Back in 2008, I posted about my frustrations in homeschooling then eight-year-old Enoch. Enoch has always been his own man. Curious, determined, stubborn. Homeschooling Enoch left me frazzled, frustrated and bewildered every day. He was obviously intelligent, but not a great “student”. He often refused to do his work and snuck off every chance he got. You could often find him taking something around the house apart or “fixing” things. But book work? No way. Enoch didn’t read well until he was eight. At age nine he read Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park.
I often looked at our days and thought, “If he were my only child, I’d likely follow his interests only. I’d let him explore the world, with me by his side. We’d put the books away and find other ways to learn math and reading and writing“. But he wasn’t my only child. I was homeschooling him amid my older and younger children. I could hardly tell him that he didn’t need to do daily schoolwork while requiring his siblings to complete assignments. We already focused on unit studies, using textbooks and worksheets for math and writing only.
But even that was “too much” for Enoch.
Remember my post, Consistency is the Key? Yeah, I could have written that back in 2008 as well.
Now, I feel like it is time to give a little update. Enoch turned sixteen in January and is taking his first class outside of our home ever. He is taking a math class along with Kalina. And how is he doing? That squirrelly kid who was determined to get out of work every day? The kid who complained his schoolwork was too hard? The kid who would expend more energy avoiding work than just doing the job?
On his first test of the year, he scored higher than any student the teacher had ever taught. A perfect score, plus extra credit. He continues to thrive, getting nearly perfect scores on assignments and perfect scores on his tests. He studies hard and loves the challenge. He loves the recognition that comes along with his high scores. He has also turned into a hard (and more importantly) dependable worker. He is mature and responsible. The boy who used to avoid work at all costs worked full-time at a local show garden last summer.
But didn’t he go to Tanzania last summer, you ask? Why yes, he did. He worked up until the day he left. He returned home on a Thursday, called his boss on Friday, and was back at work on Monday.
Yes, he’s a hard worker.
Don’t lose heart, mamas. Follow your gut. Do what is best for your family and your children. Yes, some rules apply to everyone. We need to teach our children to be kind and respectful and think of others. When Enoch was young, I made the best decisions I could, day by day. Sometimes I made him sit and do his schoolwork. Some days I was just happy if he was occupied and not causing trouble.
Things weren’t perfect back in 2008 and things aren’t perfect now, but he is growing and learning and thriving. And that’s enough for me.
How do you manage kids with different personalities in your home? Do you have different rules? Do you find you can have different rules and still maintain the same standard?