Sunday, September 23, 2012

Older Son Dropped His Online Classes

A major update to our homeschool plans for this year is we have dropped our older son out of his three online classes.

I want to be careful about what I say here as I (always) feel uncomfortable at the idea of the company owner or the teacher reading this blog. My intent is not to cause the company harm. I also do not want to invite litigation such as was done to the editors of Home Education Magazine when they said something negative about a homeschool product on the market which they had negative opinions about.

If I must boil down why, here it is: "the classes were not a good fit for my son".

Contributing factors: I felt the classes in reality were not a match to the description offered. I was unaware that one class was using a college level (dry and difficult) text. Communications were irregular and the teachers were not using the same website in the same ways so both my son and I had a hard time even knowing what the assignments were and how or where to submit the work. A class was not uploaded as promised and the next was not even recorded. It is hard enough to do the actual work and to follow along correctly but when administrative confusion occurs it is a real nightmare. In a nutshell the classes were like AP classes without that label. I was not looking to put my son in one AP class let alone three at once. He is not that kind of homeschool sophomore kid. For one course I had a serious disagreement with the teaching philosophy and felt they were not delivering on what was promised in the course description. I do not belive in "student discovery" method of teaching. To get good grades and to get through the assignments students needed mastery of a skill that was said to be taught INSIDE the class, a skill my son has not mastered yet. That's what I was paying them for, but that is not what was being taught.

I signed up for the courses without knowing a single person, not even an online stranger, who took those classes and could recommend them. I took a risk and it was a mistake. So I have learned from that mistake. It's time to move on.

Therefore, when we did this about ten days ago I found myself realizing I needed to scramble to come up with a plan to teach English, writing composition, and history. Great. Last minute planning and scrambling, just what I needed on my plate.

Why don't we just put him in community college instead of trying online classes, I have been been asked. My son had started the admissions process to apply to community college but he has not followed through to take the required admissions test (probably out of fear). He does not have a right attitude for success in CC right now anyway.

At the present time my son requests to continue homeschooling. I was looking forward to more outsourcing so he would be accountable to other people since he seems to be doing this teenage son thing where he wants to be independent from Mom and he also accuses me of being too rigorous. He now has seen even more rigor than I had wanted for him so I think he gets it that my plans seemed easy compared to those classes.

If my son will not cooperate with me for homeschooling (as was the case for some subjects last year) then we will have to look for other options, such as using public high school. If my son will not commit to studying and learning what he needs to learn for basics for Texas state law then I will not sit back and let him do some kind of half-assed homeschool plan on my watch. Not only is it technically illegal but it's just unethical for me to accept and do. If he is going to slack and goof off then he can do it in public high school and let someone else deal with him all day. Let someone else handle the attitude and dole out low grades. Then I can sit here and complain that the schools aren't doing enough to reach all the students and blame the teachers. (Actually after what I have been through I have more empathy for teachers now than ever before. But the ease of blaming someone else and avoiding personal responsibility seems tempting right now. Actually what I have learned is that you really can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. This applies to homeschooling just as much as it applies to kids enrolled in a school. I just can't believe I am dealing with this attitude now after having so many happy homeschooling years with my kids.

We were at a really low place about ten days ago but in the last six days with some new family rules about homeschooling and time management it has gotten better. I won't get into that right now.

In the meantime I am buried with homeschooling my younger son with a gigantic workload for his new one day a week classical homeschool "thing". I was just told by a teacher they intend to assign 40-48 hours of work to do in the six days that he is not in their program - so this large workload is not a figment of my imagination. I thought the classical thing for my younger son and the outsourcing of teaching to other for my older would give me a lower workload and less stress so I could sit back and have less to do while I unpacked and settled in to our new house. Instead I have more work than when I decided what he should do, and I have more stress than ever. I may just have to put them both in school so that I can have a chance at having good physical health.

Regarding my health I will learn more in the next couple of weeks about if I'm healthy or sick with a bleeding ulcer or something worse.


Cori said...

You are my hero. Take heart, someone thinks you are awesome.

I can't tell you how much your posts mean to me right now. I would LOVE to blame the teachers and administration right now. Oh the joy!! But, we are trudging through a co-op thing as well. It's a beautiful thing with wonderful people, yadda yadda, and it might just not be even remotely the right thing for my kid. But, I am so grateful that someone else is flabbergasted at how their it has all come down to this after so many years. It was all so sweet and wonderful when I look back on it from where we are today. Maybe I am idealizing what we've been through as a family, but it isn't my imagination that something has dramatically changed here. But, like yours, he wants to stay home. good grief. What to do?

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Oh, Christine, I'm sorry that things have been difficult lately. I pray that your reports come back good and that your homeschool situation becomes more bearable. (((Cyberhugs)))