DD15 wants to go back to homeschooling, for the wrong reasons - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-14-2013, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello, I'm new to this particular forum since my kids have been in public school for a while, but my older DD has been mentioning wanting to go back to homeschooling lately. I tried to get to the root of it, and her main reasons were "because it's easy" and she doesn't like waking up at 6:20 in the morning. I can understand that being a freshman at an academically advanced, highly ranked, very competitive public high school (like if "Fame" we're set at an engineering high school), but she seems to like it and it's perfect for her. She got her first B ever this year, since she started receiving graded work in 6th grade, and she knows more are in store. I think the main reason she wants to quit is because she can't handle getting a B, and I know I cried about grades I got that weren't all that terrible, but I lived, and it got way better. 9th grade just kind of sucks sometimes, and I'd hate to see her throw away this opportunity. The school is super competitive and difficult to get into. She was ranked #6 at her middle school, and was 8th grade class president when she applied, so if she quits, going back will be quite difficult, and her assigned school is not an option whatsoever.

Logistically, neither I nor DP can reasonably accommodate this desire at this point, but she seems to think she can just do everything herself without our involvement. She is a smart kid, but not the most independent and we know that the level of education she would achieve with our limited involvement would not be adequate to enter college, which she has always planned on doing. I have explained this to her, but as teenagers are, she thinks she can do it by herself. She has friends who do, she says, but their parents are either drug addicts, or these kids are out at raves and panhandling on the street, so I can't imagine the level of education they're receiving is appropriate. DD was homeschooled through 3rd grade, until our financial situation was such that both DP and I had to work several jobs to make ends meet. We are still working 2 jobs each, and have another child, not to mention the fact that DD is taking Geometry AP and I don't think either of us can even check her work or keep up when it comes to math and science. She is so smart, and does so well at school, and I feel like we would be failing her unless one of us could be home more to help her get the resources she needs. We also don't have the money to supplement her education with the tools she would need to be successful. As it stands now, if she keeps doing as well as she has been, she could get a scholarship to a really, really good college. Even if she didn't go to a great college, I don't think she would be prepared for any college if she started homeschooling under our current circumstances.

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#2 of 10 Old 01-14-2013, 04:35 PM
 
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I'm not sure what the rules are in your state, but some states allow homeschoolers to take some classes at their public school.  Could this possibly be an option?  Maybe you and your daughter could come to an agreement about her doing certain classes on her own and other classes at the school?  This would open up her schedule a little bit and ease the early morning wake up.  I wish high schools would have later start times.  It has been proven time and time again by the medical community that teenagers need a lot of extra sleep. 

 

Another idea you could consider is an online virtual school.  This way your daughter could take the classes that are important to you but she could do the work at the time of day that she works best.  It would also ease the pressure on you and your partner as she would have a contact teacher that could help her if she runs into troubles.  There are lots of virtual schools out there.  It would take some time to weed through all of them, but might be worth it for the peace it would provide all of you.  Maybe you could have your daughter start the research process and see what she comes up with. 

 

Hugs to you!  It is clear that you care about your daughter and her future and want to find what is best for everyone. 
 


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#3 of 10 Old 01-16-2013, 10:13 AM
 
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I would be inclined to trust your daughter, but also, to make her accountable and responsible. This will include her doing the footwork. Maybe she could research and present 2-3 options for making this feasible for your family. This could include virtual school, online school, outbound schooling through the public school, combinations of enrichment classes, etc. She would gather information from your school district as one resource, the local homeschooling support group as another resource, ... etc. I'd suggest that she have a weekly progress assessment. This might be as simple as a checklist. I'd also suggest that she keep a homeschooling journal -- something that can be a tool as well as fun and creative. She should make a grid of subjects, books and resources required, and basically prepare a syllabus. Volunteer work, extra curricular activities and hobbies, and a personal mission statement for her homeschooling will keep this positive and empowering.

 

A wonderful resource is The Teenage Liberation Handbook. As a type-A overachiever with several masters degrees who thought homeschooling was insane, this book changed my life. innocent.gif

 

Most of all, I would trust your gut. Ceding some responsibility to your teen is frightening and thrilling and wonderful. If this doesn't work out, she can return to school. Doors aren't closing. Keeping the paths of communication open and supporting her in this just might deepen your relationship in ways you never imagined.

 

peace,

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#4 of 10 Old 01-16-2013, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately, we live in the country so public transportation isn't an option, and she would need to be different places a couple of days of the week to make this work. Both DP and I cannot provide transportation after 7:30 am until the end of the work day. We have a couple of friends with older teens who homeschool, and this is the major issue... For her to get what she needs, she needs to go to the homeschooling co-op or junior college during the day at least twice a week. We live so far away from everyone we know who might be able to "pick her up along the way" otherwise, and financially we can't pay someone to choeffuer her around.

The other issue is she can't go back to this school once she leaves, without reapplying (and none of her homeschool friends were accepted to this school, like I said, it's very competitive: over 2,000 kids apply a year and about 75 per grade are accepted). We can't just "try it out" and go back if it doesn't work out. Her assigned school is not an option at all. Because of where we live, the district only has 1 high school, but the main district in the city accepts kids from outlying areas for this program.

If I felt that homeschooling were the best option for her right now, we could make it work, but it wouldnt be ideal. However, she really likes her school and is a total social butterfly, and I know she is the type of kid who will feel alienated from her friends if she's missing out on the social comings-and-goings of school. She had a close knit group of friends in middle school, but as they split up in high school, she is only friends with 2 of them, really, anymore. She tends to be shy around new people, so when her old friends made new friends and invited her along, she never wanted to go. She has fallen out of touch with most of her old friends, and I know, if she goes back to homeschooling now, she will stop talking to all but maybe 3 of them. When she started going to public school, she had the option to go to another very small school instead with about 6 other kids in her class, but she wanted to go to the bigger one, and we wanted her to, as well. It is like night and day with her social skills. Before school, she would barely look anyone in the eye or shake someone's hand or any basic communication with anyone outside "the inner circle". And last year, she was class president. None of us ever expected that. We figured she'd just be holed up in the library, but she became Ms. Popularity and really thrives on social interaction and group activities. All that aside, if she came to me saying "school is so boring, my teachers are unfair, all they do is teach to the test" I would try to find a different situation in a heartbeat. But the truth is, she stays up until 11:00 on Facebook after everyone else has gone to bed, and then complains that she has to get up so early, when she is making the decision not to go to bed. She says that "school is hard", but she makes really good grades, so obviously it's appropriate for her, and she gets excited about the assignments, so she enjoys it. I feel like I would be letting her give up/taking the easy way out if we let her quit at this point.

(gender)queer vegetarian artist co-parenting DDs 14 & 11 with DP and TTC  little peanut #3 3rdtri.gif

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#5 of 10 Old 01-16-2013, 06:39 PM
 
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I'm hardcore pro-homeschooling but I think keeping her in this school is best. 15 year olds aren't known for making the wisest choices and it sounds like she is in a place that will benefit her more in the long run.


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#6 of 10 Old 01-16-2013, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post

I'm hardcore pro-homeschooling but I think keeping her in this school is best. 15 year olds aren't known for making the wisest choices and it sounds like she is in a place that will benefit her more in the long run.

I agree.  It sounds like she is really in the best place right now.  If she doesn't like waking early, could she opt out of the first period class and make up the credits with a virtual class?  It sounds like the early mornings are the only real complaint.  

 

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#7 of 10 Old 01-16-2013, 09:54 PM
 
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If I read this right, she has homeschooled friends and few friends in the new school. Also, are you telling her how well she is doing? If she is used to easy grades, she may need to hear that the B here is like an A+ at the smaller school, so she understands. Also, if she wants to do better, you should encourage that. Sometimes adults encourage and tell the child a B is good when what the child wants is a better understanding of the material regardless of the grade. So be sure you are really listening and getting to the root of her dissatisfaction. Only then, when you really understand the problem, can you craft a solution that works.
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#8 of 10 Old 01-17-2013, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, we are always pro-"anything above a C" and she knows we would be proud even if she got all B's. Even if she got a C, it's not like she would get punished or anything. She is the one who is hardest on herself, and we prepared her for the fact that she might make a few B's at this school before she even started.

Once she enters her junior year, she will have the option to take some classes virtually via the junior college, so getting up later is an option down the line. She has always been the kind of kid who would be reading with a book light past her bedtime, she's kind of a night owl... But lately she's been taking naps after school and then staying up too late, so maybe if we can get her to forego the nap she can fall asleep earlier. I was the same way in high school and now I'm an early to bed, early to rise type, so who knows.

Hopefully next year will be a little better for her and she'll get in the swing of things. I know 9th grade is just kind of the worst, and at her school they only get 1 elective the first year, so I'm pretty sure the worst will be behind her soon. Thanks for the reassurance! I just felt like a bad parent for not being able to accommodate this desire but it really seems like the best situation for her to stay at this school.

(gender)queer vegetarian artist co-parenting DDs 14 & 11 with DP and TTC  little peanut #3 3rdtri.gif

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#9 of 10 Old 01-17-2013, 03:24 PM
 
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Make sure you do what you can to help her learn if she wants to put in extra effort for those A's. Also, suggest she set an alarm for her nap so that she doesn't throw off her schedule too much, and find active things for her to do on the weekend to skip the nap. That, and sunlight early in the day will help shift her from night owl to more of a day person.

The homeschool issue can be discussed this summer of she's still struggling. She would have to demonstrate an ability to take charge of her education, if no one can be home to make sure she keeps working toward her long term goals. She might be ready, she might not. Test it this summer. That's my advice.
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#10 of 10 Old 01-17-2013, 09:48 PM
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Also, perhaps not relevant, but I have always had a REALLY hard time waking in the winter.  I blamed it on Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD).  I found out that I am really low on Vit D.  I started supplementing for that and I seem to have a much easier time getting up now.  I don't really know if it is related or not.  However, apparently most of us are low on Vit D so I thought I would throw it out there.

 

Amy


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