DD 15 has had a rough time the last 2 years. The arts school she was so excited about offered her the social experience of her dreams but was the worst academic fit possible. In the end, she was depressed, sullen and withdrawn. She had all these lovely friends but she would choose a weekend locked in her room over the countless offers they'd make for activity. Her grades dropped because she couldn't force herself to do the work ("A's" on all her tests but overall riddled with missing assignments.) So, for the first time, we over-road her educational choices and told her she would not be returning to that school period.
So, she applied and was accepted into the middle college program. She had a very healing summer with challenging and enriching experiences. She started school 2 weeks ago and LOVES it. I haven't seen this side of her in 2 years. She loves her two high school classes (English and Social Studies.) The teachers are passionate and rely heavily on classroom discussion. Her only regret about her college classes is that she only signed up for 2 (the counselor was very insistent that they should all start off with an easier schedule.) She's taking Statistics and Oceanography. Loves them both not only for the subject but for the instructors. She's the only high schooler in those classes and she loves being in class with adults. At her last school, she was piled high with pointless and unnecessary homework. She has far fewer assignments now and it's all useful and/or thought provoking. She says she was surprised that there are a few very average high school students along with some exceptional ones but that ALL the kids were very obviously looking for something different and quite invested in creating a positive learning environment for all.
I'm so grateful for the good start. I'd really been missing DD who has historically been so energetic, so passionate and ready to conquer the world. It was hard to watch her stew in her own apathy. I noticed the friction between us has melted away. We all agreed that we can't regret the last two years because it taught DD so much about herself. Before, she took a challenging environment for granted because she was in excellent schools that catered to her more than she realized. She's been handed one remarkable opportunity after another most of her childhood but at this point, she's got to pursue those opportunities... not expect mom to find them, a teacher to reccommend her, ect. Now she understands how deeply an unchallenging environment effects her and how important it will be for her long term health to keep herself where she needs to be. I'm super grateful that this is something she's learned now and not in adulthood!