last day of school

Today is our last day of school until 2010. My older teens have been taking a fifteen question chemistry test for three and a half hours now. I just informed them I would be pulling the test in ten minutes. They always test slowly,but once we’ve hit the three hour mark,it usually means they didn’t study and are waiting to have magical epiphanies from the heavens. Because they have been on the butt child side of attitude this week,they figured they could rebel by not doing their school work. By the time they figured out this might be self defeating,well…magical epiphanies don’t often fall from heaven.
In earlier years I would have them repeat chapters of failed tests. This year I am just recording the failing grade. They are too far behind to keep repeating things because of attitude.
When I say they are behind,I mean behind in what they are in fact capable of. I do push them beyond the “this is so easy I don’t have to work” level into the “I had better read my chapter and do the practice questions because this requires some effort” level. I am always monitoring for actual overwhelmedness vs not giving a rat’s backside. If the are actually overwhelmed, we will slow way down or change tactics. If they are choosing to not to do their work. I am choosing to let them fail.
Not to be outdone,their little brother is doing almost all of his school correctly-but just not quite. It is amazing how he can divide ten sets of fractions correctly-except for that one problem he does backwards. He wrote nine complete sentences and one sentence fragment. You get the idea. When he was younger he would add half of his subtraction and subtract half of his addition.
Today is our last day of school because I am a little tired of listening to my children not do their work. They are more than welcome to make up the work they are behind on over our extended Christmas break. I am more than certain to go back to textbook grammar the first of the year if they don’t. In any case,the battle will be put on hold for three weeks.
My eighteen year old wants the privileges of adulthood without the responsibility. She also wants to be cared for like she is still ten. It is a bit of an extreem I haven’t dealt with before. I’ve decided to split the baby in half and parent her like she is fourteen. That seems to be working.
My sort-of grown daughter has tacked on to the end of her Christmas list,almost as an after thought,
“the things I need for being an adult”. I might just get her a set of pots and pans. She would be very disappointed If I did,though. What she wants is Rock Band for the Wii,some art supplies,movies and books.Things that aren’t exactly going to help you set up your first place. In our family it is a right of passage to start putting household items on your Christmas list. I’m not sure if the ten year old part of her would resent the pots and pans,the fourteen year old part of her would really resent the pots and pans ,or if the eighteen year old part of herself would feel we were respecting her infant adulthood.
I’ll have to think about it.


About lenell

Wife to a very patient man and mom to 8 interesting kids via birth,marriage and adoption. Grandma to nearly 5,nearly perfect grandchildren.
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