Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Work Hard or Work Smart
We have a saying in our house, Work Hard or Work Smart. We say it to the kids whenever they get discouraged with school and don't want to do the work. They either learn to use their brains to best of their ability or plan to work hard, psychically It's their choice.
So when one of the boys brings home less than stellar grades, their chores are often increased to include things like toilet scrubbing and pooper scooping the yard. There's also a general band on all things electronic such as cell phones, video games and computer time. In addition, we crack down on studying, homework habits, etc. We work together to make sure they're understanding everything being taught in school.
Last school year, we reached a bump in the middle kid's educational path. It's been well documented that while he's smart, he's not a fan of the working. He was struggling with Math. We were going round and round trying to get him to understand that he MUST study and work.
**this is the abridged version**
To make a long story short, he was failing. I requested a parent teacher conference and worked out a new game plan. By the end of the grading period, he brought his F up to a near B. Hallelujah! I feel like we finally made progress. Fast Forward to this school year. At registration, I found out he missed being placed in the advanced class by 2 points. Not only did the teacher not inform me of this at the end of the previous year like he claims he did, I was also told there was ultimately nothing I could do about it. And the icing on the cake? He was being forced to retake the previous math class using the same book and curriculum when he had already passed it with 2 B averages.
I questioned the school's reasoning. I was then told that it would be better for N in the long run to just repeat 8th grade math now (EVEN THOUGH HE ALREADY PASSED) so he wouldn't have to take Calculus as a HS Senior. And that it wasn't her professional opinion that he could handle the advanced curriculum.
At that point, I was LIVID. Shouldn't the educators as well as parents want to strive to encourage our kids to do their best ALWAYS? Why would we promote mediocrity?
So I might have been a little upset at that point. There may have been an email sent to the County Board of Education and I might have used the words Educational Discrimination. Within two days, I received another phone call from the school saying that there was now a spot open in the advanced class. Amazing how that worked, isn't it?
Here are we are.. a little over halfway through the school year and the kid who supposedly couldn't handle Algebra is doing amazing. He has made several 100's on tests INCLUDING the comprehensive midterm.
At the end of the year when he's made straight A's, it's going to take everything in me NOT to have another parent-principal conference and tell her where to place her professional opinion. Never underestimate a mother who wants what is best for her kid.