Nate has his first biology test tomorrow. He’s been studying on his own and strongly denying my help. That’s OK. It’s difficult to balance Nate doing his best and doing his own work.
The year before we moved to Cooperstown, when Nate was in sixth grade, he had a huge end of the term bio test. We worked on it tirelessly: at home, in the car, wherever we were at the moment. Every day we covered that thick loose-leaf binder, reading notes over and over, scanning the diagrams of each bodily system. He nailed that test with a 96, I think. Whatever the number, it was high and we were all proud of him. He took it in stride. How he did mattered less to him than anyone.
Now he’s preparing for Monday’s test on his own. It’s impossible to know how he’ll do, but it ends up being a worthwhile tradeoff, a possible failing test grade in return for becoming a stronger adult. His continual movement towards independence means more than any single grade.
However, I told him if he did poorly we would be working together next time.
“I’ll study cautiously,” he replied. Nate chooses words that sort of fit. No one uses “cautiously” in that context, but it works, in a funny, uncommon sort of way.
I’d rather him get a 65 independently, than an 85 with my help. We’ll see how it turns out.