How's the new academic year?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
How's the new academic year?
21
Fri, 08-30-2013 - 10:31pm

What's in the works? If you've started already, how is it going?

Lori, how did your ds's surgery go? How is he recovering? Gwen, any luck getting M. into the alternative school? For those of you whose children are changing schools, how is it all feeling at this point? What exactly is your child's educational situation at this point?

My answers below.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 9:26am

Sorry to see summer go, but off to the new school year - my second to last of having a school kid at home!

DS24 just returned home after teaching abroad and will be doing another year of the same later this year.  Middle kid is at college and just started.

Youngest is in high school and also not that focused yet on the college search.  His options will be determined by how he does this year.  And that will depend on his focus and drive - all the abilities are there he just has to decide how to put it all together.  Kind of an in-between year for us as far as school goes. 

I still enjoy this board and hearing about all your lives.  It is sad to see things so slow and so few new folks.  Not sure where they are all congregating these days, but I am thinking FB has really taking away from message boards.

Hope all your kids have a great school year.  And look forward to seeing what they will do next. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 11:15am

Singrorge, this is also my second to last year of having a school kid at home.  It's bittersweet for sure.  I've been posting here since this child was in preschool and it's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that she's nearing adulthood.  It's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that all the kids I've read about over the years are growing up so fast.

 

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 11:28am
PE is going ok so far. He has a few friends in class this year which makes it better. DS has had bully issues since 3rd grade. We've done everything we could have to combat it and thought we'd turned it around last year. That was not the case. DS just stopped telling us about it. So, PE was a daily class in humiliation. One day he lost it and punched the head bully across the jaw. When the kid tried to punch him back, DS successfully blocked it (he's a black belt.) The teacher and principal were very supportive of DS. They didn't write him up and confided they'd have likely done the same. In fact, almost every adult male in DS's life confided that they'd had a similar experience growing up and it took physically fighting back to stop it. We pulled him from PE. The parents of the other child pulled him from the school. DS was heralded as a hero by his peers and no one has bothered him since. DS feels like a monster for lashing out physically. He still cries about it 6 months later. We are not a family that supports violence but that one punch fixed a problem that years of meetings, sacrificed opportunities and school wide anti-bully crusades could not.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 11:35am

I forgot our update:

dd15 is a junior in high school.  She is also not yet focused on college and I'm not pressing her.  It's an odd thing, I can see her functioning very well as a working adult with friends in and outside the workplace but I can't picture her as a college student.   She doesn't even go to school dances or parties in high school.

Older dds (24 and 22) both work far away from us but of course not near each other.   One of my goals for this year is to find more opportunities to visit them.  Singrorge, I hope you were able to visit your son when he was teaching abroad!

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 6:10pm
dd19 has been given some accommodations for dyslexia/dysgraphia...will be allowed to use me as interactive spelling/punctuation editor for essays, will not be asked to read aloud in class, and some written presentations will be replaced with oral. So this works. Deborah
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2000
Wed, 09-11-2013 - 10:12am

DS 15 is a sophomore in HS and doing reasonably well.  One of his two autoimmune disorder is (mostly) in remission, which has been fabulous.  He decided against transferring to the high-ranked STEM school to stay local/avoid the lengthy commute and continue on the local robotics team he adores. His dad and I agree that this was a good choice.  DS was recently diagonsed as having two MTHFR gene mutations.  Basically that means his body cannot convert B vitamins to methyl-b, which the body needs in order to expel toxins.  DS has started supplementing with methylB12 and methylfolate and, interestingly, has had dramatically improved social cognition as a result.    He's only been in school for about a week, so far, so it's too early to tell how the school year will play out.  He has a very slow work speed, so tends to spend many many hours on homework each week.  This year is his 1st AP class.  We are hoping that the demands of extra coursework aren't too excessive.  Anyone whose child has significant spectrum characteristics, aspergers traits, social cognition issues that get in the way of optimal life experience, I would encourage you to check into MTHFR gene mutations.  Fascinating how much of a change we have seen in DS in a very short time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Wed, 09-11-2013 - 11:22pm

Wow, that is very exciting, to have a genetic/biochemical-level diagnosis to work with! Hope the improvements continue to compound.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Mon, 09-16-2013 - 9:40am

This commenting thing is still a bit weird.  Logged in an told "you are not authorized to post comments" yet it is letting me comment!

Bigmighty so happy to read this!  Hope this is a key to long-term progress and a great year.

Weedosmom  -we hope to visit but depends on finances and other factors.  Hope you get to see your DDs as well.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Thu, 09-26-2013 - 7:31pm

Do kids typically do a gap year in Canada the way they do in England?  The idea is starting to take off here in the US, and several kids we know have done one. I'm keeping the idea in the back of my mind for my son, in case he is burned out by 12th grade. I think 17/18 is way too young for most kids to have any idea what they want to do. This is why my daughter is trying a little bit of everything at college, before she has to choose a major.

To answer your question, DD is in a residence hall, which is required for first year students, and she is only 45 minutes (on a good traffic day) by car from us. This was totally unexpected, as she was sure she'd go to school very far away, but this college (Wellesley, a women's college here in MA) proved to be a fantastic fit for her. It also worked out well because my father died the day she started classes, so I was able to go down there twice in the first week to be with her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Thu, 09-26-2013 - 8:42pm

I wouldn't say a gap year is uncommon here, but it's not the norm. The college application process just starts mid-way through 12th grade here, and is much less of a big deal than it seems to be in the US. You apply, you submit your preliminary and/or first-semester grades by February/March, and decisions begin coming in the last couple of months of high school. That's about it. In most cases there are no interviews, SATs, essays, in-person visits or anything of the sort.

In some ways I feel the way you do about kids being forced to declare a major and choose a career path far too early. But I'm relaxing my thinking on that a bit. Because it used to be that it was possible get a good general post-secondary education in the liberal arts and sciences and then choose a career that you would likely stick with for life. Nowadays, though, the world of knowledge is so vast that you can't possibly cover it all at a basic post-secondary level, and even those who head off on a clear-cut career path often end up changing trajectories and careers several times over their working lives. Education nowadays isn't so much about obtaining a particular body of knowledge as much as it is about proving yourself reliable, persistent and educable. Whether you do that through a degree in eastern languages or a liberal arts and sciences degree may end up being immaterial: your first 'career' might be in medical education course event planning, your second one in the editing of technical manuals for treadmill repairs. 

Of course there's no point in an 18-year-old getting locked into the study of something that it turns out they have no love for. But I'm not sure that higher learning in areas that turn out to be entirely unrelated to a later career path, things that a generation or two ago would have been considered "false starts" or mistakes, are anything of the sort these days. 

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc