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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had a long, long talk w/ my 13-year-old friend who is really having a tough year. I thought people here might have some practical ideas I could forward to her.<br><br>
I posted in Parenting the Gifted Child and someone suggested I post over here- I think it may be a good idea. Her mom has mentioned the idea of HSing before, but is really not interested in being a f/t homeschooler. HOWEVER, I think she'd consider it if her daughter wanted to do it.<br><br>
SO- the 13yo is a very smart girl, very mature, interesting, creative, super self-motivated. Lots of ongoing family issues and IMO they are starting to really affect her (unresolved separation btwn parents, money problems, both parents have health issues, dad has obvious depression issues, though he doesn't see it). I am going to have to keep things a little vague since I don't want anyone to ID her possibly from what I am writing here (she's a friend, not my daughter, so I don't think its right to put anything too clear in here).<br><br>
She recently moved to a smaller town w/ her mom, who needed to downsize for financial and personal reasons. The girl had to leave a G&T school where she was not very happy (very rigorous, high-pressure). The work was never a problem for her but the atmosphere not positive. She's skipped 2 grades and is now a freshman in high school. She's miserable though- says school is boring and easy, other kids are dumb or pretend to be, and she gets bullied and made fun of and she dreads going to school. She also feels like she's grown apart from her same-age peers who are still in 7th grade.<br><br>
She was thinking of going to a nearby "early college" program but she's kind of too young to start, plus the $$ is an issue. She is thinking of going back to live with her dad and going to a specialized/elite high school in the city (and probably repeat 9th grade). But, IMO, he is not stable enough to provide an appropriate home for a 13yo. And I don't think her mom will agree to it anyway.<br><br>
I was suggesting she look at free schools, but there aren't any w/in a reasonable commute of her home. I don't think her parents would consider boarding school, nor could they afford it, but maybe.<br><br>
SO... what about distance or home learning programs for high schoolers? Which ones are best? How to find peers and social group? How often and what kind of organized peer group interaction would be reasonable and positive? She lives in a rural area, so its not like she can head out on her own and meet up with friends. She's got 3 years to go before she can get a license.<br><br>
Mom and girl aren't getting along so well (mostly normal issues for that age, I think). Mom has never really wanted to do HSing but I think she'd consider it if there was support for her and social interaction for daughter- she's mentioned it to me in passing before as a possibility (I am also friends with the mom). Mom also works full time from a home office. To me advantages of homeschooling would bet that the girl could go at her own pace, could have more flexibility to visit her dad, and *maybe* could hook up with some other interesting kids, if there are some in her area. Downsides would be possibly being even more isolated than she already feels, and losing teachers, losing the potential social things (like sports, arts, etc, and she is into those things). Also, they have unpredictable internet- would that make distance learning schools impossible?<br><br>
Anyway, I am really feeling worried for my young friend and would love to provide her some practical information- have sent her some links to look at (like a very small local Waldorf high school... not sure if that would really be any better for her but I suggested she just go visit? and some regional homeschool networks). Mostly right now what I can offer her is a sympathetic ear, but I'd love to help her figure out a solution, even if its just for a year or two until she is old enough for early college.<br><br>
Thanks so much.<br><br>
Oh- I don't want to say exactly where she is, but its the Western MA/Upper Hudson Valley area.
 

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If she is in western Mass there is <a href="http://northstarteens.org/" target="_blank">North Star Self Directed Learning for teen</a> it's in Hadley Mass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Stacey B, THANK YOU! I am passing this along to her. I have also offered to help intercede on her behalf with her parents (who I know for many years too) if she wants to pursue homeschool and they are reluctant to let her try it.<br>
-Emma
 

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This is an excellent book that I think your friend may really enjoy reading.<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%2Fo%2FASIN%2F0962959170%2Fgomilpit%2F" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0962959170/gomilpit/</a><br><br>
This book does a great job at outlining the multitude of options she has to create her own learning environment - what she wants to study, how she wants to learn, etc. It will also answer some of the other questions that you posed regarding finding a HS'ing community and other peers, as well as parental involvement (which can be pretty hands off and more of a facilitator role.)
 

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YEah North Star has always had a soft spot in my heart, unfortunately we haven't had much reason (or economic ability) to live in the Valley. It seems like a great hybrid.
 
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