HELP New at homeschooling and high schooler very behind

Find out how to handle homeschooling through high school and college prep!

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HELP New at homeschooling and high schooler very behind

Postby Jessie » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:01 am

Hello, I am very new to homeschooling and will try to make this as short and to the point as possible. :) My nephew is 17 yrs old (18 this summer) and is way behind in his subjects. It is very long and horrible story that includes some health problems his mother had, and the divorce his parents had making his mother homeschooling as a single parent before her cancer came about. Anyway's my sister's health got the best of her, she thought she was getting help with her son's education, (his father) plus he wasn't working as independently as he should have been, and now it's his junior yr (or should I say the year he'd be in if he were in public school) and he is just now starting Algebra, (seems to be having a hard time with it as well) and is on an 8th grade level in Language arts, he absolutely hates writing as well, but I think mainly it's because he is behind. His reading comprehension could also be better, oh and I forgot to mention he has ADD, and depression, zero self-esteem the depression is from almost losing his mother, and the divorce of his parents, he is also an only child. My sister has no family but me and is still very ill, I am taking it upon myself to help her out, although I work part-time, this child need's more than what his parents can give him. He is just soo behind I don't have a clue as to what to do?! I work part-time so some of his studies would have to be independent (he and I have already discussed the importance in this and this time I think he is serious about catching up) I don't think that putting him back in public school would help, they would put him back to 7th or 8th grade. I am glad he is the only child I need to focus on, but I do not know where to start, especially since he is so behind?! It's almost as if he has been unschooled. Tutoring, online, do school work 24-7? He is also frustrated and wants to graduate next year, but how, and is that even possible? I am panicking here! I just wanna scream and cry!! Any suggestion's? Thanks!


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Idea for your nephew

Postby Nan » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:09 pm

I am not experienced with older children and homeschooling; however, I sympathize with your nephew's and your situations. I have found in my work that students who visit with me for career day usually go away with a new positive outlook on math and science, because I involve them with ideas and hands on "real" experience. I give them a reason to be interested.

In the homeschool realm, I am familiar with Aurora Lipper and her great science program. Check it out here: She offers some free teleclasses that can give you an idea of what is in store and let your nephew see if he likes it. Tomorrow she is offering a class on could sign up if the time works.

I do not have any affiliation with Aurora. I have just been following her and like how positive she is...wish she offered this 30+ years ago for me! Perhaps, if your nephew could get motivated by a cool program like this then the other pieces would come together too.

Truly, best wishes to you and your nephew. My hope is that if he starts enjoying his studies, then achievement will follow. That would give him self motivation certainly. I expect others on this site to chime in and offer their experience - much more than I can, certainly.


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Postby Theodore » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:14 am

Well, first of all, he's probably going to have to give up on graduating high school at the normal time. It's not the end of the world - I "graduated" a bit late myself and didn't get a college degree until my mid to late 20's, due to chronic health problems. Since I work as a consultant doing programming / web design, however, nobody cared. Not once has anyone ever asked me my level of education. And my college degree cost only around $25K, as opposed to the 4x as much or more that some people shell out.

My advice is to figure out where he is, realistically, in each subject and then just move on from there. If he studies year-round rather than following the normal school year, he can probably pick up an extra half grade or grade every year. Probably take a couple years to finish high school, but if he can then do well in standardized testing (AP, CLEP) and supplement with community college courses, he can pick up another 6 months to a year during the first couple years of college (it's also much cheaper this way...) Then he can transfer credits and do the final two years at a four-year college if he really wants the college experience. Just keep in mind that a 4-year liberal arts degree may not mean much in this economy, he should try to go for a degree in something that will be fairly certain to have a job waiting when he gets out.

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