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Advice concerning slow start to 9th Grade


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I would really value some further advice.

 

Our family is undergoing a very difficult time right now. I've mentioned it before but just to clarify, my husband has moved out of our house. My dd 14 is really struggling and I am seeking help and she is going to see a counselor this week. I need advice about school work.

 

She started her physics course 4 weeks ago and that has been going well. She is working hard at that and learning. It is on-line and is wonderful for us. She is to start her online geometry course tomorrow. We  started slowly with history and English last week. We have not started back at Spanish yet, or her elective. She is part of a robotics club and is enjoying that. She has a small part in a play which she is finding stressful but it is late in the day to pull out of that because they have been practicing for a while - I wanted her to do this so she might be part of a group and maybe make some new friends, something she has been wanting to do.

 

I am worried because we aren't up to full speed, at all, in history and English, and we've got those 2 classes yet to start. I feel like I am pushing her about as much as she can take right now. Does anybody have any advice about this or any personal experience.

 

Fortunately, because of help from a previous thread, I have been able to get myself organised for these courses. I'm just not sure what is the best thing for her. She is having trouble getting up in the morning and facing the day. She feels stressed and anxious at times during the day, and she often feels sad and tearful at night, and takes a while to settle down to sleep. She is sleeping mostly through the night. I go up and check on her at times during the night to make sure. I'm worried about this first year of high school and getting it done. I'm more worried about her and how to help her the best. She is bright and able to learn quite quickly usually.  

 

Thanks for any advice or insight you can give me.

 

Trenna

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I am sorry you are going through these difficulties. I think, right now, emotional stability is more important for your DD than academics.

You are doing school, and that is great. She is taking a physics course that gives her school day structure. She is starting a math course, ditto.

For English and history, cut yourself some slack. If what she does right now is all she can handle, and relax about English and history. Have her read, and discuss the books with her. Let her be involved in literature selections. Let her choose which history to study and how to do that: does she want a textbook, or would audio lectures work better? She may need more interaction with you than previously.

 

Here's a few things that might put your ind a bit at ease:

Consider that some schools do not go back to school until after labor day. So, it's really not that late of a start.

Homeschool can be more effective, and student can get done more quickly with the same amount of work since no time is wasted.

You can always school over the summer instead of taking a 3months break.

It is OK to do the minimum for a credit; you don't have to go above and beyond right now.

So really, you have plenty of opportunities to take up the slack and don't have to beat yourself up about it.

And if this year is really a bad year for her emotionally: you can always take an extra year for high school.

 

At this point, I would not stress about school. It is important that she has structure in her day, and a sense of worthwhile pursuit and accomplishment, but this is not the year to lay it on heavy with the academics. She needs to orient herself in her changed world first.

 

Best wishes

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I am sorry you are going through these difficulties. I think, right now, emotional stability is more important for your DD than academics.

You are doing school, and that is great. She is taking a physics course that gives her school day structure. She is starting a math course, ditto.

For English and history, cut yourself some slack. If what she does right now is all she can handle, and relax about English and history. Have her read, and discuss the books with her. Let her be involved in literature selections. Let her choose which history to study and how to do that: does she want a textbook, or would audio lectures work better? She may need more interaction with you than previously.

 

Here's a few things that might put your ind a bit at ease:

Consider that some schools do not go back to school until after labor day. So, it's really not that late of a start.

Homeschool can be more effective, and student can get done more quickly with the same amount of work since no time is wasted.

You can always school over the summer instead of taking a 3months break.

It is OK to do the minimum for a credit; you don't have to go above and beyond right now.

So really, you have plenty of opportunities to take up the slack and don't have to beat yourself up about it.

And if this year is really a bad year for her emotionally: you can always take an extra year for high school.

 

At this point, I would not stress about school. It is important that she has structure in her day, and a sense of worthwhile pursuit and accomplishment, but this is not the year to lay it on heavy with the academics. She needs to orient herself in her changed world first.

 

Best wishes

Thank you for the advice. I need to remember that we have next summer that we can spend catching up a bit if necessary. I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to get all subjects going and up to speed, but have had serious concerns about this being the best thing for dd. Thanks for the reassurance about other options still open to us.

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I was in ninth grade when my household blew up. School went completely to you-know-where. Teenage years were emotional enough without all of the weirdness at home. Be there for your daughter. She will remember you strengthening your relationship with her, persevering through difficult times, and figuring out how to handle responsibilities during emotional duress. Those life lessons will far outlast any history or English you can teach!

 

More power to you for trying to juggle everything and keep yourself together. It is ninth grade, not senior year. You have lots of time.

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Thank you for the advice. I have been feeling that the right thing to do, for her, is to take things slowly and not ramp it up too much or too quickly, but I was unsure that I was right. I am second guessing myself a lot at the moment, par for the course I guess, but it is difficult to make decisions.

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Take it slow. Your dd will really benefit by feeling successful at some things rather than overwhelmed by many things. Keep a normal routine as much as possible. Let her try something new that she's interested in trying just for fun. Learning happens all the time not just in the courses we can put on a transcript. It sounds like your dd may be doing some of the most difficult kind of learning.

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Thanks for mentioning the successful angle. I hadn't thought about that specifically, but that is very true. She is doing some new things and I need to make sure they are balanced by familiar things at which she will definitely be successful. 

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:grouphug:  Sympathy and hugs. SO sorry your family is going through a hard time.  :grouphug:

 

 

Just agreeing with the previous posters! For now, you and DD are doing as much as can be handled, and other things are more important than the academics, and probably will be for this semester, maybe this year. That is okay! Other people have had life circumstances happen and a year of high school did not go as planned, and it is okay.

 

DD is working on 4 solid credits (Physics, Geometry, English, History) -- and 2 are more advanced for a 9th grader. And she has some good extracurriculars going, with the Robotics and the play. If you don't get to any other credits until next semester, or next year, that is not a problem!

 

Echoing the previous posters, just gently start the Geometry, and I would not worry about trying to do anything else except both of you doing the work of counseling and healing. Don't even think about trying to add any more academics this semester, and I would ONLY consider *maybe* adding a 0.5 credit ENJOYABLE elective or fine arts next semester -- but it is perfectly fine to NOT do that, too!

 

Just to encourage you about the "big picture" of high school:

- doing fewer credits well (esp. science & math) will serve DD better in the long run than more credits done poorly

- for future college admissions, a total of 20-24 credits will get DD into the majority of schools; that's VERY doable

- foreign language can always come later in 11th & 12th grades -- and if done as dual enrollment it can condense & catch up credits quickly (1 semester college class = 1 year high school class)

- you may find in a later year that DD is up for an extra class or 2, or for doing a class as summer school, and presto! you're more than caught up

- if needed, you can always take a 5th year to complete everything

 

 

Wishing you and DD healing and hope and PEACE for this year. Warmest regards, Lori D.

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Thank you Lori D for the advice and the sympathy. I did manage to get myself pretty organised but it is just so hard on dd, and I realized it would put too much pressure on her to do all I had planned. But I just don't trust my judgement at the moment so it is really good for me to hear this advice. I'm starting to feel more at ease with following her lead and not getting myself worked up about this year.

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