Friday, September 16, 2011

School Days

For those that have sent an email asking where I've been, thank you! It's nice to be missed :)

Today I'll explain why school is such a struggle for us and why it takes up so much of my time. Way more than the average homeschool situation. If you are not the type that likes to hear 'personal stuff' in blogs and would rather just hear about quilting--well come back next week. I know that several of you homeschool though and it helps to know that there are others out there that completely understand. Ok, here is a bit of Seth's homeschool story....

Our homeschool schedule is not the norm of most school kids. I have been in a 5 year battle concerning my 14 yr old sons schooling. Sadly he is a child that suffers from divorced parents and his schooling has taken the brunt of it. I tried 5 years ago to put him in school when he was in 3rd grade and it was a horrible experience. Seth's father doesn't like school (him and his brother and some nieces and nephews all dropped out), and therefore he tried everything to keep Seth from going to public school. It was a hard time as I was a single mom, working full time and trying to homeschool the best I could. Seth only lasted 2 months at school before I just had to bring him home.

After bringing him home I insisted that his father help me. Custody is 50/50 so Seth spent half his time at his fathers house.  His papers would come home in his dad's handwriting. Seth never did his own work--especially math! I would blow up and accuse his father and he'd say, "We did it orally". I struggled with this situation until last winter when I could not take it anymore. I called DFS, I called legal aide. Seth was so behind in school and it stressed me so much. His father had quit doing school with him all together and Seth would call all upset that he didn't understand math. (This is when I found out that his dad didn't graduate high school--he admitted it to Seth and I never even knew! And I was letting him 'teach' our son?!)

So, anyway, I sent a 'here's how it is going to be' letter last winter. Seth's father took it to his lawyer...and guess what? His lawyer wouldn't touch it and told Seth's father that he had better just accept what I lined out. He told him that it looked like I was just thinking in Seth's best interest. LOL--his dad was mad about it and spouted off the whole conversation to me in anger which just made me a bit more smug than I should have been. VICTORY!

Now Seth is at my house for 10 days and his dad's for 5...there are exceptions at Christmas, spring and summer. Time is still 'even'. I just get my bulk during the school year. I still don't get the 180 days to school my son that other people get. AND we are also behind and trying to make up.

Seth is in 8th grade and is working through Saxon 7/6. (Which is really a 6th grade book.) He's still in his 7th grade history and science book as well. On the ten days he's here we do school 9 of them. He doesn't get a full weekend off even. Well...usually he does and then we kill ourselves to make up for it. He has friends that I want him to hang around. It's not his fault that he's behind.

Every school day,  We do 2 entire math lessons. Those are the worst. He's smart but he's got a lot of catching up to do. We do one lesson in the morning and one in the afternoon. We don't work extra in science or history for now. We are just happy to be doing them as we should and not getting further behind. Between trying to do normal house stuff like cooking, dishes, cleaning and laundry AND having a toddler underfoot, blogging takes a back burner while Seth is home. So does sewing. Haven't touched it since last Sunday :(

BUT--Seth is slowly catching up. And feeling better about himself. That is the best part of it all and worth it. We are hoping that by Christmas break he'll be in the next Math and science book. That will give him a great boost of confidence.

So, if you have read this far, thanks for listening. Now you know why I am not around much for now. But I'll be back!

19 comments:

Linda said...

Tonya, Hooray for you on your victory with schooling your boy! We all know that a Good Parent's priority is our children and their well being. Hang in there blog sista! I will certainly be here when you return :) Plus I am super behind on all my projects so no rush on Mabry :) Two weeks of crazy are coming my way too so looks like no catching up for me anytime soon. lol

Marcia - Crafty Sewing and Quilting said...

I like to read about all of your life... your family adventures, quilting, home schooling, medical issues, quilt and sew alongs, and your bible study blog. That is all you! We have to wear many hats during the day as a Mom and you wear a few more than I do! You seem to keep it together nicely by sharing what's happening! Keep up the good work! And YES your children and your family come first! Then you -- Minutes for you -- save a few for you at the end of the day...
Enjoyed your post today and as I always do!

Wanda said...

I can so relate on so many levels. Hang in there it will come out in the end. Seth will know that you really love him, so much that you want what is the best for him. Do yourself a favor and just ride with the flow and if the blog is last on the list, then it (and we) will be here when you get back.

Wanda
http://wandas-quilts-crafts.blogspot.com/

Colleen said...

Good job mom for sticking to your guns! You know what your son needs! Il be praying for you!

Heather said...

I know you've been super busy! But it's for the best. :) Hang in there!!!

Melissa said...

Tonya, you are so right. I think there was a time, maybe even including when we were young, that it was acceptable not to finish school. Maybe not desired, but acceptable. Now though, kids really need as much as they can get what with all of the technology. And I don't mean you need schooling to use technology (though I do wish the surround sound system came with a tutorial DVD), I mean that good jobs of the future are going to be tech oriented and require higher education. I remember in high school when it was desirable to get a job at the Ford plant. It paid well and you could retire on it. That just isn't so anymore. Sounds like Seth is already understanding that and wanting to get ahead. Good for him.

Angie said...

Proud of you and Seth for all the hard work!
You both will get great rewards-even if it's hard right now-and I know it is!
Praying for your family.

sweetybird09 said...

Tonya, just like all the nice messages above me, I am so glad that you are doing this for Seth, its a shame his Dad does not see the benefits of this for him.

We in blog land will all be here for you,so just think about your family and the needs there.

I will be praying for your strength Tonya, take care my friend :)

Snoodles said...

Great job, Mom! From a retired homeschool mom straight to you -- I agree with you, and I support you, and I'm praying for you and for Seth. Ya'll have your priorities straight, and are working hard, and it IS going to turn out OK! Prayers going up for you in SC, my friend!

Belinda said...

Glad you posted this!! Since this is pretty much my only social interaction, it's the only way I can learn about folks. :P
Glad you are just busy, I was beginning to worry just a bit.

Good for you though! You dig your heels in and stick it out!

Michelle said...

It sure takes a lot of time and effort home schooling it's not an easy path but it is a rewarding one!
My sons also do Saxon Math, I think I would have a revolt on my hands though if I asked them to do 2 in one day;o) Keep up the good work and I know it will be worth it all... do try and find a little time for your self if you can... take care

QuiltSue said...

It sounds like both you and Seth have your hands full there. What a good thing for you that he has you fighting in his corner.

rosie said...

Tonya, you have such a busy road ahead of you, but it will pay off in the end..We were so lucky in that respect, with a great little country primary school and we were together as parents.. There were other trials, but I still think we were lucky.. hang in there, we are all thinking of you...

Fiona said...

Sounds like you are doing great... I have so much admiration for a mothers instincts and loyalty....
Hugz

hope said...

Keep doing what you need to do with Seth. It sounds like he is a terrific young man to work so hard on his studies. We will be here when you get back. Keeping you in my thoughts. Hope

Allie said...

The beauty of homeschooling is that it doesn't have to look like anyone else's - you can tailor it to fit YOUR family and YOUR situation. My boys got very far behind when we left my husband for awhile, and we've had to school during summers for years. You just keep on hon, he'll get there! Blogging and sewing SHOULD take a backseat to real life. Tell Seth I said good job with all his hard work, it WILL pay off in the future, even if it's hard now. And sweetie, kudos to you for being such a wonderful mum!

Patty@Granma's said...

Home Schooling is a good thing! In our area we have very good public schooling, but there are still several home school families, either because of religious beliefs, or because their children can move at their own pace, or even because the family travels a lot, and they have a better chance of keeping up. Three of my grandchildren are home schooled, and they all love it! But remember they do need the social interaction of people their own age, not many young'uns want to hang with the old folks all the time !-D
Hi - Stephen - did you find Mom's pin cushion yet?

rubyslipperz said...

Dear girl...I'm sooo glad you posted about your situation. I didn't realize you were so swamped.

I know it must be hard to set a leeetle bit of "tonya-time" aside. But, you just gotzta do it...even if it's just a few minutes. If your tea-pot is bone dry, it will be hard for you to pour drink for others. =)

Maybe you could incorporate some math, history with a quilt project that you and your son could do?

love ya!
annie

Pokey said...

You have my heart! Home schooling isn't for the faint of heart, and even harder with the divorce issues you have.
I home schooled Lydia for one year of 3rd, and while it was the right thing for us at the time, I wanted to ring her neck (and her mine) most of the year. I knew the experience wasn't all bad for her when she asked me to consider home schooling for her 10th grade, lol. (We probably wouldn't have lived past that year, tho-!)
hugs, pokey