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  1. #1

    Default Did I do a good job? Or perhaps not?

    I think one of the things that is amazing to me about being on this forum is the amount of gifted, talented, high achieving children there are on here. I find I can't really relate much on this level. The extent to which you parents on here dig deep and find curriculum that helps your kids get into major universities, pass SATs, and such is inspiring.

    But what I wonder is, how many parents on here have just average achieving, (sometimes under-achieving) kids like mine? My kids have no tremendously high aspirations and never really have. It's not from lack of trying on my part. My kids just wanted to do the bare minimum, get the school day over with, and then just poop around all day. I have no idea why because I was always coming up with fun things to do, groups to join, and activities to participate in. They didn't care about 4 years of foreign language to excel at the SAT or what it would take to get into anything other than a community college.

    My son didn't figure out what he wanted to do after high school until recently. He farted around in high school homeschool, made my life a living hell, didn't do anything extra-curricular other than Boy Scouts. My middle child is nearly done, she's very smart, but has no desire to learn much outside of what's required to graduate high school. She wants to attend flight attendant school. My youngest just wants to move to London. She has no desire for college.

    I read many of the posts on here and wonder, did I do something wrong? Or is it personality? I'm almost done (my youngest is in 9th) and there really is no changing anything at this point. My son is doing well in a good full time job, living at home and saving every last penny to go to university debt-free. I'm pretty proud of that. My middle child will be doing the same thing. She's a hard worker and is saving her money too. Should I have pushed harder? Because although many of your stories make me envious, part of me feels that I didn't do a horrible job, it's just who my kids are.
    Homeschooling Mamarama
    Native Idahoan Atheist
    Eclectically homeschooling since 2006.

    Son (20) - Class of 2014
    Daughter (17) - Class of 2016
    Daughter (15) - Class of 2019

  2. T4L In Forum Oct19
  3. #2

    Default

    I think what I like about this forum are the number of parents who have perfectly normal kids. My oldest fits in that category of *bare minimum, doesnt seem to want to do anything special (other than argue)* category. He will do and try things, but not if he has to work at it. Ive felt like Im not alone here. Oh the threads about pre-pubescent boys! And I see the threads about the 13ish yr old girls.
    Id be very surprised if mine plays violin at Carnegie Hall, or campaigns to save toads from state fair races, or graduates from Harvard at 18.
    And Im alright with that. As parents, our goals are to have our kids as ready as possible to launch from our homes. Being able to hold down a job and manage ones finances goes a long way towards that. Id count it as a success.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    And Im alright with that. As parents, our goals are to have our kids as ready as possible to launch from our homes. Being able to hold down a job and manage ones finances goes a long way towards that. Id count it as a success.
    I've been part of a great many homeschool groups online and in person and I've always felt like I wasn't doing enough. That perhaps it was my fault they don't have a super drive to over-achieve. But I do agree with you about personal success in finances, jobs and life. I want my kids to be smart and intelligent...I believe they are...but they are not Ivy League scholars and they didn't start reading at 3 and read college level novels in the 3rd grade. They just progressed at their speed, did what they wanted and shirked off the rest.
    Homeschooling Mamarama
    Native Idahoan Atheist
    Eclectically homeschooling since 2006.

    Son (20) - Class of 2014
    Daughter (17) - Class of 2016
    Daughter (15) - Class of 2019

  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived skrink's Avatar
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    Default

    I have no idea where our family fits in the giant scheme of things. We probably just don't, and that's okay. Dd is an Aspie, and she is a bundle of extremes, highly gifted in some areas, disabilities in others. She has her special interests and loves them passionately, and she hates many standard, everyday things with just as much passion. Because of where her interests and talents lie I am planning on college (in whatever form). Independence is the goal but what that looks like FOR HER will be different than what most people expect it to look like. *shrugs* I became much happier when I stopped looking around so much, to be honest. I have acquaintances who push really hard - very early graduation, elite schools, AP courses out the wazoo, three foreign languages, and every extracurricular under the sun. They can be fairly obnoxious, since they love to play let's compare and want to talk, talk, talk about how special jr is and how great they are all doing, but I don't engage. Other folks I know are big on the college-is-overrated mindset, and are critical of anyone wanting to go that route. These are the folks who love the word "sheeple." Sigh. I generally don't care what other parents choose - breast or bottle, AP or Ferberizing, homeschooling or PS, any of it - but some people are either are so invested or so insecure that they can't help but push their agenda. You have to blow it off. We have different needs, interests, goals, and abilities, and we are all doing our best. The end.
    Skrink - mama to my 14 yo wild woman

  6. #5
    Senior Member Arrived Avalon's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't think you've done anything wrong - quite the opposite. It sounds like your kids are smart, know their own minds, are hard-working and have goals and aspirations (London, university, flight attendant school). I bet they're kind and funny, too!

    I'm not sure if my kids are super-smart or not. One of them is brilliant in some ways and yet has a learning disability, so she's all over the map. Neither of them is fired up about basic school work. One of the reasons we homeschool is to take the emphasis OFF academics and pay more attention to how to live a good life.

    If my kids grow up to be hard-working, good with money (e.g. budgeting & saving), know their own minds, and can set goals and achieve them, I think I'll pat myself on the back for a job well done. So should you.

  7. #6

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    I've got a bare minimum student over here. DD has no interest in academics of any kind. She's expressed interest in being a writer from time to time, likes to write fan fiction occasionally, etc. I keep trying to push her toward the medical field (job security/guaranteed paycheck) for like x-ray tech/ultra-sound tech/mammogram tech since she's such a caring person. She'd be great making people feel comfortable. But I really have no idea where she will land.
    At this point in the game, I'm just trying to make sure she gets a good education. She just wants to be done.
    I did want to add that I finally got some input out of her for science. We have been studying the human body per her request. Maybe there is hope. LOL
    I also agree with Avalon; I don't think you've done anything wrong either. It's just who they are and that isn't meant in a negative way.
    Last edited by outskirtsofbs; 02-23-2016 at 03:33 PM.
    --Kelly--Atheist/Accidental/Alternative Homeschool Mom to one great KID in southern Iowa since 3/1/10---Now making our way through the high school years.

  8. #7

    Default

    I have one of those kids you spoke about. The one applying to the great colleges, winning scholarships, doing everything perfectly. People always say that it was my great parenting, but I can tell you, without a doubt, it is his personality, because he has a brother....

    I am sitting in my living room right now listening to him with with a special ed teacher who is trying to help him understand note taking. He struggles with writing and reading even though he is quite bright. Nothing really seems to really light a fire under him although he does figure skate. Still he is not a kid that will be a high level competitor. He doesn't have that high a drive.

    I have learned that you must be careful in what you read or who you hang out with. There are those who will use your child's very normal achievement to boost their own self esteem. This was a huge issue when my oldest was in elementary school. You couldn't have a conversation without someone pointing out that their snowflake was in the gifted class. Really! I was taking about baking cookies!!! This was never ending. The funny thing was that my child who is doing so well now, was in a regular class so this was something I really noticed and irritated me a lot.

    In reality there are only few kids who achieve at such a high level. This is shown by the actual percentiles on the major tests. Very few people score in the 99th percentile or it wouldn't be the 99th! But because those are rare, those are the ones you hear about. In reality most people are scoring at a normal range but nobody goes online to shout out that their kid is normal.

    Also when it comes to college, there are thousands of great 4 year colleges. Fabulous places where normal kids would do well, get scholarships, and really enjoy their time. We just don't hear about them. There are approximately 2,500 public and private 4 year colleges yet we really only hear about 200 of them regularly. I will be looking at those other 2,300 for my younger kid.

  9. #8

    Default

    Oh Geeze!! You're doing nothing wrong.

    Other frequent posters can attest to my moans and groans here on the forum, regarding "What about my gloriously average kid?" Heck, I'm super proud of my regular kids and the job I've done/am doing. I don't give two squats about comparing mine to someone else's "Doogie Houser" perfect kid. You're not alone....so don't let it get you down. Regular kids that work above, below, on target to arbitrary goals for age (all at the same time) are what I'd say many of us have.....it's just that most comments/questions seem to happen when the far ends of the spectrum come up. Why post or ask when things are going along smoothly or mundanely?

    I love labeling our hs style as "slackschooling" cause I know how much it gets under the uber-competitive-types skin. Yes, we do nothing all day but watch TV and play video games! I hope others feel highly superior to my neglectful parenting. Because the truth is, that I know the truth, and I just don't like to give anyone else a reason to pull out the measuring stick. Just the same as I'm not very easily impressed....And maybe my nature is that I enjoy letting others underestimate me.....I'm also a pretty good poker player

    Forums can be bad for your confidence, only if you let them. I really don't think anyone here tries to make others feel bad by boasting, but it does tend to be human nature to want to compare and contrast for ones own reference.
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  10. #9

    Default

    Wow. Thanks to those who have commented so far.

    I think much of my doubt started the other day when my youngest and I met at a coffee shop with her friend and parents. We were meeting them for the first time and neither parents were willing to let the girls socialize at the others' house until we met. They asked me about what I use to homeschool our kids. I HATE THAT QUESTION. There is always judgment on the other side of my answer. But I answered anyway. They informed me they homeschooled their daughter with the state charter school online. She tested at a college age reading level in the 3rd grade. Taught herself to read at 3. Is a 4.0 student. Went so far as to let me know the idea of their daughter getting a job right now (this came after my daughter shared how excited she is for a job interview coming up) was unthinkable. Her job is to get a 4.0 in school. I sat there listening to their on-going my-daughter-is-gifted speech and wanted to run. My daughter is not a high-achiever academically, although she's incredibly smart, at grade-level on all subjects, an amazing fiction writer, but mostly just likes to play her guitar, write her book, and listen to music. No aspirations other than that. I felt judged for that! Then I come on here and see all the forum posts on gifted and talented and SATs and I kinda had a small, in-my-head, groan moment.

    I have never been one to compare my family to others. I've been so happy to let us all be who we are and let my kids grow and learn at their own pace. I think I need to just stop comparing. I am very proud of my kids no matter where they are.
    Homeschooling Mamarama
    Native Idahoan Atheist
    Eclectically homeschooling since 2006.

    Son (20) - Class of 2014
    Daughter (17) - Class of 2016
    Daughter (15) - Class of 2019

  11. #10
    firefly77
    Guest

    Default

    I have no experience parenting older children. I really have no idea where my kids lie on any intelligence scale. They are interested, interesting, and happy, so I think we're headed in the right direction, but I don't know if they are gifted or even all that smart.

    It's easy to feel insecure about what you are doing. I think - based solely on my own experience - that homeschooling can push mom guilt into overdrive. It sounds like your kids are on the right path. I did go to college after high school, but that was back in the day when it wouldn't totally bankrupt people to get a degree in something they found interesting ... and I didn't figure out what I wanted to do with my life until I was 26 or 27, so your kids are ahead of where I was at least!

    I do think there is some value in trying to raise kids who either like to work hard or are at least willing to do so in the necessary situations, but I don't know how to do that exactly. And the hard working bit can be tricky, too. Some folks are intrinsically motivated, while others work their tails off to please others - and the latter can be quite unhealthy.

    I appreciate this forum because many members are unafraid to address their (and their kids') shortcomings as well as their successes. I find both reassuring and heartening. That said, most people don't take to the Internet to detail their failures - one of the reasons I mostly hate facebook.

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Did I do a good job? Or perhaps not?