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Old 10-07-2018, 11:37 PM
 
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So far, so good. He gets straight As and is taking pre-algebra in fifth grade. He is also in Latin, which is his least favorite class. He preferred his Mandarin class that he took last year.

School begins at 7:25 AM and gets out at 2:45 PM. He then goes to student hours and does homework there so by the time he gets back home at around 4:15 PM he just has math to complete. They assign 30 math equations each night. Last year (4th grade), he did all 30 math problems at home and it was a horrible experience. Therefore, I had to hire a tutor to fill in some basic math facts. This year he currently has a 98% in math so I am happy. I do not help him with homework because I feel he needs to learn to use critical thinking skills to figure things out...and to be honest, I am terrible at math. I will do flash cards with him and help color projects. He receives 100s on his class projects and they look like a fifth grader did the assignment and not a mom who went to Hobby Lobby and did the work for him. I think the teachers appreciate that. All in all he spends about 30 minutes doing homework. He has found a way to study what he needs to get good grades and not to spend time on the details that won't get him the grades he/I want. I wish I had that ability at his age. Again, he is very intelligent but not gifted. I think he has a good memory though. I recently received a message from his science teacher saying how amazing he is and that was nice.

I am pleased with all the knowledge he has been exposed to and can retain. I do think it is a very intense and challenging curriculum. It is fast paced too. Sink or swim, but they do offer a lot of help to keep their high rankings. Every child (if they start young) can be successful here. They emphasize organization. Many kids have come and gone, so one must be committed to the challenge. This will come across as a little un PC, but I noticed that most of his friends are of Indian or Asian descent so perhaps it is a work ethic thing?

It is a weed out school. That is a good thing because the kids who struggle need to be in a place where they can find success.

Once he gets his homework finished we go to baseball or basketball practice get home and eat dinner. Around 7 PM his friends all contact each other and play Fortnite until almost bedtime. We read for thirty minutes and go to bed. He used to have a lot of energy but requires more sleep now!

It would be so much easier for me if he went to the neighborhood school because the school provides no transportation.

I think I am preparing him for future success but you never know....

I don't date though and I am 47. I have no time and I am afraid my "youthful" years are behind me so trying to raise him the best again comes at a personal cost to me. It is rather depressing and I recently suffered a few months of awful anxiety that I worked through learning DBT and Mindfulness skills. So that is good.

The schools in VA are excellent but very competitive. I miss the area terribly though.

I am glad that I am driving my son's education because my parents never did. We always had plenty of money until the financial crisis and I did grow up feeling entitled. Life has a way of kicking you in the a$$ sometimes. That may explain my infatuation with a school like BASIS.

My son is doing really well in school and I recommend BASIS if you live in an area where one is located. Aside from congratulating him on earning good grades and telling him I am proud of him I have not rewarded him... I don't want him to feel his self-worth is based on his school performance. I give him plenty of hugs and we have a lot of fun together. We recently went to Mexico and will rent a cabin for Christmas. I am going to reward him with a gaming PC at Christmas though.

BASIS is a machine and a business but I find value in it and can't wait to see what my son does in the future!

All kids are special and hug you bebes tonight!

So that is my update. God bless and good night!
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:50 PM
 
6,129 posts, read 6,807,419 times
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Originally Posted by breakingbad View Post

I am pleased with all the knowledge he has been exposed to and can retain. I do think it is a very intense and challenging curriculum. It is fast paced too. Sink or swim, but they do offer a lot of help to keep their high rankings. Every child (if they start young) can be successful here. They emphasize organization. Many kids have come and gone, so one must be committed to the challenge. This will come across as a little un PC, but I noticed that most of his friends are of Indian or Asian descent so perhaps it is a work ethic thing?
Sort of. I do think that in some cultures (especially if you hail from a country where a very high value is placed on competitive testing - in some Asian countires your test score can even determine your job placement) there is a lot more tolerance for kids having to study for hours and hours. It is expected, encouraged and considered entirely normal to grind until you are getting the highest scores possible in every class - and pursuing valuable extras like learning an instrument or competing in academic contests.

In America, a lot of parents would find that concerning after a certain point. In our culture we want kids to achieve but we also tend to want them to have time to play and "just be kids". I think in a lot of other cultures that's not really a consideration. The focus is on achievement and securing your future. Anything less is failing the family.

That said, I am glad you are happy with your son's school! It sounds like it's a good fit. That doesn't always happen so kudos to you.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:38 PM
 
1,429 posts, read 2,418,621 times
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Originally Posted by Tinawina View Post
Sort of. I do think that in some cultures (especially if you hail from a country where a very high value is placed on competitive testing - in some Asian countires your test score can even determine your job placement) there is a lot more tolerance for kids having to study for hours and hours. It is expected, encouraged and considered entirely normal to grind until you are getting the highest scores possible in every class - and pursuing valuable extras like learning an instrument or competing in academic contests.

In America, a lot of parents would find that concerning after a certain point. In our culture we want kids to achieve but we also tend to want them to have time to play and "just be kids". I think in a lot of other cultures that's not really a consideration. The focus is on achievement and securing your future. Anything less is failing the family.

That said, I am glad you are happy with your son's school! It sounds like it's a good fit. That doesn't always happen so kudos to you.
I agree completely with you! Living in the DC area exposed me to diverse populations and most families really emphasize education, an extra language, ballet and music in addition to their studies.
I am happy with BASIS and he still has a life. Thank you for your response!
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:00 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,193 posts, read 107,809,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinawina View Post
Sort of. I do think that in some cultures (especially if you hail from a country where a very high value is placed on competitive testing - in some Asian countires your test score can even determine your job placement) there is a lot more tolerance for kids having to study for hours and hours. It is expected, encouraged and considered entirely normal to grind until you are getting the highest scores possible in every class - and pursuing valuable extras like learning an instrument or competing in academic contests.

In America, a lot of parents would find that concerning after a certain point. In our culture we want kids to achieve but we also tend to want them to have time to play and "just be kids". I think in a lot of other cultures that's not really a consideration. The focus is on achievement and securing your future. Anything less is failing the family.

That said, I am glad you are happy with your son's school! It sounds like it's a good fit. That doesn't always happen so kudos to you.
The program the OP describes does seem to allow plenty of time daily for kids to be kids. Her son spends about 2 hours on homework, between the after-school study hall, and the 1/2 hr. at home doing math. (30 math problems daily seems like a lot, though.). The rest of the time he's free to play ball, play video games with friends, or do whatever he wants. That seems like a pretty balanced program. The discipline will stand him in good stead, when he reaches the stage of having to do research and term papers (some schools start that as early as sixth grade), and other projects. The time management skills and discipline he's learning will mean he'll have an easy adjustment to college, where it's important to be organized and self-motivated.

OP, could you explain the foreign language program at the school? By your description, it sounds like they only provide one year of Mandarin, and then move on to Latin. That doesn't make sense to me. What's the point of spending only a year on a foreign language? The purpose of Latin is mainly to understand where a lot of English vocabulary comes from, which will be an important aid to vocabulary-building in high school, in preparation for college entrance tests (SAT's, and the like). It will also help him with spelling as he progresses through school. But Latin, being a dead language, comes across as dry and boring to most students, no matter their age. It's no surprise, that he enjoyed Mandarin more. Will there be any follow-up with the Mandarin?

This charter school sounds like a private school within the public school system. That's very impressive.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:45 AM
 
6,129 posts, read 6,807,419 times
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
The program the OP describes does seem to allow plenty of time daily for kids to be kids. Her son spends about 2 hours on homework, between the after-school study hall, and the 1/2 hr. at home doing math. (30 math problems daily seems like a lot, though.). The rest of the time he's free to play ball, play video games with friends, or do whatever he wants. That seems like a pretty balanced program. The discipline will stand him in good stead, when he reaches the stage of having to do research and term papers (some schools start that as early as sixth grade), and other projects. The time management skills and discipline he's learning will mean he'll have an easy adjustment to college, where it's important to be organized and self-motivated.
Basis is kind of controversial for many reasons, but it has a lot to do with the workload. They have a very high attrition rate:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.33ec9fa0bac2

Some kids (like the OP's son) can complete it all in a couple of hours and change but most kids will need to study a lot more than that to keep up.

It seems to work out well for the kids/families for whom this is a good fit, so more power to the OP's son!
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:54 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,193 posts, read 107,809,412 times
Reputation: 116092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinawina View Post
Basis is kind of controversial for many reasons, but it has a lot to do with the workload. They have a very high attrition rate:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.33ec9fa0bac2

Some kids (like the OP's son) can complete it all in a couple of hours and change but most kids will need to study a lot more than that to keep up.

It seems to work out well for the kids/families for whom this is a good fit, so more power to the OP's son!
Thanks for making this point. You're right; just because some kids can get their work done in a couple of hours, doesn't mean all the kids can. Thinking back to my own school experience, I remember now, that a few kids felt really pressured, and said that their weekends were spent catching up on the week's work. It sounds like BASIS is an "elite" program, which is another term for what the OP called it: A "weed-out" program.

I'm wondering, if kids applying to college with a BASIS school on their transcript, would have a better acceptance rate, than kids from other programs. Parents may pressure their kids to stay in the program for that reason, even if they're struggling. They wouldn't want their kids to be among the ones, who get weeded out. That might be why you'd end up with kids, who spend double or more the time on their homework, that the OP's son does.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:08 PM
 
12,003 posts, read 11,890,406 times
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Glad he's doing well, but see if you can cut down "Fortnite" time and sub. free play outside. He needs time to use his imagination and connect with the natural world - otherwise, this sounds okay though it also sounds like a very long day for this age.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:20 AM
 
13,254 posts, read 33,513,664 times
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Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Glad he's doing well, but see if you can cut down "Fortnite" time and sub. free play outside. He needs time to use his imagination and connect with the natural world - otherwise, this sounds okay though it also sounds like a very long day for this age.
Not trying to be picky, but the OP said that her son and his friends start playing Fornite around 7 pm. That's when it's dark around here now, so outside time would be flashlight games.
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:35 PM
 
1,429 posts, read 2,418,621 times
Reputation: 1975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
The program the OP describes does seem to allow plenty of time daily for kids to be kids. Her son spends about 2 hours on homework, between the after-school study hall, and the 1/2 hr. at home doing math. (30 math problems daily seems like a lot, though.). The rest of the time he's free to play ball, play video games with friends, or do whatever he wants. That seems like a pretty balanced program. The discipline will stand him in good stead, when he reaches the stage of having to do research and term papers (some schools start that as early as sixth grade), and other projects. The time management skills and discipline he's learning will mean he'll have an easy adjustment to college, where it's important to be organized and self-motivated.

OP, could you explain the foreign language program at the school? By your description, it sounds like they only provide one year of Mandarin, and then move on to Latin. That doesn't make sense to me. What's the point of spending only a year on a foreign language? The purpose of Latin is mainly to understand where a lot of English vocabulary comes from, which will be an important aid to vocabulary-building in high school, in preparation for college entrance tests (SAT's, and the like). It will also help him with spelling as he progresses through school. But Latin, being a dead language, comes across as dry and boring to most students, no matter their age. It's no surprise, that he enjoyed Mandarin more. Will there be any follow-up with the Mandarin?

This charter school sounds like a private school within the public school system. That's very impressive.
Thank you for your supportive feedback. The foreign language issue... I feel it is odd too. Maybe Mandarin reinforces math skills and Latin reinforces English skills? Next year I think they offer Spanish and then in JR. High they pick which one they would like to continue with.

BTW- I always enjoy reading your responses!
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:37 PM
 
1,429 posts, read 2,418,621 times
Reputation: 1975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinawina View Post
Basis is kind of controversial for many reasons, but it has a lot to do with the workload. They have a very high attrition rate:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.33ec9fa0bac2

Some kids (like the OP's son) can complete it all in a couple of hours and change but most kids will need to study a lot more than that to keep up.

It seems to work out well for the kids/families for whom this is a good fit, so more power to the OP's son!
Thanks! I hope it works out...Lord knows my didn't give me much direction in education. I still love them dearly though!
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