Thought this would make decent fuel for discussion.
My response was a bit tongue in cheek as well...
No, (where I used to live) I don't think I had any students quit lessons because they weren't going to be concert violinists. In fact, some students quit lessons even though their parents encouraged them to continue (in fact, one had just bought the kid a $1,400 violin package...the local violin shop had perfectly acceptable instruments for a lot less)...it really did seem that there wasn't much time left over for music. My violin students were almost all involved in one or more academically oriented clubs, in the orchestra for the musical (or performing in the musical), learning to drive, going to sports events and dances, dual enrolled in college...and some had jobs.
In our community, the pressure cooker schools push violin from an early age. These schools fill the uber-competitive junior symphony and the supposedly more community oriented civic youth orchestra. These schools dominate the honor orchestra every year too. They have parents who want the to achieve high in music but actively discourage them from being musicians for a living. No, around here, violin is considered an acceptable "extra-curricular" to pad out the college application.
But yes, I'm used that as an example of what seems widely considered an acceptable extra-curricular for a college transcript wheras something like being involved in the model railroad club from an early age and eventually volunteering hours at the model train museum is looked down upon in the elite high schools in our area.
'We know too many kids in these schools that give up on the quirly little things they are passionate about so they can add their resume to the pile of "4.5 GPA, violin playing, president of the Key club." It's our quirky differences and how we develop them than make us interesting isn't it?'
Hmmm....I wish my students had heard that playing violin makes them academically desirable in an ordinary sort of way...I can't say how many I have lost (just as they were getting to the point where they were getting pretty competent) to "rigorous academics" in the 8th or 9tyh grade. Math Olympiad, Odyssey of the Mind, and the like are the bane of my existence! ("I can't practice on school nights. I have to do do my homework and build my robot.")
The further we get in our children's education, the less I'm sold on specialty gifted programs and schools. I'm not saying they don't work for some kids. I just wonder if it really is the best use of limited school funding. My kids have had pretty much everything.... pull-outs, gifted clusters, stand-alone gifted classes, highly gifted tracks, you name it. In the end, what made the difference was quality teachers, flexibility, open-ended curriculum and opportunities to accelerate (grade or subject acceleration.) These were things that benefited ALL the kids and didn't cost the school anything.
Personally, I think high school is messed up in general. AP's aren't working. They take a semester college class, spread it out over a year and then make-up a ridiculous amount of busy work to justify it being twice as long. They are still in that "we don't trust you to learn this how you learn best so we're going to have you learn it EVERY way in hopes that something sticks." Then, kids pay for test scores many colleges won't even accept for units anymore. My 15-year-old is taking her courses at the community college now for actual, transferable units and she doesn't have a fraction of the work load she did in AP's.... and she feels like she's learning more. I feel the pressure creates self-centeredness at an age where they don't need any help in that department lol. It also wastes their experimental years.
I'd never send my kids to a pressure cooker high school. I don't care about the reputation. Those schools in our area graduate impressive kids on paper but they graduate kids who are all look very much the SAME on paper. We know too many kids in these schools that give up on the quirly little things they are passionate about so they can add their resume to the pile of "4.5 GPA, violin playing, president of the Key club." It's our quirky differences and how we develop them than make us interesting isn't it?
Ladybug, I love your comment about dc who "has to be met all over the place"! Our 2nd grader is a 2E also, and sounds like for similar reasons (IEP for fine motor and hand/eye coordination. Handwriting and drawing are big problems.) We've been lucky to have teachers so far who really get and practice differentiation. They get a lot of special projects where they can go as simple or deep as they like, and they get to choose their own books for reading, their own topics for current events, etc. They just started having a special cluster teacher for math.