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Ds is 5 and will be K age this fall. I have spent the last two years researching homeschooling, and we've planned to go in that direction. But recently I'm questioning that decision.<br><br>
Ds is a voracious reader, easily at an upper elementary level. I'm concerned that at PS he might be bored, disruptive, or even lose his love of reading. He is highly competitive, and I worry that he would end up caring more about his Accelerated Reader points then about the books themselves.<br><br>
But he is also an extreme extrovert is a house full of introverts. No matter how much time dh and I spend with him, his need for attention is never satiated. Given half a chance, he would still command more of my time than both my 3 year old and my baby. So perhaps PS would fill his extroversion needs.<br><br>
He ranks sky-high for intensity and persistence, and this is leading to a lot of socially inappropriate behavior. He always knows exactly what he wants to do, and will persist in pursuing that regardless of others' feelings. I am constantly worried that his inability to compromise is going to drive away his friends. So perhaps PS would help him learn to compromise--or perhaps he'd end up either as an outcast or a bully.<br><br>
It's the last part that has me most concerned lately. I am, frankly, terrified for him. We work all the time on empathy, but it is a real struggle. Any thoughts on what environment would best help him?
 

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Have you found a homeschool group you like? IMO, homeschooling is a better place to help kids work through issues related to social skills, and if you have an active homeschooling group, your son can meet his social needs there, and you can get a break. Something that helped my dd a lot was getting to spend time with older kids, and see how they handled situations.<br><br>
But if you're considering public school, it wouldn't hurt to call the school district and see how they would handle a kid as advanced as yours. It's possible that they have some wonderful program that will be perfect for him.
 

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I've no idea if homeschooling or public school would be better for your child BUT here is a link to a book on helping kids develop empathy:<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FLearning-Listen-Care-Workbook-Self-control%2Fdp%2F1572245980%2Fref%3Dpd_sim_b_4" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Liste...ref=pd_sim_b_4</a>
 

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Nothing is carved in stone and you will never know how either situation will work out until you and your son experience it. So my advice is to try it out (homeschooling or public schooling), give it a fair trial, and adjust what you are doing as needed. Life is full of ups and downs and I think everything (even the negative) is a learning experience.
 

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My 3 yo DS is also (likely) gifted and moderately spirited (not as much as yours perhaps, or just not "yet" maybe!)<br><br>
Either way, when I started thinking like you (thinking of private school, but school nonetheless for the social aspect) I realized that it would actually be even worse!!!<br><br>
Here is my thinking: if he is bored/frustrated academically AND using school for his social fix, he'll be socializing when the kids are supposed to be quiet and learning. That means he'll likely be bored academically AND be in trouble for too much socializing.<br><br>
We decided it makes much more sense to do his learning at home at his own pace and (somewhat) based on his passions/interest. Then we'd fill his social needs with ACTUAL SOCIAL endeavors (school is with other kids, but IT IS NOT a social gathering!) like homeschool groups, 'playdates' or family get-togethers, and semi-social things like sports, etc.<br><br>
I am not sure you'd get what you want out of school in terms of the social element--your DS might TRY, but it could be just another problem instead of an answer!<br><br>
(BTW: this is all speculation: I am sure there are moms on here with <i>actual</i> experience to share!)<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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I have a ds who was similar to your ds at that age. We did both -hs for preschool (really unschool) followed by some years in ps, where he currently is. I don't know what's right for you, but for our child ps has worked out better. Yes, there are "downtimes", and there is material that doesn't intersst ds (I have a thread about writing on this forum somewhere), but that's life for him no matter what, in school or out. A good teacher is well versed in kids who move faster and will help them with extending their learning, etc. rather than letting them just act out.<br><br>
The social piece has worked out better as well because it's a day to day learning situation. Being in school has not always been comfortable because it stretches my son in some of the places where growth needs to occur. But I'm not sure that protecting him from that growth experience would have been very helpful in the long run. He's happy, and that's what counts. Nothing is perfect, but I thought I'd share our experience. Good luck.<br><br>
ETA: If you are checking out schools you might want to see what they do in terms of differentiation in the classroom if there isn't a gifted program.
 

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With my very extroverted child, I found that school caused her to lose a lot of who she is. She trimmed herself to suit everybody b/c having friends and fitting in was so important to her. We lost a lot of the enthusiasm for learning and belief in herself. Extroverted gifted boys may not take that same route, though.<br><br>
Like the first person who responded, I was going to suggest finding a hsing group to meet his social needs. I have one or two other kids who would like to get together a small hsing group with me next year where I live, but I am realizing that simply won't be enough for my huge extrovert who, like your ds, needs a lot of socialization. In being fair to an extroverted child and fair to yourself so you don't get too emotionally exhausted from his constant need for interaction, he will probably need a lot of other kids around. That need may be met through a hs group, or maybe through a lot of extracurricular activities or field trips.
 

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That sounds JUST like my spirited, (probably) gifted 4 year old. I mean, almost word for word!<br><br>
We don't believe public school would be a good fit for her. We plan to homeschool, and do a fair amount of activities through the park district or similar. I think she'll get lower-stress but equally or more satisfying social interaction in that kind of environment.
 

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Is private school out of the question? Have you looked into tuition assistance programs? If you could find the right school environment for him I'd say school would do him (and you) wonders, but if it's the wrong school fit then homeschooling would be better.<br><br>
Have you toured your local public school? It could be the good fit.<br><br>
I know for my dd1, contrary to a lot of popular sentiment, she does not do great in a super structured environment. I don't think that has anything to do with being gifted or not as some gifted kids do great in a very structured environment and some non-gifted kids do great in a structured environment. My dd1 is very much a free spirit and sometimes "spirited" as well. She excells in a project-based environment where she can have more control of her learning. If your DS is like that, Montessori might be a good fit, or a constructivist model (not Montessori) like the school my kids go to.<br><br>
There's a lot of outdoor education and outdoor time and there is individualized attention from the teachers rather than differentiation. The kids are in multi-age groups and there are a wide range of abilities, so you could easily have a kid who is just learning the alphabet and a kid who is reading the first Harry Potter book in the same class. I don't think that happened this year in dd2's Pre-K/K class, but there certainly have been kids who have struggled with reading (dyslexia, etc) in my dd1's 3rd-4th-5th grade class and kids who have been reading 500 page books. There are definitely readers and non-readers in the pre-K/K and I think when dd1 was in pre-k/K there were a few Harry Potter reading kids.<br><br>
As far as the social behavior/persistance/spiritedness, etc, I think that the right school environment can help with that, but it really depends on the teachers and the school philosophy.<br><br>
I think your best bet may be to set up a tour and meeting with the schools you are considering and tell them your concerns and ask how they would handle the situations you're worried about. The answers they give may help you make your decision one way or the other right then and there.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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It totally depends on the schools, but I wouldn't send him to school just for the social aspect, especially given the challenges you have mentioned. My oldest is extremely extroverted (my husband and I are not), and gets his "fix" through his extracurricular activities (he's involved in a wide variety of activities that give him the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with a very diverse group of children). Join a homeschooling group -- the information that you'll receive will be worth just as much as the social opportunities.<br><br>
GL! Homeschooling isn't just for introverts!
 

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My eldest is now 8, but we had similar dilemmas when he was 5. He had been in a private twice-a-week preschool, and he loved going and having time with other kids. He didn't have tons of friends, but one or two every year. Mostly, I think he loved the various activities they got to do, which was great.<br><br>
He was (is) also a voracious reader, very creative, very excitable, and he LOVED learning. My mom is a private school teacher (a different school than where he was for preschool), and I took him up there to try it out for a day. He was not yet 5 when he visited the Kindergarten classroom that spring (so well into the year), and LOVED it. He had so much fun, especially with the kids. He even did all the same work as they did - perfectly. He said, "It was so easy, Mom!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> I knew then that, academically, it would NOT be a good fit. I felt like, even if they really tried hard to adapt things for him, we'd be forcing him into a box he just didn't fit in, academically. But, the fact that he LOVED being with the kids really made me want to send him. I had assurances that they would really work with him and do what they could, but, realistically, the K curriculum was covering letters, early reading, numbers, and basic counting. They do have Spanish and other interesting things, but the basics were so far below what he needed that I couldn't stomach it.<br><br>
So, we homeschooled. It was the best fit we could find. He's able to be active and energetic while still learning, and, after 3 years of "school," he still LOVES to learn. He's totally turned upside down HOW I thought he would learn, and I won't say we've done it perfectly, but he hasn't lost his love, only fostered it.<br><br>
Socially, we have done a variety of things. We are involved in a local homeschool support group which has field trips, park days, and arranges classes at a local museum. (Of course, when we've gone to park days, my boys have refused to be social! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) Last year, we did several other classes, as well, and they really enjoyed a number of kids in them (several gifties in those groups). We also did an Odyssey of the Mind group for homeschoolers, which was a fabulous experience on many levels for both of my boys (the second was/is 5). I know that they would love MORE socialization, and I need to work on that, but they have gotten a lot out of what we have done, including some really good friends who are SO much like them.<br><br>
I really like Mary's point that nothing is carved in stone. When we started out with homeschooling, we said we'd do it for one year, and then reevaluate. A lot of people seemed to think that homeschooling meant K-12th, but there's no commitment of that sort. We have taken it a year at a time and looked at options each year. At this point, we're pretty set for the foreseeable future, but can still change our minds at anytime. (And there have been days when I thought sending them down the road to the public school would be a REALLY good idea! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) I would encourage you to approach whatever you choose as a trial run, and adjust and rethink things as necessary. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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My DD was the same way, but in no way would PS (here, anyway) meet the needs of an extrovert. I observed in her class (she was 6 and in 2nd grade at the time) and she just sat, in her chair, for 3 hours. She was only able to talk about 15 min. as part of a science experiment. For a person like her who actually learns (processes) through talking, this is a nightmare.<br><br>
I have found that, with homeschooling, playtime is extended into hours vs. minutes, allowing for much deeper interactions. Also, her needs/demands of me have decreased as she's matured AND as her sisters have become better companions for her. She's exposed to a much wider variety of people in terms of ages, and I'm closer at hand to help guide and understand her experiences.<br><br>
I'm not saying there is any easy answer, but for us, HSing has been a much better experience.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mizelenius</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15502786"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For a person like her who actually learns (processes) through talking, this is a nightmare.<br></div>
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This statement of yours struck me, as it exactly describes DS at this point. I wonder whether the extraversion and the need for socialization the OP describes for her child might be an expression of this learning need as well. Is there <i>any</i> brick-and-mortar school that would suit a child like this?
 

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Have you looked at what sports team options there are? My DS 5 does 3 hours a week of gymnastics and 2 swim team workouts during the school year. Of course you can't walk onto a swim team but you would start in a lesson program if he doesn't have strokes yet. Since it is a home school swim team, they can all jump in the empty instructional pool afterward and have some social time. Pool party twice a week! Sad to say my son's gym class gets its social time in during the actual workouts.<br><br>
I personally don't think school does a good job of social development. Girl Scouts, church programs, etc. are focused on that. The family can model it and prevent gross rule breaking. School? The adult to undeveloped human ratio is waaaaaay too low.<br><br>
Also when I was a giftie and reader in K and 1st in school, things were very boring. It really was something that looking back, I definitely do not want my kids to have to deal with.<br><br>
Also there is something of a maturity switch that goes off in some kids in the 6-7 age range where they start to be able to process the larger picture of their immediate reality (social, practical, etc). I'm sure there are gifted kids who have it happen sooner but I also suspect there are plenty of gifties in whom that transition happens on time or later. I would give it some time.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I wonder whether the extraversion and the need for socialization the OP describes for her child might be an expression of this learning need as well. Is there any brick-and-mortar school that would suit a child like this?</td>
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My DD is very extroverted as well, but this was not the main problem we had in K (lack of differentiation and asynchronicity concerns were). It was not a quiet class environment and she was certainly allowed to talk...and she did dominate classroom discussions pretty consistently. She goes to a fairly untraditional school.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>loraxc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15503406"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My DD is very extroverted as well, but this was not the main problem we had in K (lack of differentiation and asynchronicity concerns were). It was not a quiet class environment and she was certainly allowed to talk...and she did dominate classroom discussions pretty consistently. She goes to a fairly untraditional school.</div>
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KG was not so bad for my DD, either, as talking was a part of the routine. 2nd grade was a different story. Both were in a traditional school setting.<br><br>
I read a textbook a few years ago that discussed this . . .we spend so much time trying to get children to talk, and then when they get to school, we say, "No talking!" We want children to think deeply, ask questions, etc., but again, we say, "No talking!"
 
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