BigGuy is still a-twitter about going to the state-sponsored math and science academy when he’s old enough. Knowing my son, I made sure to preemptively strike his negative side and discuss the alternate plans if he didn’t get in. It would be very much like him to be working very hard and push himself only to talk himself into being lazy with the excuse that “he might not get in anyway”.
So I cut it off before it could start. I told him that there would be other places he could go study if he did all of the work to get into the academy. In fact, he could possibly go take some classes through the young scholars program at the local private college right in our town. The cost is half price per credit–which is a huge help. He kind of perked up at this idea and said “I could be getting a job when my friends were graduating high school!”
It was a huge relief. He wanted to work. He wanted to be done before them. And really, the latter is only relevant in that he’s capable of doing that if he would have some inspiration. If his only inspiration is to be first, what do I care? He’s eleven. Regardless, he may never be a kid with true, intrinsic motivation. That might be okay. I’d love for him to have true, intrinsic motivation; but I think the bigger goal is to work with who he is at his core by figuring out how he is motivated and using that. Because he DOES need to move out of the house someday.
(but he doesn’t need to live too far away)
I did reach out to the local middle school principal to discuss what might be available to BigGuy next year. I’m thinking specifically of some technology courses. I think I might actually approach the high school, as well, for potential science courses. I’m not sure yet. I need to see if BigGuy feels like he wants to take one. He really wants chemistry, but I don’t think he has the math prerequisites for that.
In the meantime, his inspiration has him happy to complete his work at the online school. The image at the top of this post is “Day 2”. He’s actually dropped down to a 94% in Language Arts, but is at 104% in Pre-Algebra. The process has been enlightening–that’s for sure.