Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Schooling Choices

For a couple of months we have been struggling with what is the best option for Stephen for school. In the first couple of years of school being much smarter than the rest of the kids was OK, but now in grade 4 it is becoming a major social problem. Also Stephen has been getting more and more bored with school because the pace they learn at it in the class is too slow for him.

Stephen took the KTEA test and scored off of the chart. His older brothers are smart, the sort of one in twenty smart types. Stephen could he that one in thousand or one in ten thousand type of smart. I knew he was smart and did not think too much off it, it is only now that I realize that he is off of the charts. I can look back and see the signs were always there but because he has two older brothers I sorted measured him against where they were at at the moment and not where they were several years earlier.

We looked at various private school options in Greater Victoria such as Selkirk Montessori, the Cathedral School, and Glenlyon Norfolk house. Beyond the fact they are all rather pricey, none of them seem to be able to offer the sort of individual learning Stephen needs.

We were thinking we would continue on in the local school and hope the small amount of money available for gifted students would be something for him. I asked on Vibrant Victoria if anyone had any good ideas. It was through there that Yule Heibel stepped up and suggested we look at SIDES (South Island Distance Education School).

Stephen seemed to like the idea immediately and I was willing to consider it because the school has a community of people and the kids do get together on a regular basis. The teacher is very approachable and was thinking about ideas for Stephen's education within minutes of meeting him.

The K-8 part of the school has a physical location, it is at the former Beaver Lake Elementary School. It is not a wildly far drive for us to go there. We will meet with the teacher one on one about every two weeks as Stephen has work to hand in.

I dropped him off there this morning for a half day at the school. He will be doing PE, drama and singing. I also picked up all the materials for Stephen - it is a daunting amount for me to take in.

Stephen will also being some classes online in a virtual setting with a teacher and other students. He is looking forward to that.

So we are going down this scary path that is becoming more and more common. Already one fifth of K-12 students in BC are not be in the traditional public system.

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