sequel to ‘high school woes’

December 23, 2014

family life

Original post – high school woes.

He spent the year being angry and frustrated. It’s been a hard year.

He was bored. Not challenged. He was so demotivated this year he didn’t even play soccer or cricket. He plays trumpet but he wouldn’t join the school band.

I was right though. The Year 7 standard exam had concepts in it that they hadn’t studied in class. If he hadn’t received tutoring, he would have fallen behind.

To give you some idea of how bad things were – at the end of the school year (Year 7), they spent a week in the maths class ‘learning’ the days of the week, and how to tell the time.

He got 96% for his final result in maths, but everything else except Italian was very poor. My husband said to our boy that he should move to Italy as his results in Italian were better than English.

His tutor was disappointed. He wanted to see him go into the extension class next year. It will not be. The tutor said that I should have wielded a bigger stick. It’s easy to judge when you don’t have the backstory, I said nothing.

High school requires organisation. My boy was not organised with his homework or his assignments. He would sometimes come to me at 11pm realising that he needed to have an assignment done to be handed in the next day. The school had held lessons on how to use a study diary and had given each student a diary. He never used it. I reminded him regularly about the assignments that I knew of, but it felt like flogging a dead horse.

This was combined with him being sick all year. He would get over having a cold only to get another one a few weeks later. He got lumps in the lymph in his neck, but his blood tests were good. He was really ill during exam week. He went from being at a small school of 200 students, to a high school of 1200, my husband said that he was adjusting to being exposed to more germs. His friends seemed to be sick often as well.

I didn’t get over-involved this year. The anger and excuses were all consuming, I couldn’t break through. He needed to learn the hard way it seemed. When he asked me for help, I was there.

At the end of this school year, we had a chat, a serious chat. He was shocked enough by his final results to actually listen. It is time to lose the attitude, and just get on with it. As my husband said, the feelings are valid, but he needs to make better choices. Life throws you bouncers, spinners, and wides (with reference to the game of cricket) and you choose how to play them.

He’s young. He’s learning. Parenting certainly gets harder as your children get older.

He is now motivated to do better. He is keen to get involved in soccer again. Wonder of wonders, he cleaned his room up the other night, completely self-initiated.

Last night, my husband said to me that he thought this boy would be a good architect. He loves sketching, computer graphics, and maths. He adored doing woodwork this year because it was so tangible, but missed out on getting into woodwork next year. This morning when I was in town with this boy, he asked why all of the buildings are made of brick. He said that they looked unsightly. We had a chat about building materials and design. He said that he was really interested in architecture.

He may not be so keen when he finds out that job prospects and pay rates for architecture are not very good in Australia, but for now he is upbeat and considering possibilities and we haven’t seen that in quite a while.





About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

View all posts by hakea


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One Comment on “sequel to ‘high school woes’”

  1. michaelwatsonvt Says:

    We see similar struggles in our college students. Come to think of it, I was similar to your son. But that was a very different world.


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