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Teenage Daughter Does Not Want to Go to School

I need some advice on getting my daughter to go to school. She is in the 10th grade and just does not want to go to school. She says that she just can't stand sitting in class -- just can stand being in school. I want to be supportive of my daughter and guide her in the right direction. I have explained to her that she needs to complete her education in order do go anywhere in this world. I don't want her to end up like me and take half my life to find a decent job. She insists that she be home schooled but I just don't know about that. Can anyone help with advice or other educational alternatives so that my daughter can sucessfully complete high school. Help!! I feel like such a failure.

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So What Happened?™

Many, many thanks for all of the great advice and support. My daughter orginially decided to go toan afterschool program to complete her 10th grade year. After thinking things through, she has decided to continue to attend daily classes at school. I suppose, i can only hopre, that something this I said made her change her mind.

I send a fond ALOHA to the creater of this website -- it has been a great help with all the advice and support. Thank you to all the Moms in my situation that responded to my plea for help. Aloha, R.

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Maybe there is more going on at school making her not want to go then just not wanting to sit in class? Maybe suggest sending her to a different highschool?

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Hi R.. You daughter is bored and I don't blame her for not wanting to go to school. And just so you know, more millionaires and successful people didn't go to school than did and that includes finishing high school. You see, the problem is that our teachers are taught to teach poorly. I teach financial literacy programs called Camp Millionaire in Santa Barbara and we do all girls camps. We use what are called Accelerated Learning techniques which means we teach to all three learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic (movement/emotion). Human beings are rarely auditory learners and yet that's how most teachers have been taught to teach. It's no wonder our kids are bored and restless and that's not even talking about the fact that we try and teach them things that aren't relevant to them.

Here's my suggestion: ask her what she'd like to do instead. Get a part time job? Go to city college and learn something she's interested in? Take a few seminars? Read some great success books? And if you'd like to talk in person, please call me. E. ###-###-####. I know you want her to go back but there's something better in store for her. I promise. She is one of the brighter ones who knows it's not the right place for her. Be proud of her. You seem to have raised a young woman who knows herself. Continue to empower that even if it goes against the 'normal' flow. Normal isn't best I find most often. Thanks for listening. E.

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It really sounds like your daughter is having troubles with her peers.. If she is that insistant on not going to school give her the option of getting her GED. I know that seems like she is giving up on her social skills or life experiences but at least if she does get her GED she will be able to say she has a HS diploma of sorts and can start finding her path in the employment field.
My thoughts are if you continue to push her she will just revolt and get involved with the wrong crowd and inevitably not get any sort of education.

1 mom found this helpful

I homeschool and my daughter loves it. I would check into charter schools. Ask your daughter what she does not like about her school There may be someone or something bothering her. I worked as an aide for years and schools are just not giving kids the motivation they need. We go to Mountain Oaks in San Andreas and they are a wonderful school. We only go one day a week then rest is at home or anywhere we want to do work.

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Hi R.,

I have a teenage daughter (currently age 16) who had the same responses as you described, with an added bonus of "they are just babysitters... they never answer my questions, always talk about their personal life, etc..." In short, it was a waste of her time. My daughter was not looking to quite school, but was ultimately "DONE" with the drama of public school.

I have to admit that I was a little nervous about taking her out of high school and putting her into home school. After all, I was working full-time and couldn't be their to know what she was doing all day! But, she is a good kid, most always had good grades, and wanted to give it a try...

I gave in! For one semester only, and then I would judge what was best for her... If she slacked, got into "trouble", didn't take care of her responsibilities.... she went right back to public shooling... her decision, her future.

That was in 10th grade... she is now a junior (I've had her in home school for 1 1/2 years). She will be graduating 1 year early, decided on her own that she wanted to be a medical assistant and joined R.O.P. in which she has "free" classes and begins her internship in Feb., She also has taken up a part time job at the Arden Fair Mall working in Dos Coyotes as a waitress, and is just growing up!

That's not to say that she always does what she's supposed to do.. I keep in contact with her teacher (that meets with her every two weeks to go over assignments and any questions) and am aware of when she "slacks"... I also remember that whether in public, private, or home school... there will be times where your child is not very responsible.

Home Schooling has worked for me, and there are several programs out there depending on how much time you have to devote to "school".

Of course, like the other moms said, it is important to find out why she doesn't want to go "specifically" and go from there.

Write me if you have any questions or just want to talk...

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm 26 well, almost 27... give me a week or so! lol...

anyhow.. I'd say keep her home.. I love what the poster before me stated.. she seems to have it right in my opinion!
I too hated school. I wanted to be in a private school so bad.. Public school just wasn't something I was interested in. I got c grades and graduated only becuase I had made the commitment to a program when I entered High School . I was in the Health program at Benson. It had a lot to offer. However in my senior year I slacked off and did all I could to get out of learning. Please listen to your daughter..she'll stop learning if you keep her there. and she'll do only what it takes to graduate.. and frankly in public school that isn't much. I made the rules with my teachers.. I told them what I would and wouldn't do.

I think she'll respect you so much if you listen to her.
Let us know what you did and how she reacted, I'd love to hear.

Also, I wish you were closer! I have a childcare center out of my home and we'd love to have an intern who's homeschooling. is she interested in children? she could be working during the day with children while you're at work. its a great way to gain experience and she'll feel good about herself too!

Look for a certified family childcare home that needs an assistant or even an intern. just a tought! :)
good luck

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I see you have a lot of posts, and am sure you got lots of great advice, but wanted to quickly post a website that i saw about Home schooling High school students.

They get a real diploma not a GED, and can participate in the district sports and activities.

she probably is feeling a lot of "teenage pressures of today"

Good Luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

Homeschooling is one of the best things I think I could have done for my kids. My son did not ask for it, but has benefited from it greatly. Homeschooling can be done through a charter school, or you can do it yourself, and she can even take suplimental college courses.

It sounds like you do not want to go this route, yet your daughter does. Might be something you want to research. I was very ignorant to homeschooling before I became a homeschooler. My son was abused in pre-school then I pulled them both kids out of daycare/preschool and stayed home with them. My son was put into public school in Kindergarten, and he had major issues that just escalated so in 2nd grade I researched homeschooling and ended up pulling him out to homeschool.

I have found that when my son is forced to sit in a class all day and memorize things he does not retain the information, and does not have a sense of self motivation. Since homeschooling I find that he absorbs the information better, and has more ownership of his education.

Either way, good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Independent Study at Guajome Park Academy in Vista is what I put my son in when he didn’t want to attend school. He went once a week to pick up his school work and meet with his teacher. This took about an hour a week. He received a regular high school diploma and graduated on time with the rest of his class. It was the best school choice for him.

1 mom found this helpful

My friend did home school in fact she is still doing it. it takes alot longer if you have friends or if you do things other than your work during school hours. let her know if you decide to do it she has to do mroe work then. tell her that homeschooling is'nt easy because there is noone there if you have questions and also If she was my kid I'd make her do 2 days of work every day then she can go "hang out" with her friends. My girlfriend's mom was not strict with her and she went out and met the wrong crouds becuase she was'nt in school adn they werent in school. she got rpegnant 1 months after looseing her verginity and now is 20 with 2 kids. I'm 23 and I'm not the greatest example eiither but at least I graduated. my kids are just a couple months older than my girlfriend's kids. and she is so young. before she did homeschooling she was in a magnant school for her voice. she had a scholership lind up for collage and everything and now she doesnt have time to finish highchool because she is a mom.Also she got into pot real bad too be hanging out with those wrong crouds and is still a pothead. But she is a good mom and a good person. she just did'nt have her mom on her but (in a nice way) her mom was the type to yell at her instead of talk to her. if your talking to her you gotta be her friend first because everything mom's say goes in one ear and out the other. hope I've given a little advice here.

First off R. you have a tough job raising two teens alone. My daughter is now 18 and going to DeAnza Community College. It wasn't that long ago that my husband and I were in your shoes, our daughter went to one of the best schools in our district but she failed her freshman year (didn't go to class even when I dropped her off) Second year wasn't any better really, we put her in an alternative program in our district and that help. They did not have room for her for her junior year so we moved her to a more student centered school in the district. They suggested middle college. Middle college is a program between the high school district and the local community college for juniors or seniors who don't quite fit in to the high school. The take the rest of their high school classes at the junior college along with college classes and earn enough credits for graduation. We couldn't believe that she was going to graduate but she did. At the end of her second quarter at DeAnza she has 30 qtr units and is still enthusiastic about school It helped her mature. I really hope that you investigate whether or not there is some sort of middle college program in your area and think seriously about looking into it for your daughter.
I wish you patience and hooking into the right resources. Please know you aren't alone.

I have homeschool five kids. It is possible but she has to be disciplined. Depending on where you live, you need to find local homeschool support group. Sometimes the state requires you to have a certain number of credits in college or take a class that makes you eligable. You'll need to check it out. If you are in Washington state, I can guide you easily.
You need to withdraw her from school and get books that meet the high school requirements for your state. If you have any homeschool supports from your local school, they can guide you. Then she just does work from home. You assign her and she does the work. Some people give tests and do reports, some just do more talking and experience the information. I would be glad to talk more if you are interested. My personal email is ____@____.com.


Try to figure out why she doesn't want to go, maybe there's a larger underlying problem. Resolve it if you can. If she's just being stubborn or lazy then make her go. There's lots of things in life that people don't want to do, and once you grow up you realize that you don't really have a choice. That's part of growing up.

Hi R. - So happy to hear how well things worked out. I would like to recommend online tutoring in case she needs extra help with her studies, homework, test prep, etc.
Visit website and receive 25 minutes of free tutoring (includes many high school subjects/available 24/7): www.referralco-op.com
(valley direct sales page)
Wishing you and your family love and blessings! V. :o)

Hi R.,
I'm sure you've already checked that she's not being bullied or harassed?
If she really doesn't like school but is motivated to work independently there are programs within most school districts that provide education for kids that don't fit into the regular system. (Yes, some of the students are the cliche "doesn't fit in/stoner" kids but others are stellar kids) For example, a potential Olympic athlete doesn't have six hours to sit around in classrooms - they need to be in the pool/on the golf course (or whatever their sport is)
I live in San Ramon and we have an excellent program called Venture that caters to these kids - in fact the Scripps Spelling Bee champ last year is a Venture student (combined with some home schooling, I believe)
So, I suggest you get onto your local district's website and see what their alternate program is called and show your daughter you are supportive by taking her for a look-see. It gives her the message that finishing school is not an option but you are willing to work with her on how.
FYI - my "mom credentials" - I have two kids - son went to venture and finished 1 semester later than his peers then "wasted" 2 years working part time and taking odd classes at the Community College level. He is now in a degree program and doing very well. Daughter loved high school (varsity cheer leader) and went straight to UC Davis. Both fabulous kids but had to find their own way.
Hope all goes well - you have the most important part right - the HEART. She's a lucky girl to have a Mom willing to work with her.
Warmest regards,

HI, I would first talk to her school advisor, then set up a meeting with both of them.
Have your daughter to household chores for several weeks,and then explain to her
that her choices to earn a living would be as slim as cleaning, clearing dishes and serving food. If she is not too tired of that at the end of several weekends of doing those chores, perhaps she has suggestions that would be an eye opener. Not everyone has to be a surgeon, but she should at least get the most out of her school counselor, immediate advisor and
or a relative if she won't listen to you. Maybe you could find a movie that would relate to her situation somehow. Good luck, remember, this too shall pass. Make sure something did not happen at school that is ailienating her.

Maybe there is more going on at school making her not want to go then just not wanting to sit in class? Maybe suggest sending her to a different highschool?

First of all, you are not a failure. Just the fact that you are trying to figure this out says you are a problem solver.

If homeschooling isn't a choice for you, then have her stick it out. My mom pushed me to graduate and I'm so glad she did. I had to go to school, then night school from 3-6 then adult school from 6-10...EVERY SINGLE WEEK DAY! And mom my drove me each time. I barely found out I was graduating 5 minutes before they closed the graduating class. I barely made it but I'm so glad I did. I had never felt so proud that I pushed so hard to the end and did it. She'll be thankful on e day so keep pushing her because your her mama and you know what's best.

I'm sorry. I feel for you. The only thing I would suggest is talking to her assigned counselor at school first. See why she might not be liking school. Is it friends? Is it boring because it is too easy? Is it too hard and not enough individual attention? I know that our school district has a different high school for those that are challenged in life. You might check into it.

If she is normally a 'good' girl, I would talk with her about what is really going on. My kids just know that education is an expectation and priviledge. If they CHOOSE not to go that route, they must get a job and work on becoming an adult immediately. School is a priority for the obvious reasons. It sounds harsh, but it isn't for me because I started those expectations since they were babies. :) They just know how it is and if they have questions, I just answer them and they continue on with what they know they need to do for themselves. We can't learn for them. We can't have jobs for them. Eventually, they need to learn to live on their own. Most of us can't afford to take care of them forever.

I hope you can find something to help in your school district, but I'd definitely get someone else's (in her classes or school) opinion on why they think she would want to leave school.

Good luck.

I think this is pretty normal teenage behavior. My daughter went through that and she was involved in the dance team and also received good grades. I just continued to push and stayed on track that she had to go to school and there was no choice. I think after 11 years of education, you tend to lose your umph in getting up and going day after day...I feel that way too about work and I have a pretty good job. Don't give up.

Well I too hated school. I feel it did not challenge me enough and was easily bored. You should have her tested for learning disability. Maybe she is to smart for her classes, or maybe diffuculty understanding, tends to make kids give up. Try a independent study program. So she can still recieve her education. Also don't know where you live but I live in North County and Guajome Park Academy is a great charter school. Good Luck

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