Homeschooling while in Nursing school? LONG!!

  1. I also posted this on the break room forum and will post on general nursing too.

    Hi all,

    I have a major problem and I need some advise
    please!!

    I have 4 children, ages 17 [daughter], 13, 12, and 9 [sons].

    My 13 y/o [Josh] is in the 5th grade. He had severe dyslexia and didn't learn to read until this time last year. I called his school in January to see about having him tested for gifted, but they refused. The principal told me that he is where he needs to be.

    On his first report card he made the Honor roll!! 1st time ever!! I was happy and so was Josh. Problems started shortly there after. He grades fell and he had no homework. I asked what was going on and he said he got it done in school.

    Here are his grades for this yr. so far:

    Conduct: A A A

    Work and study habits: A- B B

    Reading: A B C
    [Reading level 5th grade] This is bull. He is reading my nursing books!!

    Language: A- B B-

    Spelling: B- C+ B-

    Handwritng: U U U [unsatisfactory]

    Math: A- C B

    Social Studies: B B- B+

    Science/Health: B+ A- B-

    He also passed ISTEP. State required test for the 5th grade. He took it in the FALL before having any instruction in 5th grade!!

    When I asked him why his grades went down, he told me he was bored. So I started testing him at home to see if he was telling the truth. He is reading my Maternal and newborn nursing book. I thought he was looking at the pictures of naked ladies. I mean after all he is a boy. He also reads my A & P book and my Med/Surg book.

    When I asked about math he said he had the assignments done before the class period was over. So I tested his math skills on brainchild.com He passed 6th grade math and 7th grade math with flying colors!!! He can do things I didn't even know what they were. Probibility jumps out.

    In Science, he is reading Apollo 13, plus all my nursing and A & P books. In Social Studies, he has read so many biographies, I can't keep track.

    My son wants me to homeschool him. I have done this before but I wasn't in school. I put them all in school 2 yrs. before I started back.

    I already have his math program arranged. He will take ALEKS. It is a computer program similar to Deep Blue. It is NOT a game and it teaches and tutors from arthmetic all the way through College physics. Here is the link if anyone else is interested:

    http://www.aleks.com/about/Welcome-...H.html#whatneed

    Now to my schedule for Next Fall:

    I am taking Peds the first 8 weeks and my hours are as follows, [this is also my med/surg 2 schedule]:

    Monday Lecture 1-150
    Tuesday no class
    Wednesday: 1-2:50 lecture and 3.30-5.20
    Clinical
    Thursday: 8-2.50 clinical
    Friday: 1-2.50 Lecture

    My husband works nights and will be home with Josh every day except Thursday. He should be home at about 9 am.

    Josh has a mustache and is really developing. The principal said to just keep bolstering his self-esteem. He will be in 8th grade and will be able to DRIVE!! if we stay on the PS shedule.] The principal said that the corp. doesn't advance student unless they have been pulled out of the corp. [i.e. homeschooled] Then when Josh comes back they will place him with his peers [8th grade].

    I am just frustrated and overwhelmed and need to know what you think. Can I do this? Will it cause me major problems with my classes? I can't just ignore Josh. He is losing his mind r/t boredem. To make matters worse his 12 y/o brother is also in 5th grade.

    He basically told me that he just quit trying. His exact words were: "Mom, why should I try to do better when I KNOW it won't matter?"

    He wants to be an OB Dr. and already knows that he is looking at 12 yrs after HS. But he said that by the time he graduates high school he could have had 2 yrs of college under his belt.

    Am I crazy for attempting to do this? My heart is telling me to do it. I can't have my son failing to reach his goal because my schooling got in his way. I am a Mom first and then a nurse.

    Thanks for your advise and for reading this.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Carolanne
    It sounds like Josh is quite a bright young man! To have a goal at the age of 13 to be an OB doctor and pouring over your medical books is very impressive. It definitely sounds like he needs to be challenged more. I'm not familiar with your particular school system, but don't they have any advanced classes they can put him in the areas in which he excels? If not in the school, how about looking into other gifted schools in your area who can really meet his intellectual needs? It must be very frustrating for you as a parent to see him hungry for more and the school won't accommodate him. Home schooling sounds like a huge undertaking for you on top of having other children and planning on going to school yourself. I know you want your child to be the very best he can be and reach his full potential. You sound like a very caring and dedicated Mom. I would still look into gifted/ advanced courses for Josh before you heap everything onto your own plate and get burned out. Best of luck to you!
  4. by   kwagner_51
    CarolAnne,

    That's the problem. The school REFUSES to test him. They also REFUSE to advance him so that he is with kids his age. The school corp. he is in, is the ONLY one for the city. There are 2 county schools but thay aren't any better.

    I get the impression that they don't care how their decisions affect my child. All they want is the money they get for his body being there.

    Thanks for listening and Josh is the only one I will homeschool at this time.
  5. by   emmy
    Hi Karen
    You must be so frustrated.
    You mentioned that the school would put him up a few grades after he had been taken out of school, just wondering how long would he have to be homeschooled before they'll re-assess him and take him back?
  6. by   kwagner_51
    I don't know and right now I'm afraid to ask. We are going on the assumption that 9 weeks should be long enough. But we could be wrong.

    I do know that it looks like I will be homeschoolinf him for whatever amount of time it takes.

    I will ask when I withdraw him on how long he must be out.

    Thanks for the encouragement!
  7. by   zumalong
    Hi Karen--how frustrating. Personally I think that our children only have one opportunity to learn and when the system lets them down it can affect their whole lives. I can't imagine how frustrating this is for you and your family. Will your husband help homeschool? Sounds like you are on right road. If you can get him excited about school--maybe he will become self motivated. As he gets older, he can consider college courses to keep up with his advanced classes. Good luck to you.
    Cheryl
  8. by   emmy
    Hi again Karen
    Is there anyway you could split the workload with your husband? fingers crossed it's only for nine weeks, you can do it! Ask your other kids to help with the chores etc to lessen your workload and maybe your and your boy could study at the same time. I know it's hard, I studied my first degree at home when my kids were really small, I took my first exam with a six week old baby. I'm not saying it's easy as it isn't but it can be done. Good luck.
    Emma
  9. by   purplekath
    Hard call Karen.

    I used to homeschool mine (before they decided themselves to go back to school) and I know that for myself there is NO WAY I could handle nursing school and homeschooling. My schedule is similar to yours, except that I have no day off. It's not the actual lack of face-time that would concern me so much as that I know how much time it takes at home in front of my computer to make it in school...something would give. Either school or homeschooling.

    Having said that, I know how much you just want to do the best for your kids. Your kids might all have the personality that makes them completely independent learners, and that might help. But it could be a warning bell that he has given up in school because "it's boring" - a 100% independent learner probably wouldn't feel bored. I know that my 14yo is very intelligent and can learn independently if he's really interested in the topic - but at heart he wouldn't be fully independent. He would still need lots of stimulation and help for the less thrilling subjects.

    At the end of the day, you know your kids best -- just look at the situation honestly and make the best decision you can with the circumstances you have. On one hand, I believe that anything you give to your kids will not be wasted. On the other hand, I realise that there are no prizes at the end for sacrificing EVERYTHING for your children, and that sometimes. It's a bit like wine - you get what you pay for, but only to a degree...there's a lot of difference between a $10 bottle and a $100 bottle. But very little difference between a $300 bottle and a $400 bottle. Does this make sense??? lol
  10. by   MyReign1
    Have you tried to petition the school board? I would try to go over teh school's head. There is absolutely no reason not to test your son.
  11. by   NurseWeasel
    I pulled my 14 y/o son out of PS in September, after a month of rough times (and of course a several-year history of declining interactions with the school. We've had our ups and downs since then. Wee Weasel was in 8th grade, bored to tears when we started in September. By Christmas he had worked through 9th grade (no I am not kidding). We re-evaluated things at that point and he took a month off since he'd been working really hard and his favorite uncle was here from Australia for that month. Since that break, we've had a really hard time getting him back on track. He knows he can't graduate or get his GED til he's 16, and at the pace he was going he'd be done with the public school's curriculum requirements a year too soon to graduate.

    I am gone almost full time, with school. What I do is make an assignment sheet for the week, then he works on it that week. I check in with him every night and see how he's coming. Some days he comes with me to school, for a change of pace and to socialize with the "cool nursing students". They all love him, we go to lunch in a big group, they pull him aside and talk about great books they've read, wonderful learning opportunities they know of, etc. He works on his homeschool assignments while we're in class. Like I said, up til Christmas this worked really well.

    Right now our struggle is that he's so unmotivated. I can't sign him up for any college courses until he's 16 (that I know of, anyway). He can't drive yet, so any classes I sign him up for have to be online until he is able to drive alone or I graduate. We live in a small town (2000 population) so he has no access to big-city advantages. Since January we've had a lot of interfering factors, like Drivers Ed, family member with cancer, etc... so things are just complicated right now. I am confident that we will get through this, and I'm not going to put him back into the PS system.

    My plan is that once he gets through Drivers Ed, we will get back on track with the heavy-hitting school work, and try to get him through high school by early next year. Then we'll spend the last 4 months or so before his 16th birthday prepping hard for the GED. He can take that as soon as he's 16, and start taking college classes - online or in person because once he's 16 he can drive alone and take himself to class.

    Bottom line, I think you need to find out your school's policy of readmittance BEFORE you pull your son out. I think you DO need to pull your son out before the spark inside his soul is completely extinguished. The love of learning is one spark that should never be allowed to die. Get homeschooling subjects he's excited about, and just keep opening doors for him. When you run into a stumbling block like we have, find a way around it, or acknowledge that it's temporary and have a plan for when it passes. I wish I'd homeschooled both boys many many years ago, but it didn't seem to be an option at that time. For now, I'm just doing the best I can.
  12. by   gij1
    I would consider getting legal help in this situation. Your son deserves to be evaluated, tested, and given the attention he needs to do well in school. Just because the school thinks academically he is in the right grade, there are emotional issues that must be considered.
    I would vote "no" on home schooling while in nursing school. Nursing school for me was a 24h job keeping up. I would never of had the time to homeschool a child.
  13. by   marilynmom
    First off I would like to say that I am 100% supportive of homeschooling because I homeschool my kids right now and am in school full time

    I am now pre-med (decided nursing is not what I want to do but I still love to visit this board) and am taking Chem 2, Physics 1, Algebra and Womens History next semester and seeing how this current semester is going (with Chem, Biology, Statistics, etc) it is only getting more and more difficult for me to continue to homeschool....I simply do not have time I used to have and starting next semester I will be gone a lot of the day. That is just my situation but I can only imagine that I am just as busy studying as nursing students and there is not much time left anymore. I am just being honest about *my* situation, only you know your situation. I just did not have time to take my kids to all the great homeschooling activities we have here and I didn't feel that was fair to them to be stuck at home with me studying all hours of the day and night.

    But having said that, people *do* homeschool while working/nursing school/etc full time (there are a few yahoo groups out there on working while homeschooling), etc so you need to look at your situation....do you have outside help that could watch him while you were at school and clinicals, how supportive and willing to help out is your husband- is his job flexible? etc I believe if there is a will there is a way.

    Also your children's needs should always come first and if school is that bad for him, and belive me I am not a great supporter of public education and had a horrible experience myself, so that really is important because nursing school will always be there but your son will not.

    Good luck, I know what a hard decision this is for you and your family. Email me anytime ok?

    Marilyn
    Last edit by marilynmom on Mar 26, '04

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