Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Just Don't Understand

How can a child go from this:

to this:

in less than a month? And this is AFTER she turned in late assignments. The grades were a lot worse two days ago. The numbers in red are missing assignments, btw. Every time I see that D I want to puke. Ugh.

I'm trying to remember why it's a bad idea to beat your children....

As punishment, she's grounded for 5 weeks. One for every missing assignment. She has until tomorrow to make up the assignments she's already missing or I'm going to start taking away her extracurricular activities. First we're taking away sign language. If she still hasn't turned in all missing assignments by Monday we're also taking away tennis. If she doesn't have all missing assignments turned in by Friday of next week we're taking away all extracurricular activities for the rest of the year.

At the beginning of the last semester we started working on the rewards program. For every week TG went without missing an assignment she would get a new book (trust me, this is huge for her. She reads as much as I do.). Since she's missing 5 assignments she gets no new books for 5 weeks (she's all kinds of tore up over that). Once she's completed her 5 weeks of punishment we'll talk about going back to a rewards system.

During this 5 weeks of punishment, for every assignment that doesn't get turned in (or gets turned in late), she'll be grounded an additional 2 weeks. Normally her punishments don't overlap like this, but I'm making an exception because I think she needs to understand how serious this is.

She also has to tread very, very carefully with MM. You see, MM put TG on the "B or Better" program. Basically, beginning this year - 7th grade - if TG keeps her grades at B or Better, MM will buy her a car when she gets her license. He will also pay her insurance as long as she maintains B's or better, and will do all maintenance on her car (seems like there's something else he offered to do, but I can't remember what now). This is totally between them..I have nothing to do with it.

The only reason she hasn't lost the car yet is because we said B or Better on her report card. Since report cards don't come out for several weeks, she's just barely skimming under the wire.

Other than the above, I honestly don't know what to do with her. This is not a new issue. We've been fighting with her about missing work since kindergarten. There isn't much I haven't tried at this point.

Why can't I just have easy children? All I want in life is a kid who does her homework on time without being asked. It's not like I'm asking for the moon here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Star Wars, MM-Style.

For whatever reason, one of MM's favorite insults for the kids is "Dopey Wan Knobe". I don't know where he got it from (he probably made it up..he does that a lot) but he'll often call Little Man or The Girl that. Heck, he's even thrown it at me a few times.

The other night we were at the table and somehow the expression was bought up. I'm thinking because MM called one of us that. From there he starts trying to think up insults from the other characters.

MM: What's one for Yoda? Yo-duh? heh No wait, Yo-Dummy.
LM: What about Luke Skywalker?
MM: eh, there's only two of you, so I only need two names. Dopey Wan and Yo-Dummy.
TG: What about Anakin?
MM: Wait, I should be Yoda, so no insulting name for him.
Me: No, I should. I'm the wise one.
TG: Ha!
MM: You should be Anakin because you turn evil once a month
*Me, TG and MM laugh, LM looks confused*
MM: The best part about that is only me, you and TG get it.
LM: Get what? Mom's evil all the time, not just once a month.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

More Kid Logic

Little Man has a Revolutionary War project due this week. He has to create a shoebox time caspule with items from the Revolutionary War. Not only things war related, but things that might have been found in homes then, or recipes people might have used. Things like that.

He got this assignment the week he went back to school after Christmas break. I think it was like January 6th or 7th. It is now February 21st. That's a long ass time to work on a project. Can you guess how much he's gotten done? He found the shoebox. Yep, that's it. The project is due on Friday and the only thing he's gotten done is found the freaking shoebox.

MM and I have been trying to help him with it for the last month or so, but he keeps dragging his feet. We finally told him last night that it has to be finished today or else...well, just or else. (Honestly, I can't remember all the things we've threatened him with)

At 9:30 this morning LM started "working" on his project. "Working" is a very subjective term, however. What I consider "working" and what he considers "working" are apparently two entirely different things. Mostly his version of "working" is playing games on the computer and whining because he "can't find anything" to put in his shoebox. To say I'm frustrated is an understatement.

About an hour ago we told him he had an hour to finish his project. Since he's been "working" on it for more than 8 hours now, you'd think that would be possible. But no..he hasn't finished one thing for it yet.

He keeps finding ways to procrastinate. Just a few minutes ago he starts asking MM what some speck on the wall is from and MM says, "Quit screwing around and work on your project!". A few minutes later I look over and LM is putting tape over his mouth. I said, "What are you doing??" and he replied, "I'm putting tape on my mouth so I can't screw around anymore."

(Our new threat is he'll be grounded one day for every hour it takes him to complete this project [above and beyond the 8.5 he's already had, of course]. I foresee him being ground a long, long time..)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homework War

I've always felt bad for Holly for the Homework Hell she's gone through, but in a removed sort of way. Kind of like "Thank God that's not my kid". I never thought she was joking about what she went through with TG, but I also didn't think it could be that bad. Holly is a strict parent (as I've said numerous times) and she can't get her kid to do her homework? It just didn't seem likely. Now I know that not only was every word she ever said about it true, but that she was actually UNDER exaggerating. Since seeing the error of my ways, I've offered her everything (including my first AND second born) to take W off my hands during the school year. I think W would listen to her and come back home ready for the homework awaiting him in fifth grade. For some reason, she's not going for it. I would even offer to take my second born off the table, which should clinch the deal.

This is the first year that PASS is available to the parent. I'm able to check W's grades every week. I know every parent thinks their kid is smart, but W is super smart. Like he doesn't even have to try. He just has that thing that smart people have. I don't know how or why, but he has it. So why does he have a D in math and a F in reading? WHY?????

He's a lazy little bugger, that's why. I never factored that into the smart thing. You can be as smart as Albert-freaking-Einstein, but that doesn't mean that you'll get good grades. You have to actually do your work. YOU HAVE TO TRY. You have to tell the truth. So when your mom and dad ask you if you have homework, don't say NO. Honestly, the kid just lies to our faces. I don't know if he's actually lying b/c he's too lazy to do the damn work or if he's forgotten he even has it. At first I was Wing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but that time has passed.

A week and a half ago, a notice was sent home to all parents. They wouldn't accept work any later than five days after it was due. Anything late automatically gets a grade lower. Parents have lots of stuff to sign, etc. I didn't like the five day thing, which I now realize is ridiculous. My kid is smart so why the hell isn't his homework on time? Oh, b/c he forgets it or doesn't try. Or back to #1: Laziness.

Last Thursday he called me when he got home from school to ask if he could play [insert electronic device here]. I asked him if he had homework. He said yes, he had math. I asked if he had reading. He said no. I told him to do what he could on the math (he said he needed help) and I would go over the rest of it when I got home. After I got home, we did our usual dinner routine where he casually mentions that he has a book report due Friday. THE NEXT DAY. He has to write a report on a biography. But the book he wanted was checked out by some other girl and she was going to do the report on that person so it was okay. I was like huh???? It was all convoluted and resulted in him being grounded for two days from his laptop. After he cried (he's one of those criers that looks absolutely devastated while crying) and just blatantly refused to do the report, Bill ran him over to the library. This all happened about 6:30pm.

While they were at the library, I graded his math homework (they are working on division). It's little gems like this that remind me why I love this kid so damn much.

Question: Mr. Brooks bought a box of 66 acorns to class. Can he give 3 acorns to each of the 23 students in his class? How? Why or why not?

W's answer: No He can't if you divide it you will get it.

This is by far my favorite of all of his answers.

Question: Explain how you can find the quotient of 84 divided by 4.

W's answer: If you divide right you will get it right. I'm sure of it.

After we finished his math, he started reading the biography he got. He didn't get done with his report until about 9:30. He usually goes to bed at 8, so this was significantly later. Can you guess what happened on Friday?


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