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What to do with a high school student who genuinely cannot stand school work.


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I am so at my wits end here. My oldest just turned 15. I've posted about her before and gotten some good ideas. But, honestly, it's only getting worse as far as I can see. She's such a great person. So creative, interesting, caring, fun to be around, etc. But she says she truly hates having to do school work. Thinks it is a waste of time. She only does the work she does because she is obedient to me and because I won't let her go to art school on fridays if she doesn't do it. And she LOVES her art school.

 

So at this point, obviously, classical education is not for her. We gave up latin early this year. She won't really do logic. She reads a lot. History and Literature are OK. she does some writing. Going through algebra a second time. And doing botany because she does love plants.

 

But I am fighting with her almost daily on sticking with her work, finishing assignments etc. If I don't MAKE her get started and stay on track daily, she just would never do the work. And every discussion we have about taking responsibility etc, starts and ends with her emphasizing how much she does not care about school work at all and doesn't see the point of it.

I really don't know what to do.

I LIKED school. so this is hard. I've told I can't let her quit because it's against the law. That's how bad it is :)

Her goals are to wait until she can move out and then go live in the woods or on a farm and have animals and go hunting.

 

Has anyone figured out to handle a child like this? I keep hoping this is sort of a stage and she'll come around. But it just keeps getting harder every year. This is so not what I had imagined for our high school years.

Sometimes it's really hard to be a part of this community and see all the discussion people have about the work their kids are doing and realizing what we are missing here.

 

Anyway, thanks for listening.

Jen

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And she LOVES her art school.

..... And doing botany because she does love plants.

... And every discussion we have about taking responsibility etc, starts and ends with her emphasizing how much she does not care about school work at all and doesn't see the point of it.

 

 

Your daughter loves Art and Botany. Maybe work backwards from there to show her how school work is important for her to be in whatever career she might be interested in.

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Remember people only post a slice of life here... you likely have areas where you don't struggle that others do.

 

One thing that works for some teens in this situation is to bring in more outside accountability to outside teachers or other adults. Many kids who will give push back to Mom don't give it in the same way to other adults. Is that a possibility?

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We turned almost exclusively to outsourcing by sophomore year.

 

Do remember that school is almost entirely the student doing what others tell them to. Some kids have a lot of internal drive and just do not care about pleasing teachers or parents. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in the long run, but it's problematic in the short run since our society believes in kids' lives being dominated by schooling until their late teens. (I'm convinced that my son would have been a cabin boy at age 14, sailing around the globe, if we had lived two centuries earlier!)

 

Keep a dialog going with her about her future. What is she interested in doing? What kind of preparation does she need to do it? Is there a way for her to get that preparation that doesn't involve the dining room table?

 

Minimize what you ask her to do academically and give her the freedom to pursue her interests (not videos, tv, or facebook!). You never know where those interests will lead! Help her to find what does motivate her. Give her a LONG leash!

 

We need free spirits. We need people who don't just sit down and do what is expected of them. We need people who have lots of internal motivation and who truly do march to a different drummer. But those people are hard to parent -- ask me how I know!

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From your description it seems that she likes to learn, but she does not learn in traditional ways. She seems to be a creative learner, and this is great. You can work with this, but you will probably have to change your view of school. Instead of thinking about a traditional plan, you two should work together to come up with a new plan. One that hits all the areas you want to cover, but one in which she approaches those subjects in a creative, non-textbook way. If I was you I would give her a good deal of freedom in whatever her approach is.

 

She would probably be a perfect candidate for Clonlara, as you can earn your credits in different ways. Clonlara is expensive though, so if that won't work maybe you could just research how to award credits for work done in a non-traditional setting.

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Barb Shelton's books helped me sort through what I wanted to do with my most difficult child. She wrote the Senior High Form-U-La book and one on being creative with lab sciences, and more

 

Her website is not the easiest to navigate, so here are some links:

General website http://www.homeschooloasis.com/high_school_helps_main.htm

Form-U-La book http://www.homeschooloasis.com/cat_resrcs_for_sr_jr_hi.htm#151

Science book http://www.homeschooloasis.com/cat_resrcs_for_sr_jr_hi.htm#141

 

Julie

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Ummm, yeah... not everyone has all their kids doing the work that is posted about here. Those who have kids who are out of the box tend not to post about it.

 

Things I have learned...

 

1. You cannot force a child to learn.

 

2. Banging your head against a rock hurts your head.

 

3. Having a rigorous high school education is not necessary for success.

 

Now, back to the dc...

 

Assuming they are going to attend college, what do they need to be successful? They need to be able to read. They need to be able to write. They need to be able to think logically. They need to have made it through, and understand fairly well, Algebra 2. Those are the bare bones. Now for the shocker, aside from the math, most kids have these skills fairly well in hand by the time they reach high school. Writing just comes naturally to some. Others seem to need to learn a format in order to get their point across. Logic doesn't have to be specifically taught, and if it isn't somewhat there by high school, it probably won't be.

 

One of the hardest things about raising kids is that at some point, we realize that what we want for them and what they want might not be the same thing. Allowing them to take over their own lives is difficult and scary. REalizing that if they have the very basics of education (I am betting your dd already has) they can pick up the rest when they are ready goes against everything you will hear here. But, they can.

 

My eldest was one of those kids. I ended up just giving her the books and giving her the credits. She did some work. She mostly drew. She tended to investigate things she was interested in. I made sure she did math. I do have to admit that this is an incredibly intelligent kid. That made it even worse for me, she was wasting so much intellectual talent. She was also one stubborn kid who wasn't going ot do things my way. Now, she is a successful college student who doesn't understand how these other students wait until the last minute to do their assignments and don't study for tests. I find myself wondering who this being is.

 

But...it could have turned out different. She could have not wanted to go to college. She might have wanted to strike it out on her own from high school. I'm actually surprised she didn't. (She wanted to stay home. College was the only way we would allow it.) Funny thing, I truly believe she would have excelled in whatever she decided to do even if she had gone a nontraditional route. It is just who she is. If she had wanted to hide out in the woods and hunt, she would have done it well. Probably wouldn't have ever been caught in the many public forests around here. She could have made an excellent hermit if that had been her desire. Gotta admit, I am relieved that isn't the choice she made. If she had, she could always change her mind and attend college later. I had decided to (mentally) support her no matter what she did.

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From a btdt pov:

I see that you have 2 choices: Unschooling or put her in school.

 

Putting her in school won't kill her and SHE will have to live with the consequences of her lack of action. In hind site, I seriously, totally wish that we had put one of ours in high school. Instead I catered and cajoled and wasted money and time and energy, to the detrminent of my younger kids- all to have her say she doesn't value education, we didn't prepare her for life (kind of hard to do when we are being passive aggressed every step of the way), homeschoolers are freaks, we are ruining our younger kids, ad neauseum......

 

Wow, I sound a liittle bitter. But, yeah. Wish I'd gotten a clue that if I was caring more and working harder than she was, it was time for a irl reality check for her.

 

Yes she had stuff she wanted to do, which she did, she did "take control" of her life. But the way in which she did it gave her all the freedom and US all of the responsibilty- so, is that really adult actions? Not really.

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If that is what she thinks she wants to do, then perhaps she needs a heavy dose of what it will be like to be sure. It sounds like some sort of internship/apprenticeship may be beneficial to her. Is there a farm in the area, possibly a CSA, that could use some volunteer labor throughout this season, or, at minimum, could she work with something like the Society of St. Andrew to glean on a regular basis? I'd think you need something larger than a home garden. If you find such, I would explain to the farmer that your daughter wants to have a farm with animals, so could s/he talk with your daughter about all the various aspects of farming while she's working. Check with your local cooperative extension office to see if there are introductory farming/master gardener programs. Look at vet tech/animal husbandry options, since she'll need to care for the animals she wants. Interview the teachers at the art school about what type of educational background they had to have, if she is interested in pursuing art as part of this.

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I thinly I'd be tempted to unschool her. Have lots of mandatory reading time but otherwise start working towards giving her the skills to fulfill her goals. Lots of home economics for instance. I'd buy her some homesteading books (Carla Emery - Encyclopedia of Country Living) and have her start researching frugal living. Maybe find someone who can teach her building and farming skills. Maybe she could even start researching tiny house and begin to save for and build one

 

Honestly, her goals sound attractive and interesting to me and I think they offer a great path to knowledge and maturity.

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Can she do more at the art school? Since that seems to be what she thrives on right now, I would get her 3 days a week at the art school and have her create a very concrete checklist of the work she has to do before she can go on those days. Then talk with the art teacher and have him get her into some involved projects she wants to do at home. Those get done the other two days, but she only gets to do them AFTER she does her required checklist work. And you get the checklist work really concrete, firm, and tight (2-3 hours, in and out).

 

Sitting around reading isn't going to max out the drive of a highly creative person.

 

Btw, if that suggestion is not affordable, think out of the box more. Alternate, engrossing and creative activity, some volunteer work, teaching assistant at the art school, clean brushes at the art school, whatever.

 

What you're describing is precisely where I could see my dd a year from now. I read an old post last night where someone pointed out that this is the age where, in addition to everything else, they just don't want to learn from us anymore. I don't know what is that, what is inevitable, etc. It's just something I'm thinking through as I look at my creative, doer dd who'd much rather live and make the world go round than do formal school. So the tack I'm taking at this time is trim, clear academics and more doing. It's a sustainable path and isn't exactly unschooling. You might also look for activities you can do together (landscaping, sewing projects, online photography class, whatever).

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I wouldn't fret about sticking to a classical education. I would make sure she keeps doing math because even if she just wants to go get an associate's in agriculture, she'll need to do math.

 

Does she enjoy the botany you're doing at home? Can you enroll her at a cc or local 4-yr for animal science/plant science courses? I would totally let her satisfy her high school science requirements like that.

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Sometimes we just have to take a step back and realize that not all children are going to fit into this pre-conceived idea of what our homeschooling should be like. And really...that's ok. It is ironic, I think, because a lot of us homeschool because our children don't fit well into molds anyways.

 

Honestly, with my oldest my homeschool motto for the last two years of her high school was, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make her drink." She was, and still is, very passive aggressive. So like a previous poster said, I just gave her the books- she did what she did and that's what she got graded on and credits for. However, it's not like she just sat around all day and facebooked-ok, sometimes she did, but she also made it her purpose to be my grandmother's caregiver as she became ill and passed, volunteered at a therepuetic riding stable, played high school softball, volunteered in the softball community and taught other homeschooled kids. I lost a lot of sleep over this kid, but I finally realized she was old enough to live with her choices- you really can't make a child learn anything. The best you can do is try to provide her with lots of options and make sure she can function on her own. And to this day, I can almost promise you that if she wasn't playing softball in college, she probably wouldn't be in school at all. Of course, we wouldn't be supporting her if she wasn't, but there you go.

 

Find what your dd's passion is and use that to help her. I strongly suggest looking into project based learning. If she likes to read and draw, let her. Give her responsibility for things that aren't school related. Or, put her in school- if you think that will help. It's ok.

 

One last thing, and it's something I just had to keep telling myself over and over-first and formost, this was my child and I loved her. Ultimately, I decided that my relationship with her was more important than "did you read that book." I had faith that in the end everything would be ok, and she would make her own path-whatever it may be.

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Also wanted to suggest browsing through Barb's high school posts over at Harmony Fine Arts. I've always admired (aspired) the way she homeschools her boys using a combination of nature study, living books, and project based learning.

 

A few of her posts you might find helpful:

 

http://harmonyfinearts.org/2012/03/notebooking-with-living-books-for-high-school-or-dont-kill-a-living-book/

 

http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/2009/08/nature-study-as-part-of-high-school.html

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One last thing, and it's something I just had to keep telling myself over and over-first and formost, this was my child and I loved her. Ultimately, I decided that my relationship with her was more important than "did you read that book." I had faith that in the end everything would be ok, and she would make her own path-whatever it may be.

 

 

Amen, and Amen again. I said the same thing, and I was ever so correct! The end isn't here yet, but ever single day it looks more promising. I am so glad I quit pushing her to my goals and made peace with her in supporting hers.

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I can tell you what we did.

 

I gave up and enrolled our son in online classes.

 

In his case, all he really wants to do is dance and build stuff. So, when things came to a head in November and I expelled him from my homeschool, we made the following agreement:

 

- We signed him up for a fairly plain vanilla selection of classes through Florida Virtual School and Aleks. (The actual course titles are in my signature.)

- At about the same time, we enrolled him in two additional dance classes.

- We set standards requiring him to have his work done, and done reasonably well, in order to earn the privilege of attending dance and choir and any "screen time" (TV, DVDs, computer games, whatever) at all.

- He must maintain at least a B in every class (80% or higher) and an over-all GPA of 85% or higher.

- We made a rule that, if his work is not done or his grades fall below that cut-off as of Friday afternoon, he is grounded for the weekend.

- We set up a daily routine that he must stick to unless he asks for and receives permission ahead of time to change it.

- If he fails to live up to any of these points in any significant way, we'll pull him from dance and enroll him in brick-and-mortar high school, where he may well have to start over as a freshman.

 

Thus far, it's all working pretty well, much better than anything we've tried before.

 

The way it works in practice is that he is woken up each day between 7:00 and 7:30. He gets up, takes a shower and gets dressed, eats breakfast and starts schoolwork. On Monday morning, he goes over the work for the week and fills in a planner form we made showing which specific assignments he will do each day. He then e-mails that to me. I compare his plan to the pace charts for the FLVS courses and the pace we agreed upon for the Aleks classes and let him know if I see any problems or discrepensies.

 

He works through each day's assignments in any order he wishes. If he needs to deviate from the plan any reason, he needs to let me know, and we both make those changes on our copies of his planner.

 

Several times a week, I log onto FLVS and Aleks and check his progress. If he has fallen behind or his grades have dropped, I let him know what he needs to fix in order to be able to go to outside activities or to have any screen time.

 

Other than a short break here or there to clear his head or stretch his legs and up to an hour for lunch, he stays at his desk until the day's assignments are complete. Once he's done, his time is his own.

 

I don't feel great about the education he's getting, which is, essentially, quite similar to what he'd get in a decent public school. I miss being involved in what he's learning. I hate having my role reduced to that of police officer/gatekeeper.

 

But, I have to admit, it's working. We get along much better. He's much happier. Despite dire predictions from me that he would do just enough work to keep his grades at the lowest possible point that would keep him out of trouble, he's maintaining A's in the majority of his classes (including Latin). His FLVS teachers have great things to say about him during our monthly calls. He occasionally goes out of his way to make a comment proving he's actually learned and retained some snippet of information here and there. He's thriving at the dance school and has taken at least a mild interest in planning for college.

 

If we can work out a few details, he may dual enroll for a couple of classes at the community college next year. Otherwise, though, we'll continue on the same basic path until he earns enough credits to graduate.

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DD19 wanted out of the rat race her senior year, so she would have more time to concentrate on her music. She still had a math class she wanted to take and a couple of credits to finish - US Gov and a composition credit. So we did - disenrolled her from the public high school and signed her up for the school district homeschool charter.

 

She spent hours a day on music - 2 music classes at the high school, two sets of private lessons, taught her own students, volunteered with the music teachers at the local elementary and middle schools. On top of that, she took a foreign language class and got high marks, played sports, had knee surgery and physical therapy, volunteered at church and held down a 30-hour a week job.

 

Busy? Oh yeah - but she loved every minute of it. And now she is off at college studying music and very happy.

 

Oh and those classes? She finished Calc AB by herself in 5 weeks while she was laid up with her knee. Yes, the whole class. Then, in the spring she did the government and composition classes the same way - just sat down and did all the work non-stop in about a month of focused effort. This all from my "school is stupid" kid.

 

Just to say - high school doesn't have to look the way you might expect. I wonder if your kid would respond better to schoolwork just 1-2 days a week (intensives) and concentrating on the art, plants, and other interests the rest of the time.

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The most unschooling-ish type of family I know is the one that has produced the most successful kids--pursuing interesting graduate programs up to the Ph.D. level, involvement in the arts, publishing books while still teens. I think the key was providing interesting opportunities along the way.

 

I wish I had the guts.

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Well, the unschooling thing seems to come back around quite often - maybe I will have to revisit that.

I'm not willing to put her in public school and there is no way we could afford private. Believe me, I have pondered that one a few times because I know she would respond better to another authority. But I have to deal with what I have resources for.

Thanks so much to the person who shared about the online school option. i have considered that as well. The idea of going to that after the richness of classical education is sort of heartbreaking to me. But that's when I have to realize that her life is about her not about me. Which is hard. I have so much invested.

Thanks for the encouragement to give her a longer leash. I think maybe that will end up doing us both the most good. It is hard since she is my oldest, I am so protective.

I am definitely going to check into some kind of apprenticeship or work study at a farm of some kind. It's hard for both of us when she insists that's what she wants and I think she has no idea how hard that kind of life is.

Lisa - thanks for sharing your experience. It is true that I care a lot more about her education than she does at this point and I'm ready to give over that emotional burden.

I am so worried about how her life will turn out if I don't manage every little thing and obviously that is stupid!

I really appreciate everyone's encouragement and taking the time to share. It helps so much to get some perspective.

And yes, our relationship is the most important thing. That is such an important reminder.

Jen

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Wow, I sound a liittle bitter. But, yeah. Wish I'd gotten a clue that if I was caring more and working harder than she was, it was time for a irl reality check for her.

 

 

 

My dh has a new philosophy that he is only going to care about something as much as the person involved does. It's been saving us a lot of emotion!

 

OP, why aren't you willing to put her in public school?

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I'd switch to only reading, writing, and math as academic subjects, tailoring the reading assignments to cover the other subjects- history, science, government, etc. before lunch. And after lunch I'd give her practical assignments related to art. Artists are either hired by a company or they are entrepreneurs. So she can start a business, complete with a business plan that incorporates what she imagines she will earn when she is done with school, what realistic living expenses are in the area of the country she would like to live, what supplies and marketing cost, etc. Also bookkeeping, taxes, personal finance, marketing, incorporation, insurance, etc. Start with etsy, and if I were you I'd have her raise the neccessary capital herself by working some sort of side job, and learn wordpress to start her own site.

 

I would give her breaks to watch classes on CreativeLive for adult creative types who are really in or trying to start businesses so she can wrap her mind around solving practical problems. The classes are free to watch live, you only pay if you want to buy the videos to keep. They are primarily focused on photography, but photography advice translates well to all creative markets.

 

I would also let her live at home for free even through college age as long as she kept funnelling 90% of her earnings back into her business and I'm seeing that she's working hard at her business and not just slacking off. When she decides she hates all of that and that running a business is harder than she imagined I'd see if she can get into an area vocational school for graphic design and web development learn the sort of art that pays well.

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The bolded part expresses how I feel, too.

 

 

I think we should all have a voice here. The forums are here so we can learn from each other and support each other, after all.

 

So, all you mamas, who think you don't fit in, speak up!

 

Even if I don't have a helpful answer, I will try to be a better shoulder to cry on, and offer hugs freely.

 

And, from my heart, thank you to all the wonderful ladies here who offered me so much support with my bright dc who can't seem to do what a lot of the others here do.

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The bolded part expresses how I feel, too.

 

 

Yep, that's me too, as evidenced by my "Help me salvage his education...".

 

I am so very thankful though that I can post that kind of post here and that the women here are willing to not judge, but truly try to offer helpful suggestions and support. I do love the Hive, and while I am not a power poster, I sure do come here with ears, eyes, and heart open to the advice here.

 

~coffee~

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I love it here too. I have not ever felt judged or anything. My comment was just exactly what I said - it's hard sometimes to feel like things are not turning out how you wanted and to see others doing what you wish you could do. That doesn't mean I don't want to be here or don't feel valued. Plus, I have 4 more kids coming up - I'm sure at least one of them will love classical education, right? :)

 

To the person who asked, I won't put my daughter in public school for a couple of reasons. She really doesn't want to (I've asked). But mainly, I love the person she is and I don't want to mess with that. Frankly, I hate the pop culture scene and I love that we are outside of it. I guess sheltered a little if you want to call it that. I just feel like we march to a different beat and I want to keep it that way.

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I thought some more and with her interest, maybe she might be interested in a degree in Botany

http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/wcidwmib.html

Career options and lots of information links

http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/special-collections/featurewomenbotanicalartists.pdf

women botanical artists

http://www.newfs.org/learn/lawrence-newcomb-library/recommended-reading/women-botanists.html

Famous women botanists

 

ETA:

Smithsonian Botany and Art lesson plans

http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/botany/

 

Australia plant classification illustrations

http://www.anbg.gov.au/proteaceae/illustrations.html

http://www.anbg.gov.au/myrtaceae/illustrations.html

 

Botanical Society of America career information page

http://www.botany.org/bsa/careers/bot-spec.html

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Just wanted to say that I could have written your post. Insert boy for your girl and guitar for her art and that about describes my soon to turn 15yo ds to a tee. I really appreciate all the posts. Coffee...I had a very similar post to your "help me salvage his education" all typed up last night and deleted it. It was titled, "help me salvage his freshman year". :/ My son could play guitar all day long if I let him. Which I do don't. My only saving-grace this year was our co-op. It kept him accountable to somebody other than me. He did Government and science. He hates school. Hates being homeschooled (ps not an option around here...btdt will not do it again). Co-op was my compromise to him. He has friends there. Anyway, thanks for posting this thread. I'm in the process of "re-inventing" this child's education...trying to figure out a way to engage him, connect with him, TEACH him. And I'm pulling my hair out and have lost many a night sleep (like tonight) over this. He is bright. He WANTS to work (a job) and make money. He LOVES his music...is passionate about it and is gifted. He is an all around great kid that will do well in whatever he puts his mind to doing. He just doesn't fit the typical "mold" of what I thought homeschooling high school would "look like" (i.e....how it is with my oldest, dd16). Sigh.

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Just wanted to say that I could have written your post. Insert boy for your girl and guitar for her art and that about describes my soon to turn 15yo ds to a tee. I really appreciate all the posts. Coffee...I had a very similar post to your "help me salvage his education" all typed up last night and deleted it. It was titled, "help me salvage his freshman year". :/ My son could play guitar all day long if I let him. Which I do don't. My only saving-grace this year was our co-op. It kept him accountable to somebody other than me. He did Government and science. He hates school. Hates being homeschooled (ps not an option around here...btdt will not do it again). Co-op was my compromise to him. He has friends there. Anyway, thanks for posting this thread. I'm in the process of "re-inventing" this child's education...trying to figure out a way to engage him, connect with him, TEACH him. And I'm pulling my hair out and have lost many a night sleep (like tonight) over this. He is bright. He WANTS to work (a job) and make money. He LOVES his music...is passionate about it and is gifted. He is an all around great kid that will do well in whatever he puts his mind to doing. He just doesn't fit the typical "mold" of what I thought homeschooling high school would "look like" (i.e....how it is with my oldest, dd16). Sigh.

 

Since you had a similar post all typed up, I hope you found some of the answers in my thread to be useful for your situation. To be clear, my DS is very willing to do school work, we don't have that issue. My issue was that I felt I was messing him by being slow to progress him myself. Well, except for math, which he struggles in. He is a good kid, does the work assigned and I've never had a lick of trouble with him his whole home schooling career!

 

I am glad you found a workable solution for your son by utilizing a co-op! Keep hanging in there!

 

~coffee~

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Just got back from outdoor school - fun to be in the woods for a while. I could see my dd's wheel turning while we were there. :) We talked to one of the teachers there and she told us that a BS was a requirement for her job. I didn't say anything then, but I thought I might bring that back up sometime soon and see what dd thought about that.

Anyway -

Arcadia - thanks so much for those links. She does love botany. Yesterday she went out in the yard to do her school work and spent an extra hour reading in her botany book. She was supposed to be doing algebra, but whatever :)

Coffee - I went back and read through your thread - there was some great information in there! Such a great community we have here.

 

Thanks again everyone

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Plus, I have 4 more kids coming up - I'm sure at least one of them will love classical education, right? :)

 

To the person who asked, I won't put my daughter in public school for a couple of reasons. She really doesn't want to (I've asked). But mainly, I love the person she is and I don't want to mess with that. Frankly, I hate the pop culture scene and I love that we are outside of it. I guess sheltered a little if you want to call it that. I just feel like we march to a different beat and I want to keep it that way.

 

 

Just wanted to send you a :grouphug: and share that I also have a very similar daughter: a reader-artist who plans to live in the woods. Mine is 18 and finishing her freshman year at community college. She is getting an applied science associates degree in Horticulture.

 

Schooling her has always been hard, for both of us. High School was a bit better -- I enrolled her in NARHS for the accountability, hand-holding, and diploma. And I graduated her a year early so she could go to the CC.

 

She has thrived there -- her first semester she had 4 classes, 3 horticulture related (including Botany, which was tough for someone who hadn't done well in anything Biology related) and one required "Personal Fitness & Health" class, which she took online. She got A's in the horticulture classes and a B in the other, because she didn't do all the assignments! This semester she only has two horticulture classes and four other gen ed types. At this point she has A's in all of them...although the year has a few more weeks.

 

Where this will take her, I don't know. She doesn't really want to be a landscaper -- but it is a start, a *real* start...not one of mom-imposed assignments that don't seem to have meaning. :)

 

Arcadia -- thanks for posting all those links!

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I had one like that, and I practically threw everything out except what she absolutely had to take for our state's high school requirements. I searched the curriculum that most closely matched her personality/learning style and went with that. Or, sometimes I wouldn't use curriculum at all but just went with my gut on what she would enjoy and what would kind of fit into a subject category. I didn't want her to fail, I wanted her to succeed, and I wanted to at least give her a platform to work off of in case she changed her mind someday about education. (She swore she'd never go to college.)

 

For example, for history, a student can learn quite a lot from movies based on history, and she could even do an art project or writing assignment based on that. During one year, we watched lots and lots of historical movies and documentaries. (I learned a lot too!) My daughter also read lots of historical memoirs. But, no history textbooks. Her passion was music and she wrote lots of songs, so I even thought about basing English/Writing one year simply on song-writing. In the end we didn't, but I think it would have been fun!

 

The majority of her time was spent indulging in her music and song-writing, and she loved it and was happy, and she actually got to very good! But, she did keep up with minimal requirements in a creative way, and that went really well. She actually excelled in what she did.

 

She is a year out of high school now, and guess what? She just told me how much she loves to learn, and she'd like to go to college. I'm glad we forced her to graduate, and that she was able to get good grades because she enjoyed the more creative style of learning. Not too many ways of being creative with Algebra II, but we did let her spread it out over two years.

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