People Are Who They Are!

Baby Steps

Hailey and I had been having a few problems. She is an extremely smart child that no one has really spent any time motivating in the right direction. She is also full of anger and frustration that is very understandable. The combination of those attributes can be deadly in a child at her age. I have been trying desperately to feed her positive ideas of things she could be doing now to prepare for her future and most of the time she just looks at me like I’ve lost my mind.

First of all, you should know that she reads on a college level. She has been tested twice just since she moved in here. She also has a 97 average in Algebra. The teacher in that class uses her all the time to try to motivate the rest of the class. Like right now, he has told the class that if they can, as a whole, come anywhere near her average in homework, he will stop giving them homework assignments. She is both embarrassed and proud at the same time about this.

Kimber did a post a couple of weeks ago on her daughter who is about to graduate high school and college at the same time. I had never heard of this and asked her how she managed it. It turns out that there is a dual enrollment program that can be entered into during the junior and senior years that allows a child to attend college and get credits for high school classes at the same time. I checked into it and we have the program at the community college I was attending last year. I talked to Hailey about this at great length.

I told her that there is a lot of required reading for college and that since she reads on a college level, she needs to start reading some of the literary material now. She really has nothing better to do anyway. One of her complaints has been that it is boring here. This is a small town and there isn’t a whole lot to do, especially since we don’t have money to do anything. I have to say that this is the first time I have seen her truly excited about something and I finally saw a spark in her eyes this week. She not only has turned her attitude around completely, but she came home with a library book on the life of Shakespeare.

I am jumping up and down with joy! I have been so afraid that I would loose her to drugs or alcohol or just to depression alone. The prospect of being able to graduate high school and have an associates degree at the same time has sent her reeling apparently. It makes her only have two years of high school left as long as she keeps her grades up where they need to be, which I’m sure she won’t have a problem doing as long as her attitude is good.

She is such a smart girl and she has seen the things her parents have done. She knows the cold hard truths and she says she doesn’t want to follow in their footsteps. I told her she has a choice. She can be like them and do the things they have done, or she can do the right things and rise above all of this. I think she made her choice this week by taking the simple step to go to the library and check out that first book. Baby steps…success is accomplished by keeping one foot in front of the other and taking baby steps. I finally feel like we are moving forward.


15 responses

  1. Just a thought. Perhaps Haley’s teacher could help her get some tutoring jobs – Algebra or Reading. Make some flyers – charge a nominal per hour rate, This would be more motivating than baby sitting for this very talented young lady. She would then have some spending money, which would help her learn the value of earning it on her own. I would be willing to design a flyer for her . . . providing you agree and I have all the info.

    She could use the library to tutor if that was a possibility or school.

    You can see some of my flyers on the front of for upcoming events.


    February 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm

  2. Wonderful news! I am so happy for you – both!

    February 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm

  3. This IS wonderful. It’s so difficult to get kids to be excited about school and if she is chomping to start reading and some college classes that should really really help!

    February 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm

  4. Emmy

    That is great news!! A friend of mine’s daughter also earned her Associate’s in high school, and she’s now attending Bard at a very young age (I think she’s 17, and only a few years away from a college degree). It’s a great way to go in this economy.

    February 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    • Woo-hoo, LW! Good for her. It sounds like she has enough distance on her parents to make better decisions. And academic talent never hurts!

      Emmy, Bard is a fantastic school. Of course, I’m slightly biased. 😉

      February 13, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      • Emmy

        Oh, yes? Well, I’m envious. It was out of my league financially when I graduated high school, but I got to visit the campus, anyway. Stunning.

        February 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      • It is a purty place. I gather there’ve been several interesting new buildings since I was there eons ago; I need to get up there again.

        February 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

  5. Great news Lady!

    February 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm

  6. Good for her and good for you too!!! It’s wonderful that you’re helping her to be excited about learning and achieving.

    February 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm

  7. Fantastic news! If she’s being properly stretched then hopefully it’ll give her something to concentrate on and a real sense of how imtelligent she is. She’s lucky to have you fighting her corner.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:35 am

  8. Sounds like a capital idea. Hailey seemed on board with it, right?
    Another thought: intelligent, bored minds can benefit a great deal from good old-fashioned exercise. Jogging certainly doesn’t cost anything, and I think some activity would be very good for her body, mind, and spirit.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm

  9. Hooray! That is such great news!

    February 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm

  10. I’m stumbling here, trying to find the right words to say, and the right way to say them.

    Cimmy and I got a letter a few weeks ago or so saying that my daughter (“Princess”) was qualified to apply for the gifted program in our school district. My youngest sister was in the program, and after discussing things with her, and my parents– on their recollection of the experience– we believe this will be the next step for Princess.

    I do wish we’d received notification sooner. But her second grade teacher was on the edge of both burnout and retirement. By comparison, her current teacher (third grade) is younger, poised, and from what I recall from the parent/teacher conference, she is much better equipped to handle my daughter’s outbursts and interruptions that come with her curiosity and such. The third grade teaching team has a LOT better expectations, too.

    Between myself, my father-in-law, my father, and Cimmy– the first three of us have specifically had schoolteacher training– we are struggling a bit to keep up. We are very engaged in Princess’s schooling, and providing extra support outside of the classroom, but it makes a BIG difference when the school district offers better resources.

    I could go on and describe what the school district is giving my son right now for preschool support, but that’s another story for another time.

    I wish you all the best, Deb. I think you’re doing the right things and of COURSE you easily have far more experience than I.

    February 15, 2011 at 9:35 am

  11. Oh YAY! I’m so glad you have that program there! My daughter loves it and would never want to go back to the highschool for regular classes! I can’t believe you hadn’t heard more about it before–they should publicize it better than that. I’m going to echo Kimmers, too, though–encourage her to get some exercise if you can. It really helps.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm

  12. Never can tell with kids, sounds like she’s gota promising future.

    February 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

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