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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

How to Cheat at Homeschool

homeschoolIn our family, we take nothing for granted, not even the possibility of cheating in homeschool.  Our goal is to remove temptation and track down the forces of evil, making me most suited to professional aspirations in either law enforcement or ministry.

Due to this serious bent, my husband believes me to be ill-suited to teaching young lives.  He feels that our children need to be free to express themselves without the long arm of the law, or the Lord, reaching out to catch them in a major mess-up.

I prefer to live life by the Russian proverb, “Doveryai no Proveryai”, Trust but Verify, used repeatedly by President hs7Ronald Reagan in his dealings with the Soviets.  All I can say is this is not winning me any brownie points at home.

In the early days of our children coming home from Russia, I was the one primarily communicating with them in Russian.  I taught them, laid down the law, explained and corrected, all in Russian.  The children lied, cursed, and not-so-innocently told me to get lost when they learned that I had their number and saw through any manipulative charades.  I spied answers pencilled onto papers before we even began a quiz, so I learned to change Question #1 into Question #10.  All of this basically scarred me for life.

Their father was oblivious, or felt that I was being mean to the little angels.  He played with them, tickled them, took them out for ice cream, and tucked them into bed each evening, while I had long talks with myself in the bathroom mirror, wondering how my life had turned into a train wreck overnight.

homeschoolThese things happen when you’re dealing with alphabet soup diagnoses with foreign adoptees.  They would grow out of it, I told myself.  Hopefully, the husband would, too.

Fast-forward to now.  Benedetto prefers to take over much of the homeschooling tasks, such as administration of DVD lessons and tests, while I teach various languages and give spelling tests and my motivational life lessons for the day (how to get a job, vital character traits, how to fill out forms, what to do in an emergency,  setting and achieving goals, etc.), which most roundly ignore.

It was a few months ago that I began inquiring about each student’s status.  I felt that my husband had given them too long of a winter break, that was really all of a couple of weeks, but when we’re trying to make up for lost time and lost years… it’s too much.

I started asking the kids where they were in their lessons and some became quite defensive.  Working out an exact????????????????????????? schedule, I showed each one how many lessons per day they needed to finish in order to have some free time this summer.  Benedetto claimed that this sharing of truth was unfortunate because, I basically uncovered that they had fallen behind.

Except for one.  Sashenka the youngest (12.5) insisted that she was far ahead of the pack.  This puzzled me, but again, she was in the lowest grade represented, so it was possible.  I went over her lessons with a fine-toothed comb.

That’s when it surfaced: she had skipped two and a half months’ worth of math.

Oh yes.  That’s why she was “ahead”.  While her sister was having mathhomeworkclipartmeltdowns and issues galore, Sashenka flew below the radar and just pushed her math to the back burner.  Each of the kids was taking tests, and moving forward, and completing lessons, but when no one called her on her avoided subject, math went missing more and more.  How could this happen?

With four different kids to monitor, various outside activities, as well as our own professions, we’re doing the best we can, which we thought was pretty good….

It might be a long summer. “Doveryai no Proveryai”, Trust but Verify, will be our motto.  “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” has not worked for us, in my opinion.

But I could be wrong.  Just about anything could be possible at this point.


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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar sarah says:

    oh Alexandra! Some one is in the dog house!!! Ever thought of a nice international School? Ours has a great ESL program that the kids catch up to their grade level in. My kids are thriving. I don’t know how you do it….I am not a good enough parent to be able to teach them and take care of them without losing my mind! Good on you for doing it!

    • avatar admin says:

      I’ve thought of a lot of things, Sarah, lol-! Like them being in an international school and me relaxing on the Riviera! I grew up with my father’s stories of growing up in NYC and going to his first day of school only speaking Russian. He got into lots of trouble, along with his twin brother. So I vowed that this would never happen to my kids, but some days, that may be a better alternative….

  2. avatar Sarah says:

    I must admit Sasha has learned some nice Russian swear words from his best buddy the mini Oligarch and all of his kindergarten native russian classes. Maybe now the entire Kindergarten class of 14 children knows some choice words! Your kids would no longer be in ESL of course but the great mix of cultures really would fit your world. In say Sasha’s class there are 14 kids they are from Russia, Russian/American (big sash), South Korea, two Germany, two American, two British, Finland, Kazakhstan, Spain, Greek/Swiss, Norway. I know your concerns of FAS etc. as you may know I have them with Gracie….but, today she was the star of the 3 year old play…..not a position I would put my RAD probably FASD child in but, it wasn’t totally horrific and everyone else seemed to think her thinking about a melt down on stage was cute….sigh. Anyway, they are thriving in their multi cultural community and ther are tons of resources in place for those super bright kiddos and those who need more help ( I have both of those). We are at ACS Cobham International School.

    • avatar admin says:

      That really sounds ideal, Sarah (apart form the swear words – yikes! lol). Sashenka was just telling us today how many swear words she knows from Russia, and I asked her how in the world that could be helpful? Well, in case someone was angry with her, she would know to stay away from them, of course! As though she had no other way of telling such a thing….

      I do believe that our kids would do very well in an international school… maybe for college…. 🙂

      • avatar sarah says:

        Yes, our sweet little mini Oligarch is the youngest of 5 so we have all learned a few choice words. Ahem. The sweet Russian teacher broke the news to me the words were on the loose and now the whole class is in on them! It is great because their Russian teacher is the Russian teacher for the entire school so through the IB program. Helpfull for preparing our little ones. This past week for Russian Independence Day she pulled all the Russian kids out of their class and a big party was held by all! Great fun for my little Russian/Americans.

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