My daughter has felt unhappy, academically, since she went back to school. Many, many things have happened that have caused this and I don't feel the need to detail these, because the bottom line is, she feels like she is being held back. Not so much from the teachers as from the other students. She learns something, but has to wait days for everyone else to learn it before she can move on to the next thing. Another issue with the other students is that most of them don't really want to learn. They try to sidetrack the teachers and often succeed. My daughter would rather be doing something else than sit in the classroom with people who don't even want to be there. She would rather be learning. I do not blame her. I also understand where the other kids are coming from, because I was one of them. I hated school and would have done anything not to work. So, I can see everyone's side and no one is to blame. It just happens that this child of mine is precocious and needs to be in a very different academic setting than most of us.
When she was home schooling, about age 10 or 11 she started learning about Japan. She began learning the language using different computer programs and books. She would pour over books and websites about the country, its history and culture. 3 years ago she started researching study abroad programs and reading blogs of students abroad.
This past fall she applied for a yearlong study abroad in Japan program, but it was a last minute thing and she didn't get in. We did learn a little about the application process. This was useful because we ended up applying to many programs.
Since September 2012 we (and I say we because parents have a lot of work to do too) visited 4 private high schools and 1 early admission college. She is applying to 2 of those schools. Simon's Rock College and the Stoneleigh-Burnham School, which is a private all-girls school. She is also applying to a study abroad program in Germany for a full school year and from a different organization she is applying to study abroad this summer in Japan.
Each and every school/program has its own application process, including its own essays to write, interviews to be had, its own test to take (in one case) and its own scholarship to apply for. She can not go to any of these places if she does not get a full or almost full scholarship. That is why I encouraged her to apply to so many different options. I do believe she will be accepted into at least one program, but I don't know if we'll get the money for it.
My personal hope is that she gets to go to Japan for the summer and then comes home and begins her college education. That is my dream for her. We do have a backup plan if none of the options for the next school year pan out...home school. At least for a year and begin the Simon's Rock process all over again. Whatever happens, I'm sure she will be happy. She is beautiful and smart and amazing. I am honored to be witness to her life.
I started this by talking about both of my children and I'd like to end it that way. I have always thought of them as two very different, very unique people and we (my husband and I) have always treated them that way. They each have a different course their lives will take. I am blessed to have them in my life. I know they will be successful in whatever they choose to do. I am happy to help them accomplish their dreams.
YFU study abroad: