Homeschooling Tutors... Is there such a thing?

Having problems figuring out where to start? Let other homeschoolers offer you some advice!

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Mia
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Homeschooling Tutors... Is there such a thing?

Postby Mia » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:07 pm

I am very new to homeshooling. I never had an issue with it, but always wondered about kids missing out on the social aspects of school. I just started looking into this because my 16-year-old son has basically missed 70% of the current school year and continues to cut classes.

Background: About 2 1/2 years ago when my older son was preparing to head to college, my husband and I decided to sell our house and rent a condo within walking distance to the high school. Not only were we losing a driver, my husband changed jobs and the new commute and hours would not allow him to get home to taxi the younger son back and forth. (Our younger son is very social and can't focus on homework at school between the time school ended and water polo/swim practice began. He always worked best sitting at his desk.) It was the worst decision we ever made; it gave him the option to stay home instead of going to school. He is generally a good kid and doesn't get into mischief, but has always been a "difficult" child and very moody. His attitude got worse (as did grades) and he became more withdrawn, refusing to talk to us about anything. We checked for signs of drug use or girlfriend issues and found none. Nothing we tried (taking away privleges, yelling, tutors) made a difference, and we thought lack of self-discipline was the biggest issue. After some research, we started the application process for a small military school in San Diego this past fall. Over winter break, we realized it wasn't just a teenage rebellion thing; we had noted signs of depression for a while, but it a couple of his friends expressed their concerns to their parents, who told me. If his friends noticed, it wasn't just us he was shutting out. We withdrew the military school application (probably the worst thing for a teen with depression) and have been trying to get him to see a therapist. He recently agreed to go and the first appointment is next week.

Here's where homeschooling comes in... He has missed so much school, he basically has to re-do his junior year. He also failed a few classes last year (not doing his homework; cutting class). He is very intelligent (his teachers' words, not mine), but not motivated. I was thinking that if I could hire a tutor (I work full time and I don't think he's ready to work on his own.) to homeschool him, it would provide flexibility (number of subjects and hours) and would take the school district out of the picture. (They have to track attendance and his truancy is a problem.) Where would I go to start looking for someone to fill such a role? Are there tutors that do this kind of thing? Or do I enroll him in an online school and then hire a tutor for each subject? We obviously can't start this until he starts working through his emotional/mental issues, but want to develop a plan.

I apologize for the long but sketchy explanation. I wanted to provide some background without going on for 5 pages. Any input/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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Theodore
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Postby Theodore » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:21 pm

Well, there aren't really "homeschooling tutors" per se, unless you just mean tutors who will come to your home. For high-school material, I wouldn't imagine finding a tutor who can cover multiple subjects is hugely difficult. You could try any nearby homeschool co-ops first and see if there's anyone who wouldn't mind moonlighting for money, but if that doesn't work, you can just search online for "[city/state] high school tutors" and a bunch of sites will pop up. One thing homeschooling will do for you is allow your son to study year-round instead of on the semester schedule, which means less work per day - maybe as little as 2-3 hours if he concentrates.

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Postby cbkpu » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:36 pm

Hi--I just read your post and have similar challenges with my 8th grade son. Only 7 more weeks of school and I may homeschool. I'm curious to hear if you found some sort of tutoring service for your son? Hope things are looking brighter for you!

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Postby Mia » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:30 pm

I had a meeting with his school counselor and one of the assistant principals and discovered that the district has a separate independent study program. It's run fairly similar to the online schools they have now. The administrators were concerned about him being isolated in this setting, but he's isolating himself, so I don't see how that comes into play at this point. The benefit of going with this program would be that his diploma would be from the district. We are just getting him started with that.

As for the tutor... I have been happy with the tutors on WizAnt.com so once my son decides on the classes he wants to take, I'll find someone who knows those subjects well.

He still hasn't made it to see a therapist; he absolutely refused to go when his appointment came up. So we're still working on that. But he seems to be relieved to some extent about the school thing.

Best of luck with your child. My son's former teachers and administrators have been so supportive; I feel like we're on the right track. I don't feel has lost as I did when I wrote my initial post. I hope you have a supportive group (in addition to sites like this) around you.

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Postby cbkpu » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:23 am

Hello--Thank you for the update. Is the independent study a program that takes place at school, but in a different setting? I may have to look into that and see if our high school offers that for next year. My son does see a therapist and is on medication to treat depression. However, he is younger and I think that is why we are able to get him to the therapist. I am worried that he will start to refuse. We also have the same issues with the intelligence level. So capable and not motivated. This has been something I am hearing more often. I was told to stop trying to put my son into a "normal" box. I am starting to understand that. It's hard to say that they can't be in a normal school setting, but if it works for them, I guess we have to try it. Thank you!

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Postby Mia » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:44 am

Our school district apparently set up the program because there was a need; kids who couldn't attend a regular schedule because they're actors, semi-professional athletes, or like our sons and have medical needs. The students in the program meet one on one with an instructor once a week to review assignments and/or take a quiz/test. Throughout the week, they work on their own. I don't think my son is quite ready to take on that responsibily, so that's why I'm planning on hiring a tutor to work with him every day.

If your district doesn't have aomething like that, there are several online schools that work the same way.

If your son is already seeing a therapist, I think you should be ok going forward. I think part the issue for mine is the unknown. He is also extremely stubborn (makes me look easy-going by comparison) so it makes it even harder. And everyone tells me admitting you need help is the hardest part of this process.

I tell myself to focus on getting him the help he needs. Once he accepts that and we find a therapist he clicks with, and he begins to learn how to handle all his emotions and whatever else he's going through, I have to believe that things will start falling in place and he will eventually succeed in whatever he chooses to do. That's what keeps me going. And I'm convinced that this would be a lot easier to handle if our sons were not so intelligent and sharp!

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Postby lessons from home » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:44 pm

If your son is truly depressed and isolated, what do you think about trying some un-traditional schooling? Could he find an apprenticeship or volunteer position doing something he has an interest in? My thought is if he has something engaging in his life besides just school, it may serve to re-engage him in the land of the living. He may need that mental spark of something that fascinates him to break him out of the depression.
"whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, or worthy of praise, meditate on these things" Phil.4:8


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