T4W December
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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleepless in Seattle View Post
    Thank you Julie for your reply. I do think there is something to be said for how we perceive a situation -- and maybe if our family makes this such a huge deal it will be a huge deal, or if we just choose homeschooling as an alternative approach, it could make it not such a big mental health deal.

    Congrats to you that your daughter is doing and has done so well; I know the opposite road is full of parental and student angst. When she was in 8th grade, were you teaching her or was she doing an online curriculum? My son was very disciplined in school, but at home with me I do not at all see that as being possible, thus my concern. There is an online curriculum here in WA "K12" I think, but I am not sure if it would be he or I managing it. When he was homeschooled for 6th it was mostly by another mom who was excellent at providing structure and teaching, I am not that good .

    Thank you so much for your input!
    You are welcome and thank you for the congrats!

    For eighth grade I purchased a separate curriculum for each subject. Some were hits and some not so much (the most expensive ones usually). She was very interested in sewing and clothing at the time and so we combined history with it, letting her study costume in the context of the social and political events of the time. I found some college textbooks for that. That was our best subject as far as being creative IMO. History is a great thing to combine with other interests. She also did a lot of sewing, ordering books from Japan and then following the pictures because they were in Japanese lol. I was also hsing my younger SN daughter though it was only kindergarten, but she did take a lot of time and attention. I also used a great courses history series. Dd was very interested in cooking and we combined that with history and science too.

    We used Singapore Science, the text and workbook, and dd really liked it and felt that she was learning much more than she had at school. It was written for a classroom so it was frustrating to use sometimes and she got very good at using Google to fill in the gaps that a classroom teacher would have covered. Khan academy was very helpful. She requested Singapore's Biology and it took me a while to find it as it had been discontinued lol, but I did. In ninth grade I had her do an online Biology class through our school district and she HATED it. Several of us hsing biology that year paid a retired biology teacher to do some dissection labs so she would get some hands on. I think for science online just isn't very good. For math or English I think they would be OK for many kids, but dd pretty much refused any more through our school district after the biology debacle.

    I checked her work in the beginning and helped her where I could. Our language arts curriculum was a fail but she started writing a blog and my dh is an editor so I relied on him a lot to reassure me that she was fine. We did cover grammar and that was good. I had her write a couple essays for history and dh told me she was far ahead of most of the college freshman he taught. So I let it go at that.

    For math we ended up trying three different curricula and none of them was a perfect fit. I was really worried at the time that she was going to be behind. She had taken the ITBS in seventh grade at ps. I made her take it again in ninth and her math scores, already very good, went up. Everything went up. I think a great teacher is a wonderful thing, but teaching yourself can be really powerful too. I got her through Algebra (and I am being generous with the "I" here lol) and then she took geometry at high school. She took the Compass math test at our local community college last Spring and tested into trigonometry. We ended up deciding to go to the U instead of community college just because it is easier for her to get to with buses or walking.

    In ninth grade I started letting her choose how she wanted to cover subjects and she planned most of it. She also read a load of science nonfiction. I had her to a literary analysis workbook just so she would be familiar the terms and she read a lot anyway. I tried making her read the classics and that was a fail too. This isn't sounding great is it lol? She read a lot so I left it to dh to be responsible. She finished up the history series with documentaries thrown in. She did one coursera class and finished it because I insisted but that was the end of our online classes. I think that was also the end of me insisting on anything lol.

    In tenth grade I basically told her to do whatever she wanted to cover everything. She took chemistry at the hs and continued to read science nonfiction, discovered physics and did more advanced Algebra on her own. She used khan academy for that because we couldn't find a text book she liked. She got interested in reading and writing screen plays so that was Language Arts. Tenth grade was the year she figured out that physics is what she loves and wants to pursue. Dh took her on some college visits and she has a plan to get into a specific school and doing well at the U this next year should help, at least I hope so. It is a long shot so she is also saying that if she likes it here she can stay. I am really proud of her.

    When she started high school and it was not good I had my own little freak out. How will she get into college?! How will she be able to even handle going to college?! How will she ever be able to do anything if she can't handle high school?! And with dd8 how on earth was I going to be able to help her with the more advanced coursework? I was sort of a mess really, for about a month. Luckily by that time dh was all about hsing and letting her pursue her own interests. I had to talk him into doing it in the first place though so that was a little weird. My only condition was that she take the geometry and chemistry classes at the high school. I was lucky to have some hs mom friends who talked me down and very nicely confronted me about it. They took her side basically lol.

    Dd has always taken music lessons and she does orchestra through a private music school. That is how we covered music. We have a friend who is a photographer and art dealer and she spent a lot of time with dd. That was art.

    Socially it had been tough. But it was tough in school too, just a different kind of tough. And we discussed this with her when we decided to do it, that it might get lonely and that was the trade off for having the freedom to do what she wants to do. Dd is an introvert so it was not as hard on her as it would be for a lot of kids. She did do all the activities through the hs teen group, even though she didn't find anyone with whom she could really click. She was at least getting out and being with people and socializing.

    Hsing with all the worry and uncertainty has been worth it so far and I feel very optimistic for her future. This is diametrically opposed to how I felt when she started junior high and then again for that month at the beginning of high school. When I look back it has been a continuous process of letting go and putting her in charge. And I really feel that even though it was scary to give her that control it was the best thing for her. Anxiety can be a lot about feeling that you aren't in control so maybe that helped. I don't claim that our method would be best for everyone, but it was the right thing for dd. I asked her to keep a journal and keep track of what she does, just for transcript purposes.

    A whole online curriculum is not something I am familiar with and I don't think it would be the best choice for either of my kids. I do know one mom who loves teaching textbooks for math for her son. K12 is free in our state but I don't know anyone who is using it. This site has reviews of different options so if you decide to go ahead that would be a good place to start. And good luck finding the best path for your son, or maybe helping him find his own best path would be a better way to say it.
    Last edited by Accidental Homeschooler; 08-13-2014 at 06:03 PM.
    Julie,
    home schooling two dds 17(still waters) and 10(force of nature)

  2. T4L In Forum Dec
  3. #12

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    Hi All - First thank you so much for taking the time to give thorough and thoughtful replies, I know how time consuming that is and I do appreciate it. Also thank you for sharing your personal stories. I know now parenting is so much harder than I ever imagined, as I now realize I grew up kind of struggle free, so didn't not have realistic expectations. Really the last parenting forums I frequented were more geared to what is the very best car seat for my toddler, when I thought I could do all the research and get it all right . And I am happy for you that many of your heart-wrenching stories have turned around into a more joy-filled, confident life for your kiddos or for yourself too, as a parent or when you were a student yourself. There are extremely positive outcomes in the above posts!

    I think the hard thing with him and to answer a question from a few of you, is two things: 1) I do think he really does want to be able to be in traditional school. He feels like he is missing out when his friends talk about things like ''what happened in Spanish class.". He is social, has a lot of friends. At more vulnerable times over the last few years he would want to avoid places (like the yogurt store) where groups of kids would congregate, but over the last 9 months he has gone to probably every school dance. So it is hard to pin-point the anxiety. 2) It is not just school that makes him anxious so I am thinking while homeschooling would be an alternative, it would not eliminate the anxiety/mental health component. This summer he has definitely had fun, but also definitely had anxiety. He went to a lacrosse day camp with a friend and could not get out of the car. (I think performance pressure is an internal issue for him.) This is something he really wanted to do, he convinced me to buy him new lacrosse equipment; and the group for this specific week was rather small and only 3 other boys his age so not reason to necessarily be intimidated by the big group of jocks... (he is very athletic himself, but not confident in it.) He also didn't see his therapist, said he couldn't. I think he is in denial/avoidance this summer which I understand, but unfortunately avoiding it doesn't make the problems go away.

    All of you have given me something to think about from your individual sharing. And we are finally in the hands of a psychiatrist who is looking at it more of an emotional issue than a school issue, can be schooled anywhere (home, public, private...) so find out where he is comfortable for school, and then figure out what is going on emotionally. I am not sure what happens next, but I do know you all have been very helpful and I am printing your posts to be able to really dissect them, and you are all incredible moms!!!

    Thank you!

  4. #13

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    Good luck Sleepless. Anxiety is definitely very difficult to deal with, both for the person who has it and also everyone who loves them.
    Julie,
    home schooling two dds 17(still waters) and 10(force of nature)

  5. #14
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    I have a 12 year old son that has almost the exact same history as your son. However, he is in his last year of sixth grade and is currently in the process of applying to private middle schools right now. He has not been to school since November and has been following his school's curriculum with a tutor at home each day. As we consider our options for next year if he does not make it to the first day of school, homeschooling or going to a 1 on 1 environment is a consideration. He is very social so I do worry about how he will be perceived by his peers if we homeschool.

    Is your son back at school yet? Thank you!

  6. #15

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    I am homeschooling my 8 year old due to anxiety. He wants to be in traditional school because he is also very social, but the anxiety associated with compliance, doing right, doing stupid work he has no interested in, coupled with ZERO free time to be kids... Have you looked in to alternative schools in your area? We have quite a few alternative charters, public schools, and a mix of homeschool/free schools in the area I live. Something we will try when/if we return to school.

    I have severe anxiety as well and just suffered through school by burying my nose in books constantly. Not everyone can cope with anxiety in the same way. Best of luck. Kelly

  7. #16

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    Dear California Mom,

    Welcome to the land of public charter homeschools and hybrids. Do a google search for *public charter homeschools in (your county).*
    The socialization question is really a non-issue anyways. If hes at home doing PS curriculum, he might as well be with a charter where he can have personalized learning. The one we attend has optional 2 day/week enrichment classes, and they help guide and help you choose what curriculum to use, and can answer homeschooling questions constantly, they pay for all the materials and extracurriculars (extracurriculars are where kids socialize anyways, not in a traditional classroom), and they organize great field trips.
    Not all the public charters are the same, though. Some are pain in the ass, so check out which ones give you the best impression, and visit them, meet the people youd be dealing with.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  8. #17

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    My youngest daughter when she started the 3rd grade was getting bullied heavily. She would come home and say so and so is bothering her. I say well did you tell your teacher? She reply my teacher said put my hand down. This went on for almost a week. Same student while they taking a quiz, yanked one of her braids. Of course my daughter responded by saying "ouch" she told her teacher her classmate pulled her braid. Another incident, after school picking her up, I noticed my daughter's shoe laces were untied, a male student stepped her on her and made my daughter fall. Some may say, he probably didn't see her shoe laces? Yes, he did. I've made countless trips to that school, spoke to the Dean and Principal with no real resolved results. While leaving out for school, my daughter would sit on the couch and literally start balling her eyes out! She would say she wasn't feeling well just so she wouldn't have to go to school. Some days she wasn't lying. I've never seen a child cringe whenever she saw that building. The next day, she went to school, while standing in the lunch line, she said, her classmate knocked her food on the floor. Once again, she told her teacher, her teacher said, get in line and we'll talk later. Later never came. She missed a lot of days, by the end of the school year, they wanted to retain her. Oh no! That's when I decided to homeschool her. She started the 4th grade in the Fall of 2014, she and I absolutely love it! Here's the real kicker, while she was at brick and mortar school, she was never tested for dyslexia. Her homeschool teacher picked it up real fast. Now she is getting special education classes for math and reading. Wow, that is long. Sorry for being long winded

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Homeschool and School Anxiety/Avoidance/Refusal