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MysteryJen

Opinions needed: son wants to return to homeschool

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For some background, I have homeschooled 3 kids to college and have one who is a jr at the local high school. Ds3 started his freshman year in August. He told us last night that he wants to return to homeschooling as soon as he can. 

Things to know about ds3: introvert, likes to excel at everything, good athlete (currently the only freshman boy in the whole school on a varsity team), is easily satisfied with a few close friends, and has that sort of obsessive perfectionism that works in tennis. He has been dumped into the deep end this fall (missing tons of school for the team), but has done well- currently has all As.

What he dislikes about high school: the constant quizzes/tests (a way of keeping students engaged-but really stressful for him), that the boys are jerks (rude to girls, disrespectful, and loud all the time- yes, he is in honors classes), he doesn't feel like he is learning anything, reading books that aren't interesting, and that being in class for 7 hours a day is interfering with his pursuit of excellence in tennis.

The plan always was for him to go back to homeschooling for his jr and sr year (driven by tennis- I realize that the board is not super approving of this-but his sister was the same about her sport, so we recognize this as a valid plan). I have homeschooled high school- generally with success and my kids did/are doing well in college, so I am not worried about that. I should mention that part-time might work-but I am not sure I want that. I would prefer to get him ready for DE at the cc.

So, what is best plan in terms of college applications? If he leaves now- four years of homeschool. Leaves at end of the semester, have a transcript for a semester-currently he has all A's, make him finish out the year in the hopes that he just likes it better? 

The kids are united that he should do what he wants and homeschool. 

Dh wants him to finish the year.

I want him to be happy, which he is not right now. I would prefer him to finish the semester-I think it will make college applications more straightforward. But I could be wrong about that.

Thoughts?

 

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Why do you think applying at the end of the semester will be more straightforward? Would he be required to submit a transcript from the high school if he didn't complete a full reporting period?

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I don't know- my last kid didn't complete the Common App, so I am not sure of the questions there. Do you have to mention schools attended, if you don't have a transcript?

I guess that I would think you wouldn't have to mention the school if you didn't receive any grades. But I have been wrong before on my Common App assumptions.

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49 minutes ago, MysteryJen said:

For some background, I have homeschooled 3 kids to college and have one who is a jr at the local high school. Ds3 started his freshman year in August. He told us last night that he wants to return to homeschooling as soon as he can. 

Things to know about ds3: introvert, likes to excel at everything, good athlete (currently the only freshman boy in the whole school on a varsity team), is easily satisfied with a few close friends, and has that sort of obsessive perfectionism that works in tennis. He has been dumped into the deep end this fall (missing tons of school for the team), but has done well- currently has all As.

What he dislikes about high school: the constant quizzes/tests (a way of keeping students engaged-but really stressful for him), that the boys are jerks (rude to girls, disrespectful, and loud all the time- yes, he is in honors classes), he doesn't feel like he is learning anything, reading books that aren't interesting, and that being in class for 7 hours a day is interfering with his pursuit of excellence in tennis.

The plan always was for him to go back to homeschooling for his jr and sr year (driven by tennis- I realize that the board is not super approving of this-but his sister was the same about her sport, so we recognize this as a valid plan). I have homeschooled high school- generally with success and my kids did/are doing well in college, so I am not worried about that. I should mention that part-time might work-but I am not sure I want that. I would prefer to get him ready for DE at the cc.

So, what is best plan in terms of college applications? If he leaves now- four years of homeschool. Leaves at end of the semester, have a transcript for a semester-currently he has all A's, make him finish out the year in the hopes that he just likes it better? 

The kids are united that he should do what he wants and homeschool. 

Dh wants him to finish the year.

I want him to be happy, which he is not right now. I would prefer him to finish the semester-I think it will make college applications more straightforward. But I could be wrong about that.

Thoughts?

 

 

 

((Hugs)) It one sense it sounds like he is doing so very well with high school and tennis.....I wonder if this is him truly reaching out and saying, hey guys it's a little too much. 

Now I am not by any means saying he's headed towards a breakdown.  He sounds together, and happy and your home life sounds healthy.  But I AM saying that when kids actually come out and verbally say it's too much, then, well you gotta listen.

Here are some questions:

1.  Is there any way you can scale back any other resposibilities so that he has more down time at home, and on the weekend?  Is he in any other clubs he can drop?  Are there any chores that you can take over?  My son is pretty stressed right now so I took over his trash job.  He does his own room and the dishes twice a week and that's it for now.  He used to do a lot more but I could see he was frazzling at the edges and I legitimately have time to do more housework so, I do. 

2.  Is there any way he can talk to the guidance counselor and pick up an easier class to replace some of the honors?  Or even just take a study hall so he can decompress during the school day?

3.  Is there a way for him to continue with tennis while also being homeschooled?  

I mean, it's only September and he was homeschooled his whole life?  This is a huge adjustment.  I would give it time, and probably more than just one month, before planning to pull him out, while at the same time listening to him and helping him learn to find downtime, adjust expectations and workloads, and if that doesn't work then bring him back home. 

Edited by Calming Tea
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Tennis would increase significantly if he is homeschooled- that is a big reason why he wants to homeschool.  I didn't realize he was such a perfectionist until this year- it really only came out in his sports.

His oldest sister (whom he is very much like) said that not going to high school (I issued grades based on work completed and mastered over a year) allowed her to not be burned out when she got to college. Now she can work like crazy in sports and school and is older and more mature about achievement, managing her perfectionism without teen angst and drama.

So I guess, it is not a matter of if he returns to homeschooling, but when? 

 

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I would pull him now.  He is able to articulate logical reasons why and they make sense.  I think withdrawing now before the end of a grading period seems cleaner - it's as though enrollment never happened.  FWIW, I'm biased in favor of homeschooling, and don't like to see teens suffer through nonsense that would never be tolerated in the real world.  JMHO.  

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I would pull him now.  He has academic and athletic goals that aren't being met as well at the high school, and his stress level while there is higher.  It doesn't sound like a winning situation, even if he is getting As.  Why does your dh think he needs to finish the year?

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Hmmm... I guess I'm missing something, because I'm not really seeing a problem here...?? DS wants to return to homeschooling, and you don't mind homeschooling (at least for the 11th & 12th grade years). Why would you not go ahead and do so?

You can do high-level of academics and Honors level courses at home in prep for your goals of future DE and college -- and choose studies that are more tailored around DS's interests, which would streamline his schooling and allow him more time and energy for tennis.

The only reason I can think of to stick it out to the end of the semester might be that it might help give *you* a little more time to prepare -- to research/select curricula and/or online courses that are the best fit for DS's learning style and your teaching style. And because most online classes can't accept students partway through a semester (unless it's a self-paced course), so if wanting to outsource some courses, it might be difficult to do that this semester.

However, if you have materials already from previous students that you can run with for now, and you're less than a quarter into the school year (so no grades have been issued), and if the school district will still allow DS to play on the tennis team as a homeschooler, then I'm not sure I see a "downside" to switching to homeschooling now.

re: your statement "...driven by tennis- I realize that the board is not super approving of this"
The approval of anyone else is not necessary (:D. And sad if someone has said something in previous posts so that you would feel this way. ?

Just my experience (and maybe it's because I have a tendency to walk around with very rosy-tinted glasses, LOL), but I think most everyone on this board is very supportive of families homeschooling in order to support their student's passion. And supportive of helping families figure out how to get their students into to college or on to the next stage of adult success, whether that means doing public schooling, or pursuing a sport, dance, music, or other non-STEM-based or elite-academics education during high school. We each have our own strengths and goals, and that's *good*!

Wishing you and DS all the BEST in your high school journey! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Because dh is an extrovert like dd2 and he loved school. We went to the same high school (yup, high school sweethearts) and I didn't like it much, actually hated much of it.

And because it has only been 5 weeks. The workload is manageable- it is just the environment of the classes. 

He said this morning that his sister recommended thinking in two week sections. Two more weeks, and then see what he thinks. 

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As far as making things easier for future college applications: if you wait until semester end, you *will* need to include sending an official transcript from the high school, so one more paperwork hoop for you to remember to do when it's time to apply. As far as I understand it, as long as no grades have been awarded on a transcript, you would *not* need to get a transcript from the high school if you exit before the end of the first quarter (9 weeks), and *possibly* not need a transcript if leaving in the second quarter (between weeks 9-18). That might depend on whether the school only awards semester grades, or if they also award quarter grades.

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Thanks, Lori. I appreciate your comments. 

Homeschooling for sports gets the side eye around here. Mostly because we live in a sort of upper middle-class pressure cooker town where teens have to excel at everything they do. We heard plenty of comments about "unfair advantage" for dd2. I ignored most of them, but it did bother me.

I guess the issue is that he "might" like high school after a while and regret his choice. 

An extra paperwork hoop is not really a problem as long as I know I have to do it.

 

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3 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

As far as making things easier for future college applications: if you wait until semester end, you *will* need to include sending an official transcript from the high school, so one more paperwork hoop for you to remember to do when it's time to apply. As far as I understand it, as long as no grades have been awarded on a transcript, you would *not* need to get a transcript from the high school if you exit before the end of the first quarter (9 weeks), and *possibly* not need a transcript if leaving in the second quarter (between weeks 9-18). That might depend on whether the school only awards semester grades, or if they also award quarter grades.


This.  Dd17 lasted a bit longer in high school; I think we pulled her sometime in November, but before the grading period closed.  So nothing from that is on my transcript (well, I did put on Health and Game Design which were semester classes, but I just put it on like they were outside classes and don't say there were at the high school).  For my dd, she ended up starting classes at the CC the next semester to round out the year.  But if you're planning to homeschool him at home, that would be even more of a reason to pull him earlier rather than later, I'd think, as it would give you more time to get him a full year of whatever you're going to do with him, rather than half what he did in school and then figuring out new half-year credits to finish the year.

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If you have an elite athlete who is dedicated and stands a chance of either going pro or playing for college (which is at the level of pro in tennis. Just look at UTR ratings of those kids), then it makes absolute sense to homeschool. 

If your DS is at a high school level tennis, then I am not sure I would sacrifice academics for sports.

Either way I think it should be your kid’s decision assuming you are Ok with either outcome. I would just make sure he understands that there might be no way back into high school if he changes his mind.  And yes, if you are pulling him out, do it now so you don’t deal with school transcript issues.

Edited by Roadrunner
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I would pull him now.  We had a similar situation with my older daughter who is now a high school senior.  She tried school her freshman year.  We could tell early on that it wasn't a great fit, but we made her finish the semester.  I think I was hoping that things would improve.  They didn't and it was a LONG semester.  

In hindsight, I wish that I had pulled her earlier.  Now I have the extra complication of dealing with that transcript for her college applications.  Our situation was a bit different though in that our daughter was attending an expensive private school.  We were required to pay the full year of tuition whether she finished or not.  So, it was hard to just walk away in September/October when we were on hook for the whole year of tuition.  It was bad enough that she didn't return in January, but we still had to pay the second installment of tuition for the year!

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Since he can continue tennis, then I don't see any reason to keep him in a situation and environment, that doesn't challenge him, stresses him out, keeps him busy-for-the-sake-of-being-busy AND puts him in the way of "unworthy fellows" (as per the Bible ? ) Will he be able to play for the school if he is homeschooled?  Our state does not allow that, but some states do, such as Florida. 

When you add to that, that you have successfully homeschooled other kids AND he has siblings at home, so he won't be lonely and tennis so he won't be bored..

Seems better to pull him out before the grading period ends...

Have you followed the threads on NCAA eligibility?  There are some more stringent requirements and they've recently changed how they class and handle homeschoolers so you may want to look into that.  

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He is definitely on track for playing in college and most of his tennis friends (at equivalent UTRs) are planning on homeschooling. That seems to be the way of the tennis world.

If we had a million dollars, he would go to a tennis academy happily. 

I will let him know what you all think. I had to work so hard NOT to pull dd2 and be supportive of her choice to go to ps that I am having a hard time shifting directions, I think.

NCAA is a total, total pain in the behind and I was hoping not to have to do that again. But I will. 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, MysteryJen said:

Because dh is an extrovert like dd2 and he loved school. We went to the same high school (yup, high school sweethearts) and I didn't like it much, actually hated much of it.

And because it has only been 5 weeks. The workload is manageable- it is just the environment of the classes. 

He said this morning that his sister recommended thinking in two week sections. Two more weeks, and then see what he thinks. 

 

This sounds similar to me.  I loved school even with the little bits of drama I had to encounter....and I want my kids to go to school but it has never worked out.  The few times I put my dd in school-like co-ops and situations, all my husband's concerns were played out before my very eyes...

But I can see why your dh wants you to wait a while.  Would the first official grades be in December or October for a quaterly report card?

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Probably quarter grades, but I think they are just "in progress grades." I will check about the transcripts.

It will be easier to pull him after the state championships, so if I have to include that transcript, so be it.

Mostly, I want him to be happy, well-educated and feel like he can be the author of his own life. Seems like that should be easy, right?

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I don't see any compelling reason for making him finish the semester. Where would the advantage be?

Pull him out, finish the year at home, issue transcript for all four years. Having As on a public high school transcript for the first semester of freshman year will do absolutely nothing to improve his college acceptance over a complete homeschool transcript.

Edited by regentrude
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1 hour ago, MysteryJen said:

He is definitely on track for playing in college and most of his tennis friends (at equivalent UTRs) are planning on homeschooling. That seems to be the way of the tennis world.

If we had a million dollars, he would go to a tennis academy happily. 

I will let him know what you all think. I had to work so hard NOT to pull dd2 and be supportive of her choice to go to ps that I am having a hard time shifting directions, I think.

NCAA is a total, total pain in the behind and I was hoping not to have to do that again. But I will. 

 

 

 

Pull him, absolutely.

 

Also, Snowbeltmom’s two sons play tennis for college. I don’t know how often she still checks in, but it might be worth messaging her for NCAA or tennis related questions.

 

Good luck! 

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Thanks. Snowbelt's sons are so so smart and so so good, not sure that ds3 will be in that league!

I got dd1 through the NCAA- I am just tired thinking about doing that again.

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5 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

 

Pull him, absolutely.

 

Also, Snowbeltmom’s two sons play tennis for college. I don’t know how often she still checks in, but it might be worth messaging her for NCAA or tennis related questions.

 

Good luck! 

After the board changeover I was locked out and had to change names.   

Mysteryjen if you have any questions feel free to pm my new screen name as I can't access emails sent to snowbeltmom.   

Fwiw, I agree with everyone else that you should homeschool.  It sounds like homeschooling would be a better academic fit as well as definitely being better for your son's tennis game.  

Also, the college coaches we spoke with didn't care about high school tennis at all.  UTR and the tennis recruiting star rating were the metrics the coaches care about. 

Good luck!

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Three years ago my dd was in a similar situation:  a freshman attending a private high school for the first time and the school didn't live up to her expectations.  Thank goodness for tuition insurance, so we pulled her out and she's now a senior.  

We pretend the whole regular school episode never happened, and we have not paperwork or transcripts to confirm or deny that she attended.  She's completing the CA now and we still pretend it never happened.  

And yes, being out of regular school gave her considerable advantages in national and international competitions that worked to her benefit, so no regrets.  And I ignore the sideways glances.  (Work smarter, not harder.)    

Because of the weirdness of the tuition insurance, we found out we'd get more money if she were expelled than if she dropped out, so we briefly considered having her engage in some vandalism, but ultimately didn't pursue that option.  

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If he doesn't finish the semester, you will be the school of record on the common app. 

In terms of returning to homeschool, when a kid is mature enough to realize he's not getting what he needs and is unhappy, listen.  He's going to play tennis regardless, and high school will not really develop his game to the next level like he is wanting.  I say let him come home, devise a plan that meets what he wants for his future.  

 

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Thanks all! Ds3 is going to start back at home after hs state. Because of the weirdness of scheduling, he only has about 6 days of school in the next two weeks. 

Paperwork and trying to find the homeschooling stuff is on my chore list for the week!

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On 9/27/2018 at 9:32 AM, MysteryJen said:

Thanks, Lori. I appreciate your comments. 

Homeschooling for sports gets the side eye around here. Mostly because we live in a sort of upper middle-class pressure cooker town where teens have to excel at everything they do. We heard plenty of comments about "unfair advantage" for dd2. I ignored most of them, but it did bother me.

I guess the issue is that he "might" like high school after a while and regret his choice. 

An extra paperwork hoop is not really a problem as long as I know I have to do it.

 

 

Well, we also went back to homeschooling for sport. My ds loved the high school sport, but disliked almost all else. He too is an introvert. We were able to complete high school with a charter school as an independent study student; essentially like homeschooling. He continued with the sport every year and loved it. He, too, had almost all A's at the high school. He never regretted the choice. He graduated last year and is now a full-time student at our community college on track to transfer within two years to a university. He is doing really well. And we are more than happy with the choice he made.

For what it's worth I actually made him finish the year probably because I didn't want to 'quit' and I wanted to see if maybe he started liking it after a while. He never did.

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