James’ grades have been atrocious lately – just downright bad. Last week we lowered the proverbial boom, as John Rosemond would say, and removed all his screen time during the week.
Thank goodness for PE and Bible, right?
His issues with school are twofold: Number one, he doesn’t write down what is due. Thing the second, he doesn’t study even when he knows what is due.
On his last five assignments in Math he has achieved a 77, 74, 38, 56, and 43.
The thing is, I kind of mistakenly tend to think of him as my ‘grown up’ kid. He is an inch away from being as tall as me, he behaves incredibly well, he reads a lot and carries on conversations and so on. But this morning, while ruminating on his ruining grades I was struck by how ‘not a grown up’ he is.
The thing about being a grown up is dum, dum, dum, dum, responsibility.
If had gotten an F on my last three assignments I would think that the blame for that is on me. And that’s because I’m a grown up.
James? Not so much. According to him, he’s trying his hardest. But the thing is, he isn’t, because that would require writing things down and studying which he doesn’t think he needs to do.
And he’s eleven. So now is the time he needs to learn this. And that’s okay.
“Oh, so this is what we’re blogging about today? Fun.”
Yesterday when he got home from school I asked him if he had written down what was due tomorrow. He raised a piece of loose leaf paper on it and said ‘yeah, it’s here.’ I asked him why it wasn’t written in his planner and he said he’d lost it. Because, of course he had.
I didn’t look at what was on his paper because, apparently, I’m an idiot so when he said he was done with his homework I believed him. After he was asleep last night I glanced at what was on the paper. Two quizzes in addition to the homework he’d done. Quizzes I knew he hadn’t studied for. Least I hadn’t seen him study for.
I woke him up early and had him sit down and study for English. Lucky for him, he has a dentist appointment during his history quiz so he gets to skate on that one, for now. For English, he had to know the twenty three helping verbs. So, he begins to say them over and over and study them.
After I dropped him off at school I got this text asking me to pick him up because he’d just found out that he didn’t just need to know the twenty three helping verbs…he needed to know them in the order of the jingle.
What’s a jingle you ask? Oh, pretty much the worst thing ever invented. The sixth grader’s at James’ school use this frightful thing called the Shirley Method (which is allegedly really effective) where they learn and PERFORM these songs to help them remember facts.
So, right now, in your head you have an idea in your head of what these songs sound like. Whatever you are thinking I can assure you it’s MUCH MUCH worse. Don’t believe me? Click this link.
It is the most babyish thing you can imagine. Like, I think my five year old would think it was babyish. So you take an eleven year old who is tall and gangly and awkward and have him stand up with his peers and sing a jingle. Y’all, I can’t even. That poor child.
But…so what? Big deal. Is it fun? No, it’s hellish to him. But it’s what he has to do right now.
And that, my friends, is how I know he’s still a kid. Because a kid says ‘I don’t have to write down what’s due, I’ll just remember.’ A kid says ‘I don’t like learning the jingles, so I won’t.’
A grown up just knows, sometimes you have to do things that suck.
So, welcome to adulthood. Things sometimes suck here.