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MDL

How do you know if it’s time to quit?

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I am really struggling with my 13 year old son. The struggle has been going on for a few years now, with ups (periods of ok-ness) and downs (that are heartbreaking). We are just getting rolling with 8th grade. He has the most cheerful, willing and happy little brother who just started 3rd (homeschooled from the beginning and I have almost no trouble with him). 

I tried to keep this year rather light so we could enjoy 8th grade in case it’s our last. His schedule looks like this:

lukeion Latin 2

BYL 8

LTOW 1 with Jessica Shao (starts next week, expecting it to be relatively light)

AOPS at his own pace finishing pre-algebra and into algebra

physics for 21st Century Citizens 

“Morning basket” stuff includes Beautiful Feet History of Classical Music, Classical Roots Vocab. I also have him doing 20 mins of typing, music practice and other small things that come up. I would like him to work through Super Star Student (which he is) and Art of Argument. 

He is Head Choister in a church choir. 

 

This seems light enough to me, yet he complains and resists everything, sending hateful daggers to me whenever I ask something of him. He is sloppy, lazy and disrespectful. I don’t trust him at all, as he sneaks phone, computer, candy and lies by default. 

I don’t know what to do. I’m so sad ? to think we might be done. But it’s not about me, it’s about what is best for him and I cannot say for certain if homeschooling is best for him any longer. Our family migrates to warmer climes in February and March, So sending him to a brick and mortar school will severely impact our lifestyle. 

He wants to go to high school. His local options are the public school, which has 2,600 students, is great for independent high achievers, or those with learning struggles. He is neither of those and I know he will coast through by gaming the system with minimal effort and learn very little, as he is very much like me. He could also go to a private school, which would be more open to our travel itineraries, but it is all boys, with focus on athletics. Drugs are rampant in both, and the cost of private is $50k+ per year! He has his sights on OxBridge...and public school won’t get him there, unless he changes his tune tout suite  

boarding school seems drastic, but could be an option  I want him to spend a year abroad (he was born in Europe) in his home country, and I also have a semester in the Bahamas lined up for 10th  

has anyone else been at this breaking point? What did you do?

I want him to visit the options for a day to get an idea of what it’s like to sit in class all day, and have hours of homework. The public school will only let him visit if a friend requests it, but he doesn’t have any 9th grade friends. (Wtf, my taxes pay for that school!)

ugh

Edited by MDL
Added boarding school

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I'm not a die-hard. never quit. "homeschooling is the only way" kinda person.  I have 3 kids, one of which has always been in public school, one who briefly tried homeschool (but it didn't work) and one who was homeschooling until two days ago. 

But, because of your son's age...what he's going through sounds very much like a stage (and one that may pass).   Granted, you've said this has been going on for years...but it sounds like what's happening now with his attitude is worse than usual?    When you say "he complains and resists everything, sending hateful daggers to me whenever I ask something of him. He is sloppy, lazy and disrespectful. I don’t trust him at all, as he sneaks phone, computer, candy and lies by default"...has THAT ALL been going on for years or is that just adding to the struggles that were already going on? 

Because early puberty can just be hard.   For my kiddo it hit early...from 11 to 12 he was just miserable to be around.    It was literally a year of constant sarcasm and insults where the best I could do was get him to "not say anything at all" cause he seemed incapable of saying anything nice.   BUT IT PASSED.   So my suggestion is to try to separate what are long term struggles that may be primarily about homeschooling or how you're homeschooling, and stuff that may just be related to puberty...deal with the long term stuff (and school might be part of that, or might not) but be prepared to wait out the puberty stuff.

Edited by goldenecho
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I think it is more than 50% puberty (add menopause on my end too). He struts around like he knows everything, hates everything except his phone and being free, says things that are complete bs, etc. I guess I’m just feeling like being the homeschool mom is making it too diffuse to just be the mom. Does that make any sense? The long term struggles are mostly character troubles (lying, cheating, unhelpful, lack of diligence).  It seems to me this will get worse if he goes out to high school.

he thinks homeschool makes him weird, and wants to go to “regular”school to be normal. 

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1 hour ago, MDL said:

IThe public school will only let him visit if a friend requests it, but he doesn’t have any 9th grade friends. (Wtf, my taxes pay for that school!)

 

Not to go off on a tangent here, but wtf indeed?!  This is an absurd policy and I would not hesitate to make a very polite but extremely persistent nuisance of myself challenging it, including going over the principal's head to the school board and superintendent if necessary. 

More to the point, I am sorry that you are having such a tough time, OP.  I have always said that I would not homeschool an unwilling teen but I haven't actually been put to the test in the way that you are. 

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I would enroll him for 8th grade and revisit high school at home.

Right now, you're throwing marshmallows and hoping he catches them.  He's not interested.  I would not subject myself to a daily fight with someone who doesn't want to be there, doesn't want to learn, and doesn't want to take ownership of his education.  Enrolling him for a full year of 8th would be good for both of you.  You'd get rest, and he'd get to experience school before he has to decide on a path for high school.  But I can say for certain that I, as a person, am worth more than the constant disrespect of someone because they're feeling lost or pigeonholed into a decision.

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I have no idea as I’m not there yet.  I do know that both SWB and Cindy Rollins have commented at various times that they wish they’d outsourced more earlier or switched to school with their older boys.  So just something to keep in mind from been there done that.

that schedule doesn’t sound super light to me.  I’d consider setting up a schedule that just covers the requirements where you are and see if things improve.  

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How long does the work take him? 

DS12, 8th grader would whine and passively rebel by staring at the work and not doing if I give him the equivalent of the amount of work you outlined.

DS13 needed a lot of sleep last year as an 8th grader and he still needs more than 10 hours of sleep this year. DS13 doesn’t want me or my husband to teach him anything so when we decide to homeschool, we switch from afterschooling while in public school to outsourcing for homeschooling. He is a grouchy teen when he lack sleep and/or food but it is a lot easier academically when he answers to someone else and grades don’t come from us (parents). 

We have two popular private schools that cost in the $50k range too. We figured that we can spend that money on outsourced classes for DS13 and still have some money left (since outsourced music, art and sports lessons cost a lot of money and my friend’s kid does those in school under school orchestra, school sports teams and high school arts class). 

Our district’s middle schools has more discipline problems than their high schools so we would have paid for private 8th grade if kids have wanted to go back to brick and mortar school. 

Is there a one or two day a week school you could send him? My former neighbor’s daughter enjoyed attending a once a week full day program at a k-8 Christian school which does that as a homeschool outreach program. I think she paid around $400 per month. 

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9 hours ago, MDL said:

 It seems to me this will get worse if he goes out to high school.

Is that because most people you meet who have gone to public school have character issues?

Or because you have heard that this particular school is full of liars?

If you want to visit, enroll him. It is public school. So if you enroll him and then pull him out, guess what. They can't stop you from re-enrolling later. Some would say that could create bad feeling with the school. I doubt you are the worst they've seen. It doesn't sound like you think that is the case either.

I am sorry you're facing this. We have teens as well. I will just say that I know it is hard and I don't blame you for your frustration or his behavior. Good luck.

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16 hours ago, MDL said:

I am really struggling with my 13 year old son. The struggle has been going on for a few years now, with ups (periods of ok-ness) and downs (that are heartbreaking). We are just getting rolling with 8th grade. He has the most cheerful, willing and happy little brother who just started 3rd (homeschooled from the beginning and I have almost no trouble with him). 

I tried to keep this year rather light so we could enjoy 8th grade in case it’s our last. His schedule looks like this:

lukeion Latin 2

BYL 8

LTOW 1 with Jessica Shao (starts next week, expecting it to be relatively light)

AOPS at his own pace finishing pre-algebra and into algebra

physics for 21st Century Citizens 

“Morning basket” stuff includes Beautiful Feet History of Classical Music, Classical Roots Vocab. I also have him doing 20 mins of typing, music practice and other small things that come up. I would like him to work through Super Star Student (which he is) and Art of Argument. (That is 6 additional items.)

He is Head Choister in a church choir. 

 

This seems light enough to me, yet he complains and resists everything, sending hateful daggers to me whenever I ask something of him. He is sloppy, lazy and disrespectful. I don’t trust him at all, as he sneaks phone, computer, candy and lies by default. 

I don’t know what to do. I’m so sad ? to think we might be done. But it’s not about me, it’s about what is best for him and I cannot say for certain if homeschooling is best for him any longer. Our family migrates to warmer climes in February and March, So sending him to a brick and mortar school will severely impact our lifestyle. 

He wants to go to high school. His local options are the public school, which has 2,600 students, is great for independent high achievers, or those with learning struggles. He is neither of those and I know he will coast through by gaming the system with minimal effort and learn very little, as he is very much like me. He could also go to a private school, which would be more open to our travel itineraries, but it is all boys, with focus on athletics. Drugs are rampant in both, and the cost of private is $50k+ per year! He has his sights on OxBridge...and public school won’t get him there, unless he changes his tune tout suite  

boarding school seems drastic, but could be an option  I want him to spend a year abroad (he was born in Europe) in his home country, and I also have a semester in the Bahamas lined up for 10th  

has anyone else been at this breaking point? What did you do?

I want him to visit the options for a day to get an idea of what it’s like to sit in class all day, and have hours of homework. The public school will only let him visit if a friend requests it, but he doesn’t have any 9th grade friends. (Wtf, my taxes pay for that school!)

ugh

I have had 8th graders who could manage the load you posted, but I have also had 8th graders who would sink with that load. Regardless, there is no way Inwould quantify what you have listed as light.

  Lukeion has the reputation of being rigorous. He is taking the equivalent what many kids take as 10th graders. AoPS is tough. Some kids are ready for standard alg in8th grade, some not until 9th and you have him entering into one of the most difficult math texts as an8th grader. 

I was unfamiliar with the physics program selected, (physics for an 8th grader can be tough, anyway) but this is the description for physics for the 21st century citizen

Quote

 This semester-long high school course for students 12 and up (no previous science knowledge required!) is adapted from college level materials and combines foundational Physics concepts with public policy.

It is a high school level course and online. (Online courses can be more stressful bc of pacing and expectations.) English is online. Plus a list of 6 additional things you want him to do. 

I think this is a perception issue.  If you are telling him this is a light load, he is probably resentful bc he feels completely swamped, as would most typical 13 yr olds.  If he went to school he would have at most 4 subjects at semester subject schools or 6 (possibly 7 at some schools) at traditional set up schools. It would unlikely that he would taking a math as time consuming as AoPS or a Latin as time consuming as Lukeion as an 8th grader.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I don't have much advice, but my oldest two teens went through some kind of really negative, brooding phase when they were about 13-14.  As in, they wouldn't even socialize with other kids, because they were so negative.  We had to force them to do everything.  My son hated everything - especially schoolwork.  And they were both lazy.

Oldest turns 17 this fall and ds will be 16 over the winter...and they pulled out of whatever awful phase that was and are like completely different people.  Something happens at 15 and they change drastically.  It was so apparent that the younger kids were making fun of how much they changed.  lol

 

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Ok, I have been there done that with your posts.  You are me 5 years ago right down to boarding school being the best option and an annual migration interrupted which I had to go on because of a 90 yo mother.   Our one huge difference is my son knew he didn’t want the local schools and was pretty appalled at the boarding school idea.  He did want clear borders of when a class was done which he didn’t really trust me to provide.  My older daughter thrived on huge amounts of work in one year and I was used to planning with her needs in mind.  At 13 my ds needed a whole lot of sleep, easily 12 plus hours to start the day.  I used to joke that if sleep was a competitive sport Ds would take gold.

 We solved that with outside exams.  Mainly Clep exams because they were the easiest for us to obtain.  Not just a pass, we required a certain score to be done with the topic.  We also let him start on online degree path which satisfied the kid.   He didn’t have a problem with working it turned out but wanted to work toward something he considered solid and real.  An Associates elsewhere made him work.  We did make sure he was competitive for UCAS.  He had no problems with that process other than a deferment for young age, accepted unconditionally to all Russell Group programs.

For Oxbridge your son is going to need a minimum of 3 AP’s (the harder ones actually) with a 5.  A good smattering of SAT subjects over 700 wouldn’t hurt. If that is his goal he needs to be prepared to get those scores.  Will the classes at his local high school be able to provide him with those scores?  There are only a small handful of high scorers at our local school.....ds never would have worked to be one.   If they aren’t the common outcome from the AP classes there he needs to know his odds of Oxbridge admittance will go down with this choice.  All any US high school diploma will give him is 5 passing GCSE’s which is almost nothing in the Oxbridge or UCAS world.  I would lay it all out for him, along with the travel opportunities you have planned.  

Since you are talking about 8th grade I wonder if enrolling him for one semester might not give him his taste of school.  During his one year in Europe or time in the Bahamas would he be HE or attend local schools?  

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My kids are young so take what I say with a grain of salt...

But if I was in your shoes I would just enroll him in a comprehensive online school (ie not a class here or there, but like k-12), at least for this year. It would make him accountable to others and you would not have to be actively involved with the teaching, taking some of the pressure off of you. It would also give him a taste of what it would like to be in school (he would lose a lot of flexibility) and would also make him fend for himself grade-wise. From what I understand, these online schools also have communities of students for him to connect with/work on projects with/etc.

Particularly if his goal is OxBridge, make him research the admission requirements and create a plan for himself to meet/exceed them and set him free for this year. If he flounders, at least it is only 8th grade and not high school and you can help him pick up the pieces next year. If he excels, well, then you reevaluate schooling choices for next year.

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I agree that some of this is definitely age. Putting my ds in online classes helped a lot. He did know that I wasn't going to sacrifice our relationship and the next step was school. I also agree with asking what his plan is for Oxbridge. Have him do the research. Me telling ds that he needed great scholarships to go away went in one ear and out the other. Him sitting in a college info session woke him up fast. 

I also don't think your schedule is light. you could go lighter if you need to and end up in the same place. However, know your child. My present eighth grader is getting a more rigorous schedule than my first and second bc I think some of his problem has been too much free time. We'll see how it goes. We have firm consequences for attitude--fortunately dh works next door and can take him to work independently if needed. 

Kids this age need to be held accountable for attitude with plenty of grace and understanding. They don't want to be allowed to behave badly. They feel grumpy and unhappy and like the world is going crazy--bc hormones make them feel that way. If we stay strong and constant and remain connected and catch them behaving well and hold them accountable for behaving badly, they will come out the other end just fine. 

 

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15 hours ago, Arcadia said:

How long does the work take him? 

It is about five hours of work, if he is focused. But, that is not always the case, and he can draw things out with lots of breaks, reading and general messing around.

DS12, 8th grader would whine and passively rebel by staring at the work and not doing if I give him the equivalent of the amount of work you outlined.

DS13 needed a lot of sleep last year as an 8th grader and he still needs more than 10 hours of sleep this year. DS13 doesn’t want me or my husband to teach him anything so when we decide to homeschool, we switch from afterschooling while in public school to outsourcing for homeschooling. He is a grouchy teen when he lack sleep and/or food but it is a lot easier academically when he answers to someone else and grades don’t come from us (parents). 

He is an early riser, and I cannot seem to keep him in bed. It’s like he thinks he is missing something (private time with my husband!) if he is asleep

We have two popular private schools that cost in the $50k range too. We figured that we can spend that money on outsourced classes for DS13 and still have some money left (since outsourced music, art and sports lessons cost a lot of money and my friend’s kid does those in school under school orchestra, school sports teams and high school arts class). 

Our district’s middle schools has more discipline problems than their high schools so we would have paid for private 8th grade if kids have wanted to go back to brick and mortar school. 

Is there a one or two day a week school you could send him? My former neighbor’s daughter enjoyed attending a once a week full day program at a k-8 Christian school which does that as a homeschool outreach program. I think she paid around $400 per month. 

The middle school is not great, and he is not very interested in going there NOW. Moreso in he future—ie, when push comes to shove, he chooses homeschool 

One of the privates will not allow any part time students, I’m waiting to hear back from the other one.

 

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10 hours ago, Tsuga said:

Is that because most people you meet who have gone to public school have character issues?

Or because you have heard that this particular school is full of liars?

If you want to visit, enroll him. It is public school. So if you enroll him and then pull him out, guess what. They can't stop you from re-enrolling later. Some would say that could create bad feeling with the school. I doubt you are the worst they've seen. It doesn't sound like you think that is the case either.

I am sorry you're facing this. We have teens as well. I will just say that I know it is hard and I don't blame you for your frustration or his behavior. Good luck.

This was actually quite helpful, thank you. My original reasons for homeschooling were for character development—I wanted to be the one to decide how he grows, not the school. Obviously, I’m not doing a great job, and maybe I could focus on that more if academics were outsourced.

i think I will get a PTA tour of the public school, maybe the mom can get us in touch with a freshman for a proper visiting day.

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2 hours ago, MDL said:

It is about five hours of work, if he is focused. But, that is not always the case, and he can draw things out with lots of breaks, reading and general messing around.

He is an early riser, and I cannot seem to keep him in bed. It’s like he thinks he is missing something (private time with my husband!) if he is asleep

 

DS12 used to wake up by 7am. Getting done by 1pm was a huge incentive to not dawdle. Lunch was at 11am. However, I also have to sit nearby to redirect as needed or “school” would take a whole day.

My husband would do some literature and history with our kids. If your son wants some private time with your husband, maybe your husband can do some academics with him in an informal manner like discussing AoPS math questions if your husband enjoys that (mine doesn’t so kids discuss with each other and/or me) or Latin or history or anything else.

Edited by Arcadia
Spelling error :p

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4 hours ago, Mommyof1 said:

Does he get a say in picking curriculm or the subjects?

Yes, we spent considerable time last year choosing. He cannot recall agreeing to BYL history of science, but I’m sure he did. Regardless, I can let that one be light, I think. 

The Online G3 class seems pretty light, 2-3 hours a week, and he is enthusiastic about it. He also likes the reward of hard work with Lukeion, but it’s not without grumbles and prodding. We have had a long discussion this morning, and he doesn’t want so much to go to school, but wants more peer interaction. He is lonely. We did three years of Classical Conversations, because he was so excited to be in a group situation. (I hated the whole thing, but did it for him) He now realizes that the CC “friends” were only other bodies he interacted with due to proximity, for the most part. No true friendships developed there.

maybe I need to try and find a group to do Art of Argument with locally, in my home and led by me, perhaps. And, he is asking for a more structured math class. So, I’m now looking to scrap together an AoPS cLass at the last minute. Anyone have any recommendations? WTM doesn’t seem to have pre-algebra available this year, and I think the classes at AoPS are more for afterschooling.

thank you to everyone who has replied here—it helps so much to have some others who can relate and listen while I figure out the real cause of our troubles. 

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22 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

 

DS12 used to wake up by 7am. Getting done by 1pm was a huge incentive to not dawdle. Lunch was at 11am. However, I also have to seat nearby to redirect as needed or “school” would take a whole day.

My husband would do some literature and history with our kids. If your son wants some private time with your husband, maybe your husband can do some academics with him in an informal manner like discussing AoPS math questions if your husband enjoys that (mine doesn’t so kids discuss with each other and/or me) or Latin or history or anything else.

Yes, my husband was supposed to do the challenge math problems with ds, but hubs wants all answers shown in great detail and orderliness (sounds like a good thing). DS, not so much. His brain is quick and it takes too much time for him to write things orderly, so he resists and puts up great fights. Husbands job is very demanding and he doesn’t have a lot of energy left, and certainly doesn’t want to spend his time fighting with ds. Our sons are bilingual and dad is going to be teaching them their other native tongue this year (not sure how that is going to happen, but I’m leaving it up to husband)

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2 minutes ago, MDL said:

Yes, my husband was supposed to do the challenge math problems with ds, but hubs wants all answers shown in great detail and orderliness (sounds like a good thing). DS, not so much. His brain is quick and it takes too much time for him to write things orderly, so he resists and puts up great fights. 

 

My DS13 (9th grade) doesn’t have writing stamina so he types in Latex. The AoPS online classes in general has two to three questions per week that requires full working to be shown. That is something that DS13 can easily cope with. His AoPS WOOT class does require scans of handwritten work and it is a manageable amount of writing. He types for English and History. He writes for German but the teacher would accept typewritten homework assignments as well.  

DS13 had to submit a placement test for a non-selective math summer camp last year and it had to be handwritten.  This year when applying for a math course, he had to scan in a math work sample. 

So being able to write down the complete working for the challenge work problems is a good skill to have. However, I would be looking at one or two per day and let my child explain the rest verbally. 

My kids wants social interaction more than long lasting friendships, our community is more transient with many expats. So outsourced brick and mortar classes has helped. They didn’t want to join Scouts or 4H. DS12 felt weird years ago when everyone has classmates except him, an outsourced brick and mortar class did the trick for him as he now has classmates that he could see and describe. So when other kids talk about classmates liking a certain singer or movie, he doesn’t feel left out.

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22 hours ago, MDL said:

*snip*

This seems light enough to me, yet he complains and resists everything, sending hateful daggers to me whenever I ask something of him. He is sloppy, lazy and disrespectful. I don’t trust him at all, as he sneaks phone, computer, candy and lies by default. 

I don’t know what to do. I’m so sad ? to think we might be done. But it’s not about me, it’s about what is best for him and I cannot say for certain if homeschooling is best for him any longer. Our family migrates to warmer climes in February and March, So sending him to a brick and mortar school will severely impact our lifestyle. 

He wants to go to high school. His local options are the public school, which has 2,600 students, is great for independent high achievers, or those with learning struggles. He is neither of those and I know he will coast through by gaming the system with minimal effort and learn very little, as he is very much like me. He could also go to a private school, which would be more open to our travel itineraries, but it is all boys, with focus on athletics. Drugs are rampant in both, and the cost of private is $50k+ per year! He has his sights on OxBridge...and public school won’t get him there, unless he changes his tune tout suite  

boarding school seems drastic, but could be an option  I want him to spend a year abroad (he was born in Europe) in his home country, and I also have a semester in the Bahamas lined up for 10th  

has anyone else been at this breaking point? What did you do?

I want him to visit the options for a day to get an idea of what it’s like to sit in class all day, and have hours of homework. The public school will only let him visit if a friend requests it, but he doesn’t have any 9th grade friends. (Wtf, my taxes pay for that school!)

ugh

 

I'm going to agree with previous posters that this is not a light schedule. Your son may be having some challenges with his attitude right now, but nothing in your post sounds like laziness to me. This is a very heavy schedule. 

How do you know that "he will coast through by gaming the system"? How do you know that he won't be one of those "independent high achievers"? Any kid who can handle AOPS, Lukeion Latin 2, and the rest of it - even with complaining and sloppiness - is most definitely a high achiever. There can sometimes be this funny dynamic where certain kids with certain personalities will work great for outside teachers but not for mom. And outsourced, online classes that are overseen by mom might not be outside enough for some kids. It's possible that your son could blossom in a classroom environment where he's surrounded by other high-achieving kids. Some teenage boys can be hugely motivated by academic competition with other teen boys.

If I were you, I would tour the school. Then I would ask the counselor or the PTA president or the neighbor up the street whose kid just graduated if they would be willing to pass my contact information on to a 9th grader who might be willing to let my son visit with him. Most would be happy to (target the PTA pres or the neighbor if the administration has a bad attitude). And they will likely pass your info on to some friendly, high-achieving, student-council-type kid who will make the school look good. And your son can visit and sit in on honors or AP classes, and he can get a feel for the general academic environment among the top kids. Because that is likely where your son belongs and will thrive.

But I would not continue to homeschool an unwilling teen boy with that much negative attitude. Find a solution that will let you be on his side. It could be the public school or the private school or some kind of in-real-life outsourcing, but I would try to find a way to restructure so that you can focus on being his mom and his cheerleader - even if it means you have to curtail the traveling for a season. Now is the time to start seriously investigating other options if you might make a switch for high school.

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21 hours ago, MDL said:

I think it is more than 50% puberty (add menopause on my end too). He struts around like he knows everything, hates everything except his phone and being free, says things that are complete bs, etc. I guess I’m just feeling like being the homeschool mom is making it too diffuse to just be the mom. Does that make any sense? The long term struggles are mostly character troubles (lying, cheating, unhelpful, lack of diligence).  It seems to me this will get worse if he goes out to high school.

he thinks homeschool makes him weird, and wants to go to “regular”school to be normal. 

When do you plan to travel?   Is it possible for him to go to school just until you start traveling?   That would give you AND HIM a breather, give him a taste of what public school is like and give you a taste of what he is like in public school, and if you know ahead of time you are coming back to homeschool so you can travel as a family, it gives you a good out. 

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20 minutes ago, MDL said:

We have had a long discussion this morning, and he doesn’t want so much to go to school, but wants more peer interaction. He is lonely.

I don’t the weight of his schedule has anything to do with your problems, I think the quoted does. Just my two cents. 

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Another thing my DS13 preferred was to have more male teachers. He didn’t explicitly said it but he did voice out that all his teachers were female. It helped that his physics (online) and chemistry (online) teachers last year were males, as was his music composition (brick & mortar) teacher. His summer brick and mortar class teachers for statistics and economics happened to be males too.   His German teachers are females and he has a preference for the firmest German teacher. 

I didn’t see sports mentioned. My DS13 is happier since starting tennis twice a week. All the coaches happened to be males and he gets along very well with them to the extent he is making much more effort into sports and he is really behind in sports all along. 

Your son might not be as picky as my son about teachers. 

Edited by Arcadia
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My boys have been very mild, as far as rebellion and trouble, we have not had persistent character problems, they have all chosen to be homeschooled, and they have been above average students.

Still, homeschooling them through high school has worn me OUT. It is soooo much work, living for teens 24/7 - not because they need constant supervision like little children, but because they have to be taught academics and constant life lessons, listened to (a lot), held accountable, and driven in cars all over the universe. Also, once they start working, forget about getting any sleep until they can drive themselves - not that you'll sleep well for awhile, as you have to get used to them driving...plus it's hard to work, clean the house, or have time with your husband, with a houseful of homeschooled teens. Not impossible, but again, it was easier when they were little!

There is no way I would do it for a boy who lied to me, was disrespectful, and didn't even want to homeschool. It's too hard. I wouldn't do online school, either, because I'd still be supervising his whole miserable day and checking up on him all the time. Also, it can't be good for anyone's attitude to try to learn exclusively through a computer screen. 

I would skip the online option. I would not opt for an easier curriculum. I would not assume the public school would ruin his character...and I'd drive down and enroll him in it. Even if it's not a great school. Being homeschooled is a privilege that is earned through cooperation and respect, once a young person is no longer a little child.

Just my two cents, as the mother of four boys who were not much fun during puberty, but who decided to hang in there with me because they wanted to be homeschooled. If they started approaching the line, as far as disrespect or laziness or refusing to study, they knew my threat to send them to ps was not idle. I'd do it. (I worried a lot about it, because I thought that they'd probably drop out before they could even get used to public school, but I would have refused to homeschool.)

EDITED TO ADD: This would be my internal dialogue. There is no way I'd dump all this on the boy, himself...he's not grown yet, he still needs a good relationship with his parents, there's a long way to go before he's all the way raised, and it's not "bad" to want to go to public school!! I'd tell him that there are ideals and then there's reality, and homeschooling isn't working out so well anymore, and he will be going to school. And I would commit to supporting him, and the school, as much as possible. Travel can wait. Ideals can be set aside. If your son needs school, he also needs a parent to support him going to school.

Edited by Tibbie Dunbar
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My DS13 asked me yesterday if we still have the art kneaded eraser. He says all the stress balls we have break easily. Our stress balls are freebies from health fair and range in quality. He didn’t like to use the art eraser as an eraser but he likes putting two into a lump and use it as molding clay.  The one I bought him was the Michaels house brand using 40% off coupon http://www.michaels.com/artists-loft-xl-kneaded-eraser/10289461.html

I’ll probably go Daiso this week and get him some massage balls to use as stress balls. Or I might order some squash balls for him as they are really hard to squeeze and break. No firewood for him to chop here to expend that energy. 

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22 hours ago, Pen said:

@MDL what ended up happenin with your 13yo thus far?

Well, we have had many heartfelt talks. I have encouraged him to talk to friends in school (private and public) about the realities, but he always forgets, which makes me wonder if he is not just trying to engage me in a power battle. I have tempted him with the likes of clcr good books classes, more g3, and freedom to homeschool. 

He started karate. I sit with him for the full period of math. We are touring the high school on Thursday. I showed him the social chat forums at g3.  He is no longer miserable. 

Its not so much that he doesn’t want to homeschool, I think we need a coop, or something else, but it’s late in the school year this semester and we will be away most of next semester. ?

Edited by MDL
Typo

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I would not consider your schedule light at all. He would be doing less in public school.

 

That being said, I quit. With my now 9th grader, I quit last year. In 7th grade, all we did was about 4 chapters of algebra and wrote one paper. He did like to read on his own and watch documentary stuff on TV. We did nothing else. Now I would consider THAT light. In 8th grade, he started at a small classical school and hated it. I felt lost. But then again, the school was known for how tough it was. Plus, when I was a teen, I was stuck attending a small school for a few months in a small town and hated it. The teachers were great but did not make up for the horrible social environment. Pulled him out mid year and home schooled a few more weeks and then put him in an online program which used all AOP (not AoP). It ended up being perfect for him and worked out great!! This year, he is at the public school though. I see struggles, but we will see. It is only a month in to the school year, anything can happen. But I could not continue to home school him under those circumstances.

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In our area we have lots of options.   When my oldest was in 10th grade we decided to send her to hybrid school.  She had already had outsourced classes and online, but even though she's a great person I needed to quit being the teacher for everything.  She started 11th grade going 2 days a week and I turned her loose and became hands off.  It was a positive and best decision and I only wish we had started a year or two earlier.  DS1 started at the same time in 9th grade and it has given me my brain back.  I was a little lost that first year, because I had been homeschooling for a decade.  My little one DS2 is now enrolled as well.  My DD is in college now and doing well!

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You with hybrid options are so lucky. I feel like that would be perfect; band, gym and lunch at school. The rest at home/Online. 

None of the local schools are open to part time students. If I thought the privates would be significantly better than public, I would dig into his college fund for it. But I still believe school + boy < optimal. (Privates here are good, but the high tuition is not worth it)

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2 hours ago, MDL said:

Well, we have had many heartfelt talks. I have encouraged him to talk to friends in school (private and public) about the realities, but he always forgets, which makes me wonder if he is not just trying to engage me in a power battle. I have tempted him with the likes of clcr good books classes, more g3, and freedom to homeschool. 

He started karate. I sit with him for the full period of math. We are touring the high school on Thursday. I showed him the social chat forums at g3.  He is no longer miserable. 

Its not so much that he doesn’t want to homeschool, I think we need a coop, or something else, but it’s late in the school year this semester and we will be away most of next semester. ?

 

We were in a similar situation (though not quite as extreme on my dd's part). She started swimming on the varsity swim team last year of a local Christian school. Last year she requested attending there. I know it is social--she wants to be with her swim friends. I am not incredibly opposed to the school and we considered it, but at $10,000 a year I would have to go to work to afford it, which means all 3 kids would have had to enroll. While I think older dd is ok for the transition, it is not the best choice at this time for the other 2. So, I researched options forever. I considered hybrid schools, co-ops, CC . . . so many options. In the end, I think she needed peer interaction and someone else providing some accountability (besides mom). We ended up with her taking 2 online courses, and I am teaching 2 in person classes (Spanish 1 with one other student weekly) and a writing/literature class that meets twice a month with about 10 other middle schoolers. I have found that to keep things at the academic level I expect, I have to be a part. I have come to accept that. We live a bit out of town and the kids have very busy extracurricular activities (sports, piano, and church involvement) so superfluous co-ops do not work for us. 

Outsourcing and group teaching opportunities have definitely been the answer for this year. 

I will also add that I don't think your line up is "easy" or "light." Nothing wrong with it, but I can definitely see a 13 year old balking at a a challenging line up that mom says is "easy." That would discourage my dd, and I could see her shutting down a bit. I think her knowing she is taking advanced classes and a few high school level courses helps her keep perspective and feel accomplished.

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I’ll note that we do recognize Lukeion and AoPS as challenging, so I geared the other subjects as light/fun/interest based. While the G3 class is listed as high school, the load is only a couple of hours a week reading, watching some videos and participating in class and online discussions. He is loving it and wants all school to be as such! The LToW class is very gentle. And i misunderstood BYL 8 to be mostly reading and watching documentaries. I never intended to implement all the LA, and have made it optional for him. 

So, he has 4 core subjects, of which two are challenging. Plus typing practice and things we do at the table together (music history, logic, etc) while they eat a lovely meal and I scarf mouthfuls between sentences!

@ByGrace3 how are you liking Scholé academy for AoA? 

Edited by MDL

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On 9/18/2018 at 1:50 PM, MDL said:

While the G3 class is listed as high school, the load is only a couple of hours a week reading, watching some videos and participating in class and online discussions. He is loving it and wants all school to be as such!

Sorry, I don't know what G3 is, but is it possible for you to make "all school as such"? If it was, this is probably what I would do. I would try to find other options that are in line with this experience for him. 

It seems like you may have too many little things added on. The little things really add up. Maybe you should streamline as much as possible. At his age, he may be ready to be done with "morning basket" type stuff. Young men his age also crave more independent learning and less time learning with mom and siblings. (Don't take this personally - this is actually a good thing for him.) 

It sounds like you are on the right track. You are finding things that interest him. Keep transitioning to those types of things.

Edited by Skippy
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