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#1 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is a brand new HS freshman and is having a hard time with the courses she is signed up for.
As a bit of background, ( not bragging, I swear! ) she has been enrolled in the district's Gifted program since 1st grade when they tested. She has had reading and math scores in the 97th percentile and never had anything lower than a 4.0 GPA since she started elementary school. ----but I would never consider her "Doogie Howser" gifted. She never read War and Peace or built robots in her spare time you know. There are kids who are like that, but not her.

Anyway, she was placed in the high school's gifted program which is also all honors courses. She comes home every night with at least 4 hours of homework. I have to admit, the English class is hard- the literature book seems college freshman level to me, not high school.

The main problem of course is that she has any homework- she never has had to do homework, study or put forth effort in her life. She's one of those kids that show up, listen and get an "A" - so of course now, that she has to put any sort of effort into school, she is freaking out. She keeps saying she wants to drop these courses and they are too hard.

But, she also says her classes are filled with "geeks" and "nerds" and all of her friends are in regular freshman level classes, so she never sees them. Between the massive amounts of homework, and no friends in any class, she seems to be suffering socially.

So of course, I'm on the fence, do I let her drop into regular English where she would be guaranteed an "A" and easy breezy 4.0's all through high school? should I force her to stay in the courses, try, and be challenged for once? Do honors credits "really" matter? Do colleges care if you were in Honors classes? ( these aren't even AP! ) . Do colleges care about having over a 4.0 GPA? I'm just worried that all of this honors/gifted sort of labeling will be very important later on. Thanks!

There is a date where it's too late to drop classes and it's approaching quickly.
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#2 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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I also have a dd who is a freshman in GT/Honors classes. We told her before she made the decision to take that track that if she chose it, she was committed to it for the year. She does have one elective class that she could drop for an additional study hall if she needs it - does your daughter have that option? Would an additional study hall help her to get more of her homework done in school so she can have some down time after school?

I do think that colleges look for what track you opt for in high school. It is notated on your transcripts that it was an honor course.
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#3 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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If the English class is too hard for her, then why wouldn't you let her switch to the "regular' English class?

It sounds to me like she's overwhelmed with the courseload, suffering socially, and, overall, setting herself up for burnout. She might do better starting slowly with the harder classes- taking one or two honors classes rather than all of them. That will give her the chance to be challenged and "learn how to work the way everybody else has been working since 6th grade" without jumping into all this work at once.

As for the question "will it look better for colleges to get Bs and Cs in honors classes or straight As in regular classes"- I really don't know. I'd imagine it would depend on the college. IMO, it's more worthwhile to challenge yourself than to breeze through with 'unworked for' As, but I don't know if colleges see it that way. She might "have a nicer transcript" if she has easier classes and some time and energy left over for extra-curricular activities.

She's only 14. She's not an adult yet. Yes, it's important to prepare for college, and her work this year WILL be seen by colleges, but at the same time she needs to live her life for now, not only for the future. Let her enjoy high school, and not feel like these 4 years are just preparation for the 4 that follow.

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#4 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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Yes, colleges do look to see whether you've gotten an A in an easy class rather than the honors course. However, it depends on what colleges she's interested in if it will make a difference. However, if this had been me in HS I would have taken the reg. english course as long as I was still taking the other classes as honors, which it sounds like she'll be doing. I think that'll ease the transition some and won't make a big deal in regards to university. That depends on where she wants to go of course. Why doesn't she talk to the guidance counselor?

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#5 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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I think I remember reading someplace that where one's friends are placed is sometimes a good indicator of where you should be placed.

Maybe I'm making that up... but it fits with my personal experience.

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#6 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 05:41 PM
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I'd let her be in the classes she wants. Social development is so important at 14. Also finding school too stressful could turn her off on learning. Are there specific gifted/honors courses she wants to keep taking? It could be less overwhelming to take just one or two advanced classes. Maybe the one she finds easiest or most fun.
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#7 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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How many honors classes is she in? Perhaps just dropping one and leaving the others would be a good idea. A lot of kids in my school stagger their entrance into honors over the first two or three years.

What is she reading that you think is college-level work? Just curious, because I teach college prep-level 9th grade English, and honors 10th grade.

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#8 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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I would actually work quite hard with her developing some study habits to keep up with the new courses. This is actually a very safe time for her to struggle a bit. As far as colleges are concerned, this is the least important period of her schooling. I wouldn't even think about it.

I would think about what she is learning. If she works hard and still has trouble keeping up, then she can scale back later, but she'll just be further behind if she tries to scale up later. And, if you find ways to reward her effort, she can learn a lot about the value of perseverance. If she moves to the regular classes, she is likely to learn that ease in life is more important than work and friends are more important than school. Those may be values that you are happy with her developing, but if they aren't, I would think very hard about letting her step down too without giving it a solid go first.

My perspective is as someone who was never challenged enough to develop work habits until after graduate school. I wish somebody had set expectations for me at some point that I really had to stretch to reach. I would have been incredibly frustrated at the time, but in retrospect, I believe that I failed to learn the most important practical lesson that school has to offer because I was never pushed.

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#9 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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My sis is in the honors program at her college. Last year (her freshman year) she freaked a little in the beginning, saying that she wouldn't be able to keep up and that it was too much, but my mom just stayed positive and basically told her to stick it out and see how it went. She did and it didn't take long before she got into the routine of things and made a good enough GPA to get a free ride for her next three years (provided she keeps her GPA up). Now I know that there is a big age difference between a 14 year old and an 18 year old but I think it would be good if she kept at it for a bit before saying it's too hard/too much...maybe things will smooth out for her and she'll find that the geeks and nerds aren't so bad!
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#10 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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I went to private schools overseas until 11th grade when I went to a public school in the U.S. for the first time, and they put me in all honder classes, and it was SOOO much work. I could handle it but I didnt really WANT to, and yeah the other kids in that class were kinda dorks.

I ended up switching to the regular classes, but taking some college courses at the same time. I graduated after 11th and then went to college from there with 2 scholarships - and it was much better than high school!
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#11 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 07:11 PM
 
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What areas is she most interested in -- math and science? social science? liberal arts? If she has a sense, then I'd keep the honors courses in those areas, and switch to non-honors courses for a couple of the others. 4 hours of homework a night is crazy.

The other thing I'd do is work with her on study skills. She might not have great planning/work habits. As my sister once told my niece, "Just because your butt was in the chair for 4 hours doesn't mean you deserve an A." My niece had terrible work habits and would 'work' for 4 hours, but really be only working for about 1/3 of the time.

The other thing I'd do is encourage one extracurricular activity - a sport, drama, music, SOMETHING to get her connected to other kids in a non-class kind of way in the high school. That's the saving grace for a lot of kids, socially. She doesn't have to be in all the same classes as her friends, but she should have a place to be where she has some like minded friends.

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#12 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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I went to private schools overseas until 11th grade when I went to a public school in the U.S. for the first time, and they put me in all honder classes, and it was SOOO much work. I could handle it but I didnt really WANT to, and yeah the other kids in that class were kinda dorks.

I ended up switching to the regular classes, but taking some college courses at the same time. I graduated after 11th and then went to college from there with 2 scholarships - and it was much better than high school!
I went to both private prep and public schools in the States. I remember all the hype about how we had to do all this work because "that's what college is like. " That was SO untrue. You don't spend 7 hours a day 5 days a week in classes in college and then come home and do 4 hours of homework a night. That's an 11 hour work day, or would be if a student was actually being taught the entire time she was in school...

College was much easier than high school for me. Much less BS and busy work.

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#13 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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A couple questions, Is the highschool in the same district as the elementary schools... is the high school a combo of a number of lower schools, meaning you have 3-4 elementary schools in this high school? She may have been in the gifted program at school A which could have been totally different from the gifted program at school B YK? What happened to all the other kids from her gifted program in 8th grade at her elem. jr high school??

Going from 8th to 9th grade is a huge adjustment, this is probaby week 2 or 3?? DD is adjusting to an earlier start time, more classes, changing classes, maybe longer class times, semester classes vs year classes possibly?? Any of those can account for the homework issue, especially if they have semester vs year classes.

High school typically has alot more reading involved. If her comprehension and reading speed isnt up to par she is going to have problems. Is she possibly gifted with an underlying 2E dx that is hidden?? There could also be holes in her education, even staying in the same district as mentioned above, 8th grade English class at school A could be totally different from 8th grade English class at school B.

Look at her schedule, does she have any study halls, look at how she is managing her time, I mean REALLY look at it, take an assisgment of hers and actually do it. yes mom DO the assignment. See how long it takes you to read the pages, answer the questions, write the review etc. If it takes you an hr and it takes DD 4 hrs there is a problem. But if it takes you an hr and it takes dd 90 mins-2 hrs then all is about right.

Moving to academic english may not solve the social issue, there is no guarentee she is going to be in the same room as her friends. HS has multipule sections of the same class. There could be 8-10 classes of freshman english. IKYKWIM. Im sure not everyone in her class is a geek and so what if they are. I was a 'geek', I turned out just fine . HS is a great opportunity to explore, grow and develop. Keep your old friends, make new friends, find interests you didnt know you had etc...

Good luck to DD but honestly I would stay in the upper level classes...It does make a difference when it comes time for scholarships and financial assistance. Not to mention being able to CLEPP out of many classes etc.
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#14 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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What are the near-future academic consequences to dropping down? If she drops to the regular level, is there an opportunity to move up again in a year or 2? Or will she have to stay at that level for the rest of her hs career? Does the school offer AP courses and will she need to be in the Honours level to move into AP?

I see some merit in being academically challenged and learning some good work habits early on. I was never challenged in hs, and university was a bit of a shock. I struggled at first with the workload, not with the content. In uni, the profs weren't too sympathetic if work wasn't handed in on time.

Personally, I don't think a student has to be in the same class as all her friends - that's what after school activities are for.

I would take a good look at the course content and demands with your dd, and decide whether it's really overwhelming and beyond her ability. Figure out if the classes really require 4 hours of homework every night. The advice to sit down with her and go through some assignments is good. If she is capable, then I'd be inclined to encourage her to persist with her classes. I'd also offer a lot of support for social time with her friends - including new ones she may make in these classes.
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#15 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 09:43 PM
 
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If the English class is too hard for her, then why wouldn't you let her switch to the "regular' English class?

It sounds to me like she's overwhelmed with the courseload, suffering socially, and, overall, setting herself up for burnout. She might do better starting slowly with the harder classes- taking one or two honors classes rather than all of them. That will give her the chance to be challenged and "learn how to work the way everybody else has been working since 6th grade" without jumping into all this work at once.

As for the question "will it look better for colleges to get Bs and Cs in honors classes or straight As in regular classes"- I really don't know. I'd imagine it would depend on the college. IMO, it's more worthwhile to challenge yourself than to breeze through with 'unworked for' As, but I don't know if colleges see it that way. She might "have a nicer transcript" if she has easier classes and some time and energy left over for extra-curricular activities.

She's only 14. She's not an adult yet. Yes, it's important to prepare for college, and her work this year WILL be seen by colleges, but at the same time she needs to live her life for now, not only for the future. Let her enjoy high school, and not feel like these 4 years are just preparation for the 4 that follow.
I agree with all of this.

And just because your DD was accelerated throughout elementary/middle school doesn't mean she will still be ahead in high school. Just a thought. I've known adults who said they were ahead academically all throughout school but once they hit high school it got much harder in regular classes and things started to even out for them. Is it possible for you both to go in and talk to a counselor and see where to go at this point?

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#16 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 09:56 PM
 
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The main problem of course is that she has any homework- she never has had to do homework, study or put forth effort in her life. She's one of those kids that show up, listen and get an "A" - so of course now, that she has to put any sort of effort into school, she is freaking out. She keeps saying she wants to drop these courses and they are too hard.

But, she also says her classes are filled with "geeks" and "nerds" and all of her friends are in regular freshman level classes, so she never sees them. Between the massive amounts of homework, and no friends in any class, she seems to be suffering socially.

So of course, I'm on the fence, do I let her drop into regular English where she would be guaranteed an "A" and easy breezy 4.0's all through high school? should I force her to stay in the courses, try, and be challenged for once? Do honors credits "really" matter? Do colleges care if you were in Honors classes? ( these aren't even AP! ) . Do colleges care about having over a 4.0 GPA? I'm just worried that all of this honors/gifted sort of labeling will be very important later on. Thanks!

There is a date where it's too late to drop classes and it's approaching quickly.
LOL.. this is my kid exactly! And, she took the regular math class her freshman year because she wanted to be in the competition dance at her school. The two conflicted, so she chose to drop AP math, and take the regular math. She HATED it. The kids in that class were "blithering idiots". The teacher got frustrated with the class because they wouldn't do anything. So, the next year, I MADE her take all AP classes. She thinks the geeky kids are "super weird", but it's still better than the chaos in the other classes.

She's working her tail off with her schedule this year. She's complaining a lot. But, she's getting it done. I have no idea how her grades will be this year, because she is driving now, and suddenly has a social life to plan her schedule around. (heaven forbid school interfere with her social life) But, she'll survive.

I kinda think I'd let her drop at least one class this year. In the long run, I don't think it will hurt her. She may end up feeling like my daughter did, and not really like the class as well as she thought she would. Or it may turn out to be just the thing she needs. At this age, their friends are very important.
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#17 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 11:19 AM
 
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This is from the perspective of an adult who was the 4.0, never did much work child and teen. I WISH somebody had pushed me harder when I was in high school (but I also went to a small school, 23 kids in my graduating class - there was no accelerated track) because I also coasted through college, doing the minimum amount I needed to do to get an A, dropping out of the 'hard' courses and majoring in something I liked (and that has been pretty much useless to me and society since I graduated). I didn't figure out until halfway through my junior year that I could have been doing more interesting stuff, working more closely with professors on their research, even taking graduate level courses.

I know it's hard to fathom when you are 14 and just want to hang out with your friends, but she should be training her mind to excel, to work hard, taking in all the information and learning she can while her brain is so young and plastic. If she wants to have an interesting life as an adult, she needs to start building the foundation for it now, and that means challenging herself. Watch a baby learn to walk or a toddler learn to use a spoon - NO learning happens without a lot of failure, trial and error, and practice, and embracing this challenge will make her a stronger, smarter person.

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#18 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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I think it will be good for her to have to work harder while she is in high school, but it does sound like it could be too much all at once. I think I would want to encourage her to stick with at least some of the advanced classes, but also to drop a couple that she doesn't enjoy as much. Sounds like that might be a better balance for her. Then at the end of the year, you can reevaluate if she really still thinks it is too much.

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#19 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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I would let her drop at least the English class. She is telling you it's too much for her loud and clear. I would rather have my child be happy than academically successful.
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#20 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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I would actually work quite hard with her developing some study habits to keep up with the new courses. This is actually a very safe time for her to struggle a bit. As far as colleges are concerned, this is the least important period of her schooling. I wouldn't even think about it.
I totally agree. I sailed through my classes in the earlier years of school, and when I switched schools and had the opportunity to take honours classes I had no study habits and was not used to putting in effort, and did badly.

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How many honors classes is she in? Perhaps just dropping one and leaving the others would be a good idea. A lot of kids in my school stagger their entrance into honors over the first two or three years.
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Are there specific gifted/honors courses she wants to keep taking? It could be less overwhelming to take just one or two advanced classes. Maybe the one she finds easiest or most fun.
That sounds like a good idea, no need to go all or nothing.

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I see some merit in being academically challenged and learning some good work habits early on. I was never challenged in hs, and university was a bit of a shock. I struggled at first with the workload, not with the content. In uni, the profs weren't too sympathetic if work wasn't handed in on time.

Personally, I don't think a student has to be in the same class as all her friends - that's what after school activities are for.

I would take a good look at the course content and demands with your dd, and decide whether it's really overwhelming and beyond her ability. Figure out if the classes really require 4 hours of homework every night. The advice to sit down with her and go through some assignments is good. If she is capable, then I'd be inclined to encourage her to persist with her classes. I'd also offer a lot of support for social time with her friends - including new ones she may make in these classes.
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#21 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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This is actually a very safe time for her to struggle a bit.
Where did you get this information? As a blanket statement I don't think it holds up.

I personally would let her drop the class. Getting a 4.0 in reg. classes, if it is a good high school with good test scores and stuff, is going to look good to a college as long as you don't aren't limiting your options to only ivy league or something which you didn't mention, did you?
For me I was pressured and pushed and it backfired. I started out in gifted in elementary and once I was in high school it got to be too much. MY mom did not place any importance on the social side of things for me and instead of pushing through like she wanted I just stopped trying. I would hate to see that happen to you, too! I think if she can handle 1-2 of the AP classes and then can switch to reg. for some other classes then that is a good balance and you can reevaluate next year.

Good luck!
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#22 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 11:01 PM
 
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It's really hard to say - 4 hours is a lot of homework - it doesn't leave any time for other worthwhile things, like exersize, or art, or whatever. On the other hand, how efficient is she? Is she using her time at school and home as well as she could be. Is it taking her 4 hours because her study skills are bad? If that is the case, then she is missing skills she needs. It's common with kids who have never had to work hard at school to be poor at some kinds of memory or drill work, or not know how to organize research and writing efficiently.

Also, strong English skills will be a real blessing if she goes to university - she will be way ahead of the other kids, and actually able to take advantage of the real learning in her classes, rather than learning how to read and write then.

My sister went to a prep school that had a lot of work involved from grade 8 to 11, an IB program. She was an ok student there. In grade 12 she decided to try public school, because she wanted to continue her extra-curricular activity, dance, and wouldn't have had time in the IB school.

Well, it worked out really well. She took honours classes for that year at public school, continued dance, and graduated with a 97% average.

She got a good scholarship to university, and has had no real trouble with the workload, mostly because she could use a library and write a mean essay. She is also dancing in a university group, teaching pre-ballet, and volunteering to do fitness stuff with at risk teen girls.

But I think that hard work in the early teen years is what set her up to be able to do all that now. She learned a few important things about academics and good study habits.

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#23 of 33 Old 08-21-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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I don't have personal experience with honors in HS, my son just went to his first day of 9th grade today. I have done more advanced homeschooling with him. But, we chose to put him in PS, because he wanted to go for social reasons. He isn't so ambitious, and he could excel in either schooling option, but he is sure he doesn't want to go to college. This is disappointing, and I think that boys have less options than girls, but I digress. I am going to make sure that he has the credits for college prep though, not necassarily honors, to keep his options open. He is thinking of culinary school or vocational school.

I know that when I was a teen, I could also just breeze right through. I took the harder classes in 9th and 10th grade, did my cheerleading and marching band. My grades weren't great. So, I scaled down for my 11th and 12th grade years in order to up my GPA. I was sure I wanted to go to college, but my parents were middle class, I couldn't get grants, and they couldn't afford to send me. So, I went to the USAF to get my education, that didn't work out, had a kid, got some college, and am a SAHM now.

I could have pushed myself more in school. I highly regret that my parents were older, touted that girls could do anything, but figured once they had a kid, then being a SAHM was the best and only option. I think that having this worldview made them very lax about the high school thing. I WISHED (before children and wanting to be a SAHM) that they had pushed me just a little more. I was at school for socializing#1, music #2, and education #3, and that was the way it was. But, if they had made it a point that I was there for an education to get into college, then I think I would have done better.

Now, with my own kids, I think that I am the one to teach them to enjoy learning, learn how to learn, and to gear academics to their talents. There is no reason to keep beating a dead horse. If my DH was a dr, I wouldn't necassarily push my kid to do so. If DC was poor in science and math, I wouldn't expect him to just study more and do better. If he was a talented writer, then I would push him (or her) in that direction. Perhaps your DD can take honors courses in her fortes, and do regular work in what she struggles. Is she wanting to go to an Ivy League school? Then she needs to bite the bullet and do what she has to do. But, if this isn't important to her (and only you and DH), then she is going to just hate everything eventually about school, friends and all.

I don't think the friends should be a priority at all, in a parent's POV. I think that going with what her strengths are, what she enjoys (academically), and fitting in the rest of the perks should be worked in some way, if it means she gets to "hang out" every weekend with her friends as a reward for plugging along and getting good grades.

When we decided to put DS in PS, we had based this on the fact that he isn't going to do just what makes us happy at this age. He knows that we feel school is for education (not the socialization that everyone is concerned about), although he excels at making friends and socializing. He can make decisions about his schooling at this point. If he wanted to, he could take some honors classes, but that isn't important to him. I wished my parents would have pushed me, but I think that in the end it worked out. Maybe I am not being very helpful.

My DH was in LD for dyslexia, graduated, and got a 5.5yr education:, in a blue ribbon school. And, I believe he is very successful. We may not live in a mansion, but we have a large family that we can easily afford. Our kids are pretty happy, and he is very good with them. We are happily married, and money isn't as much of an issue as it used to be. Our measurement on success has nothing to do with how big a person's house is, or what their education level is. But, that is OUR values.

If a family values high education, big houses, and big cars, then this is what a child would gravitate towards, or the parents do. Some families just value high education, and money isn't the motivation. If this is your values, then encourage her to keep plugging along. My son says that "the nerds" will inherit the earth, and that eventually, he will work for one. And, he is okay with that. LOL He is a very hard worker like his Dad, and education level hasn't mattered. My Dh has NEVER had any issues going to vocational schools, and getting good jobs. But, again, this is OUR definition of good.

Have a heart to heart with your daughter and ask her what her goals are. What is her plan A? her plan B? How can she accomplish these by what classes she takes? Etc. Kymberli
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#24 of 33 Old 08-21-2009, 04:03 AM
 
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I was that kid too. I dropped out of uni because I couldn't handle the workload, and all of the preparation and support that my parents had given me was down the drain because they didn't love me enough to teach me the skills that I needed. How to work. How to study. How to manage my time. And yes, 14 years on I still don't have that first degree, and I wish I'd got my act together when I was younger and learnt how to fulfil my potential academically. Partly because there are times that I just feel plain stupid (faced with academic texts, for instance) and partly because it's really impinging on my career options and my ability to provide for my kids. My grades aren't quite good enough for me to go back and do the course I want to, even. I'd LOVE to be able to sort the teenage me out.

Letting your kid coast at this stage is not a kindness. Seriously.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#25 of 33 Old 08-21-2009, 07:56 PM
 
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We're in a similar situation here, sorta. Dd actually just had her orientation for 9th last night and starts school on Monday. She's freaking out about having no friends in her classes, though she won't really know for sure until Monday and she's freaking out about school work. She's in some pretty hard classes, all honors with 1 AP class. Her ap teacher gave her a schedule for homework for the next month and she about flipped. She's another that's never really had to do tons of homework. On the friend front I've been telling her that this is a perfect opportunity to expand her circle of friends and that while by no means I'm saying dump the other ones to just use this chance to gain even more. Academically, if I/she thinks that she gets to a point that she's struggling I think we'll try to judge it by the 1st report card and take it from there. I'm going to encourage her to work hard and stay in the classes if she ends up having issues but I think if the point comes that she just can't hack it then we'll have to address class changes.

Amy - mom to Anna-Rebekah 14, Logan 13, Christian 8, Ethan 7 and Adan 07/15/08
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#26 of 33 Old 08-21-2009, 08:07 PM
 
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I would keep her in those classes IF she can actually handle them.

I knew too many people who'd breezed through highschool flunk out of university because they'd never had to work before. It's much better that she learn those skills now when it doesn't really count than in university where it could screw up her future job prospects. I think that school is about so much more than academics.

Study skills are extremely important to learn.
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#27 of 33 Old 08-22-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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I would let her drop at least the English class. She is telling you it's too much for her loud and clear. I would rather have my child be happy than academically successful.
I agree.

Single (divorced), self-employed working, college student MOM to:

 

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#28 of 33 Old 08-22-2009, 12:20 PM
 
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Uh - I guess I just don't see that happiness and academic success need to be mutually exclusive. My kids have been pretty happy when they triumph over a challenge and achieve success - whether it's academic or in other pursuits. And we don't measure success by grades - I don't care so much about getting A's (although it's nice), rather it's whether they are understanding the material and integrating it into their knowledge base.

I don't think it's clear that the English class is too much for her. It may be too much for her if she uses her ingrained no-effort work habits. It sounds like this is the first time that she is truly being academically challenged. I wouldn't be surprised if the 4 hours of homework occur because she hasn't learned efficient work habits, how to focus on what is important in the assigned readings, etc. I think a little more investigation would help sort out the issues. Dropping the class seems premature.
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#29 of 33 Old 08-24-2009, 11:03 PM
 
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I would actually work quite hard with her developing some study habits to keep up with the new courses. This is actually a very safe time for her to struggle a bit. As far as colleges are concerned, this is the least important period of her schooling. I wouldn't even think about it.

I would think about what she is learning. If she works hard and still has trouble keeping up, then she can scale back later, but she'll just be further behind if she tries to scale up later. And, if you find ways to reward her effort, she can learn a lot about the value of perseverance. If she moves to the regular classes, she is likely to learn that ease in life is more important than work and friends are more important than school. Those may be values that you are happy with her developing, but if they aren't, I would think very hard about letting her step down too without giving it a solid go first.

My perspective is as someone who was never challenged enough to develop work habits until after graduate school. I wish somebody had set expectations for me at some point that I really had to stretch to reach. I would have been incredibly frustrated at the time, but in retrospect, I believe that I failed to learn the most important practical lesson that school has to offer because I was never pushed.
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#30 of 33 Old 08-25-2009, 10:39 AM
 
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+ = (4/97) & (1/99) & (8/99) & (2/01), with , the prettiest pup this side of the Mississippi.
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