Tag Archives: online high school

Finally Finished!

“Mommmmm!”

Using the iMac’s thesaurus: Finished, completed, concluded, terminated, over (and done with), at an end; accomplished, executed, discharged, fulfilled, done; wrapped up.

Any way you say it, the conclusion is the same: My younger son is finally done with his first semester of his junior year, which he completed online. It took almost the entire six-month period he was allotted, mostly because he seriously dragged his feet on his last subject, physics. That’s hard enough in class, but it’s extraordinarily taxing when you’re on your own, especially the labs. It was no fun at all.

That’s more like it!

I’m also thrilled to report that my #2 son is so much happier than he was in 2011. Which makes his parents so much happier. He’s handling his second semester back at his public high school well (making an amazingly easy transition) and enjoys playing basketball with friends at least twice a week. He’s almost completely back to the way he was before last year reared its ugly head.

Almost . . . because he is, after all, a 16-year-old boy who loves to procrastinate and push his mom’s buttons. Still, seeing that goofy grin on his handsome face always makes me smile.

No matter how exasperated I am with him! So far, I’m loving 2012!!

Ready for 2011 to End

Almost time to gladly turn the page.

I have two words to say to 2011: Good riddance!

This has been my toughest year as a parent . . . possibly my hardest year ever, and it all relates to my younger son’s anxiety problem. That psychosomatic issue has kept him homebound and in online high school his junior year (so far). No aspect of it has been positive for our family. The stress on all of us has been off the charts.

I’m sure that eventually I’ll conclude that this sad, often-heartbreaking journey has made us all stronger. Couldn’t calcium pills accomplish the same thing, though?

My #2 son poses with his holiday Cookie Monster goodies.

We’ve found online high school to be extremely difficult, especially for an unmotivated boy. I think only two percent of high school students can be successful with this way of “learning” . . . and they’re all girls. I put the “learning” in quotes, because without a physical teacher, it’s hard to become competent in one subject let alone six of them.

Here’s a quick update as we blissfully end 2011 and look forward to a happier, healthier 2012 for my younger son:

• He’s almost ready to take his driving test. The trusty, old (1999) Mercury Villager sits waiting for him in our driveway.

• He’s completed four of his online courses. He needs to finish his Physics work and take finals in that class and U.S. History.

• He’s going to return to his old high school next week for second semester. Not that he wants to go back, but the Mister and I think it’s what’s best for him. Our job as parents is to guide our children, to embrace their strengths. We feel like we’re enabling his weakness when we let him stay home instead of facing his fear. We know it’ll be tough for him, and he might even hate us . . . for now. But one of my biggest regrets this year has been not fighting to keep him at his public high school for the fall semester; I don’t plan to make that mistake again.

• We’ve found a wonderful psychiatrist who has prescribed anti-depression medication that seems to be lifting his spirits (it’s supposed to lessen his negative thoughts and anxiety). He still won’t talk to a therapist, but at least he’s taken one big step towards getting back to his old self.

And, oh, do we miss my younger son’s old self! He was warm, bubbly, happy, almost always seeing the glass as overflowing. His eyes were bright with possibilities, and he always made us smile. Those grins have been in short supply in 2011. Let’s hope positivism rules our family’s world in 2012!

Happy New Year!

Run for a Reason

Listen to Pac-Man (he gobbles up cancer cells)!

Looking for a great tax-deductible cause as 2011 comes to a close? How about contributing to my fundraising effort? As I’ve noted before, I’m running the January 15th Aramco Half Marathon in honor of my friends Sheri and Janet E., who are battling breast cancer. Just click on the link below and help the Susan G. Komen Foundation make a difference:

http://www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/Donate/PersonalPage.cfm?MID=8266&CRID=33

Thanks!

Ducking My Responsibilities

A whistler duck stands alone close to the lake.

Yesterday I wanted to resign as a mom.

My younger son and I were butting heads once again. Trying to help him deal with online high school, which is so much harder than being in a regular classroom, and everything life is tossing at him made me want to throw in the towel. Wave the white flag. Just plain surrender.

Shoo, ducks!

But then I took a four-mile walk in this morning’s 43-degree chill around one of the lakes in our community. The effect? Instant calm. As I drank in nature’s beauty and sadly told the ducks (who double as pigs) that I had no food for them, I was glad. Glad to have another day on earth. Glad to have another chance to help the child I love more than life itself right his ship and try to sail straight into having a happy, productive life.

Once again, I’ve told myself to just keep breathing. Everything happens for a reason. Good things will come from all of this.

Sometimes I even believe what I tell myself.

Reflections On a Difficult Week

Early morning reflections are captured by my iPhone 4.

Here’s a quick update on the educational situation with my younger son:

My 16-year-old only made it through that first day of high school. When I picked him up at 2:30 p.m., he told me how he liked most of his classes and teachers. That if he just didn’t have his problem with sitting in class, he’d like to continue going.

Unfortunately, he does have psychosomatic issues . . . serious ones stemming from what happened last spring . . . that make him feel miserable in a classroom. After a veritable roller coaster of emotions Monday evening, he sadly concluded that he couldn’t return to his high school . . . or any setting where he has to sit for long periods of time.

So the Mister and I mulled over our options and concluded we only had one right now: Online high school. We’ve applied to Texas Tech University ISD and hope to have our son rockin’ and rollin’ in its program sometime next week. He will take the exact same courses that he would’ve this junior year at his physical high school . . . except it won’t be a similar experience at all.

I was almost crying when I signed the papers to officially withdraw him from high school. Oh, what my precious son will be giving up by being schooled at his iMac! No talking to friends as they pass in the crowded hallways. No laughing and chatting with his buddies during lunch. No fun and spirited class discussions. No track practice. No photo in the yearbook. My heart breaks for him.

My biggest fear? That his close friends will forget about him, making him feel even more invisible than ever. To be stuck only socializing with your overstressed mom is no fun at all. Especially one who has gotten very used to her me time.

I think there’s hope for my boy, of course. The Mister and I are going to search for a talented cognitive behavioral therapist who can help our younger son overcome his school anxiety and once again sit in a classroom, to learn and to take the SAT/ACT. Perhaps he even can return to his high school second semester (the online program mimics the school year, so he would stay on track).

And I believe that everything happens for a reason. Just think what a great college essay subject this will be!