Adventures in high school classes January 5, 2016Posted by mareserinitatis in education, gifted, homeschooling, science, Uncategorized, younger son.
Tags: grades, high school, homeschooling, younger son
The younger son was very adamant that he wanted to take high school biology this year. He wasn’t in my face about it, but whenever the question was put to him about whether he was sure he wanted to do that, he was pretty firm.
My approach to dealing with this, after seeing he was sure was, “What the hell?!” Worst case scenario is that he fails and has to retake it in four years with his age mates.
The first couple assignments were great. However, when he hit the second unit of the class, I started having second thoughts. It wasn’t going well. And would failing a class leave a long term scar on his academic record?
He was worried, too, but he started asking me how he could improve things. I noted that he started saying he needed to “study harder,” but when I asked him what he meant, he wasn’t sure. I started giving him specific suggestions and pointers and told him that doing those things is what “study harder” meant.
I learned a few things from this experience. First, younger son didn’t know how to study when he started this class. To anyone who has ever dealt with a bright kid, you’ll identify this as a common problem. It’s hard for kids to learn how to study when the subject matter they’re tackling is relatively easy and doesn’t require the type of effort that a seriously challenging class does…or any other life obstacle. I think we’re all convinced this was a good experience in that regard. Second, I’m probably more worried about his grades than I thought, but I think I’m managing not to be a helicopter parent. There were some assignments he submitted that he didn’t ask me to review. Some came back with really good grades and some didn’t, but I really wanted this to be his own work. Honestly, it’s a bit more stressful to be hands off than I thought. I keep reminding myself that I should be celebrating a good effort instead of relatively effortless higher grade (that probably indicates he wasn’t seeing anything new).
To all of our surprise, he pulled his grade up to a B- for the first semester. This guarantees he won’t be a straight A student in high school, but I personally think he got a lot more out of it now than if he’d taken it when he was supposed to.