"Can you buy me some grades?" -- **updated**

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sheila, May 23, 2007.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    difficult child: Can you buy me some grades?
    Me: Pardon me? :faint:
    difficult child: Can't you buy me some grades?
    Me: What do you mean? (Just in case I misunderstood.)
    difficult child: Can you pay money to the school to get my grades higher?
    Me: No, and wouldn't if I could.
    difficult child: Why not?
    Me: It would mean nothing. Grades are earned, not bought.
    difficult child: Oh.
    Pause....

    difficult child: I have some F's.
    Me: I know.
    difficult child: I might fail.
    Me: I told you in March and April and the beginning of this month that if you didn't get your act together and try, you would fail. It's not new information for me.
    Pause....

    difficult child: I have been trying.
    Me: Sometimes.
    difficult child: Well....
    Me: Now and then isn't good enough.
    difficult child: Well, I was just trying to be funny in class.
    Me: Really? So tell me. Just how funny is it now?
    difficult child: It's not.
    Pause....

    Me: What are you going to do about it?
    difficult child: I'm going to ask my teachers for extra work so I can get my grades up.
    Me: Very good plan. The only problem is school is out Friday. If I was your teachers, I wouldn't do it.
    difficult child: You wouldn't?
    Me: No.
    difficult child: You're just mean.
    Pause....

    difficult child: I'm going to ask them anyway.
    Me: Good luck.
     
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Sounds like reality is hitting. Not a bad thing. Sounds like a little panic is creeping in, but he is taking ownership.

    How are they on holding kids back in your school district? In mine it takes an act of God. When I asked them to hold my son back in 8th grade because he was just not doing the work (and he technically failed - he was "placed" into 9th grade, not "promoted"), they treated me like a terrible mother for wanting to do something so "traumatic" (their word) to my child.
     
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    :bravo: Sorry, Sheila but I'm dying here. :rofl:

    I cannot believe you won't buy this child grades! What a meanie! :rofl:

    Hope this sinks in for difficult child.
     
  4. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    My answer would have been...I don't have that much money!
     
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Gee, Sheila, teachers can always use a little extra pocket money. :rofl:

    Let us know how this turns out for difficult child.

    ~Kathy
     
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    About being the class clown - I would ask him if trying to amuse a few other students (for not all will be laughing) for a little while, some time ago, is really worth it now, when it's time to assess overall progress.

    Sometimes the best class clowns are the ones who know the subject so well, they can make jokes about it in class, at the RIGHT time. That's when EVERYBODY laughs, including the teacher.

    Example: husband in class, sitting up the back, during a Geography class about Nauru and its exports of large quantities of superphosphate, collected in the form of guano.
    Teacher: Can anyone in this class tell me where guano comes from?
    (long silence - clearly, they either don't know or aren't sure how to say it. Finally...)
    husband (quietly): bird turd...
    Teacher: YES! We have a winner! That's it exactly!
    (Teacher goes on to explain how large numbers of migrating birds have, over many, many years, accumulated large piles of...)

    In that incident, husband didn't intend to be heard. He generally was NOT the class clown, which made it doubly incongruous. But those classmates will NEVER forget where guano comes from!

    There are many little 'in' jokes in every subject, which you can discover as you study. THIS is what can make learning fun, but the best way to discover this is to not just sit blankly in lessons, which doesn't work well for difficult children anyway - it's to take home your books and read them, cover to cover, as if you are reading an enjoyable novel. No desperate attempts to memorise, just a browse through a book, maybe with a snack in hand and a comfortable seat in the garden. Or last thing at night, pick up a textbook or notes and read. If you fall asleep reading a schoolbook, it doesn't matter, because often the last thing you read at night stays with you and your sleep locks more in place than you realised could be possible. Reading ahead over other topics not yet done in class - it helps you steal a march on your classmates and your teachers, because when the class eventually gets to it, it will feel safe and familiar, you will pick it up so much faster.

    The other advantage to doing this - it happened to me in my final year of high school. I had a teacher who thought I was a waste of space in the class because I was female. He refused to acknowledge my existence in the classroom. If I asked a question it was ignored. My classmates would then either whisper the answer to me, or ask the teacher again, themselves. The teacher would answer them, so one way or another, I got the answer.
    We were only supposed to study three out of six possible topics. I was struggling with two of the three topics, so I tried reading the textbook. It didn't have one of the topics I was having trouble with but it did have the ones we weren't doing, which I thought were much more interesting. In the final exam (which was a public exam, all students in the state do the same exam paper) I answered two totally new topics which the class hadn't studied. I passed. And my teacher had the hide to take the credit!
    But my pass was definitely in spite of him, not because of him. And rather than fail just to spoil his perfect record, I passed and he had to accept I COULD do it, after all.
    Basically, by doing things my way, I was the person who won. My ratbag chauvinistic teacher lost. And I have that credit on my academic record, for which I can claim 100% credit. Even now, 35 years later, that is sweet indeed.

    Marg
     
  7. nlg319

    nlg319 New Member

    I'm on the floor with Timer Lady! Mom, You are so cool in my book! lol
     
  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    We've got several things going on here.

    1) His ADHD medications are not working and haven't been since January. We've been going through medication adjustments.

    2) He's in the middle of an anxiety episode triggered by I don't know what.

    3) Puberty has kicked into high gear.

    4) husband told him if he wouldn't try to be the class clown, he wouldn't be having these problems. difficult child just regurgitates it. (Would like to throttle him.)

    5) A teacher's aide told him he is misbehaving because his medication isn't working. (Would like to throttle her also -- he just regurgitates this also -- like it's carteblanche to misbehave. He just stopped trying.)

    He's not going to fail, but I'm going to let him sweat it out. Some of this WAS within his control -- being in ISS because of his shirt tail being out is his choice, intentionally breaking pencils so he wouldn't have to work in class and his buddy thinking that's cool is his choice, wandering the halls without a pass and being tardy to class numerous times resulting in more ISS was his choice. These things that resulted in him being out of the classroom and instruction time were well within his ability to control. As I told him, "I have no mercy for you -- don't feel one bit sorry for you."

    With all that said, it's not that he doesn't know the material (except math), so I'm not concerned with-him passing to the next grade.

    Too bad, so sad for him, he'll spend time working on math at home this summer. Consequences, consequences....

    All we ask of him is that he try. I'm so aggravated at him I could spit!

    Well, little darling has just arrived home. Can hardly wait to see how he fared with his last minute pleas to his teachers.

    (by the way, they've been great with him. Bless them!)
     
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I don't blame you for being aggravated. been there done that. Good for you for letting him sweat it out.

    The difference with my son is that he didn't "pass" the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. He was placed into the next grade. When it happened again in the 8th grade, I figured it was setting him up for failure in high school. And he really struggled in 9th grade. Not with doing the work, but with not knowing what he should have learned in previous grades. The teachers don't have time to go back and re-teach those things. Fortunately, his English teacher (his worst subject) took an interest in him and really held his hand. If it hadn't been for her, I'm pretty sure he would have failed English I. It helped that she had a child diagnosis'd with depression so she really "got it" with easy child.

    All the consequences in the world prior to high school did nothing to make him do the work. I took away the game systems, tv...everything. It didn't matter. So, I resorted to begging the school to hold him back. There was nothing else left in my arsenal and I knew how much harder it was going to make high school and how much harder it would be on him to fail classes in high school. You don't just skate by in high school. You have to retake those classes if you want to graduate.
     
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    GLad to hear the teachers have been so good with him. I had to laugh too at the buying grades! I can understand your aggravation!

    by the way, I get the "your just mean" a lot when difficult child doesn't get what he wants
     
  11. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    It sounds like he is started to understand the impact of some natural consequences. Hopefully this experience will help him during the next round of grades. I'm glad to hear the teachers are supportive. You're so on top of it--good for you.
     
  12. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    ROTFLMFAO


    You won't buy your kid a grade.

    Dang, you really ARE a meanie.

    :nonono:


     
  13. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'>By the time difficult child was in 10th grade, if there was a way to buy them I probably would have just to get through. So your difficult child is creative and years ahead of my difficult child. He had no idea he could ask to buy grades to save his :censored2:. Consider him a notch above. :bravo:
    I'm just joking of course. It amazes me how they don't see how they self sabotage. Hope your difficult child figures it out and makes better choices next year. </span>
     
  14. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    difficult child came in, put his binder down, immediately unzipped it, and started digging. (Definitely something up.)

    Me: Hi, difficult child. What are you doing?
    difficult child: Looking for all the pieces.
    Me: Pieces to what? (Doesn't sound good, but he eventually locates them. Whew!)
    difficult child: Homework.
    Me: That sounds like good news! So were you able to get any extra work to help pull your grades up?
    difficult child: Yes, ma’am.
    Me: Good deal. What classes?
    difficult child: Science.
    Me: No luck otherwise?
    difficult child: Didn’t ask the others.
    Me: Why not?
    difficult child: I don’t know.
    Me: What do you mean, “You don’t know?”
    difficult child: I don’t know.
    Me: Ok....

    Work was promptly done without the slightest redirection or intervention on my part. :faint: (He’s definately hyperfocused - medications never worked this well when they were optimum)

    difficult child: Check your email. Two teachers were suppose to send you emails about how good I did today.
    Me: Whew! Sounds good. I’ll check as soon as I finish putting up the groceries.
    difficult child: Can you please do it now?
    Me: Ok.

    He’s standing at the computer chomping at the bit. I checked – there’s nothing from teachers. He’s very disappointed, but held it together. (yea, difficult child!)

    However, there were two emails from the automated grade notification system the school district has. One was that the 56 in Art went up to a 70; the other was that the F in Science went up to a D. He heaved a sigh of relief. (Not a good sign.)

    Me: Good for you!
    difficult child: How did they go up so quick?
    Me: You worked today?
    difficult child: Yes.
    Me: Did you turn your work in?
    difficult child: Yes.
    Me: Could have been those things; could have been all that late work you turned in Monday finally got put into the system; don’t know.
    difficult child: Huh...
    Me: difficult child, this doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. If you don’t turn that Science homework in tomorrow, don’t be surprised if your grade goes back down to an “F.” If Ms. S took the time to try to help you with extra work, I’d make it a real point to make sure it gets turned in. Do you understand how important it is?
    difficult child: I will.

    He disappears, is gone for a good while and is way, way too quiet. Atypical behavior. My antenna goes up, of course. I go looking for him. He’s “taking a bath.” Soaking in the tub and sweating bullets is what he's doing.

    Refused dinner, and off to bed he goes -- early. More atypical behavior. He’s exhausted.

    When I posted this, I hadn’t had time to get to the point of seeing the humor – he just makes my head spin with the disconnected thinking. He’s been going to school for 8 years. Buy grades?!?! How in the world did he ever get that idea?? I guess I have to concede that that was one potential solution to the problem. :rofl:

    It’s been a very long semester, but I can see some growth.
    *He did accept responsibility. In the past, it would have somehow been all my fault. (Putting that on the plus side.)
    *When his progress report appeared about 2 weeks ago with “F,” “F,” “F,” etc., I encouraged him to get with his teachers about extra work. He made plans to do so, but didn’t implement. Too little, too late, but at least he finally got around to doing it in at least one class. (Putting that on the plus side also.)
    *He finally understands that he is in serious academic trouble. (Definitely a plus.)

    I'll go to the mat for him if it's disability related, but this puberty stuff I am not handling with any grace.

    School is out Friday at 1:30 pm. Win, loose or draw, Mom’s going to celebrate!!!!!!!!!
     
  15. nlg319

    nlg319 New Member

    I'm with you on that! I can't wait until the end of school...June 13th here. NO MORE HOMEWORK! I sound like a kid all over again!
     
  16. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Can you believe he was leaving for school without his Science homework?!?!? I asked, "Do you have your homework?"

    difficult child: OH! I almost forgot!!!!

    I'm thinking, almost? Yea, right.

    Pure ADHD....
     
  17. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    There is no way some one can grasp the thinking process of a kid like ours. It's mostly not willful. I consider it undisciplined thinking. Some learn to structure their thinking in a functional way(my husband) and some like my difficult child are sort of in the early years yet.

    The plus side for your family is that difficult child gets peer pressure and may do well enough to avoid being different than the other kids. He doesn't want to be left behind. My difficult child didn't only not care if he was left behind, he didn't even realize he was left behind or different. LOL.

    The parts that you pointed out that show his improvements are probably more important than the actual grades.(although for practical purposes the grades are important) You are growing basic function and how to learn more than trying to fit an academic standard. At the end, what he needs is learning to learn. If he never knows calculus the world won't end.
     
  18. CCRidr2

    CCRidr2 Sheena-Warrior Momma

    I had a conversation with difficult child last Friday about 10 minutes before the bus came. It was Field Day (the most important day in the school year) and he had tie-dyed a shirt the day before and brought it home with a note to wash and wear the next day. He comes out of his room with something else on. Mind you it was the only shirt on his bed that morning so he had to dig for this other one.

    "You forgetting anything?" "Nope, ate breakfast, chewed on toothbrush, got my lunch, Nope!" "You're sure?" "YUP"......thinking......."Nope, I got everything" "OK, have a good day, I love you" "Love you too" 20 minutes later, phone rings "Mom can you bring my shirt for Field Day, I forgot it" :hammer: "Nope" "You're MEAN" I hung up and :rofl:
     
  19. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I wonder if I offered difficult child's civics teacher some cash he'd pass her? Hmmm, I DID make a recent $100 donation to the school, after all. Maybe I should have slipped it to the teacher instead....pondering the likelihood of such a bribe.

    difficult child has been doing some major back peddling in the hopes of making up in 2 months what she's been failing to do for 4 years, her entire HS career!!

    difficult child: My civics teacher hates me! He truly does! The man is pure evil. I mean, who needs to know anything about civics in REAL life??

    ME: Haha...go do your current events now and this time, turn it in.

    Oh Sheila, have an end of year drink for me! I know the feeling. I can't wait for graduation day. And I hope I'm invited.
     
  20. Crazy-Steph

    Crazy-Steph New Member

    I wish difficult child would get the point about grades. He has done absolutely nothing this last six weeks. He failed the math TAAKS the first time. Took it for the 2nd time last week (haven't heard yet, they get 3 tries). We kept telling him he will fail for the year. Well, I get his grades online yesterday, he failed math with a 67 for the year. He had 50's for the last two six weeks, but was passing for the rest of the year. They will push him through even if he fails the TAAKS. To me, this just shows him that he doesn't have to try and he will still be promoted. It goes against everything we have been telling him all year.

    Not that we want him to fail, but we were kinda hoping it would show him that he has to put forth effort. Guess we are the losers on that one. Now what do we tell him?
     
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