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What would you do...?

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In the next few days, we are deciding 13 yr. old  sons schooling for this coming year. I could use some input from those who have been through a similar situation, especially those with this age or older.  Here is the basic situation: 


I am mentally, emotionally, and physically spent.  The past 2 years of homeschooling have been difficult---we had a death in the family two years ago and since then I've had an extremely tough time adequately (in my opinion) staying on top of all the academics and not becoming overwhelmed and/or frustrated in our day to day schooling.   While I really would like to continue homeschooling all my kiddos, I am concerned that it will just be TOO much.  I really want homeschooling to be a positive experience for my kiddos and I don't feel like the past two years have been due to other life stuff.  


Here is what we are trying to figure out: I'm definitely going to homeschool my 9yr. ds and my 6 yr. old ds---they DO NOT want to go to public school.  I'm also going to finish up by 17 yr. old ds, since he will be ready to graduate high school next spring and is taking most of his classes at the local CC!!  My 13yr. old has shown an interest in trying out public school (maybe straight to high school for 9th grade or go into 8th grade to allow for adjustment) but he is unsure.  (expensive online classes, private school, christian schools are not in the budget!) He is also considering staying home for school.  IF he would prefer to stay home, I'd like to do an "easy" year (easy for me and for him...somewhat)  He is ready academically for high school level work so I was thinking maybe he could do some free (or inexpensive) online classes or Khan Academy stuff and maybe just a couple things with me...he loves computer programing so maybe he could have time during the day to do something productive with that? 


I'd love to hear 1.) what resources, online or otherwise, would be good to look into and 2.) Am I setting him up for a tough time academically in high school if he does an easy 8th grade year? (he may go to PS for high school...not sure yet on that...most of his academic records I would give them would be what he did this year) 3.) IF he prefers public school, any input on whether it would be best to go into PS 9th grade (where he is academically) or PS 8th grade (where he is age wise)  We've visited both schools and both are open to whatever we decide.


Sorry such a long post....hope it's clear.  



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 3.) IF he prefers public school, any input on whether it would be best to go into PS 9th grade (where he is academically) or PS 8th grade (where he is age wise)  We've visited both schools and both are open to whatever we decide.


Sorry such a long post....hope it's clear.  


I don't have kids this age. I transitioned to public school for 8th grade from a private school. It was not fun. I was in a class that even the teachers who really liked kids didn't like, and for 8th grade, they were the oldest kids in the building. They acted like they owned the world and alienated lots of adults; it didn't really get better the four years after that, but 8th was the worst of it. It was not a good time for me to join their ranks. Ninth grade might have been a better time to transition when they were not the big shots of the school (it was a small district). They earned a lot of negative press and pushback from teachers. (It just wasn't a nice class--cheating was rampant compared even to other classes.). So, I would consider asking some questions about the class reputation, esp. if the 8th graders are going to be the oldest kids in the building. I would not have been able to join as a 9th grader as I didn't have pre-algebra in 7th grade. I am not sure if that was on the table otherwise, but that fact would've prohibited me from doing well skipping 8th grade.


I don't know that an easy 8th grade year would be bad if he is aware that's what it is and that he'd have to ramp up for 9th. If he's mature enough to go straight into 9th, he's probably mature enough for an "easy" 8th grade year.

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This is just my opinion, but I would keep him home. Maybe you could try an online public school like k12? I have never used it, but maybe others could chime in.

Also, what do you think about just making it an easy year for yourself? Just do the basics for the youngers, and then try to get curriculum for the 13 year old that is easy to implement.

My favorites are: Math u See for math, Essentials in Writing for grammar and writing, and maybe Story of the World 4 as a reader for him. The math and writing come with dvds for the child to listen to,and then complete the lesson(s), and the History could be read to himself. PHP even has tests he could take to go with the history if you want. Super easy. 

You could check out books from the library for his literature and Science. You could use the list from a Sonlight core for his age bracket, and it wouldn't cost anything. I did this schedule last year with my girls, and we had a great year!

I would be doing that again this year, but we were given a chunk of money to use for schooling, and I decided to go with BJU DL for my older girls to give me a bigger break, but it is costly. 


Just some of my rambling thoughts for today :)


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First off,  :grouphug: (there's not a single hug, so you get a group one). I have been in similar situation as you, burnt out and not liking the job I was doing as a homeschool mom, but didn't have the mental or emotional energy to do anything to change it. I ended up hsing my eldest all the way through (starting his 2nd year of college), put my middle two in public high school (in 12th and 10th this year), and am still hsing my youngest, who will be a 7th grader.



You asked about going into high school after an easy 8th grade year. I will say it depends on the high school. I don't feel I prepared either of mine very well academically, but they have done well in school. But I don't think that our local high school has super strong academics. My kids hardly ever have homework, even in their AP classes.  :confused1:  :glare: And no one really scores a 4 or 5 on their AP exams from this school, maybe some who really work at it get 3s. I think the thing that was hardest for them to get the hang of is that they had deadlines for things, and actually had to turn all their work in (I was terrible about that in the years leading up to them going to ps). But that was not too bad.


The things my kids had going for them, though, was that they could think, and had a good grasp of k-8 math and could write reasonably well and that they had read tons of books in their homeschool lives. That reading thing I think gives them a broad knowledge base on which to build these other things, and of course has helped their vocabularies tremendously.


All in all, I could have kept them home, and my mediocre homeschooling would have just about matched the mediocre education they are receiving from the ps. But they both really wanted to go to school, and they are both in band and LOVE it. Dd has said that she wished she could homeschool but be in band. That would be the best of both worlds for her. Ds loves school. He likes the structure of it. He is Mr. Social Butterfly (which is both good and bad--gotta keep my eye on him pretty firmly).  He tried to skate out of taking an AP class this next year, because his "friends" weren't taking the AP. I told him to get new friends! I told him he would like the teacher and that he is smart enough to do the work and would enjoy the intellectual challenge and information offered by this teacher. I personally hate that they are in ps. Especially with band, their lives revolve around that, and not around the family. But I accept that it is how it needs to be. I have offered for them to come back, and threatened ds with it when he was getting sassy with me and fighting with his sisters for no reason, but they both like being in band so much they won't come back home.


BTW, both kids have said that there is no way youngest dd should go to ps. She is super-sensitive, and they both say that the ps social scene would eat her alive. Both the ones in ps have struggled with some things there...they cannot believe how much the kids talk about doing drugs, drinking, and sex (and now sexualtiy and gender choices)... my kids just don't get it, and wonder how that is fun. 


As to whether or not to put him in 8th or 9th... You mention age and you mention academic level, but maturity is going to be a big factor. If he is very mature, I would go with 9th, or the acadmics and kids in 8th might bore him to death. If he is on par maturity-wise with the 8th graders, and won't mind repeating some academic work during his "adjustment to ps" year, go with that. I would weigh his opinion on this issue quite heavily myself.


Good luck with your decision making! Whatever you choose, remember that it can be reversed if it doesn't work well.

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