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LMD

Help! Can we talk about teens becoming more independent with school work?

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My oldest is 14, halfway through 8th grade. I have 3 younger students (all boys, 6th, 3rd and K)

I really feel like I'm floundering a bit, I'm having to let go of my picture of how I wanted 8th+ to go, and she really wants to have more control over her own studies- which I'm more than happy to give her...

But I'm really struggling with what this looks like day to day, I feel like we're not making progress, I feel a bit paralyzed and it's affecting the whole homeschool.

Also, she really still needs scaffolding and support, but resents it (yes, she's 14!) She often tries to do the bare minimum and forgets a lot (or 'forgets') which really is my fault, I've not been the best role model for good habits or consistency.

My biggest issue currently is output. She resists it. She can write essays fairly well, she has some base level skills, but she really doesn't want to do anything. I've been letting her just read and think, discuss a little, but I'm worried she'll lose the skills she's got. I've tried suggesting other kinds of projects but she's not interested at all. I think she maybe needs a bit more direction and support to just get going on something, just beginning can be the hardest part, overcoming the momentum. I feel like I can't find that spark that gets her interested anymore and I feel like a failure. Wow, my confidence is shot and thus... floundering!

I'm not really expecting anything to 'fix' her/me/us, just trying to sort my thoughts and hoping for commiserations!

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I went through similar when my dd was 14. It was frustrating. I honestly think 14 was the worst.

What worked for us was outsourcing a couple of things. She worked better for others than for me. She cared about what they thought and wanted to please which was not the case for me at that time. It does get better, so fear not! I just think 14 is rough for girls. (Maybe boys too- haven’t had a boy that age yet though!) 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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54 minutes ago, LMD said:

Also, she really still needs scaffolding and support, but resents it (yes, she's 14!) She often tries to do the bare minimum and forgets a lot (or 'forgets') 

 

I was in public school and school year starts on Jan 2nd (Asia). I turned 14 at the end of 8th grade (December). My DS14 tells me that he feels high school is never ending and he wants to be done so he can go to college as a commuter. I felt similar since I started school in K1 (preK) as a four years old. It did feel like never ending chain of school to me (kindergarten -> primary -> secondary -> junior college -> university). I was counting down to attending engineering school when I was 14, I was that bored. 

My DS14 needs less scaffolding so I ask him at the end of day what he has completed. DS14 uses OneNote to do his schedule. His OneNote looks like a bullet journal. My DS13 needs more “nagging” so we check in every two hours. 

Maybe you can ask her to check in with you after every subject if you give her independent work to do? Initially I would sit next to my kids but let them do their own independent work, kind of like a surveillance camera. 

40 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I just think 14 is rough for girls. (Maybe boys too- haven’t had a boy that age yet though!) 

 

While DS14 has always been intense and “difficult”, boys in general do hit puberty later than girls and it can be tough at 14 with growth spurts, voice changing to deeper, mustache and beard ...

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2 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I went through similar when my dd was 14. It was frustrating. I honestly think 14 was the worst.

What worked for us was outsourcing a couple of things. She worked better for others than for me. She cared about what they thought and wanted to please which was not the case for me at that time. It does get better, so fear not! I just think 14 is rough for girls. (Maybe boys too- haven’t had a boy that age yet though!) 

Thank you, it helps just to hear that this can be a tough age! 

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

 

I was in public school and school year starts on Jan 2nd (Asia). I turned 14 at the end of 8th grade (December). My DS14 tells me that he feels high school is never ending and he wants to be done so he can go to college as a commuter. I felt similar since I started school in K1 (preK) as a four years old. It did feel like never ending chain of school to me (kindergarten -> primary -> secondary -> junior college -> university). I was counting down to attending engineering school when I was 14, I was that bored. 

My DS14 needs less scaffolding so I ask him at the end of day what he has completed. DS14 uses OneNote to do his schedule. His OneNote looks like a bullet journal. My DS13 needs more “nagging” so we check in every two hours. 

Maybe you can ask her to check in with you after every subject if you give her independent work to do? Initially I would sit next to my kids but let them do their own independent work, kind of like a surveillance camera. 

 

While DS14 has always been intense and “difficult”, boys in general do hit puberty later than girls and it can be tough at 14 with growth spurts, voice changing to deeper, mustache and beard ...

Yes I really relate to the first part of your reply, I felt so grown up and ready to get on with real life at 14 too, so I do have a lot of empathy with my girl. We have figured out how to mostly get her schoolwork on par with what is meaningful to her so she has good buy in (still, 14, attitude, slackness etc).

It just really doesn't feel like a smooth transition, it's very bumpy and disorienting and knocks my confidence for my upcoming boys...

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Honestly, I found one or two outside classes good at this point.  Or, a friend joining in with a subject at home. Or a tutor. Or a mix of all!

If your dd would 'output' better with non-Mum feedback, I'm really happy to read/give feedback on English or History assignments a couple of times a term.

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37 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Honestly, I found one or two outside classes good at this point.  Or, a friend joining in with a subject at home. Or a tutor. Or a mix of all!

If your dd would 'output' better with non-Mum feedback, I'm really happy to read/give feedback on English or History assignments a couple of times a term.

Thank you Stella, that is truly a very kind offer! I will keep it in mind. 🙂 Getting her to actually do an English or history assignment is the trick atm 😉

Hmm, food for thought. Thank you. I might talk to a friend of mine, she was a vce English teacher/tutor, maybe we can swap tutoring...

I'm hoping for a few more opportunities for her to come up in the next year or so. A friend of hers has a lead on a symphony position, there are some fab science courses through John Monash Science School from 9th grade. There's TAFE from 16 years old. If we can get through the next year then a lot more doors will be open. I just feel like this year has been messy and I ran out of time with her really fast!

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