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New here, need suggestions. (long)

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I am new to the group and also to homeschooling. My DD is gifted, skipped 2nd grade and is about to finish up 5th grade in public school. This year has been HELL for both her and the rest of the family because of a variety of problems she has been having. She has been having some psychological issues (starts therapy Wednesday) including some depression. She has been seriously fearing middle school. Sadly, she was a lock for the gifted magnet school that rocks, but because she has self-destructed this year there is no way she will get in to it. There are 2 other charter schools she could apply to, but she probably won't get in to those either, because a lot of it rides on a teacher recommendation and her teacher won't give her one. Quite frankly, she shouldn't. DD has been either putting in almost no effort on her work (only doing half a worksheet for example) or not doing it at all. She has been lying to us about whether or not she has homework to try to get out of doing it. One thing after another. It isn't too hard for her academically at all, when she will just sit down and do the work she gets almost all 100's. She just doesn't want to do it. Because of all this, she has REASON to fear middle school. The only one that would take her is the public one that has to, and it is horrible. It is seriously ghetto, as in kids bring guns to school. It is a 6-12 school so she would be in school with a bunch of thugs, many of whom are a lot older than her. The teacher wants to retain her for her work habits and social issues (she is very immature, in fact she isn't just immature for her frade, but for her age as well). The problem with this is not only that it would wreck what little she has left of her self-esteem, but it would also just exacerbate the problem in my opinion. She is already bored with the material, redoing it is just going to make it sooo much worse. So, I have found a "homeschooling light" solution, where she can go to a virtual charter school. We get to choose the curriculum and she has access to a licensed teacher and gets a "learning fund" from the school district. It looks PERFECT for her. We have narrowed it down to two curricula, with one being the front runner. The suggestions and advice I need are: tips for homeschooling gifted students, for helping her have a "work area" because organization is one of her biggest problems, tips for motivating her, and ideas for "extracurricular" activities. She is 10 years old and a very social person, the main drawback to the homeschooling is that school is really the only place where she gets to interact with other kids at the moment, so we have to find an alternative. We do not go to church, so that isn't somewhere she can get kid-time. We are going to look into local homeschooling groups, but the majority of people who homeschool in our area do so because they are evangelicals who want their kids to have a Christian education. I have no problem with them, everyone is entitled to educate their children how they see fit, but we are a lesbian couple, so I really doubt many of the homeschool groups around here will be at all welcoming. Any advice on activities would be great. We have decided on karate for sure, and we will probably have her keep up with her viola (her current school has a strings class) and go into private lessons for that. Thanks so much, sorry this is so long, I am a bit overwhelmed with planning all of this!

Lilypie Breastfeeding tickers

by on Feb. 5, 2012 at 6:27 PM
Replies (11-12):
by on Feb. 6, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Thank you so much for the info on martial arts! I want to be sure she is actually making progress with it and we won't be "buying belts" as you said. I want her to learn not only how to defend herself (she does get bullied a bunch) but also for the confidence and self-discipline. She SERIOUSLY needs the discipline. She is ok if we watch her like a hawk, but left to her own devices she can't handle it and just does whatever she wants. I think the one on one attention will help her to thrive. She just brought home a progress report today, she is reading at the level of a high school senior at the end of the year, but got a D in social studies because she just won't put in the time and do the work. Also, I don't think her school is doing a very good job of making her materials relatable in that course. At home we will be doing things that integrate her curriculum with the real world and her own life. I think that will really help. In addition to doing the curriculum, I will be teaching her a "life skills" class, where she will learn some practical things to help her make her life easier. Based on what happens with her school work, I think the first module will be organization and study habits, lol. I am glad to hear that homeschooling was the answer for your son. I am hoping the same thing will happen for DD!

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

My DS had the same problem of being very smart, reading way above grade level, and being called a geek, nerd, etc. and he was constantly put down for being smart and he was beat up several times because he is to oquiet and nice. He's your stereotypical nerd - glasses, thin to the point of looking scrawny, etc. LOL Homeschooling was a GOD SEND for him! He is totally thriving. 

PLEASE put her into a martial arts program but before you do, check out SEVERAL dojos! They are not all alike. Be sure that you are not "buying her belts'. Aka - you spend so much money, attend so many classes and BANG! Atuomatic new belt level. If the dojo has 9-10 year old blackbelts - RUN AWAY! fast!  We do Okinawa-Te karate, it's a cross between traditional shotokan karate and kung-fu, it has totally changed DS!! He still looks scrawny, but OMG the kid is RIPPED! He isn't bulky because it's not that kind of traiing, but he has a 6 pack to be proud of! LMAO He has also learned the mental aspects, he knows what to do againt bullies, he knows how and when to pick his battles. He is WAY more self-confident. I HIGHLY recommend martial arts IF you can find a good dojo.

You should also look into 4H or Girl Scouts....

4H is good because they often divide into interest groups. So she would be with a co-ed group of kids with similar interests. Anything from raising guide puppies, showing horses, gardening, to shooting sports.

I see you said you aren't religous and GS requires "to serve God" in their pledge, it isn't meant as JUST Jesus Chirst, it can fit whatever your beliefs are. They have religous awards for many manydifferent religions. Depending on the leader, religion kept to the minimum if it's discussed at all. Most say, "Discuss that requirement with your family".

by on Feb. 7, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Having gone through some similar things with my gifted girl, I would 1) recommend finding a therapist who specializes in gifted children. ( See SENG website.) Also having had my kids in karate, I agree with the comment re:making sure the dojo/karate studio you go to is a very supportive one for kids/family. ( note if you are in So Call, send me a note offline and I will give you the name/address of a great one, as well as therapist).  What about a team sport as well - i.e. basketball, volleyball? Good luck!

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