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How do you keep a smart 10 yr old girl interested in school?

Hello! My cousin is a very bright girl, she was one of the kids with the highest standardized test scores in our state. She received a letter from a Superintendent that congratulated her. We all tried as much as we could to let her know that good grades and high test scores are something to be proud of. We don't want to push her, but we don't want her to slack off.

She's getting to the age now where she's can be a bit sassy. There's already a bunch of drama going on with her classmates, a lot of which has to do with boys.

How do we keep her doing well in school and having fun at the same time? I know that if you make it seem like a task, they will be more likely not to do it. What would be a good reward for her good grades?

Also, she is going to have some harder times ahead. She lives with her grandparents because her father is a moron and seems to want nothing to do with her, he's even remarried and has step children. Her mother, she hasn't ever met and the last name she goes by isn't even her real last name, she has yet to find that out. I can imagine she feels neglected and will feel really bad when she meets her mother and finds out her parents were never married and that she doesn't have her father's last name. Is 10 too young for counseling?

I hope someone can answer my many questions, i'm not a parent (obviously) but I want to make sure I do the right things when she visits me and the such. Thanks!!!

Re: How do you keep a smart 10 yr old girl interested in school?

REWARDS! are excellent motivators, and they don't have to cost an arm or a leg. Say a slumber party, or being able to invite a freind to go to lunch etc

Just an idea!

Good luck

Re: How do you keep a smart 10 yr old girl interested in school?

If she is bright she should be definately encouraged! perhaps you ocould get her to attend some out of school activities, like workshops and programs for bright children to extend her learning and challenge her mind if she is getting bored in school because the work is too easy. When she goes to high school she should maybe try sitting for scholarships to go to a private school or a selective school that takes smart kids only to encourage her to feel that her talents are something to be proud of, (perhaps a single sex school would be good as boys can certainly be distracting at this age as you say) and she sounds really bright so it would be a pity for her not to get the best education she can.

Rewards are good for motivation but try not to use them too much-learning for its own sake and for the benefits of knowledge and enlightenment should be seen as just as good rewards, not just doing homework so that she can have a new pair of shoes etc. although rewards such as this are good every so often to let her know that her efforts are valued and that you are proud of her.

Does she know about the entire situation with her parents yet? I know it will certainly not do any good keeping secrets from her-the truth will always out in the end and if she feels she ahs been lied to then she is likely to feel a lot more bitter towards her parents than if things were gently explained to her now and she had the chance to talk to a counsellor if you feel this is necessary. 10 is certainly not too yound, there are special child psychologists that can help a lot. In fact the earlioer things are dealt with the better as soon she will have adolescence to face as well as her parent issues which could make things doubly hard on her.

Anyway sorry for the long post , hope some of it helps! good luck

Re: How do you keep a smart 10 yr old girl interested in school?

If she's truly as bright as you say she probably needs more academic challenge. Check out gifted learning programs in your area. Start by contacting the school guidance office at her school. Find out how to proceed and what critera she'd have to meet. Also many colleges and communities have classes for students with special interests that she could enroll in during the summer. And encourage her grandparents to set chores (I know its an old-fashioned word) for her that keep her busy and give her a sense of accomplishment when she finishes. I don't advocate paying children for helping with household responsibilities however for some its a great motivator. The situation with her parents is unfortunate but try to find a suitable role model that may have grown up under similar conditions. She needs to see the positive power of overcoming the odds and understand that her parents' failure and they are failures for sure, are not her fault.