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Discouraged/vent--advice needed for 12yo ds


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This year I have B (just-turned-12yo ds) and D (6yo dd) using K12 with WAVA. For D, this is proving to be wonderful fit, just as I'd hoped it would be. She loves "official" work, but digs her heels in at what she perceives to be Mommy-generated assignments. (:glare:) I was hoping that this would be a great fit for B, too, as he is similar in this regard. He is also pretty independent, preferring to do things on his own rather than with me.

 

To some degree, it's working. He like logging on to the OLS (online school), checking his schedule, and getting to work. The problems are:

1. He doesn't check with me, even when he's supposed to.

2. He claims not to see the non-worksheet assignments in the student guide (such as "write the definitions to the following words in your notebook" or "answer the following questions"). He claims that there are no assignments there 5 minutes after I point them out as well, so I suspect some stubbornness.

3. When told to check his answers with the answer key, he never comes to me to check his work or get the answer key. (The answer key is on the shelf, but he doesn't grab it, either. Just ignores that step).

 

So essentially what's happening, is that B is logging in, doing parts of assignments, passing the assessments, and/or marking them complete. Without any involvement from me. Which is technically against the VA rules. It also violates *my* rules, which I've clearly laid out. (My rules: Read & follow the whole assignment--sometimes I make notations on stuff that can be skipped, so he can skip those parts. If there's a part he doesn't get or that requires discussion with an adult or checking the answer key, let me know. If there's a part he would like to skip, ask for permission/make a case. I'm reasonable!)

 

He's 12. I get that. He still needs me to check his work, keep him accountable, etc. But with 4 other kids, I can't sit at his side all day making sure he follows the rules. When I go back to check his work and find stuff he skipped, he throws his hands in the air with an "I didn't see that!" "it's impossible!" or similar response, and then typically digs in his heels & refuses to do the work w/o a battle. T (ds10) actually likes my involvement, but ends up doing just about everything independently because all of my time is spent teaching D (who needs me for all of her work) and dealing with B's partial work (or just plain refusal to work--plenty of that here, too). The only area I don't really have issues with him is in literature study, which he really likes. He doesn't discuss anything with me, there, either, though.

 

At this point I'm wondering what the best course of action is. Ideas include:

1. Pulling out of WAVA and finding curriculum he can do totally independently.

2. Deciding that he's getting something out of the lessons, and just letting him do things as he is. :chillpill:

3. Constantly fighting with him over lessons, and making him do the work he skips (possibly checking work multiple times a day so he doesn't get overwhelmed with the stuff I'm asking him to go back and do.)

4. :confused:

 

Anyone have any brilliant words of wisdom? Or sustaining words? I'm feeling so exhausted by all this. :crying::banghead:

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Except for this problem, do you like the virtual school otherwise?

 

Do you feel that it is just wasting his time or that he is learning even though he isn't following all the steps?

 

I also have several other kids and can understand that making all of those classes work the way they are supposed to be is probably too much.

 

I think I would try loosening up on history, science, and art; and making sure that LA/Lit are done correctly (and math, but it looks like that is done separate from the VA anyway, right?). If that means I have to sit by him the whole time, then that's how I'd do it.

 

In other words, I'd make sure the 3R's are getting done well and correctly and save my battles for those subjects.

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My ds is an only, but left to his own devices he would skip or overlook things as well.

 

Not sure I have any real suggestions except that obviously he's not quite ready to be let alone yet. As you have other children to teach I'd have him have you double check each assignment sheet. Is there a way for you to see it all and go over it at the beginning of the day.

 

(HUGS) I think the ability to work independently and the ability to organize the entire day are separate skills. Build one and monitor the other.

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I would go in and highlight all the assignments, or if you can't mark the book get a bunch of small post-its and put a post it at each one. Oh I almost like the post-it better. Then he can put the post it on his computer, to visually remind him to correct his work and have him put the post-it in in the back of the TM when he has correct his work.

 

If he didn't do it, here they wouldn't get video games. My kids still get fun family time, but they don't get to do other fun stuff or have free time till every last little bit of hs is done. Now I do check in regularly to make sure they are doing what they should and I don't assume that they actually got it done if they are messing around.

 

Heather

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I can understand not seeing something sometimes (I am one who can't see the HUGE advertisement for the company I am looking for in the yellow pages because I'm reading all the fine print, LOL!). However, I wonder if you could tell him he is not allowed to mark an assignment complete until you say it's complete (make it in writing so he can't say he thought you said... etc...). Maybe you could come up with a system for that using a chart or something. Then, if you haven't marked it complete he can't--and if he does, let him know there is a consequence for marking something complete without your permission (loss of gaming privileges or other meaningful consequence).

 

What does his dad say about the disrespect issues? That's something I might want to address as well. If it's just frustration/exasperation, I get that sometimes, and I patiently teach better ways of reacting and have them try again. But if it's disrespecting you, I'd find a way to nip that now. I tell my kids they don't have to like everything--I do lots of things I don't like doing but need to be done anyway, but I don't go around making everyone around me miserable just because I don't like them. Kids need to learn this too.

 

Hope you find a way to make it work!

 

Merry :-)

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I wanted to add now that I am not as rushed.

 

My kids have similar issues. If it not in their schedule to get marked off, it doesn't happen. For instance I hand back math papers in particular that need corrected. Do I see them back? Sometimes. I finally had to add "corrections" to their schedules to make sure they got back to me in a timely fashion. :glare:

 

I am equal parts hard nose and graceful. For example my dd oldest and piddle away more time. I have her time her hs to make sure her schedule isn't too much. Nope, she just takes a break in between each subject. :rolleyes: And because the cat walks by, especially if the cat walks by, and to listen to me read anything to the others. Yes she has head phones, no she doesn't use them. While the rest of us are done for the week, she still has more to. As long as she works hard tomorrow I will allow her to stop long enough to take her video game turns, but she can't watch her siblings play, play with them or play her DS till she finishes it all.

 

Last week it was so bad she was still finishing on Saturday morning. In fact she decided not to do math all week and spent all Friday doing it. NOT good. Math is her weak area and she needs to have her work corrected daily to keep her from getting something stuck wrong in her brain. I let her do it, just to learn from it, or so I thought. :blink: She started it again this week. This time I nipped it and made her to her math first thing.

 

I hope you find a way to make it work with your ds.

 

Heather

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Except for this problem, do you like the virtual school otherwise?

 

Do you feel that it is just wasting his time or that he is learning even though he isn't following all the steps?

 

I also have several other kids and can understand that making all of those classes work the way they are supposed to be is probably too much.

 

I think I would try loosening up on history, science, and art; and making sure that LA/Lit are done correctly (and math, but it looks like that is done separate from the VA anyway, right?). If that means I have to sit by him the whole time, then that's how I'd do it.

 

In other words, I'd make sure the 3R's are getting done well and correctly and save my battles for those subjects.

 

I do like the VA otherwise, though the logging of attendance hours is proving to be more stressful than I thought it would be. At this rate, kidlets are going to be working on school every weekend.

 

The idea of really focusing on the 3 Rs and loosening up on history/science sounds workable. Thanks for that idea. I do think he's learning from his history reading. He just hates to write stuff definitions and answers down, and has only in the last year gotten to the point where he doesn't mind answering questions in a workbook. Writing down answers/definitions to file into a binder is a large portion of what he chooses to ignore. Math is done separately from the VA, and we have a fairly comfortable groove with that. He knows what's expected and does it, though that doesn't preclude dawdling away half the day on it. :rolleyes:

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I would go in and highlight all the assignments, or if you can't mark the book get a bunch of small post-its and put a post it at each one. Oh I almost like the post-it better. Then he can put the post it on his computer, to visually remind him to correct his work and have him put the post-it in in the back of the TM when he has correct his work.

 

If he didn't do it, here they wouldn't get video games. My kids still get fun family time, but they don't get to do other fun stuff or have free time till every last little bit of hs is done. Now I do check in regularly to make sure they are doing what they should and I don't assume that they actually got it done if they are messing around.

 

Heather

 

I can write in the book, so highlighting would work. Currently, I'm underlining stuff I don't want him to miss, but highlighting might work better. I think sticky notes would be ignored by him and/or become lost/stuck all over. (Might work for a different kid, just not for this one. ;))

 

We don't have a video game system, and the kids usually only get to play computer games on weekends. Some weekdays they get to play, but only if they've finished their lessons and chores and/or done a special chore with game time as an incentive.

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He just hates to write stuff definitions and answers down, and has only in the last year gotten to the point where he doesn't mind answering questions in a workbook. Writing down answers/definitions to file into a binder is a large portion of what he chooses to ignore.

 

Would he do better if he could type those things?

 

You could set up files like the ones in the binder and he could just type out his answers/definitions.

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My ds is 11 and he is really good at doing his school work independently and being accountable...as long as I don't check and see what he left out, half-a$$ed, or didn't read. I think you do have to hold your ds accountable at his age. I am like you and I make my son redo not only things he "skips" but if I think the quality of the work is poor or beneath his abilities, I make him redo those things as well. He hates it (see my post yesterday on tears), but too bad. My hope is that, eventually, he will get sick of re-doing stuff and do it right the first time around. This will help him in everything he does for the rest of his life, so I don't feel so bad playing the "bad guy" right now.

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Ugh...was trying to answer all of you great people yesterday, but ran out of time. Briefly:

 

Dh doesn't tolerate the disrespect & is as frustrated as I am w/ the situation.

 

It's not that I expect him to be independent or think he's ready to manage his own education. He goes off & just does his thing, w/o my knowing. I could stay next to him all. day. long...but then none of the others would get any work done. We did tell him last night that he will lose a set amount of weekend computer game time fore every time he marks a lesson complete or assessment he takes without talking to me first, so hopefully that'll help. (Seems to be working...he just called me over to make sure he can mark his lesson complete. :))

 

Thanks again, everyone! :D

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Ugh...was trying to answer all of you great people yesterday, but ran out of time. Briefly:

 

Dh doesn't tolerate the disrespect & is as frustrated as I am w/ the situation.

 

It's not that I expect him to be independent or think he's ready to manage his own education. He goes off & just does his thing, w/o my knowing. I could stay next to him all. day. long...but then none of the others would get any work done. We did tell him last night that he will lose a set amount of weekend computer game time fore every time he marks a lesson complete or assessment he takes without talking to me first, so hopefully that'll help. (Seems to be working...he just called me over to make sure he can mark his lesson complete. :))

 

Thanks again, everyone! :D

 

 

Another possibility is to give him work instead of taking away something. Have him mop a floor, fold laundry, do dishes, wash a wall, vacuum. Makes your life easier so you have more time to keep an eye on him. :D

 

Heather

 

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He's been like this since he was a little guy. Now he's just...more like this. :001_huh:

:grouphug: Your son sounds so much like mine, especially loudly trying to blame someone/something other than himself for what he's skipped. I wish I had some words of wisdom.

 

Sounds to me like the start of puberty. Somewhere on these boards, someone said that your child's worst personality traits become even more pronounced during puberty. I have noticed this to be true in ds and a few of ds's friends that I know well enough...For me as a parent, it's a very discouraging time. I sometimes think ds has a disease called "I can never create a permanent positive habit". :tongue_smilie:

 

You've gotten a number of beneficial suggestions.

 

I just wanted to share a bit that I have noticed about our family. I am female (obviously), detail oriented (tending towards perfectionism which is fine in myself, but I know that it's to no one's advantage to force it on others), always busy and working on something. Ds is like dh: male (obviously), big picture guy, works but also spends a lot of time relaxing. I don't know that one is better than the other.

 

At 14yo, ds is more independent that he was at 12. I still have to check his work daily. If I slack off, he slacks off. It's as easy as that. Even after years and years of living up to my standards. He does work less half-a$$ed now, but only because after years, he knows he doesn't get away with it. He would if he could, though.

 

:grouphug:

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