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Gap Year before high school

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Replies to: Gap Year before high school

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6704 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I wouldn't let him flounder a year

    Exactly. And structuring a year is hard work. Ask any homeschooling parent :-)
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  • oldfortoldfort 22944 replies290 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 20
    There is compulsory education law. I don't believe you could keep your student at home for a year without some sort of home school. I would check on that.
    edited May 20
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2220 replies36 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If he is smart, why repeat 8th grade? Have you narrowed down an area in California? Perhaps you could contact the schools there, get a copy of their curriculum guides, and sign your student up for classes that will match or be a conducive transition to the classes in the new school.

    Another vote for "don't do this to him".
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 2942 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    FWIW I do know 2 families that did this. Pulled from middle school to travel the world for a year, then just rejoined their classmates. Nominally homeschooled but nothing really that essential in middle school anyway. For 1 family, it was a little hard reintegrating back to school with schedules, homework, after all that time off. Good luck
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  • CorralenoCorraleno 149 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    You can homeschool during the gap year and just call it a repeat of 8th grade on paper, then enroll him in school for 9th the following year. If he's advanced academically, it could be a chance to really explore his interests, learn another language, etc., before having to buckle down to the grind of high school (assuming you don't plan to continue homeschooling). Do you know what the homeschool regulations are in the state you are moving to?
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6704 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Funnily enough, @roycroftmom, that's what I thought the OP was talking about when I first read the headline! I have known families that did something similar, and I would be all for that- there's a plan, there's a focus, and the learning is massive- history / culture / languages / foods / geography /etc, But that's a world away from this.
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  • menloparkmommenloparkmom 12466 replies540 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @lovemidwest
    what is the sport that your son is so good at now?
    how tall is he now and how tall is your husband?
    D1 school athletic recruits are generally HUGE kids- very tall and strong.
    so unless your DS's sport is fencing or golf or something along those lines, or unless he grows a prodigious amount in the next 3 years, it is highly unlikely that he will be recruited by a D1 university.
    HS kids who are outstanding in their sport generally come to the attention of college coaches at the beginning of their Jr year.
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  • menloparkmommenloparkmom 12466 replies540 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    where are you relocating to in Calif? in the SF Bay Area?
    There is a private K-12 school for highly gifted kids in Hillsborough.
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  • csfmapcsfmap 447 replies14 threadsRegistered User Member
    There is really no such thing as a gap year for a 13 year old, education is compulsory from 6-16 in most states. For that reason, I would be very surprised if you could find a sports academy day program for his age - have you? I’ve heard of some that offer intensive sports along with high school academics. Also, playing D1 sports is such a long shot, especially for males. Most scholarships for males are reserved for football and basketball players, there are less sports offered for men because of Title IX and the roster size of the football teams, and D1 team recruitment is world wide and very competitive.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29661 replies175 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    What guidance have you received from his coaches? Is this idea coming in part from them? I do know that for some sports, repeating grades can be pretty normal.

    If he wants a year to focus on his sport, then there is nothing wrong with that. He could do a sports academy for most of the day, and homeschool for the minimum required by the state.

    Perhaps you are typing fast, but your writing does not look like standard US English. You mention the possibility of him going abroad for a year. If he will be living with family or at a boarding school in another country where he can keep up his sport while learning the other language, that could be a great thing too. Especially if he can attend a local school enough to have some social time with kids his own age.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6704 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    HS kids who are outstanding in their sport generally come to the attention of college coaches at the beginning of their Jr year.

    ...the ones I know came to the attention of college coaches in middle school / by grade 9. Nothing official happens then, but they are on the coaches radar early.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 21
    If he’s academically doing well, don’t make him repeat a grade. There isn’t much that is more miserable for a gifted kid than repeating material they already know. My gifted neice’s mom had her repeat a year after a move for some (stupid) family & financial reasons (and kid was young for her grade), and my niece hated it. Lots of kids transfer during the school year. You are overthinking this.
    edited May 21
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  • yucca10yucca10 1258 replies37 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I would try to move during summer even if one parent has to move and another to stay behind for a while (if you can afford paying for two places). Taking him out of school for a year without academic challenges will make him bored and probably forget much of what he learned in 8th grade, so he'll have trouble adjusting later. I don't think he's likely to become a professional athlete, and if he's so smart he should focus more on colleges that are known for academics more than sports.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7259 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I also think a "gap year" before high school is a terrible idea, especially for a student who is academically gifted. It will make it that much harder to make friends and your student is better off transitioning smoothly from one grade to another. I also think you'd be running a big risk of not having him in any structured schooling as legally a student of that age needs to be enrolled in school.

    Also agree that for a smart student, you are better off focusing on the academics vs sports.

    Move over the summer, even if it means living apart for a bit and get him enrolled to start school with his peers. (My DH and I lived apart from Nov - May when he started a new job out of state so our D could finish out HS. It's not ideal but it's easier on the child).
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  • MusakParentMusakParent 1001 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 21
    Sending him to a sports academy or having him do an exchange program would be great use of a year at this age. It sounds like he WANTS to do this. And of course no one actually knows if they're D1 bound. I feel like this kid is asking for another year of childhood. He is enjoying a sport and wants some time to focus on it. Which is fine. Childhood is not a race. That doesn't mean dumping him in the same classroom setting with the same curriculum for another year.

    It wouldn't be over whelming to homeschool an academically smart and self motivated kid at this age and keep him moving forward and engaged. I also recommend if you are interested in that, do standardized testing to have those numbers in your back pocket just in case. They may help with placement in high school. Maybe MAP testing. Talent search testing can be a good experience for gifted kids too. I have 2 GT homeschooled teens so definitely feel free to PM me if you wants some links to things we've used.

    I have a friend that moved kids out from the midwest to CA schools in the past year and were pretty underwhelmed with the academic offerings. So when you do launch him to high school, just ask a lot of questions. One of my friend's kids ended up just pulling out to dual enroll the rest of their high school which is an option too later on if needed. My oldest homeschooler also dual enrolled his last 2 years.
    edited May 21
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20736 replies1998 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited May 21
    Unless you are going to do a home school plan, at 13 years old your child legally must be enrolled in school or it becomes a CPS issue for educational neglect.

    There are no "gap years"for children who are mandated to be enrolled in school.

    California compulsory education law requires everyone between the ages of six and eighteen years of age to attend school, except sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds who have graduated from high school or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) and obtained parental permission to leave. Some students, however, violate compulsory education laws and have a pattern of unexcused absences. Although truancy and excessive absenteeism are not new problems, they cause costly, long-term problems for the students, school, and the community.

    https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ai/sb/

    I agree with the others that your child should be enrolled in school. If you feel that he needs another year, you can take a PG year or gap year when he finishes high school and before he goes to college.
    edited May 21
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 2942 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I know people who homeschooled very casually and loosely while in Cali. It doesn't have to be overwhelming if you don't really expect or need to make any academic progress that year.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9229 replies495 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    CA is huge. Saying that all CA school districts have underwhelming academics is ridiculous.

    The link to CA’s law has already been provided at least twice. OP has yet to comment on that. Tons of thirteen year old kids want to play D1 and are gifted. Most parents think their kids are exceptional, especially if the child is their eldest. (Full disclosure, I was guilty of that, like many other parents.) Most kids change their minds about everything by the time they are ready to apply to college, and many parents come to realize that their children ARE exceptional, to themselves.

    We can’t tell OP what to do, but the law makes it clear that just taking a gap year for random reasons isn’t allowed.
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