Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crazymama30, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I am getting tired of homework, both his and mine. This is difficult child's last year at this elementary school. They are having an overnight field trip to a zoo and you actually get to sleep at the zoo. Sounds really cool. difficult child has switched between wanting to go and refusing to go. It just depends on the day. He has not had any experiences with overnights at friends houses in the last 4-5yrs, the last overnight he had at a friends house was in Kindergarten.

    In order to be able to go on this field trip, the kids are supposed to have 3 or less missing assignments. Ok for most kids, but not difficult child. He routinely has 6 or more, and if we get them caught up they build right back up. I am tired of it. Many times he forgets to bring home the material he needs, lies about when it is done, does not turn it in, you all know the routine. I was really trying to get him to be able to go on this field trip as I wanted him to have a good experience on an overnight because the school he goes to next year does several overnight field trips.

    I am not liking this constant back and forth. I end up e-mailing the teacher several times a week about the stupid assignments, difficult child says he forgot them, can you help him remember them? He can't find them in his desk, can you help him find them? I think there is some validity to some of this, but wonder if he is working us both and that thought is making me angry. He has been taking his patch off, and that does not help at all, but I do not want to do medication change at the end of the school year when behavior wise he has been fine.

    The teacher e-mailed me last night as he has not been giving his best effort at the standardized testing. Well, I really would not expect him to though I hope he would. She wanted me to talk to him, which I will, to see if that will encourage him to try harder. He has failed the math twice. Do I look like a miracle worker? Ugg. I just cannot wait for middle school:faint:
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Good morning!

    I hear ya! I hate the "can you please talk to him?", too. As though a reminder from me at home will work wonders at school.

    I wonder how much money your SD spends on all the field trips? Our school (nor any school I ever attended) never took elementary or even middle school students on sleepovers or extended field trips. Must be very costly.

    I wonder if they would be better off spending that field trip money of putting an aide in the classroom who could take a moment at the end of the day to make sure that difficult child has all of his homework materials in his back-pack and ready to go home...?

  3. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Hmmmm a child with adHd who is having trouble with organizational skills and completing work; this is a very common problem with anyone with adHd. If your child has an IEP he needs some accomodations for organizational skills if he doesn't have an IEP get one or at the very least a 504.

    When I look thru my girls IEP's very little of this is about academics - the majority of it relates to social or organizational skills. If homework requires a book we have an extra copy to be kept at the house, so they don't need to remember to bring book back and forth. Both girls have written in that teacher will check planner to verify they have assignment written down correctly in their planner and teacher is responsible to make sure child has all the materials they need to do the assignment. If it's a big assignment they break it down into smaller "chunks" and teacher checks on progress (they don't just give a big assignment with due date a month later) when my kids need a little extra time they are given an extension on due dates when needed without points deducted for late work. Partial completed work they grade what is done and don't mark down for what didn't get finished. The child understanding what ever skill being taught is much higher priority then them completing every assignment.

    I understand that my kids are a little higher maintenance then most but I refuse to allow school to emotionally damage my kids argueing over homework. In the past we've dealt with me being injured as a result of homework frustration blow outs, 12yo was cutting at one point caused by teacher sending 10 pages of homework then taking away recess to complete what's not done. When faced with a possibility of suicide it doesn't really matter if the report was a couple days late in the long run.

    Schools often use field trips as a reward; and I can't do much to change district policy - but once a reward is earned (usually a week before the trip) I don't permit them to take away a reward that has been earned last minute, but have them apply consequeses toward the next reward that hasn't been earned yet.

    Sorry this post got longer then I originally intended - take what you can use and disregard the rest.
  4. DramaQueenLucy

    DramaQueenLucy New Member

    I had how much homework can be sent home at any given time written into difficult child 2 IEP because their homework is whatever they didn't finish in class and when you have a difficult child like mine that is dyslexic that is a lot of homework. I had to have the IEP change to 2 things m-w nothing on thus and they could send home as many as 6 for him to finish over the weekend. It just got to the point where it was too much and my guy can't process all that. If difficult child gets work spaced out with praise then more work done, if there is too much work at one time and you get meltdown and no work done, I had to break it down for the school like that and they finally got it...so I think that your child should be allowed to go on the trip even if everything isn't done and I would tell the school that.
  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Been in the exact same place. Except difficult child ALWAYS does absolutely wonderful on state tests because that determines summer school.

    Always has missing work. Currently has 7 in math, 3 in History and who knows how many in Computer applications.

    I really do have to laugh when you say you can't wait for middle school. I remember feeling that way. Middle school was 10x's worse. Couldn't wait for High School...He hates school. Makes the best of it. Likes the teachers (small school) but says "homework is bogus". So..he enjoys himself at school and does nothing.

    We chose a small high school (college prep. 350 kids total) District school has 3000.

    Sure hope middle school works well for you. Just know I am right there with you. Sorry. Atleast you can help with difficult child's homework. He won't allow me to.
  6. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Kjs, I was kidding when I said I can't wait for middle school.

    I don't know if changing the IEP is worth changing at this point as there are only 30 some days of school left, and next year he will be going to a different school.

    So I was complaining about academic stuff. I get a letter home about a contract that is behavior based today. I had no idea that difficult child's behavior has been off too. I am supposed to ask the principal if I have questions, and I am supposed to sign this contract and send it back to the school. NOT gonna happen without me going to the school. I am upset that they think they can just make up a random contract and think I am going to sign it. UG UG I want to go crawl under a rock and hide from all this carp.
  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am such a big believer in the no homework policy.
    Especially during the elementary years. I look at how many hours they are in School during the day and then if they are involved in any after school activities. By dinner they are wiped out.
    That doesn't even account for most of our kids and Therapy etc.

    When does that leave time for play and family?

    I just don't see the point. At least not in the early years.

    Sorry I am no help, just grumpy! LOL

    I don't push K and likely never will. It is not worth the fight. in my opinion
  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    At the last parent teacher student conference the teacher pointed out he had lots of tardies. I pointed out that he had therapy once a week and many other appts. She apologized. If it weren't for this field trip, I would not be so into this but he has so little experience spending the night with friends that I want him to have a good time (which I am almost positive he would) before he goes to middle school as they do lots of field trips. His middle school is semi based on the outward bound expeditionary model. The second day of class they leave for a field trip for 2 days and no parents allowed. Is supposed to be an experience for everyone to get to know each other and bond. It will be hard for difficult child to go, but easier if he just has one good experience to base it on.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Just confirming here - what is the purpose of te field trip? Is it intended purely for recreation? Absolutely no academic value whatsoever? Not even teavching anything of value with regard to social skills?

    Or is there perhaps some degree of academic/socal value in tis?

    If the latter, then education in any form should NOT be withheld, or held to ransom. Especially for a kid who really needs the opportunity to succeed in some area, to bolster his confidence to try again in the morechallenging areas.

    See what the teacher responds to that.

    Good luck, I hope you can makesure he goes. It's a threat tat should never have been madde, and certainly not as a last minute thing.

    Discipline is only of value, where the child is able to control the behaviour that people are trying to discipline. If the child is either unaware of the behaviour, or is unable to change it, then punishing non-compliance is simply cruel. It achieves less than nothing, because it is teachning the child that he is a failure because of who he is.

  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Marg, can I use your last paragraph with the principal, especially the part about the child being unable to control it? They just do not get this.

    The field trip is mainly a reward, only the 5th graders get an overnight field trip. They do work some educational stuff in it, but for difficult child it is the social piece that is so important to me. Especially since he will have lots of field trips next year. I am going to go meet with whoever I have to, to try to make it happen.

    Marg I agree with everything you said. It is what I have been trying to say, but just could not find the way as I am so emotionally involved. Sometimes that takes out the clarity of my words, as my emotions take over. I am working on that. Thank you.
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I didn't say it in my response, but I fully agree it should not be withheld.

    I truly believe socialization is huge for our kids. We are making this a big part of K's next meeting.
    Marg worded it perfectly!
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Feel free to use my words. but re-word them for yourself, to remove typos etc.

    It's nothing I haven't said before. it's also something that was strongly brought home to me when I read "Explosive Child" because Ross Greene explained it so well.

    As a rule, children want to please us. A child who keeps getting it wrong, may be doing the wrong thing for a number of reasons:

    1) He may not know what is wrong or what is right. And you can't find out simply by asking a child, because again, a child will try to tell you what he thinks you wantto hear. "You know that you're not supposed to do that, don't you?" is going to get a "yes" response even if the child doesn't understand, because the question prompts the answer.
    [on an aside - I was in an advanced Maths class in my final year of high school, out teacher was VERY confronting and moved through the topic very quickl. We WERE an advanced class, after all. But at some point, we individually began to realise that where we thought we understood the topic, we were a bit shakier than we thought. But instead of speaking up and saying, "excuse me sir, but I've just realised I haven't fully grasped this, could you explain it again?" we were scared of his angry reaction, because we'd seen a lot of it, so we each quietly decided to keep fudging our way through and hopefully catch up by private study. Only it didn't work. Two weeks later he's firing questions at us and HE finally realises, none of us understand the topic. Boy, did we get yelled at! Because we had been too afraid to say, "We're struggling here, please explain," we had let him think we did understand in the hope that it was the lesser path, the path that would keep the teacher happier with us.]

    A difficult child who is trying to fit in but knows he is struggling, is like we were with that Maths teacher. A kid will often do or say whatever he feels it will take, in order to stop people being angry with him for now. The consequences of fudging in this way are then postponed.

    2) He may know what is wrong but be unable to comply. For example, a child who is impulsive or has a short fuse can have his buttons pushed to the point where he explodes. It's no use rehearsing what he should do, because when he's upset all rehearsal goes out the window. Of course when he calms down, he knows he did ther wrong thing and is often very remorseful, often very angry with himself. But it still will happen again. And again.

    3) He may be having difficulty with certain class tasks because of physical or mental inability. This is a subtle variation on the previous points. For example, a kid who has trouble with writing tasks could be having trouble because his hands hurt when he wrotes. Or he could have trouble because he can't find the words he wants to use. Or he could have trouble with sequencing his thoughts in his head (important, to write a story or a process). You can't discipline a kid because of this, the kid needs help. To punish a kid who is struggling like this, or to threaten to take away privileges, is to set the kid up for failure not only now, but in the future. The longer the child goes without someoe actually LOOKING to see whay the kid is having difficulties, the more of the child's learning time is wasted and the deeper-set become the tracks of his ongoing failure to achieve. He increasingly then beleives he's useless, he's bad, he is dumb and is worthless. Instead, if you identify the underlying problem with the task and help the child find different ways to achieve the outcome, you are turning the failure into ongoing success. To punish a child who is really struggling, is as bad as punishing a blind child for failing to copy accurately form the blackboard. And just as idiotic.

    What is the purpose of discipline? It is to train, to teach, to help the child learn the right way to behave. The purpose of discipline is NOT vengeance for misbehaviour. But too often, thqat is how it is perceived. And if the child perceives punishment to be vengeance, then instead of it helping the child to learn to change, the child will learn to be angry and resentful. Counterproductive.

    Or, to put it simply - you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

    A child will respond best to positive motivation. But not all the positive motivation in the world, will help a deaf child pick up a tune that you sing to him. difficult child 1's first pediatricia explained it this way:
    "I can sit difficult child 1 down and say, 'If you sit still for five minutes, I will give you $50.' But he won't be able to do it. He will be highly motivated to win that money, but not all the motivation in the world will help him achieve it."

    In order to learn, a child needs to know what is expected. He needs to be capable of doing what is expected. And once he achieves it (if he achieves it) then a reward (such as praise) will help reinforce that success, thereby increasing the chance of success next time.

    If there is a break in the link of the discipline chain anywhere along it, then discipline will be ineffective. So instead of wasting your energy trying to up the ante with discipline, your energty is best expended trying to fix the breaks in the links, or perhaps find another chain that isn't broken.

    I could be trying to parent a six month old baby, and decide, "I don't want to wait for tis baby to walk at 13 months of age. I want the baby to walk now, it would be far more convenient for me."
    So I decide to punish the baby for not walking. I could smack the baby whenever he is found not walking. Or I could give him a stern talking to, "I need you to get up and walk! Stop lying around being lazy!"
    The talking to - will the baby even understand my words?
    The spanking - will it speed up the baby's walking? After all, if I keep it up for another 7 months, I will get what I want - a walking baby. See? It worked, eventually.

    A lot of what people try to do in terms of disciplining difficult children, is about as ludicrous as this.

    Feel free to use these analogies to get through to the school.