Wednesday, March 9, 2011

's Been A Long Time, I Shouldn't-a Left You....

Well, well, well, look who's decided it's time to get these squeaky gears turning again over here!!!!  It's been at least 8 months since I last wrote you.  There's been much under foot.  I decided in the late spring of last year that I was completely over trying to make traditional schooling work for the Pyrate.  Between bullies, peers out of control, over populated classrooms, not up to par gifted student programs, and a complete lack of concern about any of these issues by school officials and staff, I'd had enough.  But what was most hurtful was the fact that I am raising a exceptionally gifted child who has the potential to be a prodigy and nobody seemed to care about what that means.  The Pyrate, bless his heart, has textbook characteristics for what is known about children who are highly gifted.  School work was easy and therefore frustrating, socializing was precarious because his mind works faster than most kids his age, and he needed special attention in the area of keeping organized.  He needed academic attention and consideration that he didn't get in public school OR previously the private schools he was in. He needed to be able to work at his own pace, doing curriculum that was both entertaining and challenging, he needed peers on his level so that he didn't feel the need to diminish himself to fit in, he needed more intensive guidance with organizational and study habits.  He was never going to discover his potential in a normal school.  So I signed him up to attend the California Virtual Academy.  It's an online California charter school based on the K12 virtual educational system.  K12 is a program built by the top scholars and researchers in the fields of cognitive learning and child development.   We started in September when the Pyrate started 8th grade.  I am happy to say that this was the best decision I have ever made as this child's mother.  It has changed his life tremendously.  At the end of the first semester, not only did he have straight A's, he'd finished an entire year of school... his entire 8th grade curriculum in one semester.  The school approved his early advancement to 9th grade, so he's now taking 9th grade classes and one 10th grade honors english because he took the 9th grade one in his 8th grade curriculum.  I have never seen him happier, and part of that is because he has been allowed a set of circumstances that give him the opportunity to truly see what he is capable of.  Instead of diminishing himself to fit in, he and his new friends challenge each other and goad each other to keep up with whoever is ahead.  I am able to work more intensively with him on issues regarding organization, and just as importantly he gets more direct guidance from me in regards to values I believe are necessary in becoming a young man.  It's a profound difference from what he got out of his former life where my only influence was in the evening hours and weekends.  Some are of the mind that he's missing something be not having the influence of a normal school.  Well, we tried that and he was miserable, bored, frustrated, exposed to things no child should be exposed to, and worse of all, had no idea how smart he was.  Now he knows and just that one thing has been enough to make him a happier teenager.  He'll be applying to join Mensa at some point this year, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, both whose members are children of phenomenal talent and academic ability.
That's what I've been up to.  It's been like a boot camp of sorts for both of us, getting used to how homeschooling works, learning to be his learning coach,  him learning to be more active in the planning and execution of his education.  It's been challenging and exciting and nowhere near as difficult as most people think it would be.  If you find that your child is having trouble in any way in normal school and you have the ability to school them at home, this program is available free of charge, as a charter in most larger cities in the US and the program is also available as a teach-on-your-own curriculum for purchase wherever you are.  They also have an international school as well .  Some US cities even have coops or flex facilities so your kid actually goes to a live facility to do their schooling through this same program.  If you think your child is too unruly for you to want to deal with them at home, I think you'll find that they behave much better at home than they do when you're not there... the one person who really cares, to keep them in check for real, like no teacher will ever do.  Check it out!
Other than homeschool, there's not much else to tell.  LOL  I've been deep in it for a good while.  My next blog is going to be about this doggone soup the Pyrate made for dinner last night.  Then the first part in a series on how to plan a special event party.  I will share step by step planning for my sister's wedding shower that takes place in May.  If you like to host guests in your home, you will like that a lot.
Music is on hold in the moment, perhaps some new stuff on the horizon soon... I'll keep that close to the vest til there's something substantial to tell.... xoxo

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