I'll begin with a little background about my children coming to The Circle School. Last year I came to the school as a new staff person. Zeb and Jyles, my stepchildren, were soon to follow, enrolling last year. My own three children have gone through an arduous campaign with their birth father to do the same. There was jubilation in our household late in the summer when he finally agreed to allow them to come.
By all measurable standards, the children are all bright successful students. They were in the gifted program, received excellent grades, had friends, and participated in various extra-curricular activities. However, despite these classical standards of success and enrichment, the children were neither happy nor satisfied with school. Instead, they constantly felt bored, unchallenged, and frustrated. There were many behavioral manifestations of these feelings. The most obvious one was a constant resistance to going to school each day - usually under the guise of being sick. Less direct, but equally disturbing, were the furrows in their brows while discussing their boredom in class. They felt isolated because they were smart, or different, or did not choose to get in trouble or shave their legs.