Is Grade 12 becoming too difficult?

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  1. profile image0
    JeanMeriamposted 14 years ago

    My second girl is midway through grade 12 and I’m beginning to notice a pattern. By November of the last year of highschool my daughters go nuts on me. Frequent crying out of the blue, complaining about stress, freaking out about their grades, noise in the house or anything else. We can’t even go out as a family because there is no time. They have no time for social lives. They have friends who do go to parties and are just squeaking through.

    My girls have both come home in grade 12 with backpacks full and heavy.  They complain about having 3 things due the next day that were just given out that day and a test the next day. My second daughter to go through this had (3) 4 page essays due the day before exams and only 1 or 2 days to write them. No time to even study for exams because she was writing essays. She has 2 −3 hours of homework every evening on the easiest of days.

    Her first English essay due this term was Debate for Or Against the Existence of God. My daughter in university got the same essay assigned in her first year university Philosophy class. Why would a grade 12 be doing the same thing?

    Now that my oldest is in university she is a whole other person. She is calm, happy and relaxed. Grade 12 she was a stressed beast and now her sister is.

    Is anyone else noticing  this?

    1. TheGlassSpider profile image64
      TheGlassSpiderposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      No disrespect intended, just a friendly question, but are you entirely sure that they're not just waiting until the last minute on some of these assignments? I remember when I was that age, and I did a lot of that.

      Regardless, I think the 12th grade teachers are trying to give their students a taste of what college will be like. There WILL be essays all the time, and people have to learn time management...Plus, I remember that my teachers stopped giving us all the little reminders about due dates and such (we were expected to learn to keep up with them ourselves). If your children's teachers are anything like mine were at that age, they passed out a syllabus at the beginning of the year with everything the class would be responsible for written on it. Finally, I think there has been a tendency in the past to kind of "fluff off" during senior year of high school...Perhaps this is that school's way of trying to combat that.

      It sounds like you're really concerned about your daughters either way though, so why not have a meeting with the principal and teachers? No blaming or anything negative, just telling them what you see, asking what's going on, and voicing your concerns. Maybe they are unaware of what the effects of what they're doing. Perhaps other parents have noticed the same things. You certainly have the right to know what's going on.

    2. tobey100 profile image60
      tobey100posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Oh yeah.  My fourth son is now in 12th.  I think they're trying to make up for the fact they haven't taught them anything from 9th through 11th.

      1. TheGlassSpider profile image64
        TheGlassSpiderposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        That's another option as well...The school might suck. Sorry I didn't mention that one before.

        1. tobey100 profile image60
          tobey100posted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Micah attends a private school that's noted for its academics.  They really pile it on.

          1. TheGlassSpider profile image64
            TheGlassSpiderposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            I'm assuming they *didn't* pile it on during 9-11th? (I also went to a private school for HS...I felt like I learned a lot, but then I was always the bookworm/teacher's pet type).

            1. tobey100 profile image60
              tobey100posted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Same here.  It seems like the most Micah ever had to work was the 10th and 12th grades.  He's received a full scholarship to Ole Miss so it paid off but, I've never understood how these schools establish their cirriculum.

              1. profile image0
                JeanMeriamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                This is what I’m seeing too. No work in grade 9, grade 10 pile it on, grade 11 focus on math and English because the universities look at those marks. Grade 12 wham!

                She just got early acceptance into U of S for Engineering where they expect her to take 130% course load. She got scholarships too, but wants to live in the city. We thought she would be able to save up some money by working, but there’s no time.

                1. TheGlassSpider profile image64
                  TheGlassSpiderposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                  They cannot force her to take that kind of a load. Full time is a certain number of courses, period, and that's all that's required for most financial aid and scholarships. I would DEFINITELY have a meeting with the dean and financial aid if they start saying crap like "Well in order to qualify for this, she has to take so many credits over the minimum." That don't fly IMO, my friend. I wonder what you would find if you looked at the schedule of a boy in the program? There's no point in overloading herself if she actually wants to learn what she needs to. They also cannot keep her from being able to have a job.

                  Definitely look into this. I've never heard of such an expectation.

                  1. profile image0
                    JeanMeriamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                    The more they weed them out, the higher the value of the degree. They are really thinning the engineering department. The requirement to get in is 85% now, last year it was 75%.

                    When Amanda went to orientation the Arts and Science kids walked by on their tour. Amanda’s group was told

                    “Be nice and say Hi. There go your future employees."

              2. TheGlassSpider profile image64
                TheGlassSpiderposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                I don't either.

                IMO the whole system ought to be scrapped and started over. Personally, I would rather see a system not so dependent on grades and not so overbearing that children end up hating the things they're supposed to be learning. I would rather a child develop a heart-felt love of learning and have the knowledge to teach himself anything he's interested in than be able to recite the multiplication table. But that's just me.

                Congratulations on your son's full ride...That has GOT to make you so proud!

                1. tobey100 profile image60
                  tobey100posted 14 years agoin reply to this

                  Makes me proud and my wallet thankful as well!  smile

        2. profile image0
          JeanMeriamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          No. The school doesn’t suck. Maybe that’s the problem. She goes to one of only 3 public high schools in Saskatoon that offer the AP route.

          I’m actually beginning to wonder if the school is trying to  weed out the ones who aren’t going to make it into university. I know our university is thinning the herd.

          1. TheGlassSpider profile image64
            TheGlassSpiderposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            I kinda meant that tongue-in-cheek in response to Tobey's post...but one never knows. I hope you know I didn't mean to imply that you would purposely send your children to a sucky school. smile

            The AP stuff gets pretty heavy in the senior year. And now (with more American kids NOT making the cut in the AP tests) I'd say states are breathing down the teachers' necks, which in turn makes them breathe down the kids' necks...which just ends up stressing everyone out, and the kids get SO stressed they don't do well on the tests. It's a vicious cycle.

            I think you might have the right idea about them thinning the herd, I said before, it never hurts to ask.

            1. tobey100 profile image60
              tobey100posted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Good point.  The AP programs here are notorious for trying to make students drop the courses.

            2. profile image0
              JeanMeriamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              No offence. But I actually did send my 3rd to a sucky school on purpose,lol. Her grades have gone way up. We are very strategic about this high school thing :-)

              Well it’s not a sucky school. It’s just a small town school that isn’t so competitive and the teachers are more laid back. “You failed that?. That’s okay we won’t include it.”

              1. profile image0
                JeanMeriamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                I meant no offence taken.

              2. TheGlassSpider profile image64
                TheGlassSpiderposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                I understand! LOL Good strategy, actually...Wish I'd thought of it!

                1. tobey100 profile image60
                  tobey100posted 14 years agoin reply to this

                  Ladies, did we decide whether the school sucked or not????

                  Let me go first.  Micah's school SUCKS!!!!!!!

                  Your turn.

                  1. profile image0
                    JeanMeriamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                    Yes Amanda’s school sucks!! They are trying to kill her.

                    Your son’s school sucks too.

                    Lori’s school, which I thought sucked, is actually AWESOME!!  Everyone will graduate with honours!! They have time to date, hang out, eat, sleep and other things Amanda will never have.

    3. Sab Oh profile image56
      Sab Ohposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Sounds like a good thing. You should be glad.

  2. flread45 profile image58
    flread45posted 14 years ago

    Go to classes with her for a day and watch how she spends her time!!!smile  Oh no Mom!!!!!

  3. gamergirl profile image83
    gamergirlposted 14 years ago

    AP courses have ALWAYS been work-heavy.

    Get a syllabus from the teacher, make contact with her teachers frequently to ensure schedules of assignments allow for enough time to actually complete the assignments.

    Help your children budget their homework time.  Many assignments may SEEM overwhelming, but nudges in the right direction help a lot.

  4. profile image0
    StormRyderposted 14 years ago

    It may be true they are thinning the herd?? The world is also becoming an ever increasingly competitive place with more people looking to land the same jobs. I'm only 25 and haven't been out of college for too long and just from what I saw in college is that many students were just plain lazy when it came to doing the work requierd or putting it off until they didn't have time to do it correctly. It was the same when I was I high school also. My parents tell me that when they were in high school many of the class that are requierd now were elective classes then like algebra, geometry and some others...and they didn't have computers in the classrooms or at home back then to use for assistance. So in many ways kids may have more work to do but have more resources to help do that work too. But overloading kids isn't nessesary and teachers and schools need to see that point.

    1. profile image0
      JeanMeriamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Your parents are right. Math was not compulsory after Grade 9, History either and I think we only had to have Grade 11 English. Grade 12 was a free for all.

  5. kirstenblog profile image78
    kirstenblogposted 14 years ago

    Sounds like the 6th to 8th grades I went through! Nightly homework on every subject (math, history, basic science, religion, reading/writing) plus weekly projects, monthly projects, half term projects, term projects and yearly projects and they all got progressively harder. The penultimate being the yearly report on a subject of our choosing with between 5-10 sources (depending on the source, had to be approved) with footnotes and a reference page for quotes taken.

    I spent 3 years waking up in the morning and going to school. I would come home and work on my homework until dinner, then eat, then back to the homework until bed time. The weekends spent doing homework, if not trying to catch up on the nightly homework it was one of the many larger projects. If I could spend one day at the library sourcing resources for a project that would be the highlight of the week. I got pretty good at churning something out with 3-5 medium resources for a report in a weekend yikes

    When I got to HS I couldn't believe how easy it was! I could get homework done on the bus ride home if not in class. No time in my life has been as hard as that time was between the 6th and 8th grades. I really hated it at the time but now I am glad to have survived it and learned how to learn because of it.

  6. profile image0
    Pani Midnyte Odinposted 14 years ago

    According to statistics, 10th grade and 12th grade are the easiest grades of high school to pass, while 9th grade and 11th grade are hardest. While 12th grade may give more assignments, they are typically assignments covering things they have already learned or simple assignments designed to prepare them for college. Many students believe they can breeze through 12th grade and procrastinate about their assignments, making them more difficult to complete in due time. My 12th grade year was easy. We spent the entire year filling out college applications and conducting mock interviews, as well as writing essays on topics covered in college English classes.

    1. profile image0
      JeanMeriamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Where did you go to school? That sounds very different from here.

      They don’t do college apps in school here. We do that at night on the internet and have evening meetings at the school about scholarships, entrance requirements, etc.

      And nope no review of earlier grades. Not in any grade past elementary. Well maybe grade 9. Every year is entirely new stuff. Her gr12 biology was brain enzymes, dan, etc,etc. Gr 11 bio was environmental. First term English Literature,2nd term English appears to be about philosophy. Gr 12 math here is 3 courses. She went AP so she has 4. B30,C30, Calculus and AP calculus all in one class, 1 hour a day until from Sept to May.

      I wonder if the difference here is American to Canadian curriculum. They are very different I’ve heard. But that doesn’t explain tobey seeing the same.

      1. profile image0
        JeanMeriamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        dna not dan oops

      2. profile image0
        Pani Midnyte Odinposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I went to high school in many different places, actually. The information I provided above was from statistics taken by typical American students and teachers. My experiences proved to be similar, although I think the high school I began in was either more advanced or severely lacking. My freshman year and my senior year were eerily similar in curriculum, except for college applications and mock interviews. Coincidentally, I started high school and ended high school in the same place. My in between years were extremely easy, yet Iowa still has one of the highest basic skill testing scores in the United States. Hm, go figure! big_smile

  7. rebekahELLE profile image84
    rebekahELLEposted 14 years ago

    I think schools are so different in what is expected in grade 12.
    she may also be stressing just to be finishing another milestone, it often happens this time of year. reality hits that a new part of life is around the corner, apprehension, leaving friends and familiar routines.

    it's a tough world out there, better she is working hard than floating through that senior year.

    so many are not prepared for college. it sounds like the teachers want to give them a small look of what's ahead.

  8. Argenis profile image59
    Argenisposted 14 years ago

    I disagree with the belief that senior year in high school is "too hard". I am a current student in a prestigious prep school in Connecticut so I am dealing with the same issues as your daughter is. I feel as though students in senior year should be mature enough to work diligently in finishing their work. I am assigned over 2 and half hours of homework a night, have a 6 day school week as opposed to a standard 5 day school week, which gives me and my fellow classmates an extra day of work, with only a one day weekend. All this workload and yet none of my classmates complain or mope about too much work. Rather we work harder and get the work done with time to relax and maintain a social life. Complaining about things is just an excuse for students to be lazy and remain passive about completing assignments. I believe there is a saying that goes something along the lines of, " Anything worth having, is worth working hard for". The sooner students realize that education is the key to attaining a successful life in today's world, the better off all students will be.


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