DS, school, HS and bribing - x-posted learning at home - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 10-03-2007, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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DS is in 6th grade. I do not like his school, his teacher or this board. I am rural and there are no other options for a brick and mortar school.

I have asked off and on over the last 2 years if he wanted to HS (I would ask this when he complained about something....really, just to remind him it was/is an option)

This year has NOT gotten off to a good start.
-neither he nor I like his teacher - she is a control freak, and too stern.
-I have asked for gifted testing from the school board- and been turned down. The school board and I disagree on whether it is necessary - and sadly I cannot make them test him. I will arrange for private testing. DS may also have a writing disability known as dysgraphia
-Academically, school is a wash. He gets B and C (the giftedness and disability cancel eachother out - he gets everything "right" but looses point for disorganisation, not explaining his work, occasional illegability.)
-Ds goes to school, by his own admission, to see his friends.

So....a few weeks ago, I asked (as Ds was complaining once again about school) why he went. He said he was going to school this year for the class trip!

Fast forward to 2 days ago. I had a snotty email from the board regarding my request for testing, his teacher had been her usually stern /controlling self, and I had had enough. I said "I do not like your school. If I bring you on a trip, will you agree to HS?"

Yesterday, he said yes!

However, now I am starting to have second thoughts
-should I bribe my son (even though I think he will do better outside of school, and if a trip (which is hardly a hardship, lol ) is what it takes, so be it?
-Have I peer-pressured (mommy-pressured) him into doing something he really does not want to do?

Please note, I really do want to HS him, and I think it is to his ultimate benefit, but I want him to want it. Not agree to out of pressure or due to a bribe.

I know the answer is to talk to him, and DH is going to bring him out for hot chocolate tonight to further discuss it, but I do not think DS wants to talk to me about it. Ds is sensitive to "overkill" on issues.

Opinions? Advice? Did I goof (be honest, but gentle, please)?

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#2 of 4 Old 10-03-2007, 06:02 PM
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First, I think this should be on the homeschool board!

Second, I don't think that making sure that a HSed child has certain things they enjoy that are often associated with school is the same thing as bribing. My kids have always homeschooled and yet own backbacks, lunch boxes, etc, and have gone on a zillion trips.

As far as pressuring him, it doesn't sound like it. It sounds like you've tried to make school work, and it isn't, and both you and your son agree that there must be a better way.

but everything has pros and consĀ  shrug.gif

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#3 of 4 Old 10-03-2007, 06:06 PM
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Hi Kathy!!

A) I do NOT see that as a bribe at all! It is simply a replacement for the event that is no longer accessible thru school.
B) Listen, sometimes we have to resort to being slightly sneaky to influence our kids. School is one of those ubiquitous institutions that everyone is TOTALLY indoctrinated to accept without question, even our kids. I have been trying to unschool my 16 year old, but her dad (my ex) is completely undermining me LOL!!!
Be prepared fo rhim to change his mind. However, since you sound like you are very clear about the environment being pretty toxic, think about if it was a school with lots of drugs, gangs or bullying. You probably wouldn't question your motives, right? Many moms see totally unexpected improvements in their kids' behavior once they are removed from a classroom situation.
I personally am of the belief that for MANY kids, school is at best a boring waste of time, and at worst an emotional cesspool that negatively affects them for years after they've graduated. Though a lot of people would read that as being overly dramatic, I have been looking at this issue a long long time. Mine was one of those kids who didn't "qualify" for special ed, but the school never thought twice about calling me to pick him up when he became inconvenient. Oh how I WISH I had pulled DS out of school and HSed!!! I feel like school just totally soured him on learning for soooo long. The culture of school, even a very small one, unless the admin is very enlightened, is just not very healthy.
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#4 of 4 Old 10-03-2007, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you mamas!

I will cross-post in Learning at home

I had been wonderring if agreeing to a trip was/is a bribe - or a genuine replacement for something he would miss. If will present it as such, and remove the word "bribe" from discussion with my DS.

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