I’ll admit it – I’ve been suspicious for a while now. And today, my suspicions were confirmed.
It started off with me running to Lowe’s. Before I left I told Em, “When you get up, do your morning chores and then start working on homeschool.” I knew I would be back in short order.
At 9:30 I returned and Em said, “I’ve finished my handwriting practice, my creative writing homework, and I’ve finished my French lesson.”
In record time. After all, she couldn’t have been working on school work for more than an hour at most. Something didn’t feel right. I let it go for the moment and we started to work on her other assignments.
And then she let it slip. “I saw it was 9:05 and I got to work right away on homeschool, Mama.” She said offhand as she finished an exercise in Time4Learning.
Twenty-five minutes to finish a full handwriting lesson, a creative writing exercise, AND French? No way.
“So what letter did you practice for cursive today?”
Deer in the headlights look. Long pause. “I, um, don’t remember.”
“Well let’s take a look, shall we?”
I knew from her anxious, scared look that I wasn’t going to like what I saw. And when I looked over the work, I realized she had been up to no good for some time. We started the fall semester on Lesson #12 in the book, at three days a week for practice and a couple of days in there off for holidays or illness, she still should have finished at least ten lessons, putting her at Lesson #22. Instead, the last lesson she had even partly done was Lesson #18. And she had not followed the directions at all, there were short abbreviated lists of words on the pages.
The same situation was true in the case of the creative writing. She had done the bare minimum in most of it, and none of it at all in several instances.
The jig was up, and one special little someone looked rather nervous.
“So, why did you not do your work and lie about it?” I asked.
“I wanted to get done faster so that I could be on my computer and play Minecraft and watch YouTube videos.” She answered.
“I’ve always heard that you should let the punishment fit the crime. Taking that into account, what do you think your punishment should be?”
She hung her head. “No computer privileges.”
I nodded, “And how long was this going on?”
“At least a week.”
“And longer with you only doing partial work on the handwriting, from what I can tell.”
“Okay, so no computer until next Monday. That is one week. And that also means no YouTube videos or cartoons.”
[sad sigh] “Okay.”
“And this handwriting needs to be caught up. So we are going to start again with Exercise #12 and have you do two exercises a day to get you back up to speed. And this time, you are going to do it right, according to the instructions.”
So yeah, it hasn’t been a great day. It turns out she was also cheating on her spelling tests after the first week. She reviews the words first, writing them and pressing hard into the paper so that there is an impression left on the following page. Then she takes the test, writing the letters into the impressions.
Dee caught her doing it and said nothing, just redirected her to a page in the middle of her notebook. The remaining words on the list took a dive in accuracy after that.
So we have some issues to address. A part of me wonders if I’m doing too much all at once. Do I need to back down on some of this? Or do I just need to be more hands on, less trusting and more attentive? Or a little of all of the above?
This is not an easy situation.