Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Middle School

Next year Roscoe will start high school and Logan will start middle school. We've figured out that Roscoe will go to Hillcrest High School and do their International Baccalaureate program, which will be perfect for him.

Logan...I don't know. I'm very leery of middle school. So many people have awkward or painful, if not downright soul-deadening experiences there. I've always felt a desire to protect my kids from that whole scene. And I'm feeling especially protective of Logan. He's in a good place right now and I'd like to carefully shepherd him through the next few years to see if I can keep him there.

So the options:
  • The magnet program Roscoe did, which allowed him to go to a regular middle school but largely stay within a coccoon of like-minded kids, no longer exists.
  • Logan is on waiting lists for two charter schools, which would be smaller and largely self-selected against the worst of bad influences.
  • Logan could go to our neighborhood middle school, where most of his friends are going. And maybe he would remain close with the good friends he has and drift away from kids who start down bad paths. But maybe he wouldn't. Seems like the stakes of that gamble are too high.
  • I could homeschool Logan for a year or two, which I seriously considered doing with Roscoe when he started middle school. But Logan is highly social, oppositional, and argumentative and not very self-motivated. It could be a disaster.
My real hope is that Logan will get into the charter school that's right in our neighborhood, but chances are slim. My heart is just praying and praying that I can arrange the best situation for my Logan.

What are your feelings on middle school?


  1. I guess I pretty much don't remember anything specific about middle school, but I can see how it certainly could provide the "fork" in the road that would be a major influence on all future events. I don't really know what to say on that. Life in general seems like such a crap shoot. I don't know how to guide a kid through it. One thing I do know, that IB programme seems pretty dern cool. Who pays their exam fees? The school, or the parent?

  2. Middle school = dread to me, too. I'm with you on hoping that he gets into the charter school. But if he doesn't, well, maybe he'll use middle school to learn the hard lessons of life about choosing friends in a slightly less high-stakes games than it would be when he gets older. Ya know?

  3. We're thinking of heading back to Sacramento after 6th grade for Casey because the Spanish emersion school there is a K-8 (skip the whole middle school experience).

  4. It is funny how our lives are so similar:)
    Miranda has not yet decided where she will go to school--Hillcrest or Jordan. Jacob has loved jordan, but Miranda is really thinking the IB thing is for her. Because all my energies have been centered on figuring out what middle school to send Tyler to and the fact that I know she will do well at either school, I am letting her make that decision.
    Now as for a middle school for Tyler.....I feel your pain. I have a fear that Midvale would send Tyler over the edge. he's such a different learner than Miranda and Jacob. We don't have the charter schools up here that you do and the ones we do have here have huge waiting lists so I really don't feel like they are options. Maybe we need to form a school just for Logan and Tyler:) they would have fun with that wouldn't they?

  5. I just remember how awkward Junior High was, but in retrospect I see how blessed I was. I was definitely not in with the "in" crowd (thank goodness), but I was able to form a few solid friendships with good kids.
    Most of my classes were with the same group of nerdy over-achievers (among whom I was the most mediocre).
    What a shame they got rid of the option that your oldest had! But don't they still have advanced math classes and Honors English and stuff? Maybe those would have the same effect of bringing together the nerdy kids whose parents give a darn.

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  8. Don't forget that Logan has church. Friends made in Primary and Mutual really help.
    Observe the teachers he might have and see if there is one that would be a great fit- even if he has that teacher for only part of the day-that great teacher will make a difference. In Middle School you can still have parent-teacher conferences. When Harry went to middle school, he had a teacher who completely changed his outlook on life- it was amazing.
    I also think that it's about middle school time that kids start choosing friends on the basis of shared beliefs rather than proximity. Logan has a great belief system and he will gravitate towards others with similar beliefs (even if they're not Mormon).
    And don't forget "mom power". Driving to and from school has always been my favorite time to get info on what's goin on.

    Harry's a junior. All of his core classes are AP. We're looking at about $300 in exam fees this year.