WIBU to tell DS he can't do his A-Levels from home?(41 Posts)
DS did ok in GCSEs - he got 8 from A-C.
He went to the school's sixth form and failed and so they said he couldn't stay on (he had to get D+) and so he went to college for 4 weeks and absolutely hated it, so just left! He is now doing nothing (well, he has a part time job) and I'm encouraging him to start college in January on an access to higher education course and he is so adamant and says he doesn't want to do that. He has been phoning up college equivalent of open university and speaking to a couple of tutors from there who said if he was working on them full time he may just be able to make the exams for this year if he starts in January, but this is if he puts lots of effort in. I'm not convinced as I don't think DS would be that motivated from home. I also think it's a lot of money to waste when he can get it free from a college but he says that he absolutely hates the setting of a college which I think is really odd and don't understand? but he has visited a few (just before he picked the one he went to) and says he wouldn't want to go to any... He has £4,000 in his bank from where he has been saving and I'd hate for him to use it on something he can get for free, especially as I really don't think he will pass WIBU to say he can't do that, unless he wants to live on his own or something? After all, he'll be in the house all the time so I suppose I kind of have final say? he's not 18 yet
I would try and persuade rather than 'tell' or issue ultimatums.
I can't see it being very likely he will be able to get good grades in a term and a half just working from home by himself, if he struggled with lessons and homework deadlines.
If he wants to/ is willing to spend his money on his learning / qualifications, then wouldnt a private tutor for an hour or two once or twice a week be a better option?
Get him to ty night classes? More mature crowd
He isn't allowed to do night classes until 19, in this area anyway!
A private tutor wouldn't be enough hours and even if he had 2 hours a week that's more than he would pay for the course, so I suppose I'd discourage that too!
He says if he can't fit in the 3 modules he'll just take 2 and fit in an extra one next year.
I wish he'd just go to college
I'd encourage him. He sounds independent and motivated and it's his life.
He isn't sure he either wants to go into child protection (so police or social work) or he wants to be a pathologist assistant! So different!!
I think it's sad that you find it odd and don't understand why he hates the setting of a college. He's trying to tell you how he feels and you're dismissing this as odd. I would support him in any way to get him through A Levels if that's what he wants to do. I thought you were going to say he was asking you to pay for courses. He's had a job and managed to save £4000. I would be really proud if one of mine did that. I don't want to sound harsh, but you seem quite negative and dismissive of him. Not everyone fits neatly into boxes. Schools and colleges can be very difficult for lots of young people. Sounds like he knows himself, has looked into the options and you should trust his judgement.
Is there no other sixth form he could join in September? If his grades are 8A-Cs at GCSE and he couldn't keep up with sixth form work he would struggle to reach academic standard at home. There are online Skype tutors who are good but it's not the same. What about a BTEC - if he's thinking police then maybe the public services course.
Or consider an apprenticeship at local authority/NHS trust?
He went to college for the 4 weeks doing health and social care as he said that fits for 2 of his chosen careers and he'll have to forget about the 3rd but said he hated it and felt like he was forced to pick his career there and then. So he said he really doesn't want to do a BTEC.
I'm really not minimising his feelings. I just don't get it when he is perfectly fine and there are thousands of young people in college.
I find it odd that you suggest letting him live on his own. He's not even 18.
Have you asked him why he hates it? Maybe it makes him anxious or he finds it overwhelming? If you could work out what/why he hated college maybe you could find another way around things.
If he's been ringing up and trying to sort stuff he sounds reasonably motivated. I totally get why you don't want him to pay for it but if it's the only way he will try perhaps it's time to let go and let him make his own choices. He will either surprise you or learn a valuable life lesson. He sounds fairly sensible to me though!
I think he needs some independent professional advice about his options. Do any of your local colleges have a careers advisor he could access?
I don't think the police ask for more than GCSEs but you do need to be 18 to join. If your son is genuinely considering the police as a career then maybe he could save his money and concentrate his efforts on developing himself to be in a good position to apply next year.
Perhaps he needs to look at the deeper issues? Why is he doing A levels? If he found college stressful maybe he will find university stressful.
Perhaps now is the time to take some times out. Work for a bit, mature and then see what he wants.
A Levels will still be there in a year or 2 if he wants.
Has he considered an apprentice scheme?
I'm sorry but if he can't hack going to college he's unlikely to last long in the police or social work fields. Yanbu.
What exactly is the problem at college?
"I just don't get it when he is perfectly fine and there are thousands of young people in college."
The thing is, it is tempting to just want our dc to 'be normal'. But the fact that college is fine for many/most people doesn't mean that it is right for your ds. Everyone is entitled to have their own feelings, and be different, and as dparents we have to accept that - maybe one of the most difficult things!
For your ds, the pp who suggested taking a break from study may have a point. If he doesn't want to decide on a career, why not work for a while (with training - is that now legally required until you're 18? I don't know the details) and then go back for A levels/B tec later? I do agree with you that you would want him not to waste the £4,000 - that's a huge amount, and it will be difficult to pass A levels by distance learning.
I'd let him pay for 2 but insist he did some voluntary work on the side to enrich his portfolio. Maybe volunteering in a nursery or a food bank or police cadets.
or suggest he has a gap year now and does lots of voluntary work relating to areas he's interested in
police or social work
Have you considered the military?
While he is under 19 level 3/ A levels will be free. There are some free distance learning providers but I suspect he will struggle without face to face input from a tutor. Are there any college courses which can be done on a drop in basis or as part of an apprenticeship scheme. He may well have to wait until September to join one now though. Don't push him into HIgher Education if he has mediocre results and motivation. There is plenty of time for him to do so later. Meantime look at futurelearn and openlearn who run free short part time online courses in a vast range of subjects which might give him a taster and enhance his cv.
One option might be to scrap this year as a formal learning opportunity. If he struggled with college then he's not going to like university. Call this a gap year, get him to get a full time job as a carer in a home or similar, and then focus on opportunities for September. He can do a health and social care apprenticeship, for example, or an NVQ. Full time college is not the only way to get an education.
You sound like you feel you can dictate his life. Getting the final say as to whether he's allowed to study from home .
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