Sunday, April 6, 2008

Calgon, take me away!

I went to Kaylin's April parent-teacher conference on Friday. It wasn't as painful as the November conference nor was it lollipops and rainbows. The teacher managed to refrain from wide-eyed drama this time around, which was a plus. I managed to refrain from laughing- other than when Mrs. G told me Kaylin colored her entire desk gray with a pencil- but that was laughter of utter disbelief, so not really inappropriate or offensive.

Kaylin's effort grade (this year they give a letter grade for both conduct and effort) has been a B all year. I'm really surprised her teacher is being so generous. Mrs. G went on and on about how capable Kaylin is. She's well above the expected average at reading, writing and math. She knows and understands all the material. She just puts forth no effort. Mrs. G had a stack of papers with every grade from A to F. Basically ALL the wrong answers were silly things like questions she carelessly skipped over or obvious wrong answers she failed to recheck. There was absolutely nothing she missed because she didn't understand a concept. Two of Kaylin's report card A's fell to B's this grading period because of silly mistakes.

I'm confused and torn... I mean, I couldn't care less about B's on her 2nd grade report card. Especially when I KNOW she understands all the material. Part of me wants to do nothing and wait and see if she improves on her own as the work gets harder and she actually has to think about it. Another part of me wonders if I need to do something to help her improve her organization skills. It seems like too much effort on my part will backfire and cause problems that currently don't exist.

I know that Kaylin's problem is that she likes to do what she likes to do and doesn't like to do what she doesn't like. Duh. She'll obviously learn on her own that everyone has to do things they don't like. I recently had to do a written presentation about chinchillas for the zoo. I had no desire to do it, it bored me and I put it off until the last day. But I DID do it and turn it in on time. I hated everything about it, but I finished it because it was part of my job and I had to do it. Kaylin will figure this out on her own. Nagging and checking and accusing will waste my time and energy and will ultimately be a losing battle. Screaming and punishing isn't going to turn her into an organized, straight-A model of perfection. That's just not who she is!

For now, I think I'll go to WalMart and buy her the toughest, most indestructable homework folder on the market. Maybe that will at least help her tote her homework to and from school without the usual wadding and tearing. Or not.


Kathy Schrenk said...

Based on what I've heard about Nathan as a student, it sounds like he was just like Kaylin. Maybe you should ask Betsy how she handled it?

tarable said...

I would not do a thing yet. Sounds like my kids. Give it a little time. It is too early to stress about it. I'm sure she will enjoy working at the gas station.