Momof4JackAttacks

When your college kid has some struggles in school

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Momof4JackAttacks

Second ds20 came home a little over a week ago for the summer.  He finished his freshman year. Prior to this year, he took a gap year to work.  He did really well first semester and got almost all As.  Second semester he struggled more with a couple of classes. Of his five second semester classes, he got 3 As, one C, and one D.  Sigh.  He did get a very part time job second semester as well.

The class he got the D in, he missed a big assignment that the prof would not let him turn in late. I asked him why he missed it and he said he was so busy and stressed that he thought the date to turn it in was later. The prof would not let him turn it in late, so he got a 0 for that assignment, plus he said he struggled in the class anyway.  

Regarding the class he got a C, he wasn't going to turn in a huge paper because he ran out of time to finish it. I kept telling him to talk to the prof.  At first, he was willing to just not turn it in and take an F and retake the class. I told him he couldn't do that, but he was being quite stubborn about it. When he emailed the prof about it during finals week, she wanted to meet with him immediately. She basically told him he had to finish the paper and to take the F was unacceptable.  She was very gracious and gave him two extra weeks, plus told him the paper only had to be 7 pages, not the original assigned 10 pages. She also met with him to help him with his paper.  I could tell he was upset about it, but knew it was the right thing to do.

I am frustrated with my ds, but it is a good lesson for him to learn.  He has always struggled with writing papers and I feel a bit guilty as a homeschool mom about that.  I started using Write at Home with my youngest two sons because I struggle teaching writing so much. I wish I would have used Write at Home with my second ds.  My oldest has always been a good writer.  

Anyway, I'm hoping ds has learned something for all this.  He is paying for college himself. We have very little funds to help him. He is working two jobs this summer, probably 50+ hours a week. He is a hard worker and responsible, yet stubborn. He really struggled with some classes this past semester. It's so hard as his mom, to watch my grown kids struggle, but I know he will be a better man for it.

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Bendxap
4 minutes ago, Momof4JackAttacks said:

It's so hard as his mom, to watch my grown kids struggle, but I know he will be a better man for it.

This is a HUGE struggle for me since it's not easy for us to be with them when they're are struggling or when there are things going on that parents normally help with. (Last summer, Older was selling his car and buying a replacement <both first time experiences for him> and at the same time, moving to out of his old apartment because the lease was up, moving into a new apartment but the move in date kept getting pushed back as the remodeling didn't get done, and we weren't there <nor was my parents' house there> for him to crash in "meanwhile.")

I keep trying to remember that all these experiences that they have to deal with on their own will make them better men. (Last week when Younger was reading some Ender books, I realized that that's exactly what "they" did to Ender: put him in all sorts of hard situations so that he would grow up strong.)

But you are right: it is so hard.

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HannahB

Absolutely encourage him to talk to his professors as soon as he thinks he has a problem. Encourage him to take advantage of any tutoring the college has ( most colleges offer this for free) and the colleges writing center.

A calendar or planner is a huge help but I know some students resist using one. There are a number of phone or computer based apps to keep track of assignments as well. 

Theres a lot to learn that first year of school. 

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Gilead

I hope he can think about talking to profs and going to the tutoring center as "advocating for himself." This really is a huge life skill, part of forethought and assertiveness in action. I know exactly what you mean as my oldest got a D in one of her classes freshman year because of car trouble (70 mi. round trip daily); even when she went in and talked to the prof and offered to do extra work she got no slack. She ended up changing her major to avoid this particular teacher and is now back at community college taking the classes she *should* have taken to give her specific job skills but that she skipped over by changing her major. BIG lesson, EXPENSIVE lesson.

My 2nd dd has some learning challenges, especially with writing. She has made extensive use of the tutorial center at the community college and meets early and often with her teachers in classes that require writing. If nothing else, she impresses them as diligent and wanting to get it right and her skills in that area have really improved. It takes humility to ask for help, and I am so proud of her for doing it and doing the work to succeed.

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SewWhat?

They really do need to learn to advocate for themselves, but I know some refuse to beg, in their eyes, for help. (my 20ds...) So, consequences will come.

 

I don't understand why you feel guilty that a kid isn't a good paper writer. Not all are, even coming from building schools. Some like it ok, some hate it and still do ok, some don't mind it but do poorly and some hate it and do poorly. That's in all types of education.

I refuse to let any sort of guilt enter my mind regarding how they 'turned out.' They made their own decisions, whether to do well or do poorly by deciding to put in the effort or not. 

On the other hand, if they do very well, that's their own choices too. I can't take credit for it.

There was a thread on FB recently about congratulations to the mom of a homeschooled graduate. I stepped aside from any sort of congratulations at my homeschooled kids' open houses. They did the work, not me. It's their open house, not mine. 

Guilt is of Satan. Don't let it in.

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Lady Marmalade

I agree with SewWhat!  Don't feel guilty!

In fact, I think you should be pleased that your DS is telling you about how school is going, to be honest.  When I was in college on my own dime, school was my business and my business alone.  My parents had no clue what classes I was taking, what grades I earned, etc.  Nothing.  All they knew was that sometimes I came home to sleep and eat.  Most times I didn't.   When I took two video courses and then left it all for the very last week of the semester and earned myself a pair of D's for winging my way through a semester's worth of exams and papers, that was all on me, and I sure as heck didn't tell my parents about that one! :D

Anyway, be pleased he's sharing this stuff with you.  Encourage how you can of course, eventually he'll figure it out.  Or not.  But, that's not on you!  The prayers of a mom can sure go a long way, though.  So at least there's always that while our young people are finding their own way through. 

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SewWhat?
1 hour ago, Lady Marmalade said:

  When I was in college on my own dime, school was my business and my business alone.  My parents had no clue what classes I was taking, what grades I earned, etc.  Nothing.  All they knew was that sometimes I came home to sleep and eat.  Most times I didn't.

My mom cracks me up. Some days she'll ask me how the kids' school, life, etc are going. Then other days she tells me at their ages she didn't tell her parents anything ever. So, I"m like what do you want from me? You are saying on one hand kids don't need to tell their parents stuff, but on the other asking me for every detail of their lives and wonder when I don't know the answers! LOL

What progress in college applications? dunno, that's their business. What progress in online class? dunno, it's not my class. 

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Lady Marmalade
6 minutes ago, SewWhat? said:

My mom cracks me up. Some days she'll ask me how the kids' school, life, etc are going. Then other days she tells me at their ages she didn't tell her parents anything ever. So, I"m like what do you want from me? You are saying on one hand kids don't need to tell their parents stuff, but on the other asking me for every detail of their lives and wonder when I don't know the answers! LOL

What progress in college applications? dunno, that's their business. What progress in online class? dunno, it's not my class. 

Right?!

Oh my, we've just begun scratching the surface on looking at colleges and such.   If she had to choose today, DD would choose to attend the college her mentor/favorite dance teacher attended.  That is her current plan, which suits us all because it's less than an hour away, so she could potentially live at home should she want to.  But this entire process is entirely on her and her research.  When the time comes that she might want to arrange visits, obviously then I'll need to be consulted so we can travel, but in the meantime, it's all on her.

So when every other parent on the planet asks me how the college hunt is going, I get the deer-in-the-headlights look when I kind of shrug and say that she's freaking out about the quantity of mail she's getting, but that she's not made any decisions yet and I'm not really pushing her to do so.  I'm not even totally sure what she's thinking she wants to study, to be honest.  Last week she was leaning towards creative writing more, this week she is pretty adamant about wanting to teach dance so she can set choreography.  I'm sure she'll decide when it matters. 

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SewWhat?
11 minutes ago, Lady Marmalade said:

Right?!

Oh my, we've just begun scratching the surface on looking at colleges and such.   If she had to choose today, DD would choose to attend the college her mentor/favorite dance teacher attended.  That is her current plan, which suits us all because it's less than an hour away, so she could potentially live at home should she want to.  But this entire process is entirely on her and her research.  When the time comes that she might want to arrange visits, obviously then I'll need to be consulted so we can travel, but in the meantime, it's all on her.

So when every other parent on the planet asks me how the college hunt is going, I get the deer-in-the-headlights look when I kind of shrug and say that she's freaking out about the quantity of mail she's getting, but that she's not made any decisions yet and I'm not really pushing her to do so.  I'm not even totally sure what she's thinking she wants to study, to be honest.  Last week she was leaning towards creative writing more, this week she is pretty adamant about wanting to teach dance so she can set choreography.  I'm sure she'll decide when it matters. 

Decide, then, maybe change her mind once she's been in a year. I've read things saying that somewhere between 65-80% of college freshman change degrees.

I know people who think I'm a slacker-mom for not doing their college search and research for them too. If they want to go, the'll figure it out. If they ask me questions I help them!! But, I'm not going to DO it for them! Then again, I'm also not one of those parents who force their kids to go to college either, or pretty much give no other option than college following high school. I think those parents are the most annoyed with me when they find out how little I do in the whole process. 

Way I see it, dammed if ya do, dammed if ya don't. There is always going to be something the kids blame me for ruining their lives. I just do what I feel is best and move on with my life. 

I joke to people that the way I ruined the oldest was by sending him through public school all the way through, and I ruined the other 2 by homeschooling them. LOL

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Momof4JackAttacks
6 hours ago, SewWhat? said:

They really do need to learn to advocate for themselves, but I know some refuse to beg, in their eyes, for help. (my 20ds...) So, consequences will come.

 

I don't understand why you feel guilty that a kid isn't a good paper writer. Not all are, even coming from building schools. Some like it ok, some hate it and still do ok, some don't mind it but do poorly and some hate it and do poorly. That's in all types of education.

I refuse to let any sort of guilt enter my mind regarding how they 'turned out.' They made their own decisions, whether to do well or do poorly by deciding to put in the effort or not. 

On the other hand, if they do very well, that's their own choices too. I can't take credit for it.

There was a thread on FB recently about congratulations to the mom of a homeschooled graduate. I stepped aside from any sort of congratulations at my homeschooled kids' open houses. They did the work, not me. It's their open house, not mine. 

Guilt is of Satan. Don't let it in.

Thank you. I have to let go of the guilt. I'm hoping ds advocates for himself more in the fall. 

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Momof4JackAttacks
6 hours ago, Lady Marmalade said:

I agree with SewWhat!  Don't feel guilty!

In fact, I think you should be pleased that your DS is telling you about how school is going, to be honest.  When I was in college on my own dime, school was my business and my business alone.  My parents had no clue what classes I was taking, what grades I earned, etc.  Nothing.  All they knew was that sometimes I came home to sleep and eat.  Most times I didn't.   When I took two video courses and then left it all for the very last week of the semester and earned myself a pair of D's for winging my way through a semester's worth of exams and papers, that was all on me, and I sure as heck didn't tell my parents about that one! :D

Anyway, be pleased he's sharing this stuff with you.  Encourage how you can of course, eventually he'll figure it out.  Or not.  But, that's not on you!  The prayers of a mom can sure go a long way, though.  So at least there's always that while our young people are finding their own way through. 

Thank you for the encouragement. I need to give up the guilt. I will keep praying for ds. 

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Merry

Time management is one of the hardest parts of being a student. Hard lessons to learn about losing track of deadlines, pacing with projects, and learning to go to instructors or getting help when needed. Don't lose sight of all the positives though--he's working and putting himself through school AND he got 3 A's this semester! That's awesome! 

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SewWhat?
2 hours ago, Momof4JackAttacks said:

Thank you. I have to let go of the guilt. I'm hoping ds advocates for himself more in the fall. 

It's hard. :( 

54 minutes ago, Merry said:

Time management is one of the hardest parts of being a student. Hard lessons to learn about losing track of deadlines, pacing with projects, and learning to go to instructors or getting help when needed. Don't lose sight of all the positives though--he's working and putting himself through school AND he got 3 A's this semester! That's awesome! 

Time management is something a ton of adults struggle with!! Not just college students!

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daveswife

I would look on the bright side and acknowledge that, even with a C and D,  he was able to earn a 3.0 (or close to it) for the semester. That's pretty darned good for a guy working his way through school.

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Bendxap

And hopefully something will be learned, even if it's not what you hope he'll learn.

Younger failed an online speech class because he forgot to turn in assignments. He learned that he wouldn't do any more online classes. :D Just doesn't fit his style, more of an extrovert.

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SewWhat?
15 minutes ago, Bendxap said:

And hopefully something will be learned, even if it's not what you hope he'll learn.

Younger failed an online speech class because he forgot to turn in assignments. He learned that he wouldn't do any more online classes. :D Just doesn't fit his style, more of an extrovert.

LOL! 20yo failed some classes at building school because he didn't turn in assignments, BUT, he's acing his online courses. Yep, they're all different... LOL

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doxa

The very first thing that I noticed while reading your post was that he got 3 A's!  That is really something to affirm.  Also -- look how well he did during his first semester!  

He is showing an excellent work ethic as well.  He took a gap year to work, and now it sounds as though he will be working hard this summer.

You have so much to be proud of!   Maybe he needed a nudge to go to the professor, but when he did -- he got an excellent response from her.  It sounds as though she was firm, yet incredibly supportive (giving him extra time and helping him).  

It's normal for everyone to have strengths and weaknesses.  Sometimes I think it's easy for homeschoolers, because we take full responsibility as teachers, to feel that the outcome of every subject is entirely on us.  It's not.  Yet no matter how good teachers are, people are still going to do better in some areas than in others.  If you hadn't done a really good job with his education, he would not be doing as well as he is.  Please don't let a couple of normal mistakes steal your joy over his accomplishments.  :-)

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