homeschool · slice of life · technology

The Fruits of Your Labor

On Friday afternoon, I asked Isabelle if she had any work to complete over the weekend. She paused. I could tell she was thinking through what (or how much) to tell me. “We’ll, I have to finish my AR Project for STEM, but that’s it.”

“When is it due?” I asked.

“Tuesday,” she replied.

“Okay,” I replied.

And then, amazing even myself, I spoke nothing of the STEM Project to Isabelle all weekend.

This afternoon, I picked Isabelle up from school early since she needed her (maintenance dose of!) allergy shots.

“Did you get the STEM project done over the weekend or during REM this morning?”

“I’m going to work on it after I get my horrible, terrible, boring-old allergy shots — when we are waiting around.”

Enough adjectives for you, I wondered.

“Okay,” I replied. “I know you’ll get it done. Self-managing your assignments is something you got really good at last year when you were homeschooled.“

Isabelle nodded knowingly.

“Did you notice I didn’t ask you about it all weekend?”

“Yeah. Why didn’t you?” Isabelle inquired.

“Because I knew you’d get it done and submitted by the time it is due.”

After Isabelle’s shots, she emerged from the shot room, grabbed her iPad, opened it up to Tinkercad, and began working. I gave her work the fish-eye a couple of times, but said nothing as she put the finishing touches on the project.

Eventually, she asked to read me the paragraph she wrote. If I’m being generous, it was a poorly written overview of what I saw in front of me.

“What do you think?” she asked.

“Um, I think you could’ve combined the first three sentences into one sentence. Are you being graded on your writing?”

Isabelle shook her head.

“Are you sure? Because if you are, then the writing needs some work.”

“I’m not being graded on the writing, but I had to write something — to describe what I created.”

“Do you know what you are being graded for?”

Isabelle nodded.

“Okay, then you can go ahead and submit it early,” I replied.

I watched as Isabelle typed something up on Schoology and submitted her assignment to her teacher.

“It’s in,” she said after a few minutes of hunting and pecking.

“Go ahead and enjoy some free time on the iPad. You’ve earned it.”


9 thoughts on “The Fruits of Your Labor

  1. This is wonderful, Stacey. I listened to several episodes of the TWT podcast on my drive (3.5 hours) to Boise last Thursday and wasn’t quite through the one where you share your concerns about Isabelle’s transition from home school to public school. I’ve been thinking about you both and wondering how school is going, especially as I’ve begun subbing and working to establish credibility w/ students so I can help w/ assignments. Glad to get this good news this morning.

    1. Thanks for listening to and writing about that episode. It was on my mind a lot all summer, which is why we recorded it. I have a meeting with her teachers next week to get a better idea of how things are going. 🤞🏻

  2. I find being a teacher-parent increasingly complicated as the kids get near (and into) high school! Biting my tongue is really hard. For this reason alone, I am really impressed that you were able to let Isabella figure out how to do this on her own – and turn in something with less than stellar writing. This parenting thing is tough!

  3. It’s so hard to know when to give the independence and when to crack down on the reminders! I’ve been struggling with that this year with my boys, and hoping that the lessons they are learning will help their work habits as they continue through school. I really appreciated how you reflected with her about how you hadn’t reminded her, and how you knew she could do it… I don’t think I do enough of that reflection with my kids. Thank you for this!

  4. What a PROUD mama moment! I found myself smiling throughout your post. And I love having the chance to watch Isabelle grow into herself, to find the space where she has the freedom and independence to figure things out as a learner. And for her to receive that message of trust from you? SO very important.

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