We’re coming to the end of the school year around here, but I just got a call from one of E’s teachers that not only does he still have an “incomplete” on his independent study–for which he received weeks of extensions and even permission to start over–but he also currently has a D-, with 6 days left of school (and one of those days is a field trip). Sigh. This frustrates me to no end. I try to give him the benefit of the doubt, as he knows that I expect him to complete his work, on time, and do his best. I also realize he’s headed to high school next year and will not have people following him making sure stuff gets turned in. So I’ll ask if he has homework, but don’t harp on him or check in with his teachers or check his agenda (which he doesn’t use anyway).
I guess that hasn’t worked. So today when he gets home from school, I will tell him that he’s staying for detention tomorrow to work on his art work (the regular teacher can’t be there–and I think other kids who are behind will join him) and that he needs to hand over his iPod and cell phone until his work is completed and turned in. I think I’ll check in with his other teachers as well, just to make sure there are no surprises on the end of the year report card. His teacher is giving him the weekend to get his independent study done, but Saturday is his birthday, so if he has to work on that/be without his technology, he’s going to be grouchy. Awesome.
His teacher loves him, and appreciates him, and wants him to succeed. I know he gets down on himself when he comes up short, but it just gets worse because then he doesn’t even try. And maybe taking his technology away will make him feel even worse about it, but the deal is he gets his privileges when he keeps up with his responsibilities, and he hasn’t. And it’s not like he hasn’t had time–he’s been coming home at 3 and spending hours either playing basketball or talking with friends. I hate the conflict that goes with enforcing limits, but these are lessons that are just going to get harder and harder to learn as he gets older. Of course, it being the end of the year, it’s not like he can do a lot to make things better. I think next year, high school or not, I’ll try to keep a closer eye on his schoolwork. I can imagine him struggling his first year and then just throwing in the towel for the next three years, thinking he’s ruined his chances for college.
Oy. I wish kids knew what parents go through trying to raise them right, that we worry and wonder if we could do better.