I am frustrated today. Angry. Hurt. Upset. Really dang pissed off at my son.
I'm dealing with something this school year that I honestly never thought I would deal with in a home education setting. Well, to be perfectly honest, I had hoped I would never deal with it at all.
I know some people are going to sit there and read this and think, "Ah, he's 8, almost 9? That's developmentally appropriate... probably a tad delayed, really, because cheating can start any time after the age of 6." And maybe it is 'developmentally appropriate.' Maybe I should have expected this in some form or other.
But he's homeschooled.
Honest to Pete, I don't understand why on earth he even tries! I'm with him on a daily basis. I know his limitations. I know what he can and can't read, understand, spell, etc. So when he brings me his very first history test and has the word conquistadores spelled correctly without a single erasure, an alarm goes off. When he brings me a math worksheet and has half of the work written out and half not, I might ask questions. I'm reasonably sure any teacher would be able to pick out these falsehoods, one-on-one setting or not!
He knows that cheating is wrong. We talked about it after the history test incident. But M1 is one of those kids who thinks that if he can come up with a simpler way to do something and get away with it, then it must be okay. He stashes clothes until someone finds them or he runs out of clean clothes, played his Nintendo DS till the wee hours of the morning until it got permanently confiscated, gets up and steals food - cheese puffs, candy, peanut butter, etc. - on Saturday mornings rather than putting a Pop-Tart in the toaster, etches tic-tac-toe grids into his wallpaper with a screwdriver... the list could go on and on and on. The problems all occur when I inevitably find out about his stashing, stealing, destroying, cheating, etc., and bust him for it.
Now, I've been trying to cultivate a sense of responsibility in the kid, and he understands the concept but obviously not the practice. After we talked about the cheating, I thought I wouldn't see it again. WRONG-O. He discovered his electronic dictionary had calculator abilities and felt the need to try it out on his math worksheet. If he had asked me about this, I probably would have given him some extra problems and let him go. But of course he hid it... and then tried to pass it off as his own mental math. Then he had the nerve to get mad at ME because I caught him!
I'm on my last straw. I've told him point-blank that if he cheats again, he'll be enrolled in public school before that day is out, and I mean it. Third time's a charm. If he doesn't want to learn... if he wants to take the easy way out and do only the bare minimum... if he wants to face consequences like he's never seen before... then home is not the place for him. And I'm happy to put him wherever he wants to be.
After all, it's my job to accommodate his interests, isn't it?
(P.S. Sorry for the bitter undertone of this post. I'm just really hurt and upset right now.)