Online Parent Support Chat

Please help? ADULTS ONLY!

I am a teen looking for someone other than my parents to talk to. here is the problem. I am 17 and I was homeschooled aka unschooled for most of my life. last year for 11th grade my parents let me go to the community college for a dual enrollment program. this was great in many ways because my classes were free, and all I had to do was pay for books. I was able to take some very useful and fun classes, but there was a catch. my dad is a teacher at the community college. a math teacher. I hate math with a holy passion, and my dad knows it. he will only let me continue going to the college if I spend one hour a day sitting in one of his math classes. I feel like I am locked in a cage for that hour. every one on the class thinks that I should know all the answers because my dad is the teacher. my dad thinks that I should know all the answers simply because he is a college math teacher, like I should have gotten it through genetics or something.

I am failing the class right now, my dad is mad and I don't know what to do? I am not enrolled in this class officially, but because I am home schooled for 1/2 of my classes I get "high school" credit for this class. if I drop that class then my dad will make me drop the other two classes that I take at the college (history and biology, both of which I get strait A's in) I wish I could make my dad see that I am not him and that I never will be. but this is what he expects from me. I hate it, I dread going to that prison every morning. and I know that I will NEVER look at that junk again after that class. it is all USELESS information to me. why can't my dad see that? another thing, we cannot afford a tutor, and when I do ask my dad for help on homework he gets mad at me saying "you should know this, do it yourself." or other things similar to that. I am about to burn out from lack of sleep. just math homework takes 4-5 HOURS every night. I can't take it any more. HELP!?

I have talked to my dad many times. all he says is "tough". he does not understand and he does not care. my dad is the only math teacher at this school. it is the smallest school in the state.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like your dad is trying to live his life through you, so to speak. Like a mother who pushes her daughter to be a cheerleader so the mom can be 'popular.' I think it is sad when parents do that, they need to let their children be themselves. Why don't you sit down with your dad and tell him what you said here, about you not being him and you not understanding like he does? Try to be as mild and un-accusing as you can during the talk so he doesn't feel attacked. He's more likely to listen if he feels you are asking for his help, not attacking him. Tell him plainly math is not your strong point, and you need extra help in it, and show him that you are intelligent by showing him the classes you get straight A's in. There are lots of people out there who have an extremely difficult time in math. (Me included.) There are even learning disabilities that only affect a person's ability to do math! Have a serious talk with your dad. Nothing will change unless he knows exactly how you feel. But do not act as though you are attacking or criticizing him, or he may get angry and make matters worse.

Anonymous said...

I know this might not help but just try to remember that everybody has to sit through subjects they dislike.
Try talking to your Dad or if he wont listen then write him a letter. I think a compromise is probably best... If you just say that you really hate maths etc and you don't want to do it then you probably wont be taken seriously. But if you say you want to try hard but feel that you have too much pressure on you at the moment... you feel as though the expectations of you are too high just because of your Dad.... is there possibly another math class you could attend??
Good luck

Anonymous said...

It's obviously important to your dad that you have some sort of math proficiency. Even if you don't love math or ever intend to use it, it is actually useful to take, just because it teaches you to solve problems in different ways.

I think you should still take math, but I don't think you need to take math from your father. In the best of circumstances, even if you loved math, your father is probably not the best one to teach it to you. Tell your dad you'd like to continue taking math, but with a different teacher at the same college. 4-5 hours a night with just math homework is way to much, even for graduate students! It must be affecting your other coursework. I'm sure you've told him that it just doesn't come as easily to you, but if he can see that you are willing to learn, he should agree to having you fulfill your math requirement with another teacher.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer to suffer for a few years now rather than for all of the years remaining in your life. I would study so much that your father would tell you to ease up. Be the brightest student in his class. Knowledge equal future opportunity and money. Long term, there is no downside to doing things his way now. You will have plenty of time to do things your way. People love bright people and are discussed with the slow.

Anonymous said...

i agree that your dad is too controlling. but hey, you will be 18 soon and can get a job and move out. which is exactly what i would do. get a job, find a nice roommate, move out, then when you can handle it go back to school and get the degree you want. if your family is not going to support you then there is no sense living under their roof and being miserable.

Anonymous said...

I hope this is not too late, but it is from a mom trying their best to parent a teen. Some things you said struck me to the heart. Not necessarily for what I am putting my son through, but what I remember as a student myself. While I have never said the words, "I will never use it," I do understand the feelings behind that statement.

While you didn't say so, I believe the conclusion you are drawing is that: there are great teachers, good teachers and some questionable teachers. What do I do if my dad is a questionable one?

My own Math Experience: I had to get into college to find that math teacher that turned it from regurgitating formulas into something neat that I could see how to apply to my everyday life. There is truth in some of the other comments posted here in that, Osmosis just didn't work here.

You received some good advice, talk to him. If that doesn't work, write it down. But understand this first and most of all, this is not a failure on either of yours part so avoid laying blame. He just simply not your answer to this problem. Carpenters use the term, "the tools just don't fit the hands," to describe something an apprentice cannot learn. Experience tells us, it isn't that the tools or the worker are at fault but the application in which it is being taught. Because students have a variety of learning styles, this may very well be the case for you and the other few in your class.

I heard how you kind of feel cheated at being home schooled and not having the comradere of a class. Never having been homeschooled, I can only say "I can imagine how you feel." You do have the taste for it now, and it sounds like you want it...dare I say it...very much.

Your parents do have a reason for choosing this path for you. It is their reasoning that you should find out. I think in this you will find understanding (which is different from acceptace.) By understanding, you will gain the ability to ensure your parents that their instincts are correct in thinking you are indeed ready for this step. I noticed you singled out your dad and his thoughts on the matter. But as a parent, I can't help but ask "and what about...?". There are things you have not said here so we are limited by the picture you have painted. But I do know for a certain, your parents choose this path for not one but many concerns that all begin with wanting to do the best for you.

Can we as parents forget and digress from our original intentions? Yes, it is hard to let our children grow out of our sphere of influence, to let them make mistakes or fail. Perhaps, this is the hardest thing your dad is facing. The question is: can you insert your reliabilty against his fear?

Anonymous said...

I have a 17y.o. also. I think that sometimes your generation forgets that your parents generation has been through all this, and generally they want the best for you. How they try to get that across is not always smooth!

In my opinion, the best education, at the high school level, is a basic foundation. You may hate math, but you NEED to be exposed to it and understand the basics. You may not think so now, but it DOES come back in later life, especially if you pursue the sciences. My son hates English. His spelling is atrocious, and he says it doesn't matter because it's all useless crap (he wants to go into computers.) What I try to get him to understand is that a misspelled resume or cover letter makes you look uneducated, no matter how smart you are, and he will be tossed aside before he gets a chance.

But I'm rambling. Bottom line, a building is only as good as the foundation. I think that's what your Dad is trying to do.