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Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > Taking a Year off from High School
Have a 9th grader who is just getting by high school, 3rd week. He's already on a 504. He is a sweet 13yo, gifted IQ wise (supposedly), but is timid with new people and lacking confidence. At 68lbs, can easily pass for an 11yo. Not into sports. Am considering an atypical solution, like a ''gap'' year to give him a year to blossom, grow, mature, and resolve some health issues. The high school is supportive should he decide to withdraw, given his situation and stature, and he could enroll in 9th grade next fall. The question is what to do with him during the gap year? He wants nothing more than to hang with friends but is out of step in terms of interests (wants to play games, esp. electronic, and Legos, while other boys are starting to check out girls, etc.) Has anyone else done something like a gap year before highschool successfully (or not)? -Worried mom
As to your son's small stature, you should discuss this with his pediatrician. It is especially difficult for a boy to be small as he most assuredly will be bullied. My son was quite immature and experienced bullying by a boy with 20 pounds on him during middle school, was depressed and starting to fail, so I pulled him out for a while and developed a curriculum of science projects, mathematics theorems and literature. When he improved, he went back to public school. He's now 6 ft, has a very fast right cross and is attending UCLA.
One advantage of a home school curriculum is that you control it. If your son is fascinated by a topic, such as botany or astronomy or robotics, you can allow him to go in-depth and shape the curriculum around it from essays on the topic to building apparatus. He can enter science or art competitions and do independent study - you would be amazed at the number of home schooled kids I run into at these events.
Look, it is a lot of work for a parent. But no one knows your child like you do. If you're really serious, get cracking and read the web resources for California. Contact home schooling experts. File that state form. Because it's a lot harder to fix a failure than to prevent it in the first place. Good Luck
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