The stressful weekend deciding between Pacific Collegiate School (PCS) and the public school he would otherwise be attending (SCHS) is over. (See School decisions for the dilemma.) And the winner is …
None of the above.
PCS had two big wins:
- a very friendly social climate where he already knew several students and
- a Drama 2 class with a drama teacher he had not previously had, but classmates that he had performed with before and knew were good actors.
PCS had two big problems:
- a very heavy homework load (particularly given his problems with writing) that would preclude extracurricular activities like science fair, theater, and robotics club and
- a very rigid curriculum that did not provide much flexibility for him overcoming his writer’s block.
So, despite 4 years of entering the PCS lottery, we regretfully had to decline the offer of admission when we finally got it. I think it would have been a great fit for him in 7th and 8th grade, but it doesn’t fit what he needs right now (and our neuropsychologist strongly recommended that he not attend PCS).
But in rejecting PCS, we also realized that another year at SCHS would be setting him up for the same problems as last year, and that we had to try something different. He can’t continue to take just fun classes (Spanish, drama, science, video production, and PE last year), but needs to overcome his writing block.
“Monterey Coast Preparatory empowers gifted and talented students, including those with learning differences, to achieve academic, social, and emotional success.”
We’ll be investigating both these possibilities in the next week.
One point—if we are going to homeschool, this is probably the best year to do it, as I’m on sabbatical, and so have a more flexible schedule for supervising or teaching. Perhaps he and I will end up working through the Matter and Interactions book after all.
Incidentally, as I suspected but never said, the comparison I made between SCHS and PCS in computer science (“SCHS offers none, PCS has one AP CS course. This is a clear plus for PCS.”) was bogus. The AP CS course is so slow and Java syntax oriented, that it would drive him nuts—something he found out for himself by sitting in on one class. He needs to learn Java sometime in the next 2 years, but he’d be better off either taking a Java-for-programmers course or learning it on his own.
- School decisions (gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com)