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Old 06-01-2011, 10:50   #1
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A Kid Ahead of His Time in USA

I would like some advice. I have a 10 year old son in the 7th grade. I was going to take a year off for a sailing trip. As He is 2 years younger than the other students, He is facing some social issues. As the others have completed puberty, and he hasn't. He got ahead by homeschooling when he was younger, and completing 1.5-2 grades per year. I put him back in public school in 5th grade, and he has done well up to now.

My alternatives as I see them are. 1. Let him continue at the same pace, and enter high school as a 12 year old. 2. Spend the year studying non-cirriculum, I.E. Oceanography, and reenter him in the same grade at 13 years old. 3. Repeat a grade, (boring, and invalidates earlier efforts.) 4. Home school through high school, and try to get home school degree accepted by major college, (competition for some colleges can be severe). Currently his goals are entry into major engineering school for career in high tech. Honor role and athletic achievements bring possibility of significant scholerships.

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Old 06-01-2011, 10:56   #2
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Buy him a boat and send him RTW solo

Will need a Blog though

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Old 06-01-2011, 10:59   #3
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Let the kid be 'normal' and have normal friends of his own age in his own year at a normal school.I've met some cruising kids / home schooled kids who maybe or become misfits in society.All I wanted to be was normal in the eyes of my peers. Is that too much to ask that a parent helps?Mark
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:27   #4
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As a parent of a kid who cruised for a year, I like option two, take him out, do some neat stuff and put him back in school with a group a year closer to his age. And tell him that life gets a lot better after high school, which is modern America's answer to the ancients' trial by fire.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:47   #5
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I agree with Hannah. I would strongly suggest he don't repeat a year. The boredom will ruin school for him. On the other hand it seems he's earned a year of fun and adventure.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:51   #6
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My parents let me skip a grade and we both wish they hadn't. I would go cruising with him. Socially and especially in regards to athletics, being older will make a huge difference. The 2 inches I grew my freshman year would have been nice for sports.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:10   #7

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Bill, you've got a dilemna. Unless you are a unique prodigy and master of your specialty..."it's who you know not what you know" and being socialized and knowing hor to cultivate social contacts and relationships counts for way more than "book" knowledge in this world.

Let's face it, the boss needs a programmer he jobs it out to Hyberadad. The boss wants an assistant in the office...he picks the guy who can talk sports and go out to the game.

So as much as I wouldn't hold him back academically...I'd say whatever gives him the best chance to socialize and develop that way, is going to be the best thing for him.

Cruising? Is a different kind of socializing, that could be problematic. Hard to say without knowing his comfort zone and that's probably something worth discussing with a professional in the socio-psycho-fields.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:28   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I'm leaning to option 2 myself. He has mixed feelings, of 1 leaving behind his friends), even though they are 2 years ahead of him, still have formed some attachment). Or 2 being able to socialize with his own age. Not as big a deal now, but when he wants to date, young girls show a definate preference to boys their own age or better. I was one year ahead of my peers, and was unable to date until I had completed several years of college. (it probably didn't help I looked and acted like a computer nerd, though it makes getting a job fairly easy, not so much for dating). I don't want him to get slack on academics, once you get off, it can be hard to get back into finshing regular assignments.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:38   #9

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I would suggest where you go could have a great deal to do with your decision.
If you travel where he will learn other language(s) by immersion that would a real plus. My son spent a year in Brasil and now is very comfortable in other cultures. Of course letting him go was the last nail in the coffin of my first marraige

Good Old Boat covered cruising kids a few years ago. Looked at their boat kid life and where they are later in life and it seems to me boat kids do very well indeed.

I was bored to tears & trouble if you get my drift in school because my intellect exceeded my emotional/social development. Wish I had had the chance to let they other kids catch up with me.
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Old 06-01-2011, 18:38   #10
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2 sounds good as long as you are taking him along with you and not just taking him along.
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Old 06-01-2011, 18:56   #11
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I have a daughter who got into the advanced program in our elementary school and so I attended a parent conference for these "gifted" students. I was shocked at the parents who were talking about how advanced their son or daughter was because they were 1-2-3 yrs ahead of their peers. Like they were "ahead" of the crowd.... You don't sound like one of those parents, but I could not help but think, school isn't a race, there is no advantage in graduating early, on contrary, it may indeed be a disadvantage as you have already seen.... My advice to any young person is to stay in school as long as you possibly can I also think Middle School years are good ones to skip, maybe even freshman year in high school... so I would pick up some cyber courses on advanced math and science while going somewhere he could learn a new language, possibly two...possbily do some volunteer work if time permits... Do this until he is ready to enter High School with kids his own age...

Just my two cents...
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Old 06-01-2011, 19:23   #12
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Having been one of those freaks who finished school early and entered college far too young- I vote for option 2. It is no fun to be younger than everyone else in school, its actually a very lonely existence.
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Old 06-01-2011, 19:39   #13
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We had a cruising kid family move to town when my boys were young. Wow, what kids! None of the regular problems that normal kids have about peer groups and age divission. They mixed with everyone, adults included and seemed to fit in with a respect for their ability to. Great examples.

In your case the 'schooling' aboard only needs to keep familiararity with the subjects and process as the material required has been done. But that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of educational opportunities. If your boy is into tech engineering, what a thing to be able to follow an interest, all be it with some discipline from above (my oldest son started teaching himself programing about that age). And think what he will learn from cruising. What he can be exposed to culturally. What he could see of the real world. But one thing has to be there and that's his desire to do it. I'm not nescessarily saying it is up to him but rather up to you to cultivate that desire if it's what you think is right for him. If that's possible I'd say damn, go for it. Don't miss a perfect opportunity for him! A year (or two?) and he's back, and in his age group where he belongs...without repeating a year (very demoralizing-been there/done that myself because I was 'young') but gaining a year of increadible experience and growth. Get him on board and go for it!
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Old 06-01-2011, 20:16   #14
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Take him cruising for a year or two.

We did it when our kids were 4 and 5, and now again when they are 13 and 15, just spent a year in Mexico and heading home via the S pacific to the North west.

It has been very positive for them both, and fun for us too.

My two cents, Charlie
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Old 06-01-2011, 21:24   #15
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I don't know why some people are intimating that cruising kids are automatically some kind of social deviant. That is entirely the opposite of our experience. In fact, we found cruising kids to be the best behaved, self assured, competent kids we've ever met. At least one didn't start out that way, he hid his grandmother's teeth when she came to visit early in the cruise and didn't give them back till after she'd gone back to Canada and that was only one of many examples of less than exemplary behavior that were reported from early on. By the time we ran into them, they'd been out a year and the kid had turned into a delight to be around, very independent and caring for others. That was the norm among the kids, even teenagers.

I'd vote for holding him out of school. For one, it doesn't do a kid any good to be the youngest amongst an older peer group. By the accident of birth, I was nearly a year younger than many of my class mates. It was no fun to watch all my classmates get their emancipation certificates (driver's licenses) while I had to walk or beg rides. Finally got smart and got an older girl friend who could drive us around. I'm not tall but was always way behind in height and size with the other boys in the class till my senior year. If your boy is into sports, the situation is even worse as most sports reward size and weight. You might read 'Outliers' if you want a glaring example of age factors in adolescence.

You'll hopefully have a great time with your boy and he will be much the better for the experience.

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