This is my mantra right now.
Alex was turned down for the magnet program at the job training high school. When I finally got a hold of the correct administrator, she was very kind and sympathetic and talked me through the whole decision making process and his record. To put it bluntly, he doesn't have enough high school credits to graduate before he turns 19, which is the age limit for public high school students, even if he passes every single class. This school was literally our last hope for getting Alex into the dual-enrollment high school program for welding. This means the dual-enrollment program won't take him, either... their limit is 19, too.
My child is never going to have a high school diploma. I just have to keep saying it until I can say it without tearing up.
Getting a GED is absolutely not the end of the world, I know. I suspect that the original mistake was putting Alex in public school at all, but what could I do? I had to go back to work. He says about himself "I'm not a self-motivated learner" even though I think that's Jim in his head telling him "you're just like me, lazy" and a whole bunch of other "I'm stupid" stuff he's absorbed through his siblings, their success in school, probably the public school teachers, and everywhere else where book-learning is valued over anything else. I knew that public school wasn't the right place for his "academic success", but dammit he made HUGE strides socially and emotionally and in every other way. And he did LEARN, he just could never regurgitate that learning back to the teachers in a way that could be GRADED. He wanted discourse, and he got "shut up, and take this test".
So now I'm going back to the original plan, before we got this glimmer of hope. I just ordered my own copy of the "Teenage Liberation Handbook". I'm looking at flights to Portland so he can visit with my sister for a month or so, maybe longer, and travel a little. I'm hoping he can continue with the blacksmithing training as soon as possible. Jim is really pushing him to get a job, but it has to be the right kind of job.
I am not a bad mother. Jim is not a bad father. We are not bad parents. I am not a failure as a homeschooler. Homeschooling was not a mistake. I am not a failure.