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My 12 yr old DD offered Latin for being G&T - other ideas to stretch her?

(19 Posts)
exasperatedemma Mon 18-Jul-11 12:23:32

My DD was told at school that she has a high IQ and has been identified as G & T (hate that expression!) and can't help thinking this is just a box ticking exercise by the school!

anyway, in order to stretch her, all they have suggested is that she takes a latin class - she has made it very clear that she isn't doing this and has no interest in it. I can see that she is bored and restless at school and is in danger of just hanging with those who don't want to learn -

does anyone have any suggestions as to how we can help her stretch her mind? She does football and dancing out of school.

Habanera Mon 18-Jul-11 14:48:32

what does she like doing that isn't a set class?

Art? Music? Piano lessons?

County music services if you are near a centre have loads of different activites, very wide range, playing an instrument for example or singing, and then they have concerts-keeps them very busy (and as some of us parents have found that is good!). Pop, jazz, classical. Can be quite sociable too and has trips and sometimes residential summer camps or workshops.

Try to find a summer crash course in another sport, as a taster. If she likes it then you have a contact, if she doesn't it's over anyway.


OhBuggerandArse Mon 18-Jul-11 15:12:00

She should do Latin. Good for her brain, good for her understanding of grammar and of English, good for learning other languages, good for her general cultural, historical and literary awareness. Very useful if she's going to go on to do anything remotely sciencey too. Tell her to stop fussing and knuckle down and learn her declensions.

OhBuggerandArse Mon 18-Jul-11 15:20:37

PS, if you think diversionary tactics might stand a chance of working, try giving her Rosemary Sutcliffe's Eagle of the Ninth series &/or Lindsey Davis's Falco detective novels to read, just for a bit of Latin/Roman inspiration?

Habanera Mon 18-Jul-11 16:10:19

I don't know about you, but when I was 12 if my parents thought I should do something, I wouldn't do it. They were ALWAYS incorrect, about EVERYTHING. Weirdly they became more like normal humans as time passed.

Conversely my dad thought French was a waste of time and I should do Spanish (as we lived in USA). Therefore I did French and later got a Latin taster (also he frowned on) which I loved.

Perhaps forbid her to take Latin?

depends on her reading but the Roman Mysteries are fun, might be light reading for her if reading is her thing, but good for summer.

exasperatedemma Tue 19-Jul-11 18:25:12

Thanks Habanera, I might check out those books. I spoke to her head of year today to ask her what else she could do instead of latin to stretch her - she seemed a bit perplexed but said she'll find out and get back to me!

Can't help thinking that Latin will probably be all that's on offer as its obviously the topic that they have got funding for at the moment because they're really pushing it.

Wafflenose Tue 19-Jul-11 19:25:07

I second music - do you think an instrument would interest her? My daughter is much younger and quite a long way ahead at school, and music has really given her a focus out of school without her getting any further ahead in the things she's already good at. She started the recorder in March and is now also having a go at teaching herself piano from a book (!) so I might have to step in and help her soon! Luckily, I'm a music teacher! Please shout if I can help with any music related things/ questions.

mollymole Tue 19-Jul-11 20:24:44

i took latin at school and was spectacularly crap at it , however, now that i am older i realise that something seeped into my brain because i find that the 5 years of latin seem to have laid down a good back ground shelf of knowledge that has been very useful over the years - friends will say ' how did you know that' and it seems to have come from the depths laid down by latin's wide spectrum
try to encourage her

exasperatedemma Wed 20-Jul-11 12:57:54

She's been learning guitar for about a year or so, firstly at school with very slow half hour lessons, but then for the last 6 months or so we'e been having someone come over who teaches her the songs she likes. She is quite quick at picking it up and we love to hear her play, but seems to have lost interest lately.

On the plus side, she seems to have had a falling out with this girl this week who took offence at her being friendly with someone else and is currently 'blanking' her (as she puts it). I can only hope that they make things up just enough to be civil but not close friends again! I live in hope!

CandiceMariePratt Wed 20-Jul-11 13:01:43

Apparently Latin is very useful if you want to be a Dr.

catinthehat2 Wed 20-Jul-11 13:12:58

She should be biting their hands off if she's offered a Latin class.
What's her problem? Too hard? lazyarse? Prefers being a teenager to doing something challenging? Might she get marked out as a girl with a tiny bit of intelligence and hence lose all her appeal to the opp sex?

Really, it's not a bed of roses out there, she'll have to make a little bit of effort somtime....

OhBuggerandArse Wed 20-Jul-11 13:28:55

I'd like to know what her reasons are for not wanting to do it. Then we could come up with some specially tailored counter arguments.

exasperatedemma Wed 20-Jul-11 13:33:01

she did latin in her primary school and says "it's sooo boring" !!

NotADudeExactly Wed 20-Jul-11 13:38:00

Latin is fab! I hope that by the time I have school aged children I'll be living somewhere where it is taught.

If she absolutely does not want this: have you thought about having her do something at which she is not naturally good? IME it is an important lesson to be learned that even if you are very bright there will be stuff that you will have to work hard to learn. I say that as the former G&T kid who spent her entire school career excelling academically while investing absolutely zero work.

Nowadays, the thing I enjoy most is sewing dresses. And it is exactly because it was not something I found easier to learn than others that I feel so much pride in my achievements in it.

Just a thought.

OhBuggerandArse Wed 20-Jul-11 13:38:32

Right, then unless she went to a v posh prep school it may have been taught pretty sketchily by a non-specialist and without the context that would motivate her.

Seriously, try the books we suggested to start with.

What subjects does she like? What modern languages is she doing? What kinds of books/stories does she like? What does she think she's interested in doing in the future? There will be all sorts of different arguments depending...

exasperatedemma Wed 20-Jul-11 13:42:59

thank you notadudeexactly, that's interesting that you excelled without too much effort - I guess that is something that I hadn't realised could happen. I was a trier without much ability at academic subjects at school and its a new concept to me that you can actually get good grades without trying too hard!!

Also interesting that you enjoy sewing - I have a soft furnishings business and I'd love it if DD got involved - she does like sewing and is pretty good, but doesn't do it too often. I have offered to make her a prom dress in a few years time - for some reason she thinks it will look like a pair of curtains and has declined my kind offer!!!

NotADudeExactly Wed 20-Jul-11 13:48:53

Then she obviouslybhas not yet grasped the complex inner construction of a boned bodice and a shelf bust, OP. In spite of all her talents, ... grin

NotADudeExactly Wed 20-Jul-11 13:58:38

WRT not having to work hard: this is a very mixed blessing IME. Yes, it makes education a lot easier. In my case it also caused some kind of an anti-ambitious desire to see just how little I could get away with doing. If it had not been for my wonderful mother I would have been expelled from school when at one stage I decided that attending one day per week was completely sufficient to maintain my record. I also found it ridiculously hard to grasp that some people actually had to invest time and effort to learn stuff. It was simply jot something I could relate to, and I think I hurt some other kids badly with my attitude.

Hence my conviction that letting kids struggle or even fail at times can in fact be beneficial to the very bright.

exasperatedemma Wed 20-Jul-11 14:07:49

Ok, boned bodices sound tricky for me too!! Give me a large pair of lined and interlined curtains anyday!

I can see that my DD could easily slip into not working too hard as quite a lot of stuff comes easily to her, I fear there are lots of conflicts between us to come as I try and do what I think is the right thing and she decides as all teenagers do, that she knows best! I'll be changing my name then from exasperatedemma to losttheplotemma!

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