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Do I Fail him?

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Joined: 22 Oct 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:38 pm    Post subject: Do I Fail him? Reply with quote

A little background. This is our first year to homeschool and ds is in the 7th grade. It has been an adjustment and not necessarily smooth sailing. He is doing OK in most of his subjects but he is failing science. This is an online class and he takes the test online. I study with him and try to help him, but he is uninterested (ultimately) and hasn't been doing well on the test at all. So at the end of the semester, am I suppose to give him an F and make him retake the semester during the summer? I want him to take homeschooling seriously but I don't think he is or he doesn't think I will flunk him. Any of you homeschooling veterans have any suggestions.

Another issue right now is my ds doesn't like me very much right now because I am pushing him. I only give him 3-4 hours of work a day and he never gets it done. We had a long talk tonight, and lets just say, it was not well received. And of course, I did all the talking. I feel like we are behind in school as it is and I don't think I am asking too much from him. When I sit down to help him with assignments or try to explain something to him, he is mopey and sulks and doesn't want to listen. When I back off, he sulks and then quits. What am I suppose to do here?

Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exist b/c it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exist in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone. - Margaret Wheatley
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3-4 hours a day of concentrated work is actually quite a lot, if you're working the whole time. Studies have shown that unless you enjoy what you're working on, attention starts to wane after the first half hour or so, especially with boys. Do you allow him to take a short break between subjects? Also, is he rewarded in some way for good performance? If he has an allowance, for instance (as opposed to payment for doing certain chores), you could tie the allowance to how well he does in his studies. If he does really well in everything, he gets a bonus; if he drags his feet, he gets a mediocre amount. Above all, there needs to be a fixed reward / penalty structure that he knows about in advance and that you can apply without constantly pulling him over for talks. If he's being obstinate, all the talks will do is make it worse - I know this from personal experience (having been that person occasionally myself)

You haven't said anything about the subject matter or study method you're using for science, but I imagine it doesn't involve a huge amount of lab or hands-on work outdoors. Might help to spice things up a bit, even if the curriculum is all online or something and doesn't require it.

Certainly not saying it's all your fault, mind you, just that there may be alternate ways to handle things so he'll want to study more.
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