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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I'm a die-hard public schooler. My eldest has always done well in school, he's only taking one high school class right now, as he's doing running start and taking college courses. (11th grade)<br>
On to my 12 year old. He is literally failing 7th grade. The system and teachers are obviously a bad match. He's always been "dreamy" and kind of off in his own world, and it's coming to a head now. He isn't getting work (both in class and homework) done on time, and his teachers don't accept late work. I think they're overly harsh, but that's their policy. He's very bright, but just can't/won't work in this system. His progress report is a listing of A, F, A, A, F, F, F, A, B, F. It's not a lack of ability to do the work, it's a lack of motivation I think. He's failing english, social studies, and getting D's in science and math. Pe/band are As.<br>
How do I get started homeschooling him? And would you also homeschool the 3rd grader? He sounded like he'd like to do that. I have contacted my local homeschool resource center and they're sending me an info packet, but I'd like to hear from mamas doing it now. (especially middle school mamas!)<br>
By the way, he doesn't want to do this, but I'm making a mama executive decision for his best interest. He doesn't want to leave his friends. He does attend youth group at church on wednesdays, and I will see about hooking up with the wa state homeschool network.<br>
One more thing, since I'm asking for so much help! I told him he'd have to get his hair cut if his grades didn't improve, and that obviously didn't happen, do I have to follow through with that? He has shoulder length hair that he's quite vain about. My 17 yo (also long haired) thinks I shouldn't because he feels they're unrelated. I dunno though, I don't want to be wishy-washy, and hair grows.<br><br>
Thanks if you read all this, and help! I'm going to the school this afternoon and withdrawing him. He's there today, he had to get his trombone he'd left there, and today is the last day of school for the week anyhow.<br><br>
Suzanne~mama to Peter (17), Andrew (12), Samuel (8) and Sophie (4)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chichimamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6481830"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One more thing, since I'm asking for so much help! I told him he'd have to get his hair cut if his grades didn't improve, and that obviously didn't happen, do I have to follow through with that? He has shoulder length hair that he's quite vain about. My 17 yo (also long haired) thinks I shouldn't because he feels they're unrelated. I dunno though, I don't want to be wishy-washy, and hair grows.</div>
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I think the two issues are unrelated, and also that arbitrary punishments accomplish nothing except to fuel anger and resentment. How will cutting his hair improve his education?<br><br>
I'll let the more "schoolish" homeschoolers respond to the other issues.
 

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i also think cutting his hair is a bad idea. He obviously chooses to have his hair long for a reason. If he is forced to cut it, it may create intense feelings of resentment, anger etc....<br><br>
It sounds like he is needing support, and motivation. Dictating his appearance will only hinder those things.<br><br>
My oldest is just 8, so I will let some mamas of teens give advice in that area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I've been feeling "wrong" about the hair thing, mama instincts on red alert. I'll have to tell him I made a mistake about that. Any concrete info about how to get started with homeschooling? I think I've read about an "adjustment" period...any thoughts on what we should start with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Also, does anyone homeschool one child while sending the another to school? I haven't yet decided what to do with my 3rd grader, I think for the moment he's doing well in school. He has a teacher we love, she was actually Andrew's teacher for both 3rd and 4th grades and he thrived with her.
 

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I've never read <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FTeenage-Liberation-Handbook-School-Education%2Fdp%2F0962959170%2Fref%3Dpd_bxgy_b_img_b%2F103-7699923-7748663" target="_blank">this book</a> but I'd really like to, as I've heard wonderful things about it.
 

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I'm glad you're not going to make him cut his hair. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I think you are making a great decision, your son sounds like school is hindering, not helping. Take your time, search this forum, get some books on homeschooling from the library, etc. I think the most important thing is to deschool for a few months while you research and find the homeschooling style that will be best for your son and for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> It is said there needs to be at least one month of deschooling for every year a child has been in public school. The most important thing to remember, imo, is that what they've been doing at school is not working for your son. It therefore might be a mistake to immediately begin "school at home" type stuff, kwim? Your son will most likely need time to rediscover his natural love of learning.<br><br>
As far as having children in ps and at home, a lot of people do this successfully. However, I think since your 3rd grader is interested in homeschooling, that you may just find it easier and more fun to have both children at home with you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I know I'm not overly helpful but just wanted to lend you a little more support. Good Luck!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Good call on the hair issue, mama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I have middle school-ish kids. The internet and your library will give hs overviews. The Rainbow Resource catalog lists and describesa HUGE range of hs resources, from the Teenage Liberation Handbook (unschooling) to full curriculum sets. It's a quick reference for resources you'll see refered to various places. <a href="http://www.rainbowresource.com" target="_blank">http://www.rainbowresource.com</a><br><br>
Give yourself lots of time to explore ideas--don't feel like you have to "start" the minute he leaves public school. Take time to enjoy being together. Google "deschooling".<br><br>
At this age, it's important to make him a partner in planning his education.<br><br>
You may wish to explore whether he has a learning difference. Ld kids often are labeled unmotivated. Bright kids who also have ld's can get by, so they are often missed. If you think this might be the case, check out <a href="http://www.allkindsofminds.org" target="_blank">http://www.allkindsofminds.org</a><br><br>
I brought both mine home. Ds1 really wanted to join ds2. But, I know families who successfully have kids at home and in ps. It's a kid-by-kid, year-by-year issue. Also, if your youngest wants to stay in school, you can bring him home anytime.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>HilMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6485359"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Give yourself lots of time to explore ideas--don't feel like you have to "start" the minute he leaves public school. Take time to enjoy being together. Google "deschooling".</div>
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<span><i>Yes - it's vital</i> - an integrated part of getting started. And you don't even need to Google it - we have a great thread here in MDC on it, with links to some of the best articles. <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=6371574#post6371574" target="_blank">Decompression/deschooling</a><br><br></span>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">At this age, it's important to make him a partner in planning his education.</td>
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<span><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Absolutely. And that can be a <i>very</i> difficult age for boys if they feel too controlled by their moms - they're growing into a while new stage of life and thinking more in terms of autonomy and the growth into manhood not that far away. I've seen struggles with that dynamic again and again.<br><br></span>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">You may wish to explore whether he has a learning difference. Ld kids often are labeled unmotivated. Bright kids who also have ld's can get by, so they are often missed.</td>
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<span>Mine was one of those who could have struggled along without it showing. It was the fact that we were homeschooling, and he loved being read to but had no interest in reading for pleasure on his own other than for getting information out of books that had me puzzled and concerned enough to take him to a learning specialist who did a dyslexia training. She felt he was dyslexic and we started into the program - but she noticed that his eyes were not tracking smoothly across the page when he read, so she recommended getting checked for vision skill deficiencies with her own developmental optometrist. Sure enough - he was found to have some definite problems, and his reading changed radically once he got the therapy. He was 12 at the time. Anyway, here are articles I wrote about both those experiences - and they have links to more information:<br><br><a href="http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/lillian_jones2.html" target="_blank">Dyslexia - A Gift?</a><br><br><a href="http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/vision_skills.html" target="_blank">Taking a Look at Vision Skills</a><br><br>
More later - got some things to do in the kitchen right now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Lillian</span>
 

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<span>Okay - got somethin' in the oven, so about this:<br><br></span>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">How do I get started homeschooling him? And would you also homeschool the 3rd grader? He sounded like he'd like to do that. I have contacted my local homeschool resource center and they're sending me an info packet, but I'd like to hear from mamas doing it now. (especially middle school mamas!)<br>
By the way, he doesn't want to do this, but I'm making a mama executive decision for his best interest. He doesn't want to leave his friends. He does attend youth group at church on wednesdays, and I will see about hooking up with the wa state homeschool network.</td>
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<span>First - yes, I'd definitely see no reason not to homeschool the 3rd grader. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
But about your 12 year old:<br>
The fact that he doesn't want to do this is all the more reason to make sure he has lots of decompression/deschooling time. It wouldn't be a good idea to take on the role of his "teacher," expecting him to behave like a "student." That would be just asking for discord. The book Pumpkin Seeds recommended, The Teenage Liberation Handbook, is a great read. It was actually written for teens, but has a lot of ideas for what to do to go about getting a good education once you're out of school, so it would be very helpful for you. Another good one - written to parents - would be her newer book, <a href="http://amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2Fo%2FASIN%2F0471349607%2Fref%3Dnosim%2F" target="_blank">Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School</a>. You can "search inside" it on the Amazon.com site by clicking on the link underneath the picture of the book - so you can get a good idea what it's like. I think it would be a good investment to read them both, although you can probably get one or both at a library.<br><br>
Here are some good online articles about getting started:<br><br><a href="http://www.hsc.org/chaos/intro.php" target="_blank">Introduction to Homeschooling</a> - from HomeSchool Assn. of California<br><br><a href="http://www.hsc.org/chaos/gettingstarted/gettingstarted.php" target="_blank">Getting Started in Homeschooling</a> - from the HomeSchool Assn. of California<br><br><a href="http://www.nhen.org/newhser/default.asp?id=227" target="_blank">New to Homeschooling</a> - from National Home Education Network<br><br><a href="http://www.nhen.org/teens/default.asp?id=2" target="_blank">High School and Beyond</a> - from the National Home Education Network<br><br><a href="http://www.homeedmag.com/gettingstarted.html" target="_blank">Getting Started</a> - from Home Education Magazine<br><br>
Home Education Magazine's free <a href="http://www.homeedmag.com/ORD/mtrlst.html" target="_blank">Introduction to Homeschooling Booklet</a> - you can download it.<br><br>
And take some time to look through the articles in my non-commercial site, <a href="http://www.BestHomeschooling.org" target="_blank">BestHomeschooling</a>, and the links in it to others. Also look through the Homeschooling Gateway to the Internet links there - hundreds of annotated links to interesting sites that you and/or your son can enjoy and learn from...<br><br>
A great resource is <a href="http://www.fun-books.com/" target="_blank">FUN-Books</a> catalog - and the public library. You don't need to run out and start buying stuff - the longer you put it off, the less money you'll waste. You don't need to have a whole curriculum laid out - you can pick and choose things together as you go.<br><br>
Well, that should keep you busy for a while! I hope it all works out well and that you all have a lot of fun together - fun is mandatory. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
By the way, where do you live in WA? - Lillian<br><br>
.</span>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update... I told him right after school (last day for him!) that we were not going to cut his hair. He was soo relieved. I then told him I'd told the principal he wouldn't be back, except for band. She (principal) said he's welcome to come just for band it he likes, which is good because I don't play trombone!<br><br>
He looked so happy and "light", yk? A nice natural smile like I haven't seen since summer. I told him we can study what ever we want, for however long we want, and he said he wants to learn french! (they weren't offering foreign language at school, b/c he was in band, only time for one "elective")<br>
I am definitely going to give him some time to "de-school". For now I'm leaving Sam in 3rd grade, we'll see how it goes.<br>
I've requested the teenage liberation handbook from our local library also.<br><br>
It seems now that the decision is made, he is on board and enthusiastic, I told him just forget about all that stress and the knot in his stomach from not completing all the assignments. We're done with that! His face is so telling. I love the relief I see, and I'm sorry not to have done this a month ago. I really always said I would never homeschool, I just didn't have the temperament for it. It's true I don't have a passion for it, but I have a passion for my children, and I won't ignore what's clearly BEST for Andrew right now, just because it isn't what I necessarily want to do, you know? I do cherish my time alone, and I will have to work at getting it other times and ways now.<br><br>
Thanks for everyone's comments, I was freaking out a little yesterday. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Everything seems so much better today!<br><br>
Suzanne ~ mama to 4 kiddos
 

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What a nice update. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Good Luck to you both in your new journey!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I forgot to say we live just north of Seattle, in the edmonds school district. I've always heard good things about how supportive this particular district is to homeschoolers, so now I'll find out firsthand. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<span><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/happytears.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="happytears">: Made my day! - Lillian</span>
 

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<span>I think it would be worthwhile to find a copy of Lllewellyn's other book too, though - the Guerialla Learning one - because it probably has some good updates to the suggestions she made in The Teenage Liberation Handbook. In that one, for instance, she suggested Saxon math, which would probably drived a personality like your son's crazy. There's a certain type of person who loves Saxon, but there are a whole lot who hate it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian</span>
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/champagne.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="champagne"> Thanks for the update. You are both off to a GREAT start!
 

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I agree with all the suggestions above, I would just add that you make sure to check wa state's homeschooling laws at hslda.org as there are certain requirements in our state like annual standardized tests. Good luck!
 

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I'm so happy for you and your son! I can imagine his relief because it's what I would have felt if my mom had pulled me out to be homeschooled at that age, but we didn't know anything about it back then. Didn't even realize it was an option...<br><br>
You sound like you are on the right track and your DS is going to benefit so much from this. He's really lucky to have a mom who truly wants what is best for him.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chichimamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6491763"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's true I don't have a passion for it, but I have a passion for my children, and I won't ignore what's clearly BEST for Andrew right now, just because it isn't what I necessarily want to do, you know?</div>
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That is a wonderful attitude! Good luck. These ladies are so supportive and have so many great suggestions! Just remember there will be good days and bad days. Don't let the bad ones get you down or make you doubt your decision.
 

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<span>Washington's laws regarding homeschooling, by the way, are very easy (I live in Seattle). You can get dependable information from these sources - it's nice to cross check just so that you're sure you understand all the details.<br><br><a href="http://www.homeedmag.com/lawregs/lawregs.html" target="_blank">http://www.homeedmag.com/lawregs/lawregs.html</a><br><br><a href="http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/directory/Legalities.htm" target="_blank">http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/...Legalities.htm</a><br><br><a href="http://www.nhen.org/LegInfo/default.asp?id=241" target="_blank">http://www.nhen.org/LegInfo/default.asp?id=241</a><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Lillian<br></span>
 
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