Stubborn and unmotivated homeschooling teen - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 03-02-2011, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am completely overwhelmed right now.  My 13 yr. old son decided to homeschool this year because of bad influences at PS.  But he is so unmotivated and stubborn that he is probably about 3 months behind other students in math.  I'm so frustrated and i don't know what to do. 

 

He wants to go back to middle school next year, and I will probably allow it because we will be moving to an area of much better schools, hopefully by this summer.  But for now,  he seriously needs to catch up or he's going to be left in the dust at his new school, where the academics are much more advanced than in our current district.  And as any homeschooler who's had to deal with the public schools knows, I will get blamed entirely for his difficulties.   

 

He doesn't care what I do or say, he simply won't do his school work.  If he was interested in academic subjects at all, I wouldn't be averse to just letting him unschool.  But he has no interest in anything at all except for skating and snowboarding.  Everything else in the world is nothing to him, not worth his attention. 

 

He does have a very hard time learning in any setting.  He can't seem to pay attention.  Reading bores him so much that he will do almost anything to avoid it, unless of course it's a snowboarding magazine.  I know he probably has ADD, but I do not want him on stimulants.  I've seen what they can do, and it scares me.  I do have him on fish oil, and plan on looking into other supplements for him.  But until any of that has a chance to work, he still needs to work, and I don't know how to motivate him. 

 

I don't know if anyone has any suggestions.  I guess I'm mostly just venting my frustrations.  But if you understand what this is like and can offer any advice or even just a BTDT, I would appreciate it. 

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#2 of 18 Old 03-02-2011, 02:59 PM
 
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Have you looked into the Feingold diet?  It has worked wonders with countless families.  In the 6 years I've run in the "food problem" circles, I haven't run into someone that hasn't followed that diet strictly and NOT seen SOMEthing improve.  If not the ADD/ADHD, then some other aspect of life (and sometimes, it wasn't a big enough change to warrant staying on the diet--I'm just saying: it's worth trying).  They give you a TON of support materials, too.  

 

IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT FOOD DYES!  I avoided looking into it because we really only ate whole foods, but then a friend got the materials and said "Ummm... you eat a lot of the restricted foods"... fresh, organic stuff.  :/  Sure enough, it affected us, too. It didn't help my son's ADHD, but it did help my husband's ADD to some extent and it solved a wicked excessive urination problem of my own that nobody could diagnose. (sorry... tmi)

 

As for his motivation, you're caught in kind of a problem area: kids coming out of a school setting usually need a good chunk of time (often a year) to "deschool" and during that time, yeah--they're not likely to do much.  Your problem is that he's going back, so you don't really have the luxury of letting him deschool.  Hoping other parents of older kids have suggestions for you there.

 

Was it HIS idea to hs this year?  


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#3 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 11:06 AM
 
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I would opt for an online charter,or put him back into a school.

 

I would not allow him to do the things he wanted until he did his basic work.Give him 3 work options for the day allowing him to choose one to complete each day.Follow through on punishment if he does not complete the work.

 

Perhaps you can find out what the basic math is that he will need to know before returning to school,and focus on that for the remainder of the year.

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#4 of 18 Old 03-04-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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What does he do when he refuses to do school work? I would take away everything..and I mean everything...from TV to computer. I would smile and be nice and act all cool and matter of fact about it. I would act like I sympathize when he is upset over it. I would explain that school work must be done first, along with X chores. Then, when all that is correct for the day (not just turned in, trust me, I have experience here, he will half do it or not really do it but fill in answers if he can get way with it). Then, and only then, will get earn computer. Chances are, for the first while, maybe even a few weeks, he will hold out and try to do nothing figuring you will give in. You just keep adding to his work list (you write it out in advance and make copies) until he gets it done. I find it easier if the chores are the same each day (i.e. empty dishwasher, take trash out, etc). 

 

Good luck!!

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#5 of 18 Old 03-07-2011, 03:28 PM
 
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don't be too concerned about math when hes interested in snowboarding and the like, that itself involves a lot of math like degrees of angle and fractions. I would bet its more about being bored rather than lack of ability.

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#6 of 18 Old 03-12-2011, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

Have you looked into the Feingold diet?  It has worked wonders with countless families.  In the 6 years I've run in the "food problem" circles, I haven't run into someone that hasn't followed that diet strictly and NOT seen SOMEthing improve.  If not the ADD/ADHD, then some other aspect of life (and sometimes, it wasn't a big enough change to warrant staying on the diet--I'm just saying: it's worth trying).  They give you a TON of support materials, too.  

 

IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT FOOD DYES!  I avoided looking into it because we really only ate whole foods, but then a friend got the materials and said "Ummm... you eat a lot of the restricted foods"... fresh, organic stuff.  :/  Sure enough, it affected us, too. It didn't help my son's ADHD, but it did help my husband's ADD to some extent and it solved a wicked excessive urination problem of my own that nobody could diagnose. (sorry... tmi)

 

As for his motivation, you're caught in kind of a problem area: kids coming out of a school setting usually need a good chunk of time (often a year) to "deschool" and during that time, yeah--they're not likely to do much.  Your problem is that he's going back, so you don't really have the luxury of letting him deschool.  Hoping other parents of older kids have suggestions for you there.

 

Was it HIS idea to hs this year?  


Yes, it was his idea to homeschool.  But he's having second thoughts now. 

 

We've tried a gf/cf diet before with him a long time ago.  It helped immensely.  Even recently he decided to go off wheat again, which helped some, though not as much as before since he kept eating dairy.  I just can't really control his diet anymore, he's too old.  I try to educate him and help him make the connection between what he eats and how he feels, but beyond that, there's not much I can do.  This is not an area of his life that I want to have total control over, as I feel that might be psychologically unhealthy for him.

 

I understand the de-schooling concept.  I read Holt, and I also read The Teenage Liberation Handbook.  In theory it sounds great, but in reality, even if ds wasn't going back to school, I would feel really uncomfortable with it.  On the one hand, I want him to have freedom.  But on the other hand, it's an unfortunate truth that our world is not ideal, and in order to get where he wants to go, a kid has to jump through society's hoops, which happens to include high school and either college or trade school.  I know there have been many unschooling success stories, but it seems like most of those involve some seriously motivated kids.  Mine, unfortunately, is not.  Even his passionate interests get dropped after not too long. 
 

 



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What does he do when he refuses to do school work? I would take away everything..and I mean everything...from TV to computer. I would smile and be nice and act all cool and matter of fact about it. I would act like I sympathize when he is upset over it. I would explain that school work must be done first, along with X chores. Then, when all that is correct for the day (not just turned in, trust me, I have experience here, he will half do it or not really do it but fill in answers if he can get way with it). Then, and only then, will get earn computer. Chances are, for the first while, maybe even a few weeks, he will hold out and try to do nothing figuring you will give in. You just keep adding to his work list (you write it out in advance and make copies) until he gets it done. I find it easier if the chores are the same each day (i.e. empty dishwasher, take trash out, etc). 

 

Good luck!!



I do all this.  He doesn't care.  Even when he was in an online academy and not doing the work would cause him to get hopelessly behind and get bad grades, he would not do it.  There is only one thing I can take away that I have not yet taken, an that's his skateboard.  It might help.  But I doubt it.  He would rather be bored out of his skull with no computer privileges, video games, or toys than actually get his schoolwork done. 

 

I have to say that I have probably made it sound like he virtually never does any work, which isen't true.  Some days he tries.  But he is not consistent, and he's falling further and further behind. 

 

I've thought about the idea someone else mentioned about just focusing on math for a while.  I might do that.  But both he and I would hate it because it's his most hated subject.  And I really wanted to use this opportunity to teach him things that he most likely wouldn't get in school.

 

Anyway thanks for you responses.  You gave me things to think about.

 

 

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#7 of 18 Old 03-13-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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I've thought about the idea someone else mentioned about just focusing on math for a while.  I might do that.  But both he and I would hate it because it's his most hated subject.  


Perhaps he would like something like www.Aleks.com better?  He can work at his own pace, picking concepts from his progress pie to work on.  It will move on as he masters topics and give more practice when he doesn't get a topic.  There are periodic assessments so that you know he's still remembering the topics he has mastered.  There is a pie chart marking their progress through the subject, so that may help him see what he needs to work on as well as feel good about what he's mastered.  They sometimes offer free trials of a month or more, but always have a brief free trial to at least check out the format.  It costs about $20/month.  

 

Aleks does offer explanations for concepts but sometimes kids need more.  This site - http://illuminations.nctm.org/Lessons.aspx can be useful.  It offers free animated lessons and interactive games and activities to learn math concepts for free.  You might try having him watch a few lessons and play a few activities some days in lieu of working out of a math textbook.  More free video lessons here: http://www.khanacademy.org/

 

 

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#8 of 18 Old 03-13-2011, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!  I will check those out.  We've used Kahn Academy and I really like it.  But I don't think it's the curriculum he doesn't like.  I spent around $150 on a Teaching Textbooks course for him.  It's like having an electronic tutor.  The problem is that he can't even seem to focus when he's spoon fed the information.  I end up having to relearn all of his math myself and sit down and teach it to him, sometimes trying different methods til I find one that makes it click for him.  I've told him I'm willing to do anything to help him succeed, and I am.  I don't even care about the difficulty of having to baby him through all his lessons as long as he appreciates my effort and actually cooperates.  He just doesn't want to cooperate.  It's so frustrating!

 

What I wish is that our entire society was structured differently, maybe more like the ancient Greeks.  Forced schooling would be unheard of for free people, and education would be widely available to all who are interested.  There would be no need for credentials to do what you would like to do in life, only interest and a willingness to work.  If that were the world we live in, I wouldn't worry about how much math my kids know.  I would just make the world available to them.  I know this is what unschoolers do.  I wish I could make myself do it.  But I'm just so afraid that living in this regimented and stultified world, that my kids would end up hating me for not making sure they got their diplimas and had the opportunity to go to college.  I know my son would at least.  He's very conventional and really wants that diploma, he just doesn't want to do the work it would take to get it.

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#9 of 18 Old 03-13-2011, 11:52 PM
 
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I'm not trying to push unschooling, I'm not.  I think effective homeschooling can take many forms, including organized curriculum, etc.  

But..I think you skipped the very important step of deschooling.  

I know when the kids are older and you are trying to "keep up" with peers, it can seem like you simply do not have that TIME to stop and deschool, but I also think that is why homeschooling FAILS for a lot of parents who " try it for a year" when their kids are older.  After a kid has been in school for 6+ years, the amount of time it will take to deschool is probably a year or more.  And the summer before you started homeschooling doesn't count - he would have gotten that "off" anyways.  

I'd try to build on the interests.  Let him read skateboarding magazines.  Then take a hard look at the goals.  He wants that diploma.  Ok, great.  Why?  Does he have a career path in mind?  if so, what is it?  How much math does he truly need to get a high school diploma?  you can graduate without ever taking higher math, just taking some credits in basic math.  But lets say he wants college as an option..he needs a bit more - Maybe up through algebra 2?  So you have between now and when he is 17ish?  to teach him some math that includes some algebra, some geometry.  

 

i think it is very easy to get overwhelmed.  So many things to think about, so much responsibility crashed down on your shoulders, so much fear, insecurity, doubt.  "Can I do this?" What if i screw up my kid and ruin his life?"  

I think 1 year isn't nearly enough time to see if homeschooling works for you.  Sort of like at my job, we have patients in therapy, and it generally takes 18 months - 2 years to see a real improvement.  It can be easy to get discouraged, to feel like it's not working, when day after day you see the same patient with the same problems.  It's a gradual process with gradual progress.  And you can't take a patient out of therapy after 6 months and say "this therapy isn't working, the patient isn't better yet."  Because you just can't know.  

 

 

I will also say ive been there through the teen slump.  The older boys are 18, 15 and 13.   there were a few years in there for each one that made me want to claw my eyes out. :)  There were times it was like watching a living, breathing depiction of the definition of "sloth".   I can't begin to know what would be best for your family, but I often find that the answers are sometimes surprising. :) 

 


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#10 of 18 Old 03-15-2011, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not trying to push unschooling, I'm not.  I think effective homeschooling can take many forms, including organized curriculum, etc.  

But..I think you skipped the very important step of deschooling.  

I know when the kids are older and you are trying to "keep up" with peers, it can seem like you simply do not have that TIME to stop and deschool, but I also think that is why homeschooling FAILS for a lot of parents who " try it for a year" when their kids are older.  After a kid has been in school for 6+ years, the amount of time it will take to deschool is probably a year or more.  And the summer before you started homeschooling doesn't count - he would have gotten that "off" anyways.  

I'd try to build on the interests.  Let him read skateboarding magazines.  Then take a hard look at the goals.  He wants that diploma.  Ok, great.  Why?  Does he have a career path in mind?  if so, what is it?  How much math does he truly need to get a high school diploma?  you can graduate without ever taking higher math, just taking some credits in basic math.  But lets say he wants college as an option..he needs a bit more - Maybe up through algebra 2?  So you have between now and when he is 17ish?  to teach him some math that includes some algebra, some geometry.  

 

i think it is very easy to get overwhelmed.  So many things to think about, so much responsibility crashed down on your shoulders, so much fear, insecurity, doubt.  "Can I do this?" What if i screw up my kid and ruin his life?"  

I think 1 year isn't nearly enough time to see if homeschooling works for you.  Sort of like at my job, we have patients in therapy, and it generally takes 18 months - 2 years to see a real improvement.  It can be easy to get discouraged, to feel like it's not working, when day after day you see the same patient with the same problems.  It's a gradual process with gradual progress.  And you can't take a patient out of therapy after 6 months and say "this therapy isn't working, the patient isn't better yet."  Because you just can't know.  

 

 

I will also say ive been there through the teen slump.  The older boys are 18, 15 and 13.   there were a few years in there for each one that made me want to claw my eyes out. :)  There were times it was like watching a living, breathing depiction of the definition of "sloth".   I can't begin to know what would be best for your family, but I often find that the answers are sometimes surprising. :) 

 


 

This was a most helpful post.  Thank you.  I'm not sure if you could tell from my previous posts, but I'm really on the fence about how I would like homeschooling to go for us.  Deep down, I believe very much in individual freedom of action and thought when it comes to learning.  I myself would have thrived in a freer environment (in other words, without school).  I have never stopped reading and listening and learning.  I also love to have the freedom not to actively learn if I so choose, as there are times when it would be unproductive anyway because of my state of mind. 

 

I actually was an avid unschooler when ds was little.  He didn't go to PS until he was 9 years old.  Then he came back home for another year when he was 10.  He was 11 when he went back to school, and the only reason for that was because I was deathly ill and couldn't homeschool him anymore.  And the only reason he did not come back home sooner than now is because he liked school and cried if I mentioned the possibility of homeschooling again.  So the only reason I'm so anxious about him getting behind in school is because he really wants to go back to PS.  If it wasn't for that, I would relax a little and do exactly as you suggested.  I actually would love for him never to go to school again.  But he is absolutely adamant about wanting to go back.  I think part of it is that he is an extreme extrovert, and homeschooling doesn't give him enough social time.  That's really all it is.  And he's also conventionally minded and thinks homeschooling isn't the proper way to do things.  It bothers him to be at all different from other people. 

 

Incidentally, I also homeschool ds' younger brother who's 10 yrs old.  He does just fine because he likes homeschooling.  I sort of approach it eclectically, unschooling art, science and social studies, and using curriculum for the other subjects. 

 

Anyway, thank you. 
 

 

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#11 of 18 Old 03-16-2011, 01:31 PM
 
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I'm not emphatically "pro-unschool", either.  But there's a difference between unschooling and deschooling.  And while you noted that bobandjess99's post was helpful, your last post still makes me feel like you think the two are the same thing.

 

Deschooling has nothing to do with how you approach educating your child.  At all.  It is a period of adjustment time that kids need to shift gears from one culture to another--even if you school-at-home.  The mentality, expectations (peer-based, especially), etc. are different.  It's overwhelming.  I think it's a bit more overwhelming for the older kids.

 

 


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#12 of 18 Old 03-16-2011, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not emphatically "pro-unschool", either.  But there's a difference between unschooling and deschooling.  And while you noted that bobandjess99's post was helpful, your last post still makes me feel like you think the two are the same thing.

 

Deschooling has nothing to do with how you approach educating your child.  At all.  It is a period of adjustment time that kids need to shift gears from one culture to another--even if you school-at-home.  The mentality, expectations (peer-based, especially), etc. are different.  It's overwhelming.  I think it's a bit more overwhelming for the older kids.

 

 


I totally get that, I do.  I know they're not the same thing.  I just wish I had the time to do it.  I went back and reread my posts, and it's obvious to me now why it would seem like I didn't understand the difference. 

 

But I guess all my rambling about unschooling had more to do with the frustration I feel about having to be a drill sergeant, when all I really want for my kids is for them to love learning.  I feel like bringing ds home for one year only has done more harm than good, because we are still essentially stuck in a school style educational model just in order to keep up with his peers so he can go back and not be totally lost.  And that being the case, my relationship with my son has deteriorated because of the constant battle of wills. 

 

I think I felt that bobandjess99's post was so helpful simply because I agree with it so much.  Unfortunately, it doesn't change the fact that I'm in a situation that I feel to be intolerable.  I guess I just never anticipated the problem of a kid who really doesn't like the freedom of homeschooling.  I totally disagree with the PS approach to learning.  But trying to homeschool an unwilling kid is extremely unproductive and wildly frustrating. 

 

I guess I really don't know what I expect anyone to tell me.  I'm really just venting my frustration at this point.  But thank you all!
 

 

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#13 of 18 Old 03-16-2011, 11:07 PM
 
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If you're still planning to enroll your son in school next year I would suggest shoring up math skills as a primary focus, maybe the only focus of the time you've remain to the school year. Then, R E A D. Encourage your son to read. Discuss what he reads and try to draw him out so that he expresses and opinion and supports it without just reacting. Share what you're reading with him. Sometimes when we parents cannot manage to communicate with our kids without conflict, but writing to them can accomplish more. I email my daughter and writer her letters, and I chat with her in the car. In fact our best conversations happen in the car. If you can instill a love of knowledge, of wanting to know, then, from my perspective, you will have done a good thing.

 

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#14 of 18 Old 03-16-2011, 11:17 PM
 
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Oh, hon... you sound so frustrated and "lost" (I hate how that sounds, but that's how I feel for you).  And I understand all of what you're feeling.  I do.  I wish I knew how to make you feel better about it but I don't.

 

I DO think that part of his unmotivation is the natural course of "coming home" and why deschooling is always pushed; but I completely understand that you don't have that luxury of time to give to it.  I'm just saying this because I'd hate for you to think he's truly unmotivated to learn vs. going through the natural course of what happens to kids that leave PS--ya know?  I just think it's too early to really say he's truly unmotivated.  Not that it changes anything about the situation, but it may put you a little more at ease to know that this may not really be your child's true nature.

 

Is there a reason he needs to go back next year?  Believe it or not, the math (and other subjects) could be really easy to catch up on once he's in a better frame of mind.  I think as parents, we are brainwashed to panic about these kinds of delays--and in your case, the idea of going back next year is only compounding that and adding pressure.  Is there a reason he can't continue to homeschool?

 

Frankly, I pulled my son during the pre-K year when he was already reading at a 2nd grade comprehension and *I* panicked my way through the deschooling year.  I had no clue that a 4yo would go through such a thing coming out of a preschool.  I was also a former teacher and a project manager before that... can you say "planner" and "control issues"?  I felt pretty certain that it wasn't going to work out for us.  And a huge part of the problem after the whole deschooling year was trying to reconcile the way I do things vs. the way he learned/learns.  And that was NOT. FUN.  So you have that on top of all of it.

 

Can you work with what he WILL do?  He likes snowboarding magazines: can you read through the articles and find some kind of educational connections that you can lead him to through talking about the articles?  I have to do this with mine and it took me a while to get over the annoyance of having to learn how to get him to learn.  But I read the articles and analyzed what I could connect it with so that I could talk to him about stuff he enjoyed and then connect it to something he wouldn't connect it to.  I would sneak math up on him through his allowance and saving for things that he wanted (at 13, I think he's at algebra or pre-algebra--so that should still work).  Would he possibly want to figure out how much money someone could make selling boards if the materials cost $x, etc...?  Especially if it's snuck into a conversation that seems harmless: "I wonder if they actually make any money selling those things?" just to try to get him started.  Talk about the different snowboarding trails and what makes the rating different (undoubtedly slope) and if there's some kind of slope factor to each rating.  Could he design a course? (don't they have a video game like that somewhere?)

 

Or is he driven enough to go back that you could lay it out for him and say "Hey--we're moving to a better school district and the kids are going to be at a higher level than the school you left.  You're really going to need to do some catch-up work before you go back."...?  Mine is 7yo and has said he wants to go to PS (but being 7yo, he sees PS as a place to hang out with his friends all day).  The deal has always been that he will need to show me that he can do the schoolwork for his age level in order to go.  If he opts not to show me, then he can't go.  He's stopped asking.  Granted, mine is seven and I don't care if he never goes.  It's not exactly the same; but if yours is driven to go, maybe telling him that he needs to step it up will work.  And tell him that he's at home with all the time in the world to do it.  Frankly, it doesn't take 6 hours/day to learn what it takes the PS to cover in 6 hours/day.  When I was teaching I did home instruction and the district (one of the best in the state) said that when working one-on-one, you could cover a week's worth of high school curriculum in 4 hours/week.  bigeyes.gif  I went back and looked at my own classes and started to understand how that could be... but the point is that he doesn't have to work all day every day to catch up.  Does he realize that?  Maybe he envisions learning as sitting at a table for 4-ish hours/day...?

 

Have you asked him how he plans to go into a new, better middle school next year when he's taken a year off?  And obviously if he gets anxious about this, you'd ask him if he'd like some help with getting back on track.  :)

 

Of course, only you know your kid and know whether these approaches would completely backfire and push in the opposite direction.  :(

 

Regardless, hugs.  Breathe.


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#15 of 18 Old 03-17-2011, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Iris View Post

If you're still planning to enroll your son in school next year I would suggest shoring up math skills as a primary focus, maybe the only focus of the time you've remain to the school year. Then, R E A D. Encourage your son to read. Discuss what he reads and try to draw him out so that he expresses and opinion and supports it without just reacting. Share what you're reading with him. Sometimes when we parents cannot manage to communicate with our kids without conflict, but writing to them can accomplish more. I email my daughter and writer her letters, and I chat with her in the car. In fact our best conversations happen in the car. If you can instill a love of knowledge, of wanting to know, then, from my perspective, you will have done a good thing.

 

My blogs: Homeschool Reviews and Resources

               Homeschool Journal~WildIris


 

Good suggestions.  This is actually what I do when he won't do all of what I want him to.  He knows that math is non-negotiable and that he needs to read around an hour a day.  I like the idea of writing to communicate, I was actually thinking of trying that before today. 

 

 


 

 

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#16 of 18 Old 03-17-2011, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, hon... you sound so frustrated and "lost" (I hate how that sounds, but that's how I feel for you).  And I understand all of what you're feeling.  I do.  I wish I knew how to make you feel better about it but I don't.

 

I DO think that part of his unmotivation is the natural course of "coming home" and why deschooling is always pushed; but I completely understand that you don't have that luxury of time to give to it.  I'm just saying this because I'd hate for you to think he's truly unmotivated to learn vs. going through the natural course of what happens to kids that leave PS--ya know?  I just think it's too early to really say he's truly unmotivated.  Not that it changes anything about the situation, but it may put you a little more at ease to know that this may not really be your child's true nature.

 

Is there a reason he needs to go back next year?  Believe it or not, the math (and other subjects) could be really easy to catch up on once he's in a better frame of mind.  I think as parents, we are brainwashed to panic about these kinds of delays--and in your case, the idea of going back next year is only compounding that and adding pressure.  Is there a reason he can't continue to homeschool?

 

Frankly, I pulled my son during the pre-K year when he was already reading at a 2nd grade comprehension and *I* panicked my way through the deschooling year.  I had no clue that a 4yo would go through such a thing coming out of a preschool.  I was also a former teacher and a project manager before that... can you say "planner" and "control issues"?  I felt pretty certain that it wasn't going to work out for us.  And a huge part of the problem after the whole deschooling year was trying to reconcile the way I do things vs. the way he learned/learns.  And that was NOT. FUN.  So you have that on top of all of it.

 

Can you work with what he WILL do?  He likes snowboarding magazines: can you read through the articles and find some kind of educational connections that you can lead him to through talking about the articles?  I have to do this with mine and it took me a while to get over the annoyance of having to learn how to get him to learn.  But I read the articles and analyzed what I could connect it with so that I could talk to him about stuff he enjoyed and then connect it to something he wouldn't connect it to.  I would sneak math up on him through his allowance and saving for things that he wanted (at 13, I think he's at algebra or pre-algebra--so that should still work).  Would he possibly want to figure out how much money someone could make selling boards if the materials cost $x, etc...?  Especially if it's snuck into a conversation that seems harmless: "I wonder if they actually make any money selling those things?" just to try to get him started.  Talk about the different snowboarding trails and what makes the rating different (undoubtedly slope) and if there's some kind of slope factor to each rating.  Could he design a course? (don't they have a video game like that somewhere?)

 

Or is he driven enough to go back that you could lay it out for him and say "Hey--we're moving to a better school district and the kids are going to be at a higher level than the school you left.  You're really going to need to do some catch-up work before you go back."...?  Mine is 7yo and has said he wants to go to PS (but being 7yo, he sees PS as a place to hang out with his friends all day).  The deal has always been that he will need to show me that he can do the schoolwork for his age level in order to go.  If he opts not to show me, then he can't go.  He's stopped asking.  Granted, mine is seven and I don't care if he never goes.  It's not exactly the same; but if yours is driven to go, maybe telling him that he needs to step it up will work.  And tell him that he's at home with all the time in the world to do it.  Frankly, it doesn't take 6 hours/day to learn what it takes the PS to cover in 6 hours/day.  When I was teaching I did home instruction and the district (one of the best in the state) said that when working one-on-one, you could cover a week's worth of high school curriculum in 4 hours/week.  bigeyes.gif  I went back and looked at my own classes and started to understand how that could be... but the point is that he doesn't have to work all day every day to catch up.  Does he realize that?  Maybe he envisions learning as sitting at a table for 4-ish hours/day...?

 

Have you asked him how he plans to go into a new, better middle school next year when he's taken a year off?  And obviously if he gets anxious about this, you'd ask him if he'd like some help with getting back on track.  :)

 

Of course, only you know your kid and know whether these approaches would completely backfire and push in the opposite direction.  :(

 

Regardless, hugs.  Breathe.


Thank you for the encouragement!  I need all I can get right now. 

 

I was talking to my dh about this issue this morning, and he feels that we really shouldn't try to put him back in school next year, no matter how much he wants to.  He learns more and his behavior is much better when he's at home, even in spite of all the difficulties I have with him.  No decisions have been made, but we will probably have a family talk about it soon. 

 

It's nice to know that you felt panicky as well!  I feel like a total novice right now even though I actually have a quite a bit of homeschooling experience.  I guess homeschooling teens will do that to you. 

 

We actually had a much better day today.  I went ahead and took ds' skateboard and hid all computer and playstation paraphenalia, so he had nothing to do but work until it was done.  I was delighted to find that he got very much into a documentary about the Medici that I've been using to teach the Renaissance, and he wanted to watch two hours of it today!  He does that every once in a while.  Just when I think he's got no interest in anything academic, he'll find something that sparks some enthusiasm. 

 

This is soooo hard, but one day at a time, maybe I can do it.
 

 

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#17 of 18 Old 03-25-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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Are you using WiFi, cordless phones, cell phones or other wireless devices in your home?  If so, I would strongly recommend you replace them and I bet you will see improvement in your son's learning.  Use only hardwired computers and old fashioned corded phones.  If you must have a cell phone for emergencies do not leave it powered on in your home and only use it when outside (not in a car).  Is your son carrying a cell phone, Blackberry, or other wireless device??  The pulse-modulated radiation from all these wireless devices is known to disrupt many neurological functions and could be contributing to his problems.  DECT (cordless) phones are outlawed in Germany.  In some countries it is a crime to give a cell phone to a child.  WiFi is being banned in many countries throughout the world due to health hazards.  These devices have never been safety tested, particularly for children, and there are thousands of scientific studies that demonstrate harm--neurological, immune, genetic, and more.  Please see www.citizensforsafetechnology.org for more info.  Good luck!

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Are you using WiFi, cordless phones, cell phones or other wireless devices in your home?  If so, I would strongly recommend you replace them and I bet you will see improvement in your son's learning.  Use only hardwired computers and old fashioned corded phones.  If you must have a cell phone for emergencies do not leave it powered on in your home and only use it when outside (not in a car).  Is your son carrying a cell phone, Blackberry, or other wireless device??  The pulse-modulated radiation from all these wireless devices is known to disrupt many neurological functions and could be contributing to his problems.  DECT (cordless) phones are outlawed in Germany.  In some countries it is a crime to give a cell phone to a child.  WiFi is being banned in many countries throughout the world due to health hazards.  These devices have never been safety tested, particularly for children, and there are thousands of scientific studies that demonstrate harm--neurological, immune, genetic, and more.  Please see www.citizensforsafetechnology.org for more info.  Good luck!
 

 

 

Thank you for that information.  I am aware of the controversy surrounding cell phones and WiFi, although admittedly ignorant of the content of the studies you mentioned.  I'm actually intentionally ignorant.  It's very overwhelming to think that something as ubiquitous as WiFi and cell phones are causing that much damage. 

 

Ds has no cell phone of his own, precisely because of my ambivalance towards them.  I do have a cell phone, but I don't use it much at all.  We did just recently install WiFi in our home.  I was also feeling a little ambivalant about that too.  We felt the convenience of it would be necessary because ds was at the time enrolled in an online school and using a loner laptop to do his lessons.  I haven't allowed myself to think about it much since because I just felt I didn't need the worry.  We also really enjoy streaming movies on our TV.  That would be hard to give up.  But I will check out the website.  I think I know deep down that it's harmful based on what we've experienced and what I already know about it.   

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