E-School - advice needed

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Need opinions. In my town there are a few choice High Schools as well as the district High Schools. E-School is also one of the choice High Schools.

    E-School is a fully accredited school. difficult child attends a technical school that is a college prep school. He has done much better as far as behavior, but still has trouble doing the actual assignments. He is very social, talks to everyone, including teachers. Very active in class discussions. Very good at getting his opinion and view accross. But physical homework...awful.

    The principal is one of the smartests men I have ever met in my life. Very into his school. He is also the principal of E-school. He suggested a month or so ago that difficult child take his first two blocks on e-school and come to school for the last two blocks. That would not work because he does not have a ride at 11am.

    E-school. Each student is assigned a teacher. The teacher is in contact daily via phone. The course is not comparable to the physical school course. You first take a 5 hour orientation and must pass that.
    You are assigned a mentor that must log on every day to monitor assignments. That would be me. sigh.

    You tell the computer how many weeks you would like to complete this course. The computer then tells you an average of how much time a day must be spent on the class. Your assignments are all due by Midnight Saturday. If you choose you can do all your work in one day.

    I specifically asked, what if he has Myspace, AOL or games up at the same time. I was told this is a very sophisticated system and it monitors keystrokes and any transactions. If your mouse doesn't move in ten minutes it logs you off. But does monitor keystrokes and transactions. If he were to be playing a game or talking they would know.

    If you need tutoring, there is a physical location at one of the schools where there are physical teachers to help. All final exams and tests must be taken at the physical school-on the computer.

    After you say how long you want to complete the course, you are given a PACE chart. You must stay on PACE. Your teacher will be hounding you if you do not. The first three weeks of e-school is probationary. If you do not keep on pace you are kicked out of the program. Cannot re-join that class at school and subsequently lose a credit.

    Principal is PRO eschool. Actually says it may become a graduation requirement to complete atleast one online course.

    difficult child comes home yesterday all excited. Spoke to the guidance counselor and had the papers all ready for us to sign. He wants to move his first block class (7:30 - 9am) to second block which is after a 30 minute break and begins at 9:30. He wants to take his second block class - US History on E-school. sigh.

    We had a very good family discussion last night. husband said if we decide to do e-school, there is no way, no chance that Myspace, or any other computer application will be up while doing class.

    I told him I don't want to have to say, did you do your school today. Time to do your school. ETC. I don't ever want to hear, "I'll do it when I get home" or "I'll do it ALL on Saturday" or "I'll spend a couple hours at this time".

    difficult child did not realize if he is off pace the first three weeks he loses a credit. He had second thoughts.

    Postive is it is 24/7. Doesn't have to even get dressed. Can sleep in. And difficult child DID arrange a ride with a neighbor who is a senior and doesn't have class first block.

    Positive is behavior...he'll be home.

    Negative is - difficult child DOES want to do well and really thinks he will, but reality is he has never done his work.

    Negative - difficult child is very active in class discussions. He is very social and talks to everyone. That won't happen. No class discussion.

    Negative - he will miss the 30 minute break that he socializes or gets extra help.

    Negative - He is an auditory learner.

    Negative - No matter what you do all semester long in this class, if you FAIL the final exam, you fail the course.

    He was so excited to do this. One of the e-school teachers I spoke to said kids that are that eager to do it usually do well. The ones that are forced to take e-school don't do as well.

    After hearing all the facts, difficult child said he doesn't know if he wants to do it anymore. This decision is really stressing him out. They enroll daily upto April 1. If he does decide he wants to go forward with this, any and all work he has done so far in History is disregarded. This is an entirely different way of class. Comparable to online college. Same actually.

    They offer every class on e-school. Even Phy. Ed.

    I could see a happier difficult child. But I also see a sadder difficult child. I see fights over doing his work.

    I just don't know. I actually see difficult child becoming depressed. He knows everyone, talks to everyone, likes everyone (even if they are jerks to him). He wants a friend so bad he puts up with everything. But, everyone is into the "Party" scene and he isn't. He told me it is really tempting. This could all change tomorrow. Once Puberty hits...I am terrified. Not a single person calls him or includes him in plans. Because they know he doesn't party. It makes me so sad. Even the therapist today told me his 17 year old is the same. Plays football, outgoing, knows everyone-yet sits home alone because the whole flipping football team smokes pot.

    He is a late bloomer. No signs of puberty. Complete physical and blood work done. If we fight now, what will happen when hormones are in the picture. ??

    As far as e-school, the fact that he has second thoughts (after he was so excited) tells me he realizes the reality of this. good and bad.

    I hate to remove him from the social aspect of school because he does enjoy that, even though he hates getting up and he hates school in general. Since it is a small school, teachers and students interact very close and difficult child has really started to like that. Yesterday the principal said if I have noticed difficult child. ??? He said he is changing. He is changing into this wonderful kid. No problems with him at all behavior wise since last November. Oh,,,,I am so confused. On a good note we all (me, difficult child AND husband) had a very productive conversation. It was actually fun to be able to talk.

    I told therapist that most of our fights at home begin with difficult child and school. Homework to be exact. I asked him if I should just not say anything, but I don't know if I could not say anything. He said. NO. It is good for kids to face natural consequences for themselves. But when there actions damage themself then we must step in. And allowing him to fail because he didn't do homework would be damaging.

    What do you all think.
  2. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Well, I am not going to be helpful because I feel like it is a dilemma too--which is the right decision, oh crystal ball, where are you? I guess maybe I am leaning a little to him not doing the e-school because he is so social and also because I am aware of the struggles you have had with homework and you do not need the stress of trying to get him to the e-school stuff.

    As far as what the therapist said, I am no so sure I agree with him. I know I wouldn't agree if your difficult child was older. My dtr's therapist kept having us step in to "help" and it only created a helpless girl. Failing because he didn't do homework might be damaging or it might be a learning lesson.

    I really do feel for you and wish I had some good advice or at least a strong opinion on what you should do but this is a hard one!

    Thinking of you,
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We are planning to e-school Jessie for at least 9th grade. I just don't think her body will tolerate the heavy backpacks and demands of school. At least not until we figure out what is going on with her.

    While I do have to remind her to go do her work, I have no fights about it once I have said it. She also pushes herself to keep her grades above a certain level.

    with the way your difficult child treats homework, I think this will be a bad decision. It will set up more fights between you and him. If he does this e-school, ALL school interactions, including homework and schoolwork, should be your husband's responsibility. It is what your relationship with your son needs.

    Just in my opinion.

    I hope you can figure out a way to make something work with-o stressing you out too much!
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I just don't know if this would be the right fit for you difficult child. At least not for a subject required for graduation. Could you talk to him about maybe doing it next year for a subject that wouldn't matter as much as US History??? He may mature some and find his "niche" by that time and not even be interested. That way, you're not saying no---you're just postponing. My pcdaughter did an online class so she could graduate early. It wasn't easy at all. It took a lot of work that a regular class doesn't require.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm thinking along the lines of just one class. I can totally see your dilemma. I'll be interested to hear what difficult child decides. ML
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Actually, this could work. I know it seems crazy when you have a kid who fights doinghomework, but this IS different. I speak form experience - difficult child 3 was a shocker about doing homework, we had so many fights over it. But doing schoolwork at home during school hours? No problem!

    The biggest problem we have, is distractibility. But your difficult child and mine are similar, in their rigid thinking and rule-following. Once they know the rules they also will avoid breaking them. If he knows that he can't play games or go on MySpace because if he does, he WILL be caught - I'm betting he won't even try it.

    There are two things you need to drum into yourself and him -

    1) School work during school hours. If you do enough, there needn't be any homework. If you don't do enough, then you will have homework.

    2) The parent may supervise, but the parent is not the teacher. The parent therefore doesn't have to nag, just remind that the teacher will know, if the work is not being done. The child has to answer to the teacher. In this way, the parent/supervisor becomes facilitator and support, not slave-driver.
    I provide support by shoving food at difficult child 3, so he can continue working without neding to take a break. I found that he works better if he can stay on task. This sems opposite to most kids, but I keep hearing this more and more - the child stays on the topic until it's finished, then it's done and tey move to a different topic.

    Social stuff - yes, it is an issue. But in your case he will still get some school mainstream social interaction. In the meantime, he will be studying in a supportive, calm environment where kids aren't mean to him. So when he DOES interact, he will feel calmer and more capable of coping.

    The biggest argument against difficult child 3 leaving mainstream, were "what about social interaction?" and we found this was a HUGE red herring. Because we no longer have battles over homework (it gets done during school hours) then difficult child 3 has MORE social interaction than he used to have. It's also under beter control and he is much more capable of walking away from a negative interaction, than in a mainstream setting where kids can be mean but he's not allowed to leave.

    Also on the subject of social interaction - please be aware, school is NOT a natural environment. When else in a child's life will he be expected to mingle with a group of kids all the same age and in a position of subservience, to a single authority figure? It is far more natural for a person to need to be able to cope socially with a wide range of ages, abilities and backgrounds. But we don't get thatat school. We DO get that when we get out and about in society. And difficult child 3 does tat - he comes shopping with me. He has developed a great deal more socially, in learning social skills associated with shopping. It has boosted his confidence elsewhere.

    One day when he is an adult, difficult child 3 will need to interact with groups of people. However, he will be interacting as an adult, not asachild. it is hisinteractions as achild that he hasmost difficulty with, because society has different rules for children. As he will one day be growingup, he really won't need to use those rules once he is an adult. So why force him to learn them now? They only serve to confuse him.

    Anyway, what I'm saying - the big social skills bogeyman is all puff and nothing behind it. It's very much a non-issue, if you can still provide some level of social interaction for him in a way that he finds a positive learning experience. A lot of difficult children, especially those who are very Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-like, never really learn how to interact aschildren. They just go straight to adult-mode (and do it badly). But once they're adults - it won't matter any more.

    I hated my childhood for very similar reasons, I now understand. I was achild in a house full of adults, so when I mixed with other children I came across as "old for her age" or uppity. I didn't really understand childhood until I was an adult, when I madde a choice to never let go of childhood completely, to always remember how it feels to be powerless, to be ignored and discounted, and to have an imagination that can't be communicated to anyone who doesn't want to understand. Once I learned to value that in myself (instead of despise it, as was being taught to me inchildhood) I learned to value myself as an individual and to recognise I have a good contribution to make not only to my own children, but to society.

    I wish I'd known this as a child, but my social environment didn't permit it.

    I'd give the e-school a go, see hwat happens. But take alaid-back approach as far as you can personally. He's got to take rsponsibility for things himself, although you can always act as his personal organiser. Set your own alarms, remind him of a due date for a breakdown of work needed to complete an assignment, for example. With difficult child 1, I used to make the phone calls for him (then hand him the phone). He's still not good with making his own phone calls, but he's much better than he used to be.

    Every kid is different. But they're also different from what we personally expect, because they're different form normal. That's what makes them difficult child!

  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Actually husband and I agree on this. We hate to remove him from the class participation portion of school.

    We also agree on some positives PRO eschool.

    The principal points out a lot of good things. Told us to use it as a reward for difficult child since he has really turned his behavior completely around at school. Not a single confrontation, mouthing off, disrespect since November. This HAD been a daily occurrance for the past 5 years. He hasn't even had a detention. He's been getting to class on time and not even needing to use the "cool off" pass. 2.5 months now.

    We will discuss in more this weekend. difficult child doesn't know. But going from so excited and positive to do this - to really needing to think about it, really shows me he is thinking. Maybe showing a tad bit of maturity ???