Class rigor - when is too much?

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Class rigor - when is too much?
24
Mon, 09-19-2011 - 10:10pm
I know we've had this discussion on the boards and I know I've seen varying opinions on it. I am wondering when you decide enough is enough, or you need to either step into things or let your h/s'er deal with it.

Bit of background, ODD is a junior, straight A's up til last year taking gifted and talented, honors, Pre-AP and AP courses. Last year she got a B+ in Algebra 2 and was okay with it because she put her all into it. She was on the JV cheer team, photography club, and officer of Latin club. She started getting tension headaches mid-way through the year, partly due to stress and we learned her dad's maternal side of the family is extremely prone to migraines also. We talked last year about the headaches, tried to work on strategies to combat the stress, but she is very ambitious, a perfectionist, and tends to get OCD about things. This year, I reminded her when she picked up an outside competitive team, made varsity cheerleading, added a job at the cheer gym, and took 3 AP classes, 2 Pre-AP classes, and elected to do an independent study, self-directed class to study and work towards taking the AP art history test in the spring. She dropped Latin and Latin club after a teacher change at the end of last year. I let her make the decisions, but gently reminded her several times that I thought she was taking on too much.

Its now a month into the school year, she has 1 night a week she is home before 8:30, is only working 7 hours a week at the gym which are times she is already to be at the gym for cheer practices, and the tension headaches are already starting. She came home tonight in tears over her AP English 3 class, the teacher, the testing and course structure. I asked her about dropping into core English 3 and she said no right away, she doesn't want to "go into a class where nobody cares about the work". I told her i wasn't going to make her do anything right one, but gave her some things to think about, like is one class that is making you this upset a month into school, and in tears, worth a whole year of stress and it sounds like a drop in GPA if it's as bad as she's saying it is? I told her to think about things, go in and talk to a counselor if she needs to, but it's her decision. HOWEVER, the first time we land in the urgent care again this year because the headaches are that unbearable, I will make decisions for her and she may not like them.

But seriously, I don't know what to do, she loves school, I know she likes being challenged, but this is ridiculous, I want her to enjoy high school, have fun, etc.., and I know she does, she has some great friends and loves the activities she's in, I don't want her overwhelming drive and ambition to make herself miserable. I would love thoughts, questions, BTDT advise, etc.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Thu, 09-29-2011 - 9:48am

They showed Race to Nowhere at our high school last year, and I was rather surprised by the negative reactions from some of the parents in the discussion afterwards. Many thought the kids in the film were "complainers" who "blamed others for their problems."

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Mon, 10-10-2011 - 10:11am

I haven't had the chance to see the movie but I've long been a follower of the woman behind the film.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Wed, 10-12-2011 - 1:20pm

You're not talking about College Confidential by any chance, are you? ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Thu, 10-13-2011 - 1:19pm

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