JT has been out of the public brick and mortar school system for nine years now. The first two years at home we used a public cyber school, switching over to traditional homeschooling when he entered 5th grade. We are now about 1/3 of the way through his junior year in high school. Things have mostly gotten easier as the years have gone by. But now there is a new problem I am encountering; I have to learn to step back and let him take the lead.
All those years ago when JT first came home to learn, I needed to plan and arrange things to make it possible. Using the cyber school, we had curriculum we needed to follow and I was the one to make that happen. Switching over to homeschooling, I had even more control over the things we did for learning. I rarely used package curriculum, instead choosing to develop my own plans using a variety of materials. In all of this, I was the one always saying, "Get your work done." Not much different than moms of public school students, except in my case, I was also assigning the work. Now that JT is taking classes at the community college, my role is changing. The only subjects at home this year are geography and algebra 2. Everything else is being outsourced either to the community college or private lessons. Where do I fit in as homeschooling mom?
My number one role appears to be transportation. I've tried to work on helping JT with his time management skills as he learns to juggle his classwork. Unfortunately this is turning into more nagging than teaching. It's just so hard to stop telling him to do his work when it has been my primary role for nine years. Up until now, I was expected to lay out the daily plan and require things be finished before we moved on to fun things. I am no longer the one giving the assignments so I don't even know everything he needs to do at home. The fact that he is a chronic procrastinator makes it stressful for me to see him not working when I know there are things that need to be done.
My husband told me I need to let him do this on his own so that he can learn from his mistakes while he's still at home taking classes with relatively small risks. I'm trying, but it's been a difficult transition. This week JT and I had a bit of a blow up over his work and I finally decided to go completely hands off. He had his final in English comp on Tuesday and a quiz in music theory and I knew he was not doing much prep work. Tuesday night he came home from the final happy. He said, "I just sat down and started writing and out came a great essay." No prep. Once again, his procrastination and lack of preparation had not caused him to suffer any consequences. Granted, we don't have the results yet, but I know how this always goes. The music theory quiz was yesterday. After some cramming in the car on the way to the lesson, he pulled off a 100%.
So what have I learned? Nagging is not necessary because JT will somehow manage to pull success from nowhere? I guess that's not it... Nagging is not necessary because all it does is bring stress to all of us. If he works best with the deadline looming, maybe that's how he has to work. I just can't watch and everyone will be happy.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Friday, November 11, 2016
The main campus is about an hour and fifteen minutes from our home. We had a nice drive and arrived about twenty minutes before the event was to begin. There were tables set up from each department so we spoke with the people from Communication Arts and found out where we should go later to see the recording department.
We heard the mandatory talk by the president of the university first. The school seems to have a great focus on making the school affordable by skimping on the non-essentials so they can instead spend it on the technology needed to provide a meaningful education in the classroom. JT doesn't care if he goes to a school with a beautiful campus or other things that are just extra frills. He wants an education that will allow him to learn something that will help him grow as a person as well as provide a career path.
After the talk, we went to a short talk on financial aid, then waited our turn to take a campus tour. Most of the other tours had already left, so we ended up in the last tour of the day that happened to be a bilingual tour for Spanish speakers. I had a great time brushing up on my nearly dormant Spanish. Unfortunately the tour skipped a building - the one we wanted to see. When we returned from the tour we headed over to the technology building to talk with someone about what we really came there to see.
We were some of the few people left on campus, since the open house was wrapping up at noon. Because of that, we were able to have a nice long talk with the chairman of the communication arts department about their music recording technology program. The school is in the process of building a brand new recording studio to update their program so we got to see the work in progress. It looks like it's going to be impressive when completed. We had the chance to ask questions about the things that we have been wondering ever since we learned about this program. We found out that the majority of students pursuing a music recording associates are musicians. We asked if commuting would be doable; if the schedule could be limited to classes two days a week. He said that many do commute from quite a long way away and they keep the schedule tight for that reason. We also found out that Bloomsburg University, a school closer to us, has a dual admission agreement with them and that JT could transfer into their 4 year program as a junior when he completes his associate degree with LCCC.
As we were leaving to come home, my husband asked JT if he was excited yet. He said he had already been thinking he would go to school there, but now he was certain. I'm guessing we'll do a few more visits to other schools, but JT is the kind of person who makes up his mind, and sticks with it. Maybe we'll visit Bloomsburg to talk about the dual admission and see if that would be the best path to pursue. Overall, I'm feeling good about the plan. Things are finally falling into place. And that's a great feeling.