How to Cheat at Homeschool
In 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 Ronald 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.
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 meltdowns 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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