Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Interfering Mother?

One of the hardest things for me as a mother has been deciding when to interfere, and when to back off and let my kids take a fall, or have to grow because I'm not there to handle the problem. It is especially hard regarding my son because he isn't normal, his problems aren't normal nor are his reactions. Some things I've had to accept. I've had to accept that getting through a normal school curriculum means he is going to spend his evening doing homework, with me supervising, closely. I know that one day he'll have to make it on his own, but I've decided that "one day" will be after high school. I know we spend more time on homework than most kids do, so I'm hesitant to criticise homework assignments. Tonite, however, I did. Exams are Thursday and Friday. His school is on a 4 by 4 block, which means they take four classes each semester, so in essence, this isn't a 9 weeks test but a semester exam (in terms of material covered). He has two on Thursday and two on Friday, and he gets out of school at 11 on Thursday and Friday. Yesterday (Monday) he came home with his old tests to study in 3/4 classes. I've been leaving voice mail messages and emailing the teacher in the other class for another reason, but I'll call him again tomorrow, but I digress. Yesterday he also came home with a research assignment--to write a two page, single spaced 12 point font paper on one of several Roman emperors. I just copied a bunch of text, pasted it into a word processing document and made it 12 point type, single spaced, two pages long. It was over 1000 words. When I was in high school a 1000 word paper was ten hand-written pages long and was considered a TERM paper, and you had several weeks to finish it. This paper is due tomorrow. We worked on it for an hour last nite. The lesson plan says they worked on it in class today (but I saw no evidence of that) and we worked on it for an hour tonite (and are up to about 300 words) before I called it quits and said it was time to study for exams. I emailed the teacher and told him that his assignment basically made my son choose between studying for exams or writing his paper. I just don't get it.


  1. I tried to run interference for James today and got nowhere.
    James has brought home assignments graded 6/10 and the comment "write more"... nothing is marked correct, nothing is marked wrong.
    The teacher would not tell me which points James was or was not missing in his answers. All he would say is "write more"... thankfully this is not yet high school so James can either fill up the paper with superfluous information (and get good grades) or just answer the questions in compplete sentences (and get poor grades)..... I have encouraged the first but I have decided I will not punish if he should choose to do the second.

  2. After I posted that missive, I got an email from the history teacher. It seems the paper was assigned a week ago; however, it was not listed on the online lesson plan, and Jay had other history homework every night anyway. We spent over two hours tonite studying history. I don't know what is on his English exam tomorrow; the tests he has in his folder don't tell me much, and the teacher doesn't return my phone calls. Tomorrow I'm calling the couneselor (the next step up the progressive ladder) to see if I can get the English teacher on the phone. It sounds consumerish, but for what I'm paying for that school, they ought to return phone calls.

  3. I agree they should call. You pay tuition, they educate your son and communicate with you the consumer. I feel that way even about public schools - after all we pay taxes.


View My Stats