After sending Y off to college, I did seven months of minding my own business, mostly, and letting them succeed or fail on their own. It was not easy. At Halloween, for example, they asked me if could help with a costume.
We decided on a Magic 8 Ball because they wanted to just wear jeans and a black t-shirt.
I was so happy to be able to help them. I googled the 8 ball answers to find the one that’s most fun. I made the cards layered so there could be multiple answers. Did you know the Magic 8 Ball has an oddly shaped 8?
Y came by the next day to get their costume and he they were horrified by how much time I’d spent on it.
I told them it didn’t take that long.
You can imagine if that’s my version of being “hands off” it would be impossible for me to watch them fail chemistry and do nothing. So I emailed their favorite tutor from high school: Will.
Will is so good at tutoring science that he went through medical school but still runs his tutoring business. Five years ago he was $125/hr. Now he tells me he’s $325/hr. I’m not surprised. I want to study for the MCAT just to get to work with him.
Y is having trouble adjusting to managing their workload. They have accommodations so someone takes notes for them in class and they get recordings of the lectures, but I’m not sure that helps them.
Translation: When I heard kids with Autism could get so much help in college I thought it would be easy street. It’s not.
I think this story says a lot about how they’re doing: last semester they got all A’s except for the class that was the “easy A” and was graded on attendance. They routinely had trouble finding the classroom.
Quote: “Mom it’s a really hard building. There was one week I missed class because I followed a Fed Ex delivery guy and he couldn’t find the building either.”
Another story: Y got an alert that says they’re failing their chemistry class of 200 kids. So they made an appointment to see the professor. The professor said, “What are you doing here?” He was shocked to find out that Y is failing because Y asks such great questions in class.
Subtext: Please remember how much you liked tutoring Y. Please make time to tutor them even though I’m asking at the last minute. I will die if we have to find a new tutor.
So Y tells me they are six chapters behind in chemistry they have done only a portion of the labs. Y’s professor said the course grade can be whatever they get on the final…
So I guess what I’m hoping is you can teach Y how to learn chemistry. They don’t have a viable, tactical plan for addressing the material. They think they SHOULD be able to open the book and learn the material, so they get frustrated with themself when that doesn’t work. I think they need a new method from you, and then they’ll feel like they can study with confidence.
That last paragraph is what homeschooling is — identifying what a kid needs to learn, barriers to learning, and the path to efficiency. The paragraphs before the last paragraph are a mom’s meandering stories about a kid she can’t let go of.