Isaac at 13
I am amazed at the amount of growth I’ve seen in Isaac over the course of the last year. I’m not sure that he’s grown much physically, but he has matured this year. Last year as he left elementary school he seemed so small and young and this year he suddenly seems like he is approaching adolescence.
Isaac started Jr. High and he actually really likes it. He loved his classes. He thought many of his teachers were hilarious. He really liked the lunch options. He enjoyed the extras like penny wars, food drives, and other such. He had a few issues with bullies, but he felt like he dealt with them ok and didn’t want me to get involved. He joined two clubs which he enjoyed. He managed his own school work and grades with little interference from me. He just seemed more independant and on top of things. His homeroom (advisory) teacher is the one who teaches subjects involving robotics and technology which is perfect for Isaac since he is fascinated with those topics. When I went to parent-teacher conferences all of his teachers mentioned that they appreciated his comments in class. Part of me wanted to be a fly in the wall and hear what kind of comments he was making, but another part of me said it’s time to let go and let him be himself and not worry if his comments are not the kind his peers would appreciate.
Isaac loves math. He took the accelerated math class in Jr. High and aced it easily. He joined the math club and reported back on his first day that he got a higher score on the math problems in club than his accelerated teacher. He didn’t get the top score every time in math club, but he did well and often came home with candy or prizes for his work. He was super excited for the regional competition, but disappointed that he didn’t make it to state.
The other club he joined was underwater robotics. He tried to engineer some unique designs and not all of them worked the way he expected them to, but it was a great experience and he’s already making plans for next year’s robot.
Isaac completed his first year of band and got better at the trumpet. He loved the experience in band. For the second band concert they played “Don’t stop Believing” by Journey and Isaac fell in love with the band Journey. Isaac has been requesting Journey songs with Alexa and on Spotify. He keeps trying to convince his siblings that Journey is the best band ever as he sings all their songs a little off key as he does his chores. I bought him a book of Journey songs for the piano and he loves it. He spontaneously practices songs from the Journey book on the piano periodically throughout the day. Isaac’s piano skills have improved quite a bit this year. His piano teacher said that he is taking on more challenging songs and she’s seeing great progress this year. I see him having more confidence in his piano abilities as well.
Isaac is starting to be more responsible. Everyday when he came home from school, he immediately practiced his instruments. He almost never had homework because he used any spare moments he had at school to finish all his homework. It was hard for me this year to trust him to take responsibility for his grades, but there was little that I could do. I had to trust him to approach his teachers about make-up work or completing assignments. He didn’t do a perfect job, but he did ok.
He was ordained a deacon last year when he turned 12 and was called to serve as the deacon’s quorum secretary this year. Isaac’s immediate response was to try to find some way to use technology in his calling. He wanted to set up a website that could email everyone or find some way to coordinate with with primary and automate something to send emails to people in primary. He had several ideas for technology integration, but I don’t think any of them actually worked out.
Isaac is passionate about technology. He has his own computer and has developed some level of competence at problem solving when things go wrong. I would say he’s almost as good as me at troubleshooting most things and there are several things he’s better at troubleshooting than I am. Whenever the other children have problems with their computer, I ask Isaac to help and he is always willing. He never even gets upset about interrupting what he’s doing to help them.
Isaac loves science and engineering. He has a good head for figuring out the way things work and is constantly trying to come up with new uses for drones or new kinds of robots to invent. He loves to take things apart and see how they work.
Isaac still hates reading fiction. He is currently reading “Robot building for Beginners” by David Cook and “Unknown Quantity: A Real And Imaginary History of Algebra” by John Derbyshire. It used to amaze me that he would choose a history of military tank technology over an easy fiction like Harry Potter. He would still rather watch a documentary than a Disney movie.
Isaac has continued to expand his group of friends. For a kid who struggled for years to develop one solid friendship, it’s nice to see three to four kids come over to play every day this summer.
Isaac is a kind and loving big brother. All of my children are kind to each other and treat their siblings like friends. My Dad believes Isaac is the reason they all get along so well because he lead the way by loving his sister Charlotte from the day she was born. They were instant friends and partners in crime and each new sibling was welcomed as a playmate and friend. I don’t know that I can give Isaac all the credit, but I can say that he is always kind to his siblings. He reads to Thomas at night and when he gets a special treat, he shares it with his brother and sisters.
Here is what I wrote about Isaac last year when he turned 12.