Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I survived the first day of school!

Not a typo...yesterday was the first day of school. Summer school. A place that I actively spent 10+ years trying to stay out of. I am in the unenviable position of having to send one of my children there. I don't need to name names, but you can judge from the photo who is involved. Also, one of my children just studied very hard for 3 days and tested out of Algebra 1.
It was not this child.
A Little backstory: This kid is incredibly smart. Tests very well, had always been recommended for advanced classes. For whatever reason, he stopped trying to do well. What started out the year as A's & B+'s had dropped down to C's and 2 D's. It's not that he can't do the work...in many cases he did the work and just didn't turn it in. It's all laziness and lack of caring. Summer school is our way of preparing him to be a better student in 7th grade, and to show him we mean business. D's are not acceptable. He is taking a math course. It won't change his grade, but hopefully will help him start the year off with an advantage.
Needless to say, the very idea of summer school is cruel and unusual punishment, which I have been reminded of every day for the last month or so, when it became apparent that summer school was a necessary evil.
Last Monday, at the ungodly hour of 7 am, I attempted to wake the student and was met with much resistance. There were many threats tossed about, and eventually the student dragged itself out of bed, promising to hate me for the rest of it's natural life. There is no reasoning with a kid about summer school. There just isn't.
We went to school, where we found out that it didn't start until the following week, so that my family could tease me mercilessly for the next 6 days. Isn't being an adult fun?
You would also think that the student had time to prepare, seeing as he had an extra week. But come Monday, the same ugliness began the day. The same "I won't learn anything" and "This is the stupidest thing you've ever done". I bit back many comments about how the student has no one to blame but himself. It's as much punishment for me as it is for him. I don't do 7am.
When I picked up the student at 10:30, he exited the building with a smile and hopped into the car.
"It wasn't that bad, and it was actually kind of fun. We get a recess! I knew most of the kids there. The teacher was nice. Yes, I understood everything she was saying. Tomorrow we get folders and a textbook. No, there won't be homework. Now that I know what to expect, I won't give you any more trouble. The time goes by pretty fast."
And that was that.
Only 19 more sessions to go.


Jen on the Edge said...

You're right, this is a character building experience. I'm guessing he'll work harder next year.

One of my girls is actually planning to willingly enroll in summer school for the next four summers in order to knock off some requirements. I know, she's weird. :-)

Kelley said...

M has been to summer school twice already in his elementary school career. We also do a program called Grasp for Math and Reading every single summer. He is the type of kid who needs this. He tests well but stinks in the homework and organization part of life. Must be a boy thing... Anyway, our goal this summer is to get better at reading independently. Yes, he still hates to do this at age 10. Glad E likes it. M did too, once the initial day was over. :)

Jan C. said...

I can't believe he caved after only 1 day of class! My kids would have tortured me for the rest of our natural lives if I made them take math over the summer. Summer phys. ed, they all WANT to take, so that they don't have to do it during the school day in HS. But that's definitely it.