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From: Sharon (
Subject:         Re: Advice on HS behavior issues
Date: October 15, 2008 at 6:15 pm PST

In Reply to: Advice on HS behavior issues posted by Tracy on October 13, 2008 at 11:21 am:

I kept waiting for someone else to respond.

What does he do when he is not doing schoolwork? Has something happened to him that has changed him from an involved, interested student to one who does not seem to care? The answers to these types of questions may help pinpoint a non-school problem whch needs to be addressed first.

But I think high school is different. We have found that things get ratcheted up more than in the earlier years. And it makes sense: expectations are -- and should be, I think -- higher for a high school student than a middle school student.

This sometimes requires a huge adjustment on the part of the student, and often, I think, they don't recognize that the expectations are a giant step up. They just don't believe it. And higher expectations mean they have to work harder. Unless they have a vision for themselves - how they see themselves as adults, which is hard for many teens to do -- working harder isn't terribly appealing.

I don't know if you have already done this, but we sit down (parent and student) and look at what we have to cover for the year. Then we look at the weeks available to get it done. Then we look at: how do we break this down into a manageable number of lessons or chapters or whatever per week to get it done?

I let the student mostly figure out how much has to be done to get done by year end. It is a joint decision, but mostly his. We build in a little flexibility in that I don't believe it is necessary to work on every subject every day (except, perhaps, math). So some days, especially with big projects, he might only work on one subject. If he has a big English paper or project, he might work 2 full days on that and nothing else. But he knows he still has to get the rest of the scheduled work done that week. We often look at a week ojn a Monday and discuss how best to schedule to get through it all that week and stay on pace. It is very hard to stay on pace, but it can be done.

I wonder if many high school homeschool students do do schoolwork (homework) at night in addition to their daytime work. If not, I think that makes it very hard to keep up, especially if you have a slow reader/writer (like I do). So my son works from 7:30 or 8 a.m. until about 5 p.m., takes a break for dinner, and goes back to work until bedtime (10 p.m.). This is still an easier schedule than his brothers who were often up until 2, 3, or 4 a.m. doing schoolwork (they went to traditional schools).

If you have done the joint creating and discussing of schedule, etc. already, I'm not sure I can offer more. It may very well be that he needs the experience of being accountable to someone else for a while. If you do not choose to do public school, you can find online courses which can range from free to pretty expensive where he has to be accountable to someone else. But in the end, if he does not do the work, if he does not recognize or desire to do what it takes, no magic formula is going to get him there, sorry.

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