Sunday, March 16, 2008
What's the Difference
Between letting your child be responsible for himself and being lazy? I'm struggling with that right now. The semester my son was placed on the "basic" track at school which means that his classes have seemed easier than what he has had before. His grades improved and he was doing most of his homework with little to no help/supervision. Also, a few weeks ago, we were invited to leave the school at the end of the year. Definitely as a result of the improved performance, and maybe as a result of being asked to leave, I've backed off on my role as homework supervisor. Until now I've had a major financial interest in seeing that he passed all his classes. Since he is going to public school next year, that interest is gone. I've kept an eye on his grades and while he hasn' t been perfect about handing in homework, I wouldn't say he has been significantly worse than he was when I was cracking the whip all the time. However in the last few weeks his grades have declined, and now, on the eve of exams, I'm seeing more missing work and lower grades, to the point that he is going into exams with an "F" in two of his four subjects (in one of which he had a "B" a few weeks ago). I really think he needs to learn to be responsible for his own work. His homework is HIS, not mine. However, I don't want him to fail--but on the other hand, why not? He needs to learn that actions (and inactions) have consequences. If he goes over to the public school as a sophomore rather than a junior, no one will know but him that he was held back. It is another year that he can stay on my health insurance (and when you have a kid taking $500+ in meds every month, that's important). We haven't told him yet that he is not going to summer school for the class he failed last nine weeks (and don't plan to tell him until school is over) so maybe he'll see that as something to avoid. On the other hand it isn't working...but it sure is easier and more fun for me to not do homework with him every night. I've taken the little one to the playground, read with her, read my books...in general, done something other than homework at night for the last few weeks and I've loved it. Am I just being lazy or am I trying to give him a skill he really does need to learn?