Thanks to many wonderful suggestions after my post last week, I had a few productive conversations with Alex.
He clearly needed to see a pathway for himself. A concrete reason to go to college, otherwise he wasn’t going to care – ever – about high school. I didn’t have one big lecture session – instead I had short conversations mostly with me asking questions and not reacting or passing judgement. On his own he announced that maybe he should give in to the obvious nerd side of the family and focus on math and science to possibly study computer science or programming in college. Hallelujah! A goal!
So that lead to some discussion on HOW he could achieve that. He spoke about being frustrated that he hadn’t take the right series of math classes and how his school didn’t offer anything BUT an AP version of pre-calculus. He knew that given his Math Analysis grade (c) he would probably not be able to qualify for pre-calc in 11th grade. He also talked again about wanting to take Chemistry (2nd lab science which is required) in summer school. Which, again at Torrey Pines, they don’t have summer school. In other words – any time he would perhaps focus on what he might want to do, he felt there were immovable obstructions so – he shut down.
As we talked, my brain finally woke up - hello world – I have worked at National University for 26 years. Almost 10 years ago now, the company launched an affiliate school – National University Virtual HIGH SCHOOL!! Lawdy. How dense was I? NUVHS has fully accredited classes for both the minimum UC (University of California) WASC, and NCAA accreditation. Classes aren’t free of course, but they are also not wildly expensive. With my staff discount and splitting tuition with his dad, it is completely doable. He can finish a semester course in 8-16 weeks online. If he takes to the format, he could meet his goals as far as class load. On his own while we talked to the counselors today he volunteered to give up a spring sport (he was going to try track instead of baseball) and focus on his 2nd semester grades and taking a VHS class at the same time. Aggressive approach, but he knows he needs to kick start things academically sooner rather than later.
The best part is that the less than helpful college counselor situation at Torrey has been resolved. VHS counselors will support him all the way whether he is full time or not. He will get the one on one support he needs to get the class load and grades he needs to meet his college goals.
The worst part is – he starts with English as soon as next week. Because he failed 1st semester which we saw once we came home from our meeting :-( Not quite what he had hoped since we had talked about starting off with Pre-calc, but that will have to wait until summer now. If he is really serious, he can possibly take 2 classes at once and still knock out his science and bring his math up to the level he wants. We’ll see. One class at a time. At least HE is the one showing an interest and coming up ideas and plans he can live with.