Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A 12 Year-Old's View of Middle School

My DD12, Hanover, who has been back in the public school system for two years after homeschooling for three, made the announcement, a bit out of the blue, that she was going to homeschool next year. After talking with her a little bit, here are her main concerns:

  1. School is boring and they spend waaaay too much time learning the same thing (she's pretty bright, so catches on quickly).
  2. She wants to be finished her work early and have more time to spend on her own projects (like writing short stories).
  3. She is sick of the moody and pervy (her word--but not in a gross way, more like mischevious) boys
  4. She doesn't feel like she can really talk with her favorite friends at school because they can be boring, are too much of followers, don't often get her sense of humor, and can be slow to catch on.
  5. The school rules are very much about obedience and don't make sense to her. Examples: even though her math teach has the current textbook page projected on the smart board for everyone to see, she still insists that each student turn to the same page in the book on their desk. The aids are very gruff and commanding in their rule enforcement and she doesn't understand the need for some of the rules or why they enforce rules arbitrarily. 


Peter Flom said...

The first question is whether you are able and willing to home school her. It's quite a challenge!

If the answer is no, then here are some ideas:
Can you get the school to cooperate with some advanced classes?

If she passes the final exam of a course, can she be given credit for it? If so, can she then do her own work?

Can she take some HS level classes?

Can she work with a professor at some local college?

For me, 12 was just about the nadir of existence.

Kim said...

Thanks, Peter. I would be more of an education "facilitator" than a homeschool teacher. I would arrange for tutors and/or on-line classes. I am home full time but I work from home so she would need to do the work on her own for the most part.

I do have a meeting scheduled with the school, but I don't know if they'll do anything I asked for and they already denied.

Any ideas of how to contact a professor?

Peter Flom said...

Figure out what subject she is most interested in. This doesn't have to be an academic subject, it could be very specific. Then Google and find papers (academic papers) on that topic. Look for authors and contact them.

Ideally, they will know someone local. If not, it might be possible to study by e-mail.

Most professors are busy, but most also find their subjects fascinating and would probably be interested to help a 12 year old who was interested.