Well, P has been in school for about 3 weeks and it's not going so well. I'm at a complete loss on how to handle this. He's always had a problem with talking in class, and through a couple years of rewards & punishments, he had gotten quite a bit better. Well this year is apparently much worse. I think the teacher (Let's call him Mr. L) isn't strict enough for him. Mr. L doesn't assign "homework" per say... they have numerous weekly assignments that can either be done during work time in class, or completed at home. Apparently P uses this "work time" as "talk time" instead... then when he doesn't finish his work, and we ask him "have you done your homework" he tells us "yes"... at 9 years old he knows better than to lie about it, and he should be responsible enough that we shouldn't have to check. P was at his mom's house all last week, and she asked him every night "Is your homework done?" to which he always answered "yes". Well come Friday morning, she e-mails his teacher a note saying: "I know you normally give out weekly progress reports the following Monday, but is there any way I can get Preston's today before we leave on vacation for Labor Day? I'd like to know if he's earned his privileges." Simple enough, right? Mr. L e-mails her back... P is missing TWELVE assignments!!!! (WTF?!) So needless to say he did nothing but homework while on vacation, but it didn't even seem to bother him! When he got to our house yesterday afternoon, we had him pack up all his video games, to some extra chores (pulling weeds!) and then I went to a local school supply store and bought workbooks for him. To add insult to injury, he did the workbook pages, but I can tell he completely put ABSOLUTELY NO EFFORT into them. For example on one page there was a sample outline of a Nobel Prize-winners life. One of the assignments was to use the outline to Write out a "biography"... basically making complete sentences straight from the outline. Throughout the 3 paragraphs he wrote, there was over 30 words mis-spelled... given they were words he probably hasn't written much before (like: destruction, Oregon, Chemistry), but the words were ALL typed out in the sample outline!!! He obviously had to look at the outline to get the information, but he wasn't paying enough attention to actually look at the SPELLING of the words. UGH!
How do you get a 9 year old to take school seriously?? His mom is a teacher, you'd think she'd know, but obviously whatever she's tried hasn't worked either. He doesn't seem to be bothered by losing privileges, toys, etc.... I can't figure out what WOULD motivate him?!? I've thought about taking a day off work and spending it watching him in class... maybe some good ol' embarrassment in front of these friends he's talking to would do the trick. Or maybe I could make him a shirt that says "IF I'M TALKING PLEASE IGNORE ME" and make him wear that. Maybe I should try making a rule for the rest of the week that if he has anything to say he needs to raise his hand and wait for us to acknowledge him?? Anyone think that would work?? Could I ask the school to send him around with the janitors and make sure he knows that if he doesn't do well in school he will be doing something like that for the rest of his life? Back-to-School night is tonight, so you can bet I'm going to be drilling his teacher on what he thinks we should do with P...
Well, on a much happier note, S just dropped R off at her first day of Pre-school!!! WOOOO HOOO! My baby is getting so big :) He said she was a little nervous at first, but then the teacher got her and another girl to help her fold a blanket and she was fine after that. I can't wait to pick her up today and hear lots of stories about what she did!
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