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From: Sharon (
Subject:         Forgot
Date: October 16, 2008 at 8:24 am PST

In Reply to: Re: Advice on HS behavior issues posted by Sharon on October 15, 2008 at 6:15 pm:

I just take this for granted, but I got to thinking maybe other people do not do this.

For high school, it is extremely helpful to sit down with your 9th grader and map out the 4 years of high school coursework. Using your state's graduation requirements, minimal community college entrance requirements, or the admissions requirements for a 4 year college your ds might wish to attend, list the subjects needed for each year in order to meet those requirements. This will work out to be something like 4 years of English, 3 years of math, 3 years of science, 3 years of social studies, perhaps 2 years of a foreigh language, and the balance would be electives.

Once you and your student see the required courses and how they have to get mapped out, it's easy to see how necessary it is to stay on track. Anyway, if you have not done this, this may help your student see that there really isn't going to be much room to make up if he continues to be behind in his schoolwork.

But I think a far more important issue is working something out, possibly a compromise, with your husband. Homeschooling can be really hard, and it is more so in the later grades. We need the full support and encouragement of our spouses, especially for those days when we are ready to throw in the towel and stick the kids in public school ourselves!

Perhaps the 2 of you can agree on a timetable for which you both expect to see improvement. If the improvement doesn't happen, maybe it would be time for you to be open to some other educational option. If homeschooling doesn't start working for your son at this stage in his life (college or career prep), there may not be enough time to stay with it and hope it will eventually "take". Like the old saying, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

But if you have to stop homeschooling, it does NOT mean you are a failure! You have probably laid a terrific foundation for your son and that alone is a fantastic accomplishment. I love all my kids so much. Yet each year I review whether or not to keep homeschooling, because I can't tell you the number of days I'm ready to drive right over to my local high school and drop off my child, and say, "You take him!!" LOL!

Sometimes there is a point where you recognize what you can and cannot do. I know I can't do homeschool high school the way some others do. If I had to prep and teach every single high school course myself, my children would be way behind and I would be in the loony bin. So - I outsource a lot of my son's high school work simply because I personally do not have the time to do all the prep for each course. I can't do the chemistry, physics, calculus, English, or foreign language on my own. There's a reason high school teachers in traditional schools only teach one or two subjects, not all of them!

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about mapping out the 4 years in case you had not done that, and also encourage you that doing high school is really, really hard. Doing the prep for each subject takes sooo much time; and if you have a house, other children, church, or an actual life (!!), there may not be enough hours in the day, or the personal energy to do it all. You need a student who is able to see what has to be done in order to finish well. And he has to understand that what is being asked of him isn't unreasonable - it is, in many cases, the *minimum* expectation of all kids his age! If the student can't get that -- and I do think a lot of kids live too much in the moment to grasp this -- your job is extra extra extra challenging.

Parenting and homeschooling is a team effort, even if only one is doing the actual teaching, because it spills over into all the other parts of family life. In addition to your son, there is also the toll it is taking on you. Perhaps your husband is as worried about your well-being as about your son's lack of progress. I hope you and your husband can come to some agreement about what might work best for all concerned.

Blessings, and HTH.

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