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How I Turned A Son’s Academic Disaster Into A Success Story
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It never occurred to me that I would have to directly intervene in my son’s education. Like most parents, I thought the public school system was all I would need to rely on to prepare my youngest son for his life as an adult. Sure, I’d have to oversee the process, but short of what any parent has to do, I thought the school system would do most of the “heavy lifting”. But, as life would have it, I found myself going from confidence to despair and frustration in this regard in over a matter of a few weeks.

Many parents find themselves in a rude awakening regarding their children’s’ academics and/or behavioral issues in school. And I suspect that many, like me, don’t have a lot of advanced warning about what is coming. If you’ve ever gotten the sense of restlessness of the principle character in the Mark Twain classic “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, then you know the personality of my youngest boy. While a “good boy”, he nonetheless got off the beaten track when it came to focusing and concentrating on school work.

It became painfully obvious to me that something ‘extra’ needed to be done after spate of troubling reports from his teachers about his academic performance. And when a rash of suspensions for infractions followed, while no single one was terribly bad, they as a whole pointed to was an alarming pattern that had to be addressed. And I didn’t see it coming. Wasn’t he, after all, in the same household as his two older brothers, and didn’t they go through school without these kinds of problems? Well, yes and yes, so no, I didn’t see it coming. Apparently, the third time isn’t always “a charm”.

The logistics of the game plan that his mother and I put together was complicated by the fact that we are divorced and I live in another state. Suffice it to say that the first attempt to intervene failed because it had to be implemented over a distance. Still, I learned some valuable lessons about how to manage “distance learning” by a teenager who found himself trying a number of tricks to undercut the process. Fortunately, around that time I decided to keep a written record of both the failures and successes, information that I found to be invaluable as time went on, and that I’ll be sharing with you in these web pages.

What eventually resulted from this intervention process amounted to a “Successful Crash Course” in how to home school a problem child. And it wasn’t all roses. I think I made most if not all of the mistakes that a parent could make before I “got it right”. Strangely, a major turning point was achieved when an area outside of academics, “character building”, was introduced into the process. This was hard to do both because he resisted it and also because I was at first unskilled at guiding him through it. But, neither my son nor I ever gave up on each other. As a result, our pain and strife can be to your benefit.

If nothing else, our educational undertaking has been very memorable. What started out as a kid doing F-level, failing work in all of his classes, ended up with him passing an entrance exam with a score of 82 percent. As a result, he was reinstated back into his 10th grade class, effectively not missing out on any of his high school experience. He is now doing B-minus or better grade-level work in all of his classes. Also, his attitude has changed drastically. The full story of how all of this transpired is by turns, intense and inspiring, and is the reason why the Academic Boot Camp Tips website was created. I hope you will participate with us as we go over important details of the process in the days and weeks to come.

Street Talk

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