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AlmiraGulch

My kid is failing.

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Again. Still.

 

For those of you who remember my drama with her, I decided a few months ago to pretty much separate myself from her school work. Our relationship had deteriorated into my screaming at her all the time and it was unhealthy. Per a lot of advice (mostly here) I decided to back off for the sake of our relationship. It worked in that respect. Our household is much more peaceful and she and I are A LOT better. But....

 

She's failing. Four of six classes. And she's in danger of failing one of the two she's passing.

 

She isn't failing because she doesn't know HOW to do the work. She's failing becuse she either just doesn't do it at all, or does it half-way. For example, she has always been very strong in math, but has a 36% in Algebra right now. Mind you, this is the kid who breezed through Algebra 1 AND 2 the first year we homeschooled, in 8th grade. It was not a "gimme" curriculum, either (VideoText). She was just good at it. She's failing because she tries to just read it over and take the tests and quizzes. She doesn't work the problems on paper, but instead tries to do it in her head. WHAT??? Why she would think that's ok is beyond me. When I asked her, her response was, of course, "I don't know".

 

The same goes for American Lit. She had a very high A for a while and now is in danger of failing. She has a project due on The Great Gatsby and when I asked her if she read the book she said "no". She said she can find plot overviews online and will just do what she can from that. Sigh.

 

So, my wise forum friends, what do I do? Honestly, my inclination is to let her just fail the 10th grade. Meaning, let her continue on the course she's on, have to take summer school, and do this whole year over again. The problem is that I don't think she really cares about it. Being the Aspie that she is, her behavior is simply not guided or influenced by potential consequence, even if the consequence is unappealing to her (like I know repeating 10th grade is). I just don't want to go back to the same horrible relationship ours had become.

 

On the other hand, "failing" anything is so far beyond my scope of understanding that it goes against every single grain of my being to "allow" her to do it. I say "allow" because I realize it's not really my call. I can't do the work for her. At some point she has to own her own choices and her own education and her own successes and failures. Is that point now? She's 15 and she can't even see fit to get herself out of bed in the morning without a parent's intervention. How can I expect her to do all of this alone? But then how can I expect her to do anything in life if she doesn't figure it out? I'm assuming that failing a grade pretty much ruins any chance she'd have of ever going to college, and she does still say she intends to go one day. It makes me so sad to think of the life she's choosing for herself. That sounds so dramatic, though. I don't know if I'm over reacting or under reacting.

 

I'm exhausted. What would you do?

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:grouphug: Is she enrolled in a K12 program where there are outside teachers who can intervene or are you doing this all yourself? What a tough situation. I would be tempted to let natural consequenses take its course but it sounds like it really wouldn't have an impact either. :grouphug:

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Is public school an option? If so - I'd tell her that if she doesn't start to reform herself, she goes to PS where there is more outside accountability. I'm not saying she won't fail there, but there will be more intervention that doesn't have to come from you.

Otherwise, She needs to understand that if she fails this year, she has to repeat 10th grade and all the classes she is taking now. She wouldn't graduate in 4 years. Has that been talked about?

I have a feeling you've already tried it, but I have one son in PS high school (his choice) and he knows that if his grades slip he loses all privileges. If he keeps all A's - he has almost complete freedom and independence. Right now, with good grades, he can do his homework however, wherever, and whenever he wants, I don't tell him when to go to bed, I don't wake him up in the morning, etc., etc. He loves it, and it really motivates him.

He also knows he will not be allowed to drive without good grades,,,,

Hang in there..... ten years from now things will probably have worked themselves out somehow and be ok :grouphug:

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:grouphug::grouphug:

 

Does she go to traditional high school or an online school? Or is she homeschooled?

 

astrid

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I think in a case like this I'd have to glue myself to her side as much as possible as she did each assignment, making sure it was getting done timely and properly, before she was allowed to do fun things, rather than allowing her to bury herself in a cycle of failure that could only become more and more bleak and overwhelming for her, even if that did annoy her or cause temporary tension in our relationship. I could not purposely "allow" a child to fail 10th grade without doing everything in my power to help her pass it. And I would try to do this as calmly and matter of factly but firmly as possible.

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I think in a case like this I'd have to glue myself to her side as much as possible as she did each assignment, making sure it was getting done timely and properly, before she was allowed to do fun things, rather than allowing her to bury herself in a cycle of failure that could only become more and more bleak and overwhelming for her, even if that did annoy her or cause temporary tension in our relationship. I could not purposely "allow" a child to fail 10th grade without doing everything in my power to help her pass it. And I would try to do this as calmly and matter of factly but firmly as possible.

 

 

I like this! I wish these types of solutions would pop to my mind more frequently. Thanks for sharing!

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You probably are not going to like this advice, but here goes.

 

Let her sleep. She will get up when she is ready.

 

At that age, you have just about 2 years until she is considered an adult. she really really needs to figure out time management on her own.

 

I don't know how long she has been doing school for herself, by herself. I don't remember the original thread. It is only the end of the first semester so there is time to fix this.

 

Now she knows she needs to work out the math problems on paper. She has learned a life lesson.

 

You and she need to sit down and discuss what is next. You've given her some adult freedoms but no parameters. Instead of total freedom to do her algebra her way, she needs (just like anyone else) a schedule of what to do on what day.

 

So let her sleep. She has all night to do what needs to be done. But give her a schedule and a deadline. "I need Chapter 6 handed in by Friday at 3. I consider Chapter 6 to be completed when XX number of problems are completed and correct and the test completed and corrected." Then let her do it. If she does it at 3 in the morning, so be it.

 

If she doesn't do it then you need to find her currency and make her pay the consequences.

 

Also, in a calm moment, have her work on a list of goals. What does she want to do as an adult. Even if all she wants is to be a SAHM she needs to figure out how to go about it. Does that mean she has to get into college to meet the engineering students?

 

Oh, one more thing. Does she have a job? A part-time job will work wonders for someone to develop proper time management skills.

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Ugh. I feel for you. Even though my Aspie is only 8, going on 9, I know what you're saying about the natural consequences. He's already like this. He doesn't like the consequences of some of his actions, he doesn't seem to get the correlation of his behavior to those consequences. You or I can directly see that our actions are causing negative effects and that if we change our actions, we can change those effects. I really think my son might never understand that. I don't know if your daughter is the same or not.

 

In your shoes, I don't think I'd "let" her fail 10th grade. Repeating the grade will probably not change her actions. I'd have a talk with her and explain that you were giving her a chance to do what was needed on her own. Since she is failing so many classes, she is obviously not doing what is needed. Therefore, as the person responsible for making sure she is able to support herself when she is an adult, you need to make sure she does not fail.

 

Are there consequences that you could put in place that she will care about? If you can set up expectations for her and make it clear to her that if she does not meet this expectations, these will be the consequences, it might get her motivated.

 

Also, I'm saying this as gently as I possibly can, because heaven knows I've had my share of screaming and tearing my hair out, but you have to emotionally detach yourself a little bit from the situation. Dealing with these issues is SO frustrating that it literally makes you want to scream. I know. However, through trial and error, I've learned that the less I take it as a personal failure, the easier it is to deal with my child. They cannot help being themselves anymore than we can help wishing they would just do things the way we want them to. But, we are the adults. We are the ones who can change our reactions to circumstances.

 

So, I would be firm with her about your expectations for her schoolwork. I would set up a daily time to check on her schoolwork. I would have consequences that mean something to her ready to be put into place when she hasn't done the work. And I'd try my hardest to remember that this is not a battle of wills, but an attempt to get a kid with different views on things through a difficult time in life.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: My heart does go out to you.

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:grouphug: Is she enrolled in a K12 program where there are outside teachers who can intervene or are you doing this all yourself? What a tough situation. I would be tempted to let natural consequenses take its course but it sounds like it really wouldn't have an impact either. :grouphug:

 

She is in public school this year, online. Honestly, they have been more than generous with their advice and their deadlines. I don't know what more they can do.

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Is public school an option? If so - I'd tell her that if she doesn't start to reform herself, she goes to PS where there is more outside accountability. I'm not saying she won't fail there, but there will be more intervention that doesn't have to come from you.

Otherwise, She needs to understand that if she fails this year, she has to repeat 10th grade and all the classes she is taking now. She wouldn't graduate in 4 years. Has that been talked about?

I have a feeling you've already tried it, but I have one son in PS high school (his choice) and he knows that if his grades slip he loses all privileges. If he keeps all A's - he has almost complete freedom and independence. Right now, with good grades, he can do his homework however, wherever, and whenever he wants, I don't tell him when to go to bed, I don't wake him up in the morning, etc., etc. He loves it, and it really motivates him.

He also knows he will not be allowed to drive without good grades,,,,

Hang in there..... ten years from now things will probably have worked themselves out somehow and be ok :grouphug:

 

She's in public school already, although online. Sending her to a brick and mortar public school is obviously an option, but public school was so horrible for her (lots of bullying, lost in the "system") that I cringe at making her go through that again.

 

As for privileges....yes, we've tried that. She doesn't "do" much, though. She has no friends so never goes out. The few things she does do outside the home are important, I think, to her mental and social development, so I won't make her quit those (I actually have to make her go anyway). She just doesn't have anything else to take away. I've blocked everything on the internet except her school, pretty much, so she isn't hanging out there. She doesn't watch much tv. She reads. That's about it. As for driving...? She could care less. I'm telling her she needs to get her permit and she's saying she doesn't want to drive.

 

I'm not making this up. What do you take away when there is nothing? What do you offer as a reward when nothing motivates?

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:grouphug::grouphug:

 

Does she go to traditional high school or an online school? Or is she homeschooled?

 

astrid

 

She's in an online school. She was in brick and mortar public through 7th grade, then home schooled fully in 8th, part home/part online in 9th, and now all online.

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The only thing that works with my son (14, pdd-nos) is paying him for good grades. In the real world people are paid for their efforts, and it's infinitely cheaper for us than hiring a tutor. We don't give him a huge amount-- $10 for a 90 or better in math and science tests. Could something like this work as a motivator for her?

 

Aspies tend to be interest-led... is she interested in anything academic or productive?

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I think in a case like this I'd have to glue myself to her side as much as possible as she did each assignment, making sure it was getting done timely and properly, before she was allowed to do fun things, rather than allowing her to bury herself in a cycle of failure that could only become more and more bleak and overwhelming for her, even if that did annoy her or cause temporary tension in our relationship. I could not purposely "allow" a child to fail 10th grade without doing everything in my power to help her pass it. And I would try to do this as calmly and matter of factly but firmly as possible.

 

Yeah, I'd love to do this, too, but I can't, really. I work full time in a professional position, and I travel quite a bit, too. Her father is NO help at all. None. Zero. So ultimately she's going to have to figure out a way to do her work without my constant intervention. Quitting my job is not an option because I'm single parent and sole earner. I am looking for something that would keep me off the road more, but then I'd be in an office all day every day so it wouldn't be much better (I work from home now when I'm not with a client).

 

For a while she was supposed to be submitting me each of her assignments at the end of the day, whether I'm home or not, so we could review them together (either in person or over the phone). That worked ok, but sometimes she just didn't do them and that was that. I can't go over something that isn't done. Since she was doing better, I eased up. That has been reinstituted and we'll see how it goes.

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I'm not making this up. What do you take away when there is nothing? What do you offer as a reward when nothing motivates?

 

Can you assign her some extra chores as a consequence for not completing work?

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You probably are not going to like this advice, but here goes.

 

Let her sleep. She will get up when she is ready.

 

At that age, you have just about 2 years until she is considered an adult. she really really needs to figure out time management on her own.

 

I don't know how long she has been doing school for herself, by herself. I don't remember the original thread. It is only the end of the first semester so there is time to fix this.

 

Now she knows she needs to work out the math problems on paper. She has learned a life lesson.

 

You and she need to sit down and discuss what is next. You've given her some adult freedoms but no parameters. Instead of total freedom to do her algebra her way, she needs (just like anyone else) a schedule of what to do on what day.

 

So let her sleep. She has all night to do what needs to be done. But give her a schedule and a deadline. "I need Chapter 6 handed in by Friday at 3. I consider Chapter 6 to be completed when XX number of problems are completed and correct and the test completed and corrected." Then let her do it. If she does it at 3 in the morning, so be it.

 

If she doesn't do it then you need to find her currency and make her pay the consequences.

 

Also, in a calm moment, have her work on a list of goals. What does she want to do as an adult. Even if all she wants is to be a SAHM she needs to figure out how to go about it. Does that mean she has to get into college to meet the engineering students?

 

Oh, one more thing. Does she have a job? A part-time job will work wonders for someone to develop proper time management skills.

 

This is really great advice. All of it. She does already have a schedule because she goes to an online school where each day, really, is planned out for her. She just doesn't meet the deadlines most of the time.

 

I don't KNOW her currency. She really has none. I know that sounds crazy, because everyone does, but really....she just doesn't. Nothing that motivates her anyway. Not positively or negatively. She has been that way since birth.

 

I LOVE the advice about writing down her goals. Love it. We've talked about what she wants to do (she has no idea) but she does know what she doesn't want. For example, two of her cousins were home schooled, got their GEDs and are going into the military. We talked about it and she definitely does not want to do that. Just this morning I said to her that if she ever, ever wants to go to college, she needs to do what she needs to do now so that the option will remain open for her, even if she never does it. That means doing well in high school. Failure to do so eliminates that option. She understood and agreed with me, but whether it will change her behavior remains to be seen. I'm not hopeful.

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Regarding the college issue-- she could always choose not to submit the public school transcript to the college she applies to. She could say she was homeschooled and you could provide a homeschool transcript. My son was in a correspondence school and we faced similar problems-- just not doing the work, doing algebra "in his head," etc.. I realized he needed more years to mature and get his goals in view, and in the meantime he needed a lot more flexibility in regards to assignments and deadlines. So we went back to homeschooling on our own. He has had some good streaks and bad streaks since then but at least we have the pressure of deadlines off of us.

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:grouphug: I had to make my tenth grade ds16, aspie, get a permit and take driver's ed which is required for teen licenses in my state. He is eligible to take the road test and get a full license in less than a month, but isn't ready because he never wants to drive and I have dropped the ball on making him.

 

I am fortunate in that he is compliant about doing his schoolwork for me, but I suspect public school at home would be a disaster for him as well.

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Could it be that your dd is depressed? I know you mentioned that she has been this way since birth, but has it gotten worse? I would want to try to figure out why she is ok with failing. Also, the fact that your daughter has no "currency" makes me suspect that she might have depression. She doensn't sound interested in life at all. I would look at getting a third party involved like a counselor. It doesn't sound like a tutor would be any help since the schoolwork isn't above her head. It sounds like a motivation issue which could be related to depression.

 

Just a thought!

 

God Bless,

Elise in NC

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Yeah, I'd love to do this, too, but I can't, really. I work full time in a professional position, and I travel quite a bit, too. Her father is NO help at all. None. Zero. So ultimately she's going to have to figure out a way to do her work without my constant intervention. Quitting my job is not an option because I'm single parent and sole earner. I am looking for something that would keep me off the road more, but then I'd be in an office all day every day so it wouldn't be much better (I work from home now when I'm not with a client).

 

For a while she was supposed to be submitting me each of her assignments at the end of the day, whether I'm home or not, so we could review them together (either in person or over the phone). That worked ok, but sometimes she just didn't do them and that was that. I can't go over something that isn't done. Since she was doing better, I eased up. That has been reinstituted and we'll see how it goes.

 

That's a tough situation.

 

You could try offering her incentives. Talking to her father calmly but seriously about where things stand and how he can help. Seeing if you can find a "buddy" or "tutor" to sort of tomato stake her to in your place. See if you can get her interested in BEING a tutor which may make her take her own studies more seriously. See if there's somebody else she can talk to... I dint know, maybe even doing something like visiting a college or talking to an occupational guidance type counselor or talking to someone in a career path she may be interested in may get her enthused and motivated enough to want to apply herself some more.

 

But to whatever extent you can given your circumstances you need to help her through this and not just back off more. The more she flounders, the deeper the hole gets, the harder it's going to be to dig herself out and she's just going to end up feeling it's hopeless and "why bother," and that's her future, so don't let that pit get too deep!

 

:grouphug:

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Ugh. I feel for you. Even though my Aspie is only 8, going on 9, I know what you're saying about the natural consequences. He's already like this. He doesn't like the consequences of some of his actions, he doesn't seem to get the correlation of his behavior to those consequences. You or I can directly see that our actions are causing negative effects and that if we change our actions, we can change those effects. I really think my son might never understand that. I don't know if your daughter is the same or not.

 

In your shoes, I don't think I'd "let" her fail 10th grade. Repeating the grade will probably not change her actions. I'd have a talk with her and explain that you were giving her a chance to do what was needed on her own. Since she is failing so many classes, she is obviously not doing what is needed. Therefore, as the person responsible for making sure she is able to support herself when she is an adult, you need to make sure she does not fail.

 

Are there consequences that you could put in place that she will care about? If you can set up expectations for her and make it clear to her that if she does not meet this expectations, these will be the consequences, it might get her motivated.

 

Also, I'm saying this as gently as I possibly can, because heaven knows I've had my share of screaming and tearing my hair out, but you have to emotionally detach yourself a little bit from the situation. Dealing with these issues is SO frustrating that it literally makes you want to scream. I know. However, through trial and error, I've learned that the less I take it as a personal failure, the easier it is to deal with my child. They cannot help being themselves anymore than we can help wishing they would just do things the way we want them to. But, we are the adults. We are the ones who can change our reactions to circumstances.

 

So, I would be firm with her about your expectations for her schoolwork. I would set up a daily time to check on her schoolwork. I would have consequences that mean something to her ready to be put into place when she hasn't done the work. And I'd try my hardest to remember that this is not a battle of wills, but an attempt to get a kid with different views on things through a difficult time in life.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: My heart does go out to you.

 

Thanks. Food for thought. I appreciate it.

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Could it be that your dd is depressed? I know you mentioned that she has been this way since birth, but has it gotten worse? I would want to try to figure out why she is ok with failing. Also, the fact that your daughter has no "currency" makes me suspect that she might have depression. She doensn't sound interested in life at all. I would look at getting a third party involved like a counselor. It doesn't sound like a tutor would be any help since the schoolwork isn't above her head. It sounds like a motivation issue which could be related to depression.

 

Just a thought!

 

God Bless,

Elise in NC

 

Yes, it could be that she is depressed, although I don't know for sure. She has been seeing a therapist weekly for a few months now. I see improvement in her demeanor but not in her work.

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That's a tough situation.

 

You could try offering her incentives. Talking to her father calmly but seriously about where things stand and how he can help. Seeing if you can find a "buddy" or "tutor" to sort of tomato stake her to in your place. See if you can get her interested in BEING a tutor which may make her take her own studies more seriously. See if there's somebody else she can talk to... I dint know, maybe even doing something like visiting a college or talking to an occupational guidance type counselor or talking to someone in a career path she may be interested in may get her enthused and motivated enough to want to apply herself some more.

 

But to whatever extent you can given your circumstances you need to help her through this and not just back off more. The more she flounders, the deeper the hole gets, the harder it's going to be to dig herself out and she's just going to end up feeling it's hopeless and "why bother," and that's her future, so don't let that pit get too deep!

 

:grouphug:

 

I hadn't thought of seeing is she wants to be a tutor. That may be a good idea, actually. She enjoys helping her younger sister with her school work. There could be something to this. If she sees how she can be useful to others and help them, it may make her feel better about herself and improve her state of mind overall, which may translate into a better work ethic. Definitely worth a shot. Thanks!

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Your daughter's approach sounds like mine....I would do the same stupid things. There was a point, however, where I did the work and got good grades...during my time in a sorority. This is how it worked....I had mandatory "study hours". I had to log a certain amount of time each week on school work. It didn't matter what schoolwork I was doing, it had to be some kind of school work, studying, reading, etc. Half of those hours had to be done IN the designated study area, and signed off by someone else. The other half were on the honor system. (probably should have made me do all of them with someone checking off, at least at first.) Could you do something like that? I had a sheet that had to be signed off on. Could you tell her she needs to spend 4 hours a day on schoolwork, and it doesn't matter when, or what subject, or what she is doing, but she has to spend that muchy time per day, or per week , or whatever? Knowing I couldn't do anythign else anyway made me take the time to do it right, since there was no benefit to hurrying through.

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She's in public school already, although online. Sending her to a brick and mortar public school is obviously an option, but public school was so horrible for her (lots of bullying, lost in the "system") that I cringe at making her go through that again.

 

As for privileges....yes, we've tried that. She doesn't "do" much, though. She has no friends so never goes out. The few things she does do outside the home are important, I think, to her mental and social development, so I won't make her quit those (I actually have to make her go anyway). She just doesn't have anything else to take away. I've blocked everything on the internet except her school, pretty much, so she isn't hanging out there. She doesn't watch much tv. She reads. That's about it. As for driving...? She could care less. I'm telling her she needs to get her permit and she's saying she doesn't want to drive.

 

I'm not making this up. What do you take away when there is nothing? What do you offer as a reward when nothing motivates?

 

No pleasure reading until you have done x number of hours of schoolwork a day. (I actually had to be grounded from reading as a kid, and still have to do it to myself as an adult to get anything done. Your daughter and I are a lot a like I think.)

 

Or, how about setting up designated school hours....you can do pleasure reading before and after, but not during.

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She sounds bored to me. If she had already breezed through Algebra 1 and 2 two years ago when she was in 8th grade, it would seem like a punishment to be forced to take Algebra again. I would either drop the online school and get her tutors who can work with her at her level, or I would get the online school to give her classes at her level.

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She sounds bored to me. If she had already breezed through Algebra 1 and 2 two years ago when she was in 8th grade, it would seem like a punishment to be forced to take Algebra again. I would either drop the online school and get her tutors who can work with her at her level, or I would get the online school to give her classes at her level.

Good catch!

 

Yeah, really. Why is she doing Algebra again?

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She's in public school already, although online. Sending her to a brick and mortar public school is obviously an option, but public school was so horrible for her (lots of bullying, lost in the "system") that I cringe at making her go through that again.

 

As for privileges....yes, we've tried that. She doesn't "do" much, though. She has no friends so never goes out. The few things she does do outside the home are important, I think, to her mental and social development, so I won't make her quit those (I actually have to make her go anyway). She just doesn't have anything else to take away. I've blocked everything on the internet except her school, pretty much, so she isn't hanging out there. She doesn't watch much tv. She reads. That's about it. As for driving...? She could care less. I'm telling her she needs to get her permit and she's saying she doesn't want to drive.

 

I'm not making this up. What do you take away when there is nothing? What do you offer as a reward when nothing motivates?

:grouphug:

 

You know, when I was a kid I was like this, and when my son was younger, he was like this. But you know what I learned when my son did it, as opposed to me being too young to understand why ? It was anger-deep, deep, anger. Not depression. And, my son had a lot to be angry about, as did I.

 

Keep up the therapy. :grouphug:

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She sounds bored to me. If she had already breezed through Algebra 1 and 2 two years ago when she was in 8th grade, it would seem like a punishment to be forced to take Algebra again. I would either drop the online school and get her tutors who can work with her at her level, or I would get the online school to give her classes at her level.

 

Yep, that, too.

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...Honestly, my inclination is to let her just fail the 10th grade. Meaning, let her continue on the course she's on, have to take summer school, and do this whole year over again. The problem is that I don't think she really cares about it.

 

I think you should go with your inclination. And don't worry about her not being able to get into college at some point in the future. When she's matured enough to care, she'll start working to achieve her goals. For now, though, she doesn't see the importance, and no matter how much you try, you aren't going to get her to see that because she's not mature enough to realize that you're pushing her for her own good. You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped.

 

...I can't do the work for her. At some point she has to own her own choices and her own education and her own successes and failures. Is that point now? She's 15 and she can't even see fit to get herself out of bed in the morning without a parent's intervention. How can I expect her to do all of this alone? But then how can I expect her to do anything in life if she doesn't figure it out?

 

I'd say yes; since you can't do the work for her and you can't quit your job in order to police her 24/7, she's going to have to assume the responsibility herself. You do need to make that clear to her, however. It just might be that what's happening is that she knows that you will do everything you can to make sure she gets the work done, and she's letting you take on all the responsibility just because you will. When you turn it over to her and she figures out that you mean it, she'll eventually get the message. Between now and then, though, it's going to be hard--I mean really hard--to resist the urge to intervene and "bail her out". But don't do it. She needs for you to back off and let the responsibility be hers. YOU need to let that responsibility be hers.

 

So ultimately she's going to have to figure out a way to do her work without my constant intervention.

 

Exactly.

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Good catch!

 

Yeah, really. Why is she doing Algebra again?

 

Because she was placed in Algebra 2 (public school requirement) and was failing, so they didn't believe she was on level. She's failing Algebra 1 now, so I can see their point.

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Because she was placed in Algebra 2 (public school requirement) and was failing, so they didn't believe she was on level. She's failing Algebra 1 now, so I can see their point.

 

Their thinking is faulty if she's failing because of anger at being put back, or boredom. Many gifted kids will just give up if they are not challenged. It may not be the best character trait, but it is a reason why kids, who are still immature, will react that way.

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Honestly, my inclination is to let her just fail the 10th grade. Meaning, let her continue on the course she's on, have to take summer school, and do this whole year over again.

 

It is her education. Let her fail. It's probably the only way she will learn she has to do things the right way the first time.

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Here are two thoughts. Just thoughts...

 

1. I would talk to her therapist or her doctor (don't know your therapist's background) and see if she needs to have some meds added or adjusted. It sure smacks of depression to me, and depression can skew A LOT with regard to understanding cause & effect, natural consequences, & long term implications.

 

2. I would let her fail. One failed year at school is not going to ruin her life. Really.

 

3. I would likely stop school all together and have her work. She's young, so you might have to be creative here, but I would have her up and out of the house and working full-time (or darn near it). The pay is NOT the point, so an internship would be fine. Cleaning out horse stalls, flipping burgers, sorting mail, answering phones, whatever. Try to find something that interests her, but, again, that's not a requirement.

 

I know this sounds extreme (kinda), but it accomplishes several things:

 

* Stress related to schoolwork ends. She fails. She knows it. She has 8 or 9 months to decompress.

 

* Your stress related to schoolwork ends. She fails. You accept it. You have 8 or 9 months to decompress.

 

* Your relationship with her can recover. You've eliminated a major source of conflict.

 

* She gets experience seeing what life might be like if she doesn't take her education more seriously. Does she want to keep that internship like job forever??

 

I could go on, but either you like this idea or your hate it :tongue_smilie: , so I'll stop talking now.

 

Good luck!

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It is her education. Let her fail. It's probably the only way she will learn she has to do things the right way the first time.

 

That's what they did with me when I was in 10th grade. Until I was so hopelessly lost, I couldn't find my way back to passing. And I didn't want to be left back and have to do 10th grade again, which was my only option, so I said screw it and I dropped out instead. Years later, I got my GED, and later still an AOS degree and it all worked out in the end, but do I wish someone had cared enough to not let me fail when I was 16 to begin with and helped me along instead of shrugging their shoulders, washing their hands of me, going "Oh well, it's your education, you're on your own." and letting me fail?

 

Yes.

 

It didn't teach me to do things right the first time. It taught me no-one really cared whether I succeeded or not and that I wasn't really worth putting time and energy into.

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That's what they did with me when I was in 10th grade. Until I was so hopelessly lost, I couldn't find my way back to passing. And I didn't want to be left back and have to do 10th grade again, which was my only option, so I said screw it and I dropped out instead. Years later, I got my GED, and later still an AOS degree and it all worked out in the end, but do I wish someone had cared enough to not let me fail when I was 16 to begin with and helped me along instead of shrugging their shoulders, washing their hands of me, going "Oh well, it's your education, you're on your own." and letting me fail?

 

Yes.

 

It didn't teach me to do things right the first time. It taught me no-one really cared whether I succeeded or not and that I wasn't really worth putting time and energy into.

 

I sincerely appreciate this insight. I absolutely do care. She knows I care. But I could see how she'd think it was just me washing my hands of her if I just tell her to give up, or send that message if I say "whatever...it's on you". That's NOT the end goal I'm hoping for at all.

 

If only I could find something that would work I'd have some more hope here. So far, nothing is working. And this is years of trying, not just a couple of months. Thanks, though, for saying what you did. I don't WANT to give up and let her fail, but I'm at the end of the rope and it seems the logical next option. Maybe.

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That's what they did with me when I was in 10th grade. Until I was so hopelessly lost, I couldn't find my way back to passing. And I didn't want to be left back and have to do 10th grade again, which was my only option, so I said screw it and I dropped out instead. Years later, I got my GED, and later still an AOS degree and it all worked out in the end, but do I wish someone had cared enough to not let me fail when I was 16 to begin with and helped me along instead of shrugging their shoulders, washing their hands of me, going "Oh well, it's your education, you're on your own." and letting me fail?

 

Yes.

 

It didn't teach me to do things right the first time. It taught me no-one really cared whether I succeeded or not and that I wasn't really worth putting time and energy into.

 

But in the end, you did succeed. Otherwise, you wouldn't be where you are right now, homeschooling your own dc, in spite of it all.

 

And QValencia has made it clear to her dd that she does care. She's tried everything else that she can, short of quitting her job and tomato-staking her dd, and as a single parent, she just can't do that.

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I remember that lethargic phase. Eventually I took myself to the library, borrowed a book of each shelf in the non fiction section and forced myself to read them. Learning to be somewhat interested in the subject material was less work than reading a book that was boring me to death. Thus I was cured. :)

 

I've read a lot of threads on the high school board about some almost scarily creative subjects and schedules. Maybe your daughter needs a plan more like theirs? Can you take her with you when you travel? Hire her as your valet or something, which would give her enough money to do a bit of exploring once her schoolwork is done while you're off doing what you need to do?

 

Rosie

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Only just joined this forum so hope I am not treading on anyone's toes but my experience with my son was very similiar in that he just would not buckle down to any school work at all.

However, after leaving school and having had one or two jobs that folded he eventually decided to become a paramedic and completely surprised us all by his diligent studying and passed first time. He got promotions one after the other and I still find it hard to beleive that he has turned into this workaholic almost.

The moral to this story is that schooling isn't necessarily the end of everything. If they are truly a knowledgeable person they will get there in the end...:001_smile:

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But in the end, you did succeed. Otherwise, you wouldn't be where you are right now, homeschooling your own dc, in spite of it all.

 

And QValencia has made it clear to her dd that she does care. She's tried everything else that she can, short of quitting her job and tomato-staking her dd, and as a single parent, she just can't do that.

 

I am not questioning whether the OP cares for her child or whether she's doing enough. I'm responding to the attitude a few people have taken that seems to be a very nonchalant "So let her fail, it's her education, her problem, her life" kind of thing and all I'm saying is I've been the child whose parent took that attitude, and it's hurtful. It feels like a sort of abandonment. This is still just a 15 year old kid we are talking about and as a parent I can certainly sympathize with another parent at the end of her rope. But as someone who was that kid whose parent just threw up her hands and gave up, it affected me in a lot of ways. And while I am quite happy with my current life, again, yes, I do wish that part of my life had played out differently. This is not a judgment on the OP, and, no, I don't have a magic solution for her. I wish I did. I understand she's in a really tough spot.

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I remember your last (or one of your previous posts) about your daughter when she ran away for a few hours.:grouphug:

 

I'm sorry you are both struggling right now to figure things out. I guess it sounds like something needs to change, but what? I'm sure being an Aspie impacts her significantly w/re to her day-to-day functioning. I'm sure you having to work full-time and having to deal with her education is difficult. I love the suggestion of having her travel with you sometimes.

 

I believe kids this age (and most especially a kid with Asperger's) still need a lot of oversight. It is just too darn hard to stay motivated on your own in many cases.

 

Perhaps K12 also isn't the right solution. Have you thought of trying something like American School? There'd still be oversight, an accredited diploma and something for her to work toward. Maybe American School would be less time-consuming than K12 and more manageable? I'm not familiar with it, but I've heard it mentioned here before, and it sounds like something that might work well in certain situations.

 

Have you thought about hiring a tutor for her? Someone who will come in daily for an hour or so to work with her on things--someone who will help keep her on track? If you can't rely on her dad and you are working a lot, perhaps you can hire someone who can help.

 

I also think it's important to get her involved in the community in some way, and I think it's really great that you are trying to find a way to keep her home because the public school experience was so detrimental to her.

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I think in a case like this I'd have to glue myself to her side as much as possible as she did each assignment, making sure it was getting done timely and properly, before she was allowed to do fun things, rather than allowing her to bury herself in a cycle of failure that could only become more and more bleak and overwhelming for her, even if that did annoy her or cause temporary tension in our relationship. I could not purposely "allow" a child to fail 10th grade without doing everything in my power to help her pass it. And I would try to do this as calmly and matter of factly but firmly as possible.

:iagree:

We just went through this with our 9th grader. You can probably find the the thread on the high school board about it. Anyways, for our dd there is no more going to her room to do school work. She had way to much freedom and took the opportunity to get away with not doing as much as possible. We had screaming in our house weekly since starting school in August. Very toxic environment. Within a month of me changing things our days are much different. Dd has to sit down with dh every evening for 10 min. or so and talk about what she did during the day. Another thing we did was switch the curriculum to Oak Meadow. She needed to know very specifically how to work through her textbooks and this helped tremendously. I also had to take more responsibility as a teacher. We went through the stage of me washing my hands of her work, but then I was faced with having to fail her. It is a lifetime consequence. It was easier for me to avoid having to deal with her school work, but then in the long run it would accomplish nothing. I had terrible visions of dd not getting into college or being unable to get employed, and living out her days here. :eek: It seems easier to play the bad guy and make her do the school work now, rather than deal with a 20 something kid with no high school diploma.

 

After all that...my advice (which I also got from the hive) is to become a mean mom and make her do the work next to you. Believe me it is motivation for them to get the work done if they have to sit next to you all day. Another important part of this is to not get into battles. It is hard. Dd tried to get me to send her to her room by acting horribly. But, my response was the opposite of what she expected. So far, so good. I have been in bed sick the last two days and she has been coming in to report her progress to me. I never thought I would see this change in her, so it is possible. I hope you find a solution too. :grouphug:

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I am not questioning whether the OP cares for her child or whether she's doing enough. I'm responding to the attitude a few people have taken that seems to be a very nonchalant "So let her fail, it's her education, her problem, her life" kind of thing and all I'm saying is I've been the child whose parent took that attitude, and it's hurtful. It feels like a sort of abandonment. This is still just a 15 year old kid we are talking about and as a parent I can certainly sympathize with another parent at the end of her rope. But as someone who was that kid whose parent just threw up her hands and gave up, it affected me in a lot of ways. And while I am quite happy with my current life, again, yes, I do wish that part of my life had played out differently. This is not a judgment on the OP, and, no, I don't have a magic solution for her. I wish I did. I understand she's in a really tough spot.

FWIW, I don't feel at all judged and I appreciate your opinion very much. But here's my serious, real, question for you, specifically......you said your parents just threw up their hands and gave up, but you wish they hadn't. What do you wish they had done instead? And, in honest hindsight, do you think that at that time of your life "it" (whatever it may be) would have made a difference?

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:iagree:

We just went through this with our 9th grader. You can probably find the the thread on the high school board about it. Anyways, for our dd there is no more going to her room to do school work. She had way to much freedom and took the opportunity to get away with not doing as much as possible. We had screaming in our house weekly since starting school in August. Very toxic environment. Within a month of me changing things our days are much different. Dd has to sit down with dh every evening for 10 min. or so and talk about what she did during the day. Another thing we did was switch the curriculum to Oak Meadow. She needed to know very specifically how to work through her textbooks and this helped tremendously. I also had to take more responsibility as a teacher. We went through the stage of me washing my hands of her work, but then I was faced with having to fail her. It is a lifetime consequence. It was easier for me to avoid having to deal with her school work, but then in the long run it would accomplish nothing. I had terrible visions of dd not getting into college or being unable to get employed, and living out her days here. :eek: It seems easier to play the bad guy and make her do the school work now, rather than deal with a 20 something kid with no high school diploma.

 

After all that...my advice (which I also got from the hive) is to become a mean mom and make her do the work next to you. Believe me it is motivation for them to get the work done if they have to sit next to you all day. Another important part of this is to not get into battles. It is hard. Dd tried to get me to send her to her room by acting horribly. But, my response was the opposite of what she expected. So far, so good. I have been in bed sick the last two days and she has been coming in to report her progress to me. I never thought I would see this change in her, so it is possible. I hope you find a solution too. :grouphug:

 

Oh, thank you for posting this! It's very encouraging. In trying to translate what you did to my actual life, I see a few things that I could certainly try. Switching curricula isn't one of them at this point. This school has quite a bit of structure, showing what to do on each day, but with some freedom for flexibility where needed. I think it's the right place. We just have to figure out how to work with it better. The one drawback is that they almost give too much information. The amount I get as a parent is sometimes overwhelming, so I can imagine it is even more so for my Aspie child.

 

I like the idea of her working next to me. I can move my work station from my office to the dining room table or wherever to be next to her when I'm home. Just having me there could keep her from daydreaming or messing around or whatever it is she does. This is doable. I'm going to try it. Thank you.

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I remember your last (or one of your previous posts) about your daughter when she ran away for a few hours.:grouphug:

 

I'm sorry you are both struggling right now to figure things out. I guess it sounds like something needs to change, but what? I'm sure being an Aspie impacts her significantly w/re to her day-to-day functioning. I'm sure you having to work full-time and having to deal with her education is difficult. I love the suggestion of having her travel with you sometimes.

 

I believe kids this age (and most especially a kid with Asperger's) still need a lot of oversight. It is just too darn hard to stay motivated on your own in many cases.

 

Perhaps K12 also isn't the right solution. Have you thought of trying something like American School? There'd still be oversight, an accredited diploma and something for her to work toward. Maybe American School would be less time-consuming than K12 and more manageable? I'm not familiar with it, but I've heard it mentioned here before, and it sounds like something that might work well in certain situations.

 

Have you thought about hiring a tutor for her? Someone who will come in daily for an hour or so to work with her on things--someone who will help keep her on track? If you can't rely on her dad and you are working a lot, perhaps you can hire someone who can help.

 

I also think it's important to get her involved in the community in some way, and I think it's really great that you are trying to find a way to keep her home because the public school experience was so detrimental to her.

 

Thank you. :)

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FWIW, I don't feel at all judged and I appreciate your opinion very much. But here's my serious, real, question for you, specifically......you said your parents just threw up their hands and gave up, but you wish they hadn't. What do you wish they had done instead? And, in honest hindsight, do you think that at that time of your life "it" (whatever it may be) would have made a difference?

 

I know you're not talking to me, but I had similar issues, though not as severe as Nance was talking about. I wish they had kindly coaxed me through it and helped me find out how to be interested instead of punishing me for not doing it. It wasn't depression, but felt similar. Appropriate levels of motivation are impossible to maintain when morale is that low. Someone posted on here a while back, One*mom, perhaps, about talking to people about how they use maths in their every day lives. "This is cool, and useful and interesting because..." would have helped me, though I didn't know to ask for it. It would have opened the world instead of closing it with "just get on with it."

 

Rosie

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I know you're not talking to me, but I had similar issues, though not as severe as Nance was talking about. I wish they had kindly coaxed me through it and helped me find out how to be interested instead of punishing me for not doing it. It wasn't depression, but felt similar. Appropriate levels of motivation are impossible to maintain when morale is that low. Someone posted on here a while back, One*mom, perhaps, about talking to people about how they use maths in their every day lives. "This is cool, and useful and interesting because..." would have helped me, though I didn't know to ask for it. It would have opened the world instead of closing it with "just get on with it."

 

Rosie

 

No, this is very good and appreciated. But I don't know how to coax her into being interested. I'm being serious. I have no idea how to do that. In my mind, I don't really care if she's interested or not (although obviously prefer that she be). I wasn't always interested either, and am not always in my job, and wasn't always when getting my own Master's degree, but I just did it anyway because...well...that's just what you do.

 

Now that you're a parent, will you please share with my how you go about doing that?

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No, this is very good and appreciated. But I don't know how to coax her into being interested. I'm being serious. I have no idea how to do that. In my mind, I don't really care if she's interested or not (although obviously prefer that she be). I wasn't always interested either, and am not always in my job, and wasn't always when getting my own Master's degree, but I just did it anyway because...well...that's just what you do.

 

Now that you're a parent, will you please share with my how you go about doing that?

 

Ha. I'm a parent of preschoolers. That counts for nothing in the world of teenagers. :)

 

But because mothers of preschoolers still have opinions :tongue_smilie::

 

I don't think you can do anything with someone who doesn't want to find anything interesting, but for someone who feels trapped by their own apathy, I think you just need enthusiastic people. I had a teacher friend who was teaching a unit on a species of local butterfly and was going on and on and on about it. I was humouring her to be polite, really, (who really cares about a brownish orange butterfly that doesn't even look pretty?) but she went on and on so much I found myself interested despite myself. After 45mins of her bubbling, I was convinced that these butterflies were a heck of a lot more interesting than I'd given them credit for. Even now, 15 years later, I will still read an article mentioning them even when I'm sleep deprived and can hardly concentrate to read at all! :lol: Maybe it will help if you can find these people. For her teenage pride, you might need to indulge in some private giggles together about how cute this grown person's enthusiasm is, but that doesn't hurt the person and it should help entice her away from the bored=cool if that's part of her problem.

 

Rosie

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FWIW, I don't feel at all judged and I appreciate your opinion very much. But here's my serious, real, question for you, specifically......you said your parents just threw up their hands and gave up, but you wish they hadn't. What do you wish they had done instead? And, in honest hindsight, do you think that at that time of your life "it" (whatever it may be) would have made a difference?

 

You know, I'm not even sure. My mother was a single parent, too, and my father wasn't in the picture. My mother worked full time, and she spent most of the rest of the time with her boyfriend. I aced every English class I ever had because I always loved to read and write, but everything else I was just gradually failing due to daydreaming, losing interest, lack of motivation, rebelling, a combination of things.

 

And the more behind I got, the harder it was to catch up. The teachers didn't seem interested in helping me catch up. My mother didn't seem aware or interested in helping me catch up. If I brought home horrid report cards, my mother was never like, "What's going on here? How can we fix this? Let's sit with your teachers and talk about how we can help you catch up, what I can sit down and work with you on after school, what extra help you might need, does she need a tutor, does she need some way of making this more interesting, does she need a pep talk, does she need me to just sit with her til this is done, does she need someone to just care one way or another." She figured at that age I was old enough to do it myself and that it was my responsibility and if I failed, I failed.

 

I just wish she would have been more hands on all along, more of an advocate, taken more of an interest, been a go between between me and the school, figured out ways to help me be interested, to think about what my ultimate goals in life might be and what I might have had to do to pursue them, sparked some motivation and helped me find a path. Because teenagers AREN'T always responsible and don't always know how to find that path on their own once they've strayed too far off of it.

 

I'm not sure what difference it might have made in the long run. Would I have gone on to a four year college instead of a two year business college for a quick degree? I don't know. Would I have taken a different career path? I don't know. Would I have done something more with my writing skills? I don't know. I drifted pretty aimlessly for a while and didn't have the greatest self-esteem. I mean could I have done those things later if I wanted to? Sure, I guess, but we all know that none of that is as easy once you have the responsibility of raising your own family.

 

Those things aren't even the point though- what experiences I might have had or not had- because like I said, I'm happy where I ended up in the long run, here with my family, homeschooling my kids. I am genuinely content with my life right now. But I do think I'd have had better self esteem overall and would have a better relationship with my mother and better feelings toward her to this day if she hadn't just been so nonchalant about what I did with my life when I was only sixteen. I can already tell that you care a lot more than she did though. That's a good thing. I hope some of the ideas you got in this thread help, at least a little!

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In eighth grade I was failing English out of boredom. One day about a week after my interm report card came out, my mother pulled me aside after dinner. She had, in her infinite wisdom, bought a large print, hardcover copy of War and Peace in the original Russian and a massive Russian-English dictionary. She sat me down at the table and told me that if I really wanted to fail at something that she'd found something more interesting than English. THUD. She literally dropped this giant book onto the table. And followed it up with the dictionary. THUD. And then she left me alone.

 

I still remember it vividly all these years later. In one grand gesture my mother told me that she knew why I was failing, that she knew I needed a challenge, that she did not approve, that she did care, and that ultimately it was my choice what I did.

 

I did not ever read it, but I kept it just in case I need it for my kids. So if I were in your situation that's what I would do. :lol: I have no idea if this is helpful, but it's a good story.

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