A mom writes in asking for advice about her 9th-grade son, who, she learned, has been cheating at school all year. She says he admits to cheating and feels remorseful, but given that all of his privileges had previously been taken away, she doesn’t know the right course of action when it comes to punishment (corrective action).
A member of the community asks:
“How should we handle punishment?
Hi, I am so overwhelmed I need some outside input. We homeschool our children, even before the Coronavirus was a thing. Our son is in 9th grade, and our daughter is in the 4th. I sit side by side with my daughter, but my son is self-led at this age, the program is designed that way, he watches the class on DVD then does bookworm ( homework ) and then studies.
We found out a few days ago that he has been cheating almost the entire year by having his book out during testing and going to a website where the previous student has submitted quizzes and tests, and the student can get all the answers. He copied an answer word for word from his textbook an a recent essay question, and we got an e-mail from the school asking us to make sure he’s not copying. When his dad and I asked him about the e-mail, he confessed to everything and said that high school was so much harder than he thought it would be, and he felt like he had to because he had gotten a few bad grades in the beginning.
His father and I are at a loss as to what to do for corrective training (punishment). He has already had his gaming suspended for months just a couple of weeks ago for foul language and inappropriate content! He’s such a sweet boy and is so kind and likable. We have not had problems until recently. And a part of his issues (we believe) is his addiction to gaming and the kids he’s been talking to on his games; he’s started changing. But since his dad and I have banned the games for months, he’s changing, he’s behaving more like he was before the gaming addiction… and as I said, he confessed of his own free will and cried.
He didn’t have to admit that he’s been doing it off and on all year, we only suspected the one essay question. We just don’t know what to do with him… he’s already lost most of his privileges. We are hoping to hear we aren’t the only ones who this has happened to, and hopefully get some ideas for punishment (corrective training).”
Community Advice for This Mom Who Doesn’t Know How She Should Punish Her Son Who Got Caught Cheating
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“I’d have him redo the entire year. Or look into a new program that is more suited to him. This one is not the correct one for him if he can get cheats that easy. Put him back in public school if you don’t have the time you need to help him learn.”
“Sometimes the answer is not punishment, sounds like he needs support and more assistance with school than you previously assumed. Work on summarizing in his own words, how and when to quote evidence, change where and how he takes tests, how to study for tests, etc. I think many 9th grade students who did not have teacher supervision during a test would try to find the answers the easy way. I would say administer assessments under adult supervision.”
“Yes developing children need restrictions with gaming times, but make sure the games he plays are appropriate by the ESRB rating. Teenagers should play up to teen rated games, no higher. That being said, video games aren’t to blame, lack of structure is. I was homeschooled for most my life; my mom was my teacher and did the whole curriculum. You need to be there for your kid if you’re going to homeschool. Be there when taking tests, be there to help when he’s frustrated with writing… every kid learns differently and you have to look at how they learn and help them to get the education they need.”
“If he has been cheating the entire year I’d have a talk with his teachers and have a discussion on a new way forward. You might even consider repeating the whole year if it’s been every class or just this one subject. It’s not a punishment, but if he’s doing this he’s not learning it, and continuing will only put him further behind (each year builds on and gets harder). Definitely help him with a tutor and maybe consider a different school where more supervision is used.”
“If he’s struggling, help him. A 9th grader is probably going through puberty problems, not gaming addictions. Yes, they are easily influenced by others but I’m sure there’s much more to the issues other than a gaming addiction. He obviously uses the game for social interaction & he obviously needs help with his school work! Be a parent, step up & Do what you’re supposed to be doing!”
“He’s just preparing for college!!”
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