Saturday, February 20, 2010

Home work

Blue got some notes home from school.  Not directly directed to me, apparently.  Just a note to herself that the teacher made her copy down onto the parent communications paper.  "I need to get back on track with my homework and start doing it every night."  Definitely, a note to self.  Right.

She's only missed three lately.  Well, two before the note.  One she forgot at school.  And the other, I'd reminded her only three times to do it! I'm not into haranguing.  I told her if she didn't do it the teacher would make her stay in at recess.  And she never got around to it.  Fine.  I love these small consequence items.  A small punishment.  But it had big effects.  After that, she did her homework without me having to ask twice.  It was nice.  I liked it.  A lot.

That's what childhood is for, lessons with small consequences.  Adulthood is for big consequences: yuck!  Parents are supposed to set up small and annoying consequences on purpose. 

This note cracked me up, however.  First, she's only missed homework a few times.  And second, it worked out great for me for her to deal with some mildly unpleasant consequences at school.  And third, she just took the state's standardized tests and scored 10% higher than any other third grader in that school, one of the best in the area.  Her claims of boredom and loneliness, though never doubted, are backed up by test results now.  So, I think she can skip some stupid, crappy home busy work, ya think?  I know they think it builds an independent worker.  But at this age, the kids getting it done are mostly the ones with helicopter parents, hovering over their shoulders and cracking whips.  At this age, it's a meaningless "independence" they're displaying when they hand in their worksheets with all the blanks filled in.  All it means is that I'm great at harassing kids to do things they really don't want to.  I think I'm the one that's supposed to get back on track.  But I already am. Thanks.

(two of these picks are 2006, Pullman house: Blue, with the proper queen face and princess Coyote.  And Blue jumping.)

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