Remember how part of my transition year included the fact that my son would no longer be attending school in town? Well, he’s been enrolled 5 months now and here’s how that is going.
At the end of July, we headed down to the UVEG office in Moroleon in order to enroll my son in the online Preparatoria program. He needed to actually take the entrance exam there in the office, I suppose to reduce the chance of cheating. Well, as I didn’t need to be there, I dropped him off and went shopping. I went back later to pick him up and the supervisor said that he had left some time earlier because he wasn’t able to take the examination. Why wasn’t he able to take the exam? Well, I set it up so that notifications from UVEG get sent to my Gmail account, not his and he didn’t know my password to get the link for the exam. Well, alrighty then.
So we tried again the next day. I waited this time. I brought my Kindle and twirled around in a computer chair for about 2 hours while he completed the exam. He tested out of the Introduction to Spanish course, but didn’t do so well in the other sections, well, he passed, but not enough to opt out of those sections of the course entirely.
So his first course online was Introduction to Computer Science. Seems like a good one to start with. Only he found it tediously boring. When it came time to take the exam, he missed an entire section (because it was boring) and failed. He had the option to do an extra credit activity (for a fee of course) and passed with a 77.
The second online course was Online Classroom Study Techniques. Again, this seemed like a good course, even helpful perhaps? But just like the first course, he found it BORING! He procrastinated and then the last day to turn in the exam he had made plans with friends, so rushed through it and guess what? Failed again. He did the extra credit activity and passed with a 70.
You can probably guess that I wasn’t a happy camper at this point. As an incentive, I drew up a potential income chart. If he scored above a 90, he would earn 500 pesos. An 80 would earn him 200 pesos. No earnings for grades in the 70s. Anything below that, woe betide him. He must reimburse me for the retake fees. AND he would not be allowed to say at the little house in Sunflower Valley overnight until he brought his grades up.
The third online course was Mathematical Reasoning and he bellyached about that, but the first week he completed 70 percent of the course. He was doing well. He had 80-100% correct answers on his activities. Then he let it slide. He logged on to complete the final section, worth 25% of his grade to find out that the course had closed the previous day, 3 days early, due to technical problems with the site. So he failed AGAIN!
For some reason we couldn’t register for the recuperation activity, site problems I guess. So he would have to take the course over again.
The next class was Text Analysis, not his favorite by a long shot. Upon registration, I really emphasized that he needed to complete the course sooner rather than later. The whole point of doing this online course bit is for him to learn how to manage his time effectively. So far he hasn’t mastered that particular skill. If he learns something from the actual course he is taking, well that’s a bonus. Call me crazy but time management would be something to excel at before taking more extensive(and expensive) courses. I also threatened to send him to the downtown computer lab to do his school work daily. If there are too many distractions (Minecraft, Facebook, Whats App) for him at the little house, well then, time to move to a distraction-free monitored zone.
This time, he really applied himself even though I know this was his least favorite course so far. The report card came and he passed with a 71 the first time around. No extra activities needed, no redoing the entire course. Yipee! As a reward, the prohibition to staying at the little house in Sunflower was lifted. He now could choose one night to stay overnight per week. IF he passed the next course, he’d be allowed to stay 2 nights.
December brought a redo of Mathematical Reasoning. Since he had done well with the material the first time around, he rushed to completion a full week ahead of schedule. He double and triple checked that 100% of the course activities had been submitted and we waited for the grade. 79. Much better!
So, over the holidays, there aren’t any classes scheduled. Wanting to get a jump on the new year, we went to register for his next class, English (he’d better pass this one) and much to my delight, beginning in 2018, all online preparatorio classes are free in the state of Guanajuato. Oh, happy day! I feel less guilty about quitting the book reviewer job now. Of course, if my son fails and needs to do extra credit activities, there’s a fee involved but he must reimburse me according to the rules above. He’s currently 14% through his total studies. Considering that his classmates who continued their education at the local prepas will only be 25% through their studies next July, I think he’s making good progress.