In my household, I have four very different types of remote school students. Before this wild social experiment is over, I want to talk about each one of them. My 13 year old would be the sneaky slacker.
At the beginning of every week. I made a full schedule for each child. I break it down by day and subject so they can see each assignment that needs to be completed before we turn in all their work the next Monday. At 13, he can read and understand each assignment. I shouldn’t need to sit on top of him to complete them. Especially when there are three people younger than him that do need more hands-on help.
But that’s not at all how it plays out in real life. He will do absolutely anything to get out of completing school work. Any claim that he is doing his assignments out of my direct line of sight is a 100% lie. It’s not getting done. It doesn’t matter that I’ve taken his phone, tablet and everything else I think he might find interesting. He will stare at the ceiling before doing math. He is the epitome of a remote school slacker.
And even when I make him sit at the dining room table, if I’m not always paying attention, he will sneak away. I go to the bathroom, when I come back he’s missing. If I help another kid, he’ll be gone. When I put in laundry or water the plants or make the bed, he will disappear before I can so much as blink.
Maybe it’s part of the under-developed executive functioning of teens, but at the end of the week when I ask for all his assignments, he acts like they will all magically appear in my hand.
I can’t find that.
My brother must have taken my notebook.
It just disappeared.
I’m ALMOST done with that.
Totally legitimate excuses, right? Only when you’re 13.
And the assignments he does complete? Half-ass doesn’t even start to describe them. He knows there are no grades on these assignments. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read the material required to form coherent answers. But somehow he finds it accepted to write total garbage and turn it in.
The occasional assignment that catches his interest will be done and done well. The rest are pretty darn embarrassing.
To his benefit, I have no idea how to do his math or science homework. If he says he completed it and understood it, I have to take his word for it. I don’t remember how to find the area of a cone or how to balance chemical equations. The teachers send YouTube videos explaining these new concepts, which is not nearly enough to jog my memory or enough motivation to make my teen care.
While this particular child has never been school’s biggest fan, even he recognizes that remote schooling is not working for him. He does not have enough internal motivation to keep up with the work or the initiative to have a conversation with a teacher if he doesn’t understand something.
Is he ready for ninth grade? Absolutely not. Are we both ready to no longer attempt to do school from home? 100%
Sum total of what he has learned during remote schooling: No one can make me learn. And it’s true. I can remove all privileges until he completes the work, but I can not make him learn anything. If he’s determined not to expand his knowledge and be a remote school slacker (which I have to assume he is based on his actions), he won’t.
Sum total of what I have learned about this child during remote school: He really is lazy AF.