May is here, and not many weeks are left in the school year. This was a very difficult year for all of us, and not just for the obvious reason of there being a pandemic and everything being upside down for everyone on this planet.
For us it was also because my eldest had switched to the full time program with the school my kids attended for many years for homeschool supplement. It is a hybrid program with rigorous homework expectations and 2 days a week classroom meetings. Nothing new really for him as he has taken many difficult classes there, he is an overachiever and likes to learn, and yet…
Without getting into too many details, I can say it was not the best fit for him. He comes out on the other side an overworked, extremely anxious and burnt out kid.
Now we must figure out what to do in the next school year.
A teenager that is burnt out and sleep deprived, extremely discouraged, will not have the best of grades finishing the school year and that is ok for me (not for him, he has been A+ student all 10 years). He passed Accuplacer test for local community college with flying colors and is accepted to attend. He wants to learn and wants to be good in what he’s learning. He is on track to graduate per county requirements even if he does NOTHING AT ALL next year.
Things he misses the most about homeschooling: 1. Time in Nature 2. Sleep 3. Time to read.
Current arrangement he has with his school for the next year:
He’s back to school for 3 subjects. 2 more subjects per semester are taken in a community college through school’s concurrent enrollment program
Pros: He receives school issued diploma (college classes are counted as 1 semester=1 year).
Cons: 2 of the classes to be taken in school he does not care about much. The remaining one he likes and wants to take it with this teacher. Parents can’t pay for additional college classes. Anything he learns at home doesn’t matter for his transcript. No time left for anything besides two extracurriculars between college and school homework.
Now to what we can choose instead:
Revert back to homeschool status, staying with current school.
He takes that 1 class he really cares about with school, 1 class in college through school program. Total 3 classes from them, the rest at home. It is not clear if we are allowed to pay for extra college classes ourselves, we need to find that out. He receives 2+ separate transcripts and I issue the HS diploma.
Pros: He takes the majority of his classes at home at his pace, more control over his time, more freedom, he can still borrow textbooks for other subjects from school. School pays for 2 of his college classes.
Cons: If school prohibits us paying for extra college classes ourselves, it can be a problem. He can’t go back to full time with that school. No reason to think he can’t do it with another one though. We don’t really consider public school at this time, but who knows.
We pivot to full time homeschooling.
If he wants to pursue his associate degree at the same time, or just collect transferrable credits for university, he can. If he doesn’t want to go to college this coming grade, he can. He can work. He can do whatever he wants.
Cons: Can’t borrow textbooks from the school. None of his college classes will be paid for by school program.
We have to make the decision pretty soon. It may look like a no brainer but there are nuances in each of the two options. So far we have talked about what he really wants his life to look like (more time outside, more time to explore his interests, more freedom of movement instead of hopping from activity to activity in the car…), time to read, time to just be…these are all valid.
For my youngest I am considering withdrawing her from the program completely for many reasons, but we haven’t made any decisions yet.