Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 53
  1. #11
    NCGrandma is online now Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    3,226

    Default

    I donít have anything to contribute but I wanted to say that I really appreciate this thread ó itís a good reminder that time flies, even in this crazy year. DGD1 is a sophomore this year, which I guess I wasn't really thinking about because there were many more pressing issues.

    Both DGDs are at a smallish private school in NE, where most kids go on to college. They seem to have a good college counselor and other on-campus resources. When DGD1 took the private school exams to begin going there for 4th grade, she scored high enough to qualify for merit scholarship aid. No idea what if any standardized tests she has taken since then, but she seems to test well. She already has a decent number of AP classes and will have more.

    One thing Iím not sure PPs have mentioned is ó for want of a better term ó comfort and familiarity with higher education. For DGD1, one parent and at least one grandparent on each side has university teaching experience, and both parents and all 5 grandparents (thanks to divorce/remarriage) have advanced degrees. I donít think anyone is pressuring her, but she has the advantage of having been around a variety of college and university settings all her life, which I think reduces the scariness factor.




    Sent from my iPad using Baby Bargains

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    .
    Posts
    5,848

    Default

    Honestly it’s way too early for you to start worrying about college, enjoy the stage you are in. Middle school has its own challenges and it is a great time to start giving your child more independence as it is the last time things “don’t count.”

  3. #13
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    .
    Posts
    44,252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mom2binsd View Post
    -

    Also, not every kid has to go to college, electricians/plumbers/hair stylists/grocery store managers have all proven to be very important and successful, and NEEDED!
    So true.
    Also, if your kid is giving off huge ďNOT ready!Ē Or ďNOT interested!Ē Vibes that they should be listened to. My friendís dd was this way. They paid for a college counselor because it was so stressful. They found a good fit, she went for a week and bailed. She just wasnít ready and it been like a neon light to those of us watching it happen.
    Itís really ok if your kid isnít a doctor, lawyer... there are so many fulfilling careers. And lots of ways to have a comfortable, happy life.


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains

  4. #14
    dogmom is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    boston, ma.
    Posts
    5,147

    Default

    I just wanted to say our approach was to spend more time getting my DS to be more independent and responsible for his own stuff. By Junior year I was very hands off. This did mean he got a couple of Bs that could have been As if we had pushed harder Freshmen/Sophomore years, but I think his GPA is an accurate representation of him. He worked hard at it his writing because he wanted to do better in his history/social studies. He dropped athletics and wasnít involved in a lot of extracurricular stuff, but then he wound up on a National political organization board last summer.

    I was planning to start college stuff Midway Junior year, then Covid hit. SAT got cancelled. I went to work in a Surge unit at the hospital and moved out. He finally took SAT und if August. We honestly didnít get serious about college stuff until then. Which sounds so late, but...

    We got a good list of 10 schools together. We tweaked it after his SAT came back better than expected. We applied to all the Public colleges by early November. Heís got a accepted to all of them. One has ready given him a scholarship. We just finished all his Private College applications and will hear sometime in March. It really wasnít as painful as I thought. We didnít hire a consultant because no one would call me back and I got annoyed and he didnít want to. It did help he was clear what he wanted to study and he wanted a diverse college in an Urban area on the east coast, so it narrowed it down.

    So, Iím pretty sure we did it all wrong, but it looks like itís turning out OK.

  5. #15
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    CA.
    Posts
    22,505

    Default Preparing for high school and college

    DS is a sophomore. I completely agree with listening to you child, giving advice but letting their interests lead the way. They also change quickly. DS in freshman year was still uninterested, but by beginning of this year, heís motivation has increased, heís talking more about classes and college options. We havenít pushed him. He may take some AP classes, weíve said only if he is interested in the classes as it so much more work.

    We have friends that rode their son over every assignment and test. Heís now in college, and they still have a very contentious relationship. We know many kids with mental health breakdowns over their grades. DS talks about the pressure from other kids and teachers. We decided we wouldnít go down that path and pressure him. He will go to college, there are so many options out there, and he will find his own place and career. Neither DH or I went to a selective college and weíre successful in our careers. A friend went to a pressure cooker high school and went to Harvard. She is adamant about not pressuring her kids to go the same route. Says the mental stress was not worth it.

    We may hire a college counselor. Close friends did it knowing their daughter would respond better to not-Mom or dad helping. We may do the same - not to get into a better school - but to have an objective person giving advice. Our friends daughter wasnít sure what she wanted for college, and the counselor had a number of activities to help her figure out her focus.


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    Last edited by niccig; 01-24-2021 at 05:11 PM.

  6. #16
    daisyd is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,249

    Default

    So helpful to read everyone's experiences. We are surrounded by high-pressure towns with kids doing so much that I often feel that we are not doing enough for DS. Even in our town, many families do afterschool enrichment as our middle school is not great but the high school is more rigorous. But whenever I suggest DS try something, I hear a resounding "NO!". I guess it's partly how COVID has changed things at school and partly being a tween. We've had a lot of arguments because DS seems so different, obstinate and I can't convince him to step out of his comfort zone.

    My fear has been that I'm not doing enough as a parent to provide the right opportunities, steer him in the right direction etc. Plus, as he's my first child, there are so many firsts that we have struggled with as parents and learnt things the hard way that I want to be adequately prepared to support him on his journey.

    My take away is that it is DS's journey and that I need to let him drive this process and let him take wing. I want for him to be happy, healthy and fulfilled. I guess, I need to take a step back for him to trust us as parents.

    (So hard for me to do. I had parents who couldn't help and were so hands off when I longed for support. Now that I'm trying for DS to benefit from my experience, he wants none of it I guess that's the irony of life.)

  7. #17
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    15,671

    Default

    I haven't read any of the other replies because I don't have time now but wanted to comment while this was fresh on my mind. I'm one of the moms who have been posting lately about college. When my oldest was in 7th grade i posted here worried like OP. And there were quite a few pp who said it was too early to worry and to let the kids figure it out on their own. I think the term "helicopter mom" was thrown out there. My oldest is now a junior and I have some hindsight about the last 4 years. 7th grade is not too early to start watching more closely for your kids' strengths and weaknesses, interests and passions. If they have been trying different sports and activities, listen to what they like. Watch how they respond to those activities. Explore them more in depth. Find some opportunities similar to what they are curious about and try them. Give them lots of opportunities to explore and try stuff out. Then encourage them to dig deeper. Where are their strengths in school? What classes do they like? Would they like to explore them more in some way? Expose them to as many activities as possible to see what they like. Then encourage them to look deeper. Keep trying new stuff. If they show an interest in something they saw online, let them try it to get an idea what piques their interest. If their teachers have commented they'd be good at something, steer them in that direction to try it. Maybe it will be a good fit for them. Maybe not. And I don't think middle school is too early to be trying these things with an eye to the future.

    From what I've heard in my recent research, colleges are looking for kids who have a demonstrated passion for something. Colleges aren't impressed by kids loading up on activities in their sophomore and junior year in an effort to stack their resumes. Finding out what kids enjoy early can only help them figure out who they and are what makes them happy. An activity that they start to love in middle school can feel safe and comfortable when they start high school. It can give them confidence to go try out other things because they have a fall-back activity that they have been successful at.

    I'm glad I started looking more seriously into DS1's interests back in 7th grade. He showed an interest in snare drums and tried it for a year. Not his thing. He had already ruled out most team sports. He liked acting but started to lose interest as he got older. But then in 8th grade we discovered a local Boy Scout troup that was really strong (the Cub scout troup was NOT strong so I had overlooked the BS troup). DS1 had never given it much thought but then tried it with his 6th grade brother. They both really liked it. He just started working on his Eagle Scout project and is slated to become an Eagle Scout by this summer. It would have been much easier for him to achieve this if he had started Boy Scouts by 6th or 7th grade. I understand stating that he's an Eagle Scout on his college list of activities will make him a strong applicant. And being a Boy Scout has been fantastic for making friendships, given him confidence and taught him a ton.

    He showed a passion for building things in elementary school so DH started a car club for their school where kids in grades 6th and up research and work on renovating old cars. They finished last year a 50's era Porsche Spyder kit car. Now they are working on a convertible Volkswagen Beetle. Our area and school is small and private without many extracurriculars so if the kids want these activities, we have to find a way to provide them. Most larger cities and public high schools offer these courses. From working on the cars, DS1 realized he loved tinkering, building, and problem solving. He's reading about engineering and feels strongly that that is what he is interested in. We will start visiting colleges with strong engineering programs this spring and summer.

    DD tried sports in elementary and played an instrument in elementary and middle school. In 4th grade she tried jazz and tap. She really liked it. I talked her into trying ballet. Now in 7th grade she loves it. She's so serious about it she was asked to audition and was accepted into her dance school's preprofessional program. She just got her pointe shoes last week. She lost interest in her instrument last year but then tried BSA Scouts a year ago. At first, she wasn't convinced. Then she went camping and now LOVES it. Her goal is to be one of the first female Eagle Scouts in Wisconsin. Where will dance and scouts lead her? She doesn't know but she is loving this right now. It's awesome to see her so confident and she says she definitely wants to continue through high school (again, no dance or cheerleading opportunities in our high school so we have to provide those opportunities.

    I'm so glad I pushed my kids to try different stuff that I thought would be a good fit for them a couple of times before letting them give up. And I watched them carefully for what they love and steered them in those directions. I really think it was the right thing to do. I myself had hands off parents and floundered. I felt my high school advisor failed me. It's important for parents to let their kids make their own decisions but I think encouraging and steering them toward things you and their teachers/coaches be successful at, throwing ideas and opportunities in their direction is good for them. I think parents can definitely start doing this in middle school. Even if the kids never want to go to college, helping them understand themselves early on can give them confidence. And if they do want to go to college, then preparing them early will open more doors for them. jmho.

    ETA- our k-12 school does not have AP or IB classes.The highest possible GPA is 4.0. It has very few extra curricular because it's completely self-funded (no diocesan or state funding). We love it because we are Catholic and practicing our faith is the most important thing in our lives. This school fits with the moral upbringing we have chosen for our kids. It is also VERY academically rigorous.
    Last edited by gatorsmom; 01-24-2021 at 09:08 PM.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

  8. #18
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    .
    Posts
    44,252

    Default

    Gator- I understand what youíre saying but I worry about pigeonholing them. Yes, showing a strong passion for something probably looks good to some colleges but that shouldnít be the goal (imo) since it also might not really matter. Dabbling is what was good for my ds1. But, once he tried something he stuck with it. Lettered in 3 varsity sports 3 out of his 4 years. Some kids go so hard in one direction that they miss the opportunity to be kids and see what else they might enjoy. Plus they make lots more friends by being involved in different things (though thereís usually a fair amount of overlap). If itís natural, organic and authentic for a specific kid to go deep vs trying a variety of things then thatís great! Itís just a developmental detriment if itís simply to make them a good college candidate.


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains

  9. #19
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    15,671

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by daisyd View Post
    So helpful to read everyone's experiences. We are surrounded by high-pressure towns with kids doing so much that I often feel that we are not doing enough for DS. Even in our town, many families do afterschool enrichment as our middle school is not great but the high school is more rigorous. But whenever I suggest DS try something, I hear a resounding "NO!". I guess it's partly how COVID has changed things at school and partly being a tween. We've had a lot of arguments because DS seems so different, obstinate and I can't convince him to step out of his comfort zone.

    My fear has been that I'm not doing enough as a parent to provide the right opportunities, steer him in the right direction etc. Plus, as he's my first child, there are so many firsts that we have struggled with as parents and learnt things the hard way that I want to be adequately prepared to support him on his journey.

    My take away is that it is DS's journey and that I need to let him drive this process and let him take wing. I want for him to be happy, healthy and fulfilled. I guess, I need to take a step back for him to trust us as parents.

    (So hard for me to do. I had parents who couldn't help and were so hands off when I longed for support. Now that I'm trying for DS to benefit from my experience, he wants none of it I guess that's the irony of life.)
    I haven't read the other pp but your post was above mine so I read it. My youngest son sounds like yours. He doesn't want to try things. Now its important to know that mine was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety. His behavioral therapist told me that it is perfectly fine to force kids to try things. If I let DS3 do what he wanted he'd play video games all day, eery day. We make him go alpine skiing at least once week in the winter and when we go on vacation. He's good at it and when he come in he always says he had fun. Then he sits down and plays video games. We also make him go camping and traveling with us. With the activities he doesn't complain about, we make him do it again (with the ok of his psychologist). He whines about going but then comes back and says he had fun. There have been somethings he hates and begs not to do again. Those I usually don't make him redo. I've been throwing new activities in front of him and he ALWAYS says he doesn't want to do them until he starts. Then he will often say , "hey this was kinda cool!" Sometimes I have to bribe him to try something or make a deal for more video game time. But I do make him try.

    Our scout master shared with me that his 30 year old son never showed an interest in anything other than comic books and his part time job at a print shop. Despite his parents urging and nagging, he continued working at the print shop after college. But he became the manager of the print shop and had started writing to the publishing company of the comics he loved. They eventually hired him and now he's some VP at a Publishing house. So, kids CAN find a way to their dream. But I still don't think it hurts to try to steer them a bit.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

  10. #20
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    15,671

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    Gator- I understand what you’re saying but I worry about pigeonholing them. Yes, showing a strong passion for something probably looks good to some colleges but that shouldn’t be the goal (imo) since it also might not really matter. Dabbling is what was good for my ds1. But, once he tried something he stuck with it. Lettered in 3 varsity sports 3 out of his 4 years. Some kids go so hard in one direction that they miss the opportunity to be kids and see what else they might enjoy. Plus they make lots more friends by being involved in different things (though there’s usually a fair amount of overlap). If it’s natural, organic and authentic for a specific kid to go deep vs trying a variety of things then that’s great! It’s just a developmental detriment if it’s simply to make them a good college candidate.



    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    I totally hear you. And pigeon-holing my kids in something they don't want is my fear too. But some kids need more pushing. And some kids just don't know themselves or their abilities well enough to make career decisions by the time they are 18. High school advisors can look at their grades and teachers can tell them they do well in this or that and that helps. But parents can start watching early for signs of passions and talents based on what they are hearing about their kids or seeing them do. Studies show that who we are is 50% from our environment and 50% what our genetics give us. So really parents and close loved ones might be able to see abilities in their kids that the kids can't see yet themselves. Without a loved one encouraging and nudging them to try things they have shown skill at but never really considered, kids might overlook what could be very good for them. The important thing is to eventually as they are old enough, let the kids try a wide range of activities and explore different paths on their own so that ultimately it's their decision. And it's important for parents to step back obviously, when the child is old enough to explore on their own safely. It should be clear that parents will emotionally support them with whatever they choose.
    Last edited by gatorsmom; 01-24-2021 at 08:27 PM.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •