I’ve always been under the thought that not all people learn the same way. That point was proven when I worked and one of my responsibilities was training employees on new computer systems or contracts or whatever it is I had to train.

Not to pat myself on the back, but I AM a good teacher.

Sorry.. just had to throw that in there.

But you know, some people are visual learners.. some are lazy learners.. some are better at comprehending direction literally, etc.

Same with kids.

Bubba’s issues with school have been VERY well documented on here. In a nutshell, he trashed 7th grade .. we sent him to Sylvan Learning Center.. he trashed 8th grade.. he was socially passed to high school .. he trashed 9th grade and then his school advisers bumped him down to Special Ed classes for 10th grade.

He doesn’t need Special Education.. unless laziness and lack of motivation require Special Education. Because what his problem is and truthfully, up until I came into their lives, their father had the same lack of motivation in motivating them. Maybe he didn’t know how.. maybe he wasn’t around enough.. but whatever the excuse :: because he’s not getting a free pass from me on this :: Bubba figured out a long time ago how to do what little work as possible and then smooze whatever teacher he had at the end of the year.

Not to mention that we live in probably one of the worst school districts in the state.

Not to mention that Bubba was placed on an IEP (Individual Education Program) that to me, gave student and teachers a like the ability to write everything off as a learning disability. I am STRONGLY against IEP’s and if you research the No Child Left Behind nonsense, what really was done was lower the bar so it APPEARED that students were doing better then actually working hard to ensure that kids are educated.

Just my opinion.. save your time on the hate mail.

At any rate, Bubba  is a smart kid. You can’t be that good at beating the system without being smart. He just didn’t like school and one of the things that we learned from his time at Sylvan is that he is a visual learner. Even though he has a ridiculously high reading ability, he learns better when shown how to do it versus reading how to do it. He aslo performed better when in a smaller class environment.

That’s all fine well and good except that the only place meeting those requirements was Special Ed classes.

At first, the thought of being in a small classroom doing 4th or 5th grade work appealed to Bubba.. but after about 2 months the novelty wore off and one night, I happened to see a report that he had written on the computer regarding his education and how he realized that purposefully trashing his education up until that point had screwed him up and how he felt horrible that we had spent so much money on sending him to Sylvan and he hadn’t taken advantage of it.

It was a pretty mature assessment and I remember thinking to myself.. yea, this kid is FINALLY getting it!!

ALL the kids can tell you how much I harp on education.. how valuable it is.. how it sets the stage for the rest of your life.. how much I loved school and how wanting to learn is something that will serve you well in all areas of your life.

Yep.. call me the Education Czar.

When we started getting phone calls from his teachers recommending him for Cyber School, I thought that maybe he was at a maturity level to handle the responsibility. Because it IS a responsibility. I met with the teacher in charge of alternate education at his high school and we ran through a demo of the program.. I asked every question I could think of.. and was assured that not only does the system total the time actually spend WORKING (not just from logging in) but offers a variety of different reports that the parent can access so that you can actually SEE what your kid is doing.. or not doing for that matter.

My personal opinion was that Bubba, not having to go to a brick and mortar school and sitting all day in front of a computer in his pajamas, would be more interested in learning and that he could actually get enough credits to graduate a lot sooner then if he went to school.

The fact that both of us were going to be home to monitor him was actually the deciding factor BUT we told Bubba that he still needed structure. He was still going to have a bedtime.. was still going to get up early and still spend an X amount of hours on school work.

He readily agreed and for the first week, he did.

But like everything else, he started to slack and his father started to slack.

I was pulling the reports daily.. showing his father who would just make comments about telling Bubba this or making Bubba do that which never materialized.. showing Bubba who half paid attention and then still did what he wanted to do because when I forced his father to get involved.. he would yell at him and then go back to doing what he was doing leaving Bubba to just go back to doing what HE was doing.. which wasn’t school work.

It’s all very frustrating for me because I can only do so much…

So when the move to West Virginia was put on the table, I took the opportunity over family dinner to lay it out for Bubba.

West Virginia does have a cyber school program.. Bubba had to the choice to commit to his work now so that the WV Board of Education would allow him to continue.. OR he goes back to regular high school. A county high school that’s way bigger then the one that he was in here. Plus, there would be no limo service. Chief and I will both have to get jobs so we won’t be available to drive him and pick him up.. he’d have to catch the school bus.

If that were to happen, he could forget about getting a job when he turned 16 to afford his own car and insurance. Going to a brick and mortar school means that he would be vying for the same shifts that every other student wanting to work would be trying for.

He said he wanted to stay in cyber school so that he could work. I told him that no one can make that happen but him and I was going to stop taking his education personally.. it was his decision and he needed to make it happen but one way or the other, he WAS going to get an education.

This conversation started at the beginning of traditional Christmas break.

Did he do anything? Nope. I kept bringing it up.. bringing it up.. bringing it up.. telling his father to do something.. and all Bubba did was sleep at the Crack Whore’s or spend the night with friends.

All very frustrating for me.

Today, everything came to a head.

Last night I told Chief that he had to wake Bubba up at 9am.. show him the reports.. show him what he wasn’t doing.. and sit next to him if he had to to make sure he did it.

That didn’t happen.

When I came home at 10:30, Bubba was still asleep. I tried waking him up but he ignored me. Chief tried to wake him up and he ignored him. When he finally DID get up, he bitched that it was “early” .. um, sorry son, 11am is NOT early.. but I sat him down at the computer and showed him the reports that WE were looking at and explained to him where he was lacking and what he needed to do.

I told him that he had to hit every subject, not just the ones he liked or he found easy. Part of this district’s program is that he has the opportunity to get instruction from a real teacher if there is something that he gets hung up on or doesn’t quite understand.

There really are no excuses.

After 47 MINUTES, he told me he did work on every subject.

So I grabbed his father.. pulled up the reports and told him that what he DID was complete ONE LESSON from every unit. Not good enough. He started getting flippy .. which made his father angry and started yelling .. and then Chief retreated back to the bedroom to play video games leaving Bubba to go back to playing his computer game.

All very frustrating for me and so I told Chief that the experiment was over. Tomorrow we were going back to the high school to get Bubba back in there on Monday. If he chooses not to come to WV because he doesn’t want to go to a regular high school there then he can stay here. Right or wrong, there’s very little I can do without any support from his father.

While I totally believe in the advantages of cyber school, I also believe that it takes a certain type of kid AND a certain type of parent. Obviously, not all parents are cut out for the additional responsibility of making sure their kid gets the education available to them and that’s a shame because the benefits far out way the down falls.

Comments
  1. Amy Knoll says:

    sounds like it’s definitely time to put your foot down. If he’s not going to apply himself then you can’t do it for him.

    • Me 101 says:

      I agree Amy .. I can’t do his work and thankfully, Weed told him he was out of his mind when Bubba asked him to do it for him for $7.00.

      Yes, you read that right! Seven dollars!

  2. ChapmansRus says:

    My son (15 & a sophmore) is doing a k12 thing online this year too… and at first we had some issues with motivation. Until I set up a parental controlled profile onthe computer blocking FB, gaming sites & anything I could think of that was distracting. I let him sleep until 10 but then he has to be up & at it. We also went and got him involved in a “homeschool” PE group & Basketball team… so far… it seems to working & he’s pulling his head out of his butt slowly & getting with the program.. but I had to quit fighting with him about it… because it only aggravated us both. That & the threat of no car in 3 months…

    Hoping Bubba can get it together before you move.. Maybe it’s an age thing??

    • Me 101 says:

      It might be an age thing, Chapman!

      I suggested setting up the computer to only allow the Plato system to run at the very beginning.. but that went with everything else I suggested. I am not that computer savvy to do it myself but I think tonight I’m going to look up how to do it online and do it myself.

      And I agree, the constant fighting about it does nothing productive and only sets the tone for the rest of the day..

      I hate to keep saying this but the truth is the truth .. I can’t be the only one who’s on this kid all the time.. his father needs to step up to the plate, stop trying to always be a ‘friend’ and be a father.

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