Amy C. wrote:
My 9th grader, going into 10th grade, is behind. He completed through week 30 before going on a 2 week backpacking trip at the end of June. He returns this weekend. So he lacks 6 weeks in all subjects. The last few weeks of work, it would take him all day to do Bible, Lit, and one other subject. He is an intelligent boy who works hard in many ways and on many days but he is a boy and he is a perfectionist, a procrastinator, and his mind wanders. Especially the last few weeks, perhaps because he is tired and was so excited about his trip. He has had to prepare and train for it. Other than life happening here and there which didn't cause very many interruptions from school, we did not schedule any breaks from Christmas until now. We also dropped the extra credit logic study several months ago.
When talking with him, he says the Bible reading is what is bogging him down, which I hate to hear because that is the main thing I was so excited about him doing/learning this year. I did notice the last week he worked, it took him an incredibly loooong time to complete Bible and Lit (the Odyssey). He would usually only get to those two and one other subject, either math or science.
I have tried for the past few months to pinpoint the problem, even wondering if the material was just too much for him. He admits that his mind wanders during reading, especially reading he sees as not helpful to him in the here and now (even though he has found some to be interesting and has even connected the dots with certain OT verses with other Bible verses he has learned). I have talked to him about the importance of the Bible and the OT in particular and am hopeful it will all make sense to him at some point. Some of it has been hard for him to understand, and he says 6 chapters of OT laws (Leviticus) and prophecy (Ezekiel) is too much at one reading. I have suggested that he listens to the passages on his ipod/iphone which he tried but said that his mind wanders. I have suggested that he read along with the audio. He tried that but says the audio goes too fast for him to stay caught up. I felt this child was a strong reader, but now I don't know. I have read to him but after a few times, he told me he didn't want me to. I don't know if he feels too old to be read to or if it is the not keeping up while I am reading and his mind wandering.
? I am constantly walking by saying, "Are you reading or are you daydreaming? Get your head in the game" when I think he is not in it. One day he had his eyes closed, and he said, "I am praying, Mother!". He was about in tears that particular day. I have been about in tears. I have 3 other children, all different ages/grades/needs, and I am tired!
As a side note, he is not a rebellious child. He is usually very obedient and agreeable. We are not having an issue with him having a rebellious nature. Just wanted to clarify that.
Also, as a side note, I am trying to be both mother and teacher to him. It has become clear to me several years ago that there is a line to walk in pushing academically and in keeping that relationship with my child strong, not destroying it. In particular, I felt I needed to back off a little that last week, because he was going to be gone far away for a long time (to me, anyway). I was conscious of the last thing we did or said to one another not be anything I would regret. I want to live my life in such a way that our relationship with each other be like that everyday. But I also want him to finish his work!
As another side note, we have not had our weekly meeting every week, but I have tried to keep up with him throughout the year the best I could with 3 other children with their own specific needs. I am sure I wasn't always on top of things but I have tried. Plus I dealt with my own health issues this past year. Please be gentle with me!
I told him that I wanted him to enjoy these 2 weeks and not think of anything else (this really is a trip of a lifetime for him and we feel God opened the door and worked out all the details to make it possible - plus he is very interested in this and I feel it helps him to learn/grow and that God can use this interest for His perfect plan in his life) but that when he returned we would have to sit down and come up with a plan. He agreed and I hope will be ready to work hard when he gets home. So we need a plan.
Does anyone have any suggestion? I have looked at the manual to see what we could tweak/leave off, but I hate to leave anything off at this point. If he had to choose, it would be Bible. Of course, I don't want to do that and would like to come up with a creative solution to finish it. He really likes the Daniel study and Apologia Biology. Math is obviously not an option. He only lacks 2 more weeks reading the Odyssey and then the writing assignment. I hate not to finish that. Writing was one thing I wanted him to grow in this year, and he has (a tremendous step up from first paper to the second). Also, since he is almost finished reading the Odyssey, I don't think the audio would be helpful at this point.
He has already read the Iliad which was said to be somewhat optional. He enjoys the history even though he doesn't see how it is relevant. It just seems such a shame to quit on anything this close to the end, but time is ticking away until the new year starts. I hate to leave anything off. Do we just finish and pick up with WHL immediately or will this be too much? And will this put him perpetually behind?
Sigh ... I just need some help thinking this through and coming up with a plan. Thanks if you made it to the end and if you can help me.
Amy C. wrote:I also wanted to say that I debated about posting because I don't want to be discouraging to others. My ds has learned tons this year and has grown in many ways and in many subjects/areas. We have just hit a bump in the road and need help getting back on track.
I don't want to monopolize all the high school conversations, so hopefully someone else will chime in, as well. But being that I've graduated my last student, I may have more free time than most
Well, the first thing is that it's your school,
of course, and only you know what you require for graduation, whether your son deserves the credits as-is, etc. etc.
That said, here are some random thoughts.
1. I personally skipped the Odyssey. Like you, we read the whole Iliad. We liked it better than the fantastical Odyssey. My son missed some of the detailed questions and vocab in MFW's study of the Odyssey, but he got the general understanding of the Homeric epic poem, the mythology blended with history, etc. We watched the Hallmark movie of the Odyssey, plus I compared one scene to reading it in the book (to show there were significant liberties taken), and he still was able to write the essay.
He also did some of the final grammar lessons from the end of the year, and he read Eric Liddell in the summer (which I guess would be now, or next summer?).
2. I'm not getting why your son is reading Leviticus, which should be near the beginning of the year? The end of the year is the Daniel study, which didn't seem too taxing for my son?
3. If he's not
working on Daniel, then is it possible for you to do his readings as family Bible time during the summer, or are you too busy? When we got to the prophets, we just listened to the chapters on audio as a family, and I would try to have a few simple
questions or comments (from my Study Bible footnotes, or from the Journey book, or from Greenleaf Guide when we were reading law and history). Then my son would write me a couple of sentences each day as a summary, just to make sure it didn't all float out his other ear, so-to-speak. The OT questions were taking him too long because they have him look up other areas of the Bible and make inferences, which as a just-the-facts-ma'am boy were not occurring to him
4. Dawn shared on this thread that she cut back the history credit in AHL to 0.5. I know you didn't necessarily ask about history, but the thread might give you some ideas: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 098#p93108
It's very hard to guide high schoolers, whether homeschooled or not. It sounds like you are making some good decisions. It is not hard at all for me to understand where you're at. High school work doesn't "go away" like K-8 work does, and 9th is a huge transition. It helped for me to realize my local public school does not schedule 36 weeks of school (closer to 34), and it also helped to move ds's service hours to summer & Sundays.
And when things got discouraging, I set my minimums for graduation from my school, which were much smaller than my hopes and dreams. Just for reference, my minimum looked something like this: reading the whole Bible, learning algebra well, doing 4 years of English with lots of writing, and learning American history. His transcript wouldn't look too pretty with just those, though, so I always aimed far higher
But thinking through your minimums can help you hang on to what's most important at your house and choose what to let go of.