point. See, the material is all out there, and it's easy to self-teach. So if it's just that he's interested in it, and wants the challenge, I would just set him loose on it on his own. You don't need a "course" to learn. When my dd15 was 9 or 10 I got her a copy of Campbell's standard AP Biology text and she spent many hours reading it and doing the on-line "labs" and self-evaluation quizzes. Some of it she found fascinating, other sections were too dry for her to want to persist with. Now at 15 she's covering the material for credit and it's easy for her, but she had a few gaps to fill, and she's gone deeper into some areas, so she hasn't felt like any time was wasted. And she's got a 98% in a course that many are failing or just scraping by in, with no stress. So I'd say, let him learn, but don't put him into a course. There's no rush.

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#25 of 30 Old 06-16-2014, 10:56 PM
 
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This is the thing with bio ... it's not that the material is all that complex, there's just such a lot of it, and a full college course requires a ton of reading and memorizing. I don't really think there would be much point, if you're concerned about his motivation and stamina, to subject him to that kind of pressure (or on the other hand to invest time and money in auditing the course) at this point. See, the material is all out there, and it's easy to self-teach. So if it's just that he's interested in it, and wants the challenge, I would just set him loose on it on his own. You don't need a "course" to learn. When my dd15 was 9 or 10 I got her a copy of Campbell's standard AP Biology text and she spent many hours reading it and doing the on-line "labs" and self-evaluation quizzes. Some of it she found fascinating, other sections were too dry for her to want to persist with. Now at 15 she's covering the material for credit and it's easy for her, but she had a few gaps to fill, and she's gone deeper into some areas, so she hasn't felt like any time was wasted. And she's got a 98% in a course that many are failing or just scraping by in, with no stress. So I'd say, let him learn, but don't put him into a course. There's no rush.

Miranda

Actually, we've done exactly that (self-teaching with what's available) until now and he articulated quite clearly that he wanted to learn with a group that was also learning the material so that he could have discussions about it with other people that are actually interested. He also wants the opportunity to ask questions from someone that can answer them. We looked at trying to put him in the local high school science but they are looking to put him in 5th grade science until he "proves himself" (actually--that's a lie: they won't EVEN put him in math/science for next year--they want to start with art, music and phys. ed )

He saw a trailer for a local STEM charter and went through the list of reasons he really wanted to go (the lottery was closed to private and home schooled kids--which is fine because it came with a lot of stuff he wouldn't have wanted). So I'm kind of at a loss for what to do with him. This is less of my rushing him and more desperately trying to follow his lead. I hate science. Seriously. And labs are hard to do at my house with his 5yo sister in the middle of it all (and not nearly at the level of learning he's at--so it's hard for me, who is not a science-head, to adapt to her).

Reading and memorizing are seriously not even REMOTELY the problem--it would be writing (he has longstanding OT problems that have prevented writing extensively and he's not a great typer--we just bought Dragon Naturally Speaking for him). He has a Cell Biology lab camp coming up (through a program for gifted kids) that's all day, every day for a week and I dread what it's going to do to us in terms of setting his expectations for what "could be" that we may not be able to fulfill. He got accepted into a 2-week lab science camp on infectious disease that I had to decline (it cost more than a semester of college lab science). I just don't know what to do for him anymore.

And really, I thought this was the one place we could come and not be accused of pushing or hot-housing our kids.

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#26 of 30 Old 06-16-2014, 11:22 PM
 
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And really, I thought this was the one place we could come and not be accused of pushing or hot-housing our kids.
Wow, wait a second, that's not what I said at all. I said "if you are concerned about his motivation and stamina," which you did say was your main concern, that I wouldn't push him into a course-like situation yet. And then I suggested a specific college level resource for your ten-year-old which I thought might give him lots of challenge without the costs and worry over how he'd cope with the workload. I don't see how that's accusing you of pushing him.

Sorry if I have touched a nerve, but I feel like you really misinterpreted what I wrote.

I understand the desire for group learning. My older kids were pretty happy to learn on their own until adolescence, but dd11 has that same wish that there were other people similarly motivated and interested in various things with whom she could learn. My family runs up against some pretty severe limits on our kids' opportunities because of where we live, and since my kids are older I can see that my kids have grown well and thrived anyway. I mean, we would have thought we'd died and gone to heaven if there was even a speck of gifted programming in our area, let alone a week-long summer science camp. And yet ... my kids are fine.

Sometimes you just have to say "Look, I know this isn't exactly what you're dreaming of, but it's the best we can do." And make your peace with it. No guilt.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#27 of 30 Old 06-16-2014, 11:56 PM
 
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And really, I thought this was the one place we could come and not be accused of pushing or hot-housing our kids.
I don't think Miranda was making that accusation. I read it more as agreement with the concerns you, yourself mentioned. If you aren't sure he's ready for the structure and written labor of the class, taking the course for credit might be something to wait on. Especially since he loves science. If he were to want to go to medical school someday, that grade will stay on his transcript and factor into his med school application GPA (specific to medical school.)

I can't comment on the amount of writing in community college biology. My DD took high school biology and there was a good deal. Something to keep in mind in the length of the classes and labs. At our local CC, biology is 6 hours of class/lab time a week. If he's not had much classroom experience, or directed learning, If, like you say, he's not always so motivated, I'd start with a soft science. Something interesting to him. Something where the class and lab don't have to be taken simultaneously... or the lab can be skipped altogether. Let him get used to the format and learning with adults. If it goes well, go for the biology for credit if he wants.

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#28 of 30 Old 06-17-2014, 12:08 AM
 
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Sorry if I have touched a nerve, but I feel like you really misinterpreted what I wrote.
If I have misinterpreted, I apologize.

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#29 of 30 Old 06-17-2014, 12:20 AM
 
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At our local CC, biology is 6 hours of class/lab time a week. If he's not had much classroom experience, or directed learning, If, like you say, he's not always so motivated, I'd start with a soft science. Something interesting to him. Something where the class and lab don't have to be taken simultaneously... or the lab can be skipped altogether. Let him get used to the format and learning with adults. If it goes well, go for the biology for credit if he wants.
He's been in classroom settings a lot actually. He even managed a weekly 2-1/2 hour advanced math class every Saturday last fall and wanted to sign up for another 9-week round of it in winter (which we did). It was rigorously classroom complete with 2" Pre-Algebra text, so I know he's capable. Honestly, I was very SURPRISED that he pulled that off without an issue (and that he wanted more). It's just hard when I see him blowing off the opportunity to do more at home. We just had a MAJOR (and long, drawn-out) house move and the more I think about it, I'm not sure I'd be having these reservations if it were January or February (pre-move). But I also think the stuff I've offered up for him is not very "sink your teeth into it" enough for him. He really got into chemistry and carbon chemistry, but after that--I was at a loss. Especially since he wants to be in a group.

I was looking at biology only because he's very driven for that right now. I think he's "done" with chemistry (it's been a good year of it).

I probably am sensitive on this. He's young. I'm at a loss. And we're in a new neighborhood where the only neighbor that has kids (that my kids want to spend every minute with) seems very resentful about our homeschooling (and speaks rather viciously, judgmentally and gossipy about 1-2 of the other neighbors)… so I may be feeling defensive about every decision. But also because really, I just never thought of my kid being "that" kid; and I'm wondering what I'm missing if this is what we're considering--like I must be missing some other resource somewhere.

Sorry ladies.

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#30 of 30 Old 06-17-2014, 01:03 AM
 
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I probably am sensitive on this. He's young. I'm at a loss. And we're in a new neighborhood where the only neighbor that has kids (that my kids want to spend every minute with) seems very resentful about our homeschooling (and speaks rather viciously, judgmentally and gossipy about 1-2 of the other neighbors)… so I may be feeling defensive about every decision. But also because really, I just never thought of my kid being "that" kid; and I'm wondering what I'm missing if this is what we're considering--like I must be missing some other resource somewhere.

Sorry ladies.
What an area has to offer differs. What a child wants and is willing to sacrifice for, varies. In my area, there are lots of options. Homeschooling is common. Homeschooling charters, online schools, online hybrids, charters, magnets, private schools, language immersion... We know more than one 12-year-old that headed to the community college to either supplement or to attend full-time. In our district, grade acceleration isn't common but it's also no longer unheard of. Kids moving up grades for certain subjects, normal. Pre-algebra at 10 or 11? at least 1/4 of our local student body does this. If you aren't seeing bright kids locally it's not because they aren't there. If there are less resources like children may just not be as visible.

I do understand. In the early years I would share a concern and then immediately get defensive when anyone agreed it might be a valid. I think it's pretty normal when you don't feel your child is getting what they need.

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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