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child who takes forever and a day to get his work done

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I am not sure what to do about this problem. He is not goofing off. It just takes him longer in pretty much every subject. Is this normal for 15 year old boys? We are done with Latin, Math, and history. We are still doing Literature, Science, and Religion. I dropped grammar. Writing has fallen behind this year because of too many subjects. I have kind of decided to do a modified version of classical education with him. He is not a great reader, and even doing the modified version, he still does not get all the work done that needs to get done. This is with me monitoring him.


I am thinking of sending him to school next year... for many reasons, which are he finds it hard to work independently, needs guidance from a teacher, is an oral learner, and is smart, but needs to talk about everything. I am finding that for most subjects, I cannot help him with the academics. He is lonely. I do not drive. He needs sports. He is talented in music and will need to practice at least 2 hours a day. I am just afraid of him getting isolated. He needs his friends. He also seems to have fallen into bad work habits at home, like taking forever to do things.. I think it will be good for him to get up and get out of the house in the morning. We have a schedule but it has kind of fallen down. He is not unhappy, but I feel in a way going back to homeschooling although musically good for him, has been kind of a way for him to regress (go back home) rather than reach out and see/be in the world. This is basically what I am concerned about. Also, I am grouchy, tired, and short-tempered. He is a boy and is loud and wants to run around all day. I don't feel that it's a good fit this year for us. This is exacerbated by the fact that his sister is away. She's returning on Monday..


Please share your thoughts, what you've done with your teenagers to keep you sane and them happy.

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I can't really speak to the other factors, but I definitely understand your concerns. The thing I will share is that my ds seemed intelligent, but always was very slow with his work too. He needed my assistance & supervision much more than was normal. We finally got him tested and found he was struggling with auditory processing disorder. I had no idea how much this affected his whole person until we started seeing incredible improvement in school work and his personality after the ed therapy. There is so much to it that I cannot go into it here (PM me if you want to talk more), but at the foundation was a disorientation that kept him feeling "lost" in a world of sounds and instructions.


I mention this not to alarm you or worry you, but just to share in case there may be more going on than what meets the eye. When you describe your frustrations, they sound very familiar to my own for years. Our guy was very mature, sharp and got excellent grades, so it was hard in some ways to believe he was struggling. But the other indications finally drove us to get him tested, and now I can't express to you our gratitude that we were lead to this educational therapy he received b/c it literally changed his life.


God bless you and your efforts to figure this all out.

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I sound like a stereotyped, broken-record (because you probably have heard this before and maybe are tired of hearing it) -- but is ADD (the inattentive variety) a possibility for your son?


Possible "cues" from your post:

(1) He is not goofing off, but takes longer to do his work than seems necessary -- even with shorter assignments.

(2) He is intelligent.

(3) He needs to talk a lot about things.

(4) General pattern of "poor work habits".

(5) Has difficulty working independently, but requires prompting and direction.


That also describes myself, as I went through graduate school. The other three students romped through their Russian literature classes in what seemed to me as no time at all. I made all As, but laboured for maybe five times as long as did the others. Felt inestimably inadequate and frustrated by this. . . . I'm intelligent (according to testing, that is); I talk a lot and like to discuss things with people; I have a lifetime of "poor work habits."


Of course there's much more to my personal ADHD description. I'm sticking only with those qualities possibly present in your son, as I read your post.


Teachers in "outside schools" usually don't have time to monitor a student, or to provide much (if any) one-on-one help.


IF ADD is "the picture", having and sticking to a schedule is mandatory. Even in summer.


If you do end up choosing an outside school, he should be able to keep up with his music just fine. I had a very full schedule in public school, and still practiced for 5-6 hours every day (piano and viola).


Hope you can find a good fit for you and your son !

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I also thought ADD/ADHD. We started meds, to try for the first time, at almost 16 yrs old! My child felt a HUGE difference. I wish I hadn't waited. I waited for the other kiddo also, but I will not continue to. A low dose for school, if it helps the child feel good about their schooling, is, to me, worth it. What is great is that a teenager can SO tell you how they are feeling on it so you can find the right med and dose.

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Feeling the same...:grouphug:


Dd13 is becoming more responsible and likes being independent with her work, thankfully. She usually gets it done, but it takes a LONG time. I'm worried about high school for this reason. She does brilliantly on standardized tests but can be so SLOW in doing her daily work.


If you could afford it, maybe some type of evaluation would help you get a handle on what's going on. It would be especially helpful to know what's going on before making a decision to send him out to school.


Hang in there!

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He wanted to go to school and so he went. We are ALL happy with his decision to go to St. John's High School in Shrewsbury. The amt. of school work he accomplished & how fast it was done this past year was GREAT! His last day of school was yesterday; he did very well. :001_smile:


Our ds, having been homeschooled for so long (K-8), exhibited many of the same behaviors as does your ds. Once he attended high school, this was no longer the case. He has thrived in an environment of positive peer pressure and high expectations in academics, sports, and music as well learning how to be a Christian young man among other Christian students and teachers.


Pray & listen. :grouphug:

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My 15 yo is ADHD, on medication, and slow. As I stated in another post, and thanks Pamela H. I will be getting that reading program), she works very hard but takes a long time. I am on my umpteenth chemistry program with her. I think I may have finallly found the answer which is a text that teaches short oassages which lots of questions right after which have the answers immediately following. THe immediate feedback is helping her.


Another recommendation may be to look what you are requiring. I was worried about her history but I realized that it was twice as indepth as the AMerican history I had. I am having her to do it in two years since it is two large books. One book per year. I also decided that getting 80% of her geometry done is enough. We are moving on. In our case, my dd has had major medical problems along with ADHD and that has put her behind. One thing I would not recommend if you can at all help it is putting him in school. For children who are slower, that is the worse option.

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