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mountains27

Daughter in MS PS is begging to be HSed again, need advice!

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I am looking for some advice on what to do about my 12 yo daughter. She is currently enrolled in PS after homeschooling for 4 years and hates everything about it! She asks me every morning to take her out of school again and home school her ūüėē My number one concern about listening to her and going back to having her home is will that teach her that when things are hard it is OK to quit?

Here is the back story- She went to this same school for K and 1st grade then I home schooled her for the past 4 years. Last year was rough. I had her enrolled in an online charter school for math and ELA and it was a great program but it was a fight EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. to get her to do any work. and it wasn't just the online work that she fought me about it was any school related work at all! we fought constantly and I seriously probably took 5 years off my life with the amount of stress she caused me! I made the decision to enroll her back in school so she could have a different person teaching her and maybe help her gain a little perspective. So now it's almost halfway through the PS year and she begs me everyday to let her try the charter school/home school again. She promises she will be a better student for me and claims she now realizes how good she had it! haha. She hates the way PS school run;, the distraction form other kids in class (noise makes it hard for her to concentrate), the fact that everything is so timed out (5 minutes to do this, quick get over there, hurry up and eat your lunch, ask to use the bathroom, etc), the kids have been alright to her but some of the girls do little things to show that they don't accept her (getting up and moving seats when she sits next to them, nobody picking her to be partners for class assignments, etc.) and the one best friend she does have isn't in her homeroom so they only get about 20minutes together at school for lunch and "get up and move" time. She also gets easily flustered and stressed and is way hard on herself! The littlest things can throw her off and she has had many episodes of breaking down and crying during class or lunch or anytime during the day when she feels stressed ūüėē ¬†¬† The good things about school are it is a great school! all her teachers are wonderful and she is getting straight A's in all her subjects! she even skipped a grade (she should be a 6th grader according to her age and was in the class below when she was there before in 1st grade). The principal is great and has said we should meet up to see what can be done to help her feel better when I expressed concern for my daughter and told him she wasn't loving it. My son also attends this school (he was HS from K-3 and went back last year as a 4th grader) and has learning trouble and anxiety that have been addressed wonderfully and he is thriving! So great school, great community just can't get my daughter to love it!

Another pull to take her out is she is a very serious horse back rider and this has become such an important part of her life that it honestly will most likely be her career one day. Home schooling her would mean she could have more time at the barn she rides at. the trainer/owner there has taken her under his wing and every chance and day off she has is spent there helping him train horses and work at the barn. The idea of her being able to get her school work done and then go there for the rest of the day is very appealing to me because she learns so much there and it is all stuff she will no doubt use one day! not to mention she will most likely miss a couple weeks worth of school this spring traveling for horse shows ūüėē

So as I re-read this post I can see how it looks like I have already decided I want her to home school again! But really is it the right call? If i took her out of PS I would most likely enroll her full time in the online charter school. Will she really be better about being self-motivated and getting her work done or will we just be fighting everyday again after 2 weeks! Is it teaching her that when things are hard you can just quit? Please help, I need advice from other parents who have had similar experience with PS to HS to PS and back to HS!

Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for any suggestions and advice!

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Well, from what you wrote, I'd certainly pull her because it doesn't sound good for her mental health to stay there.

However, having BTDT with a kid who gives me all end of grief about getting things done in a timely manner, I'd sit her down & work out a 'contract' with her about how things will be homeschooling her. I'd have the contract be just for the rest of this school year (with renegotiation between school years). It should list what you promise to do & not to do along with her responsibilities. Guaranteed benefits might also be included. Things to think about -- maximum frequency of nagging by you, timeliness by her on assignments & home responsibilities, amount of barn time (or other privileges), what gets taken away & when if she doesn't live up to her responsibilities, what the consequences are for you if you don't live up to your responsibilities (maybe you have to shut yourself up in your room for an hour to 'think about your actions'). This should be something the two of you (plus your husband if he's interested) work on together knowing how things worked or didn't work in the past. I'd say some sort of once per month fun outing together (with no talk of school things) should be in there as a carrot if certain spelled-out-conditions are met. [And, I'd start off her re-homeschooling time with one of these so she knows what she's shooting for. Could be going for dessert someplace you normally don't go or window shopping someplace or ... whatever you guys think would be fun.]

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Totally agree with RootAnn, and love her specific, practical suggestions.

I'll just add that it sounds like the online course provider last year may not have been a good fit for your DD, or it may have been too soon for HER to be able to successfully attempt to do school through online courses. (She may still need more in-person 1-on-1 instruction or mentoring.) Many people -- children or adults -- react with anger and meltdowns when they are put in the situation of being overwhelmed -- it is a way of asking for help, when they don't even realize it themselves that they need help, although it usually drives away the very people who are trying to help (your situation last year).

I'd suggest that along with the things RootAnn suggested above, that your DD would really benefit from you walking closely alongside to help her learn some "executive functioning" skills that she may be lacking -- learning how to order her time, how to break down a task into the parts, and stick with it to finish it. I'd suggest reading through Smart But Scattered, and trying some of the techniques in the book to help give your DD the *tools* for not only how to manage tasks, but also with "tools" for how to manage her own strong emotions of frustration, disappointment, and anger.

Wishing you the very best! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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My number one concern about listening to her and going back to having her home is will that teach her that when things are hard it is OK to quit?

 

Isn't it okay to quit? It's not like she's giving up on education. She's giving up on a sub-par social and learning environment, one that is extremely unlikely to improve. She's given it a good shot if she's been there since the beginning of the year. It's okay to quit things if they're not working out!

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1 hour ago, mountains27 said:

I am looking for some advice on what to do about my 12 yo daughter. She is currently enrolled in PS after homeschooling for 4 years and hates everything about it! She asks me every morning to take her out of school again and home school her ūüėē My number one concern about listening to her and going back to having her home is will that teach her that when things are hard it is OK to quit?

 

 

Look at what you said: "My number one concern about listening to her..."

As adults, we quit things all the time when they are too hard, or they don't fit into our schedules, or we find out after we started that it wasn't what we thought it was going to be. Why shouldn't your dd be able to quit?

Children have no authority over their own lives. She has no choice about whether she will be educated, which is to say that she had no real choice about going back to school. Why should she have to endure something that is not what she thought it would be? If you were in her position, you would have the freedom to quit if you wanted to. You're expecting more of her than you are of yourself.

If you bring her home, you are showing her that you listened to her and that you love and support her.

Having said that, let me say this: I think it's a bad idea for children to go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. If she comes home now, that should be the end of it. She can't whine about it next fall and expect to go back. This is it.

And why would you enroll her in the charter? She hated it before. You hated it before. Why would you imagine it would be better this time? There are SO many options available for hsers, with way more freedom than the charter.

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You're getting great advice. The only thing I have to add is, at her age, if she's that into horses, I'd pull her and go bare minimum on school and let her pour herself into the barn as much as humanly possible. Let her clean stalls or whatever to work off riding time. At her age, that mix of physical activity and something to be passionate about it gold, imo. Horses kept me out of a LOT of trouble in high school. I didn't care about partying, because I'd rather be working with my horses. I would foster the heck out of it while she's into it. She might grow out of it, she might not. But there's no reason why at 12 she needs a 7 hour school day. I'd pick a math, an LA, give her some great books to read and let her head to the barn! Discuss the books on the way. Let her take advantage of homeschooling with the time it offers her for a passion. Let her get through the nitty gritty tween/early teen years with as much physical outlet as possible. 

You can always build a horse study into her school  if you feel the need for more! Lots of people here have done them I know from seeing threads. 

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Can you give her more one-on-one teaching st home?  It seems like her options are the extreme micromanaging of school and being left alone in front of a computer. I have homeschooled two through (or almost through for the second) and they needed me in the upper grades to be present for them. I do my own thing across from my daughter but am there to answer questions, for discussions and to give her company. 

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so much awesome advice and feedback! thank you all for the input, it helps to pour this out and see what it is I am actually saying and thinking. I totally agree, and now see, that letting her quit PS would not be the bad thing for her that I was thinking it would be. Choosing how she learns best is really the priority and if PS isn't working then it is the right choice to get her back home.

In regards to the online charter school- it really wasn't those courses in particular that she was balking at, it was any school work. I was teaching her history and science myself and it was just as much a struggle as the online stuff. And I was usual present when she did her assignments and  gave help when needed. I am a single parent who works full time (nights/weekends mostly) so it is hard for me to keep a full MS curriculum going on my own without the help of the charter school. I would definitely change it if I find it is still going bad but would most likely give it another shot...at least for math and ELA. 

24 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

You're getting great advice. The only thing I have to add is, at her age, if she's that into horses, I'd pull her and go bare minimum on school and let her pour herself into the barn as much as humanly possible. Let her clean stalls or whatever to work off riding time. At her age, that mix of physical activity and something to be passionate about it gold, imo. Horses kept me out of a LOT of trouble in high school. I didn't care about partying, because I'd rather be working with my horses. I would foster the heck out of it while she's into it. She might grow out of it, she might not. But there's no reason why at 12 she needs a 7 hour school day. I'd pick a math, an LA, give her some great books to read and let her head to the barn! Discuss the books on the way. Let her take advantage of homeschooling with the time it offers her for a passion. Let her get through the nitty gritty tween/early teen years with as much physical outlet as possible. 

You can always build a horse study into her school  if you feel the need for more! Lots of people here have done them I know from seeing threads. 

Thank you for this validation! This is what I have been so tempted to do! I get stuck in my head thinking she needs a certain amount of "school time" but really this is where she is the happiest and most productive! She is like a different tween altogether when she is with the horses and working at the barn. It calms her down and teaches her so much about everything!

 

The school quarter ends Jan 25 here and I am thinking of letting her leave then. Would there be any benefit to having her wait to the end of the year? I know for a fact if she leaves PS this time it will be for good, I don't see her going back for HS and if she did it would just be if they let her take some electives there like AG science or art.

Thank you again for all these awesome replies, it has been eye opening and very helpful, just what I needed!

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If you haven’t read Rethinking School by Susan Wise Bauer, I’d definitely give it a plug in this case. If might help give you even more of a pep talk on your decision. 

And I see no advantage to have her continue through the year unless you need the time to prepare for some reason. But even if you need to pull things together, you could always just have her read some really good books and let her ‚Äúde-school‚Ä̬†while you select/order your materials.¬†

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41 minutes ago, mountains27 said:

so much awesome advice and feedback! thank you all for the input, it helps to pour this out and see what it is I am actually saying and thinking. I totally agree, and now see, that letting her quit PS would not be the bad thing for her that I was thinking it would be. Choosing how she learns best is really the priority and if PS isn't working then it is the right choice to get her back home.

In regards to the online charter school- it really wasn't those courses in particular that she was balking at, it was any school work. I was teaching her history and science myself and it was just as much a struggle as the online stuff. And I was usual present when she did her assignments and  gave help when needed. I am a single parent who works full time (nights/weekends mostly) so it is hard for me to keep a full MS curriculum going on my own without the help of the charter school. I would definitely change it if I find it is still going bad but would most likely give it another shot...at least for math and ELA.

 

The school quarter ends Jan 25 here and I am thinking of letting her leave then. Would there be any benefit to having her wait to the end of the year? I know for a fact if she leaves PS this time it will be for good, I don't see her going back for HS and if she did it would just be if they let her take some electives there like AG science or art.

Thank you again for all these awesome replies, it has been eye opening and very helpful, just what I needed!

Perhaps if she had enjoyed her online stuff more, she would have fought with you less.

There are other options than the charter school.

I don't see any reason for her to continue to the end of the year. Really.

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I prioritise mental health above all else, and this is a sensitive age mental health wise for girls. 

It sounds to me like homeschool plus lots of horse time may be pretty ideal for her.

And having seen what the school option is like may indeed help her be less resistant at home.

I'm bringing two of mine home this month, 8 year old who has been in PS since K but is unhappy and stressed this year and 15 year old who was part time in PS for the first time this fall and has decided she can do without high school boy nonsense and wants more time at the karate dojo.

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3 hours ago, mountains27 said:

The school quarter ends Jan 25 here and I am thinking of letting her leave then. Would there be any benefit to having her wait to the end of the year? 

Honestly, since she's not in high school (where the records matter more), I don't see why she has to go back at all. Depending on whether your state requires some sort of written letter before you pull her from school, I'd let her stay home for good now.

I think others have already said that, so I'll add something else. She seems old enough and mature enough to start having more say in her education, so I'd start out with asking if she wants to go back at all (assuming, legally, you can pull her right now). Then, I'd have that talk about the contract. Then, I'd ask if she wants to do the online charter or something else doable for both of you. Then, I'd write up that contract, take her for an outing once her brother goes back to school, and let her de-school with some books & horse time while you get whatever schooling you two agreed on set up.

Let her in on the decisions with you having veto power  (for stuff that you can't do for whatever reason). She'll be more likely to do the work if she was part of the decision (plus, the contract & stuff). My opinion.

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It is nice that you have a handy carrot to get her to get the work done.  She can't go to the barn until her work is done.  Any work that isn't done to at least X grade, must be done again the next day before the barn.  

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