school blues


My older two had a chemistry test this morning. Last week they reviewed the material and had from Thursday until today to study. I will acknowledge that they worked this weekend. Then again,they always work on Saturdays and Sundays so this was not a shock to them. At a bit before nine am I handed them their test. At one pm I pulled their tests. I am a patient person,but four hours is a bit beyond even my patience level for a fourteen question test they have had a week to prepare for. I knew they hadn’t done well. I didn’t realize they had sat and done virtually nothing for those four hours. My son answered two questions,one being correct. My daughter answered two and a third questions and received credit for one and a half correct answers. I was being generous.
Couldn’t they have at least told me they didn’t have a clue and save everyone four hours?
My son is now taking his geometry test. He had from Wednesday until today to prepare. He has spent the last thirty minutes fidgeting in his chair. I have yet to see him put pencil to paper.
To make things easy and honest I keep a silent house when my kids are testing. I don’t even run the blasted dishwasher. I am aware of slower processing speeds and difficulty retrieving information. I know brains freeze up and allow time for them to thaw. They are allowed to tell me they are having a bad day (translated:unable to think or remember what they have learned).
What I cannot do for them is study,or help them use their time well. I can suggest. I can remind. I can ask if they are prepared. I can hold them accountable. I can record their failing grade and average it in with their better ones. I can give them the best education I am able. I can do my best to teach them to learn their limits. I can help them developer their own external brain. I cannot make them use it.
I will wait for thirty more minutes and them I will see if any math has made it to paper. If so,I will allow my son another hour. If not,I will pull his test and save us both some time.
They have history notebooks due today as well. I am not holding my breath.
I suppose I could just chalk this up to FASD and let them pass. The problem with that scenario is that they can and do learn. Progress is made. I will continue to be frustrated if it gives them a chance to put just a bit more real knowledge into their brains. I want them to learn themselves how to work around their limits. I want them in the habit of succeeding based on their merits and hard work. I don’t want an invisible disability to ever become an excuse for failing. The disability is real. It isn’t going to disappear. They need to learn to work around it.
So we slog on.

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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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