This week was a real wake up call in the Madhouse – mostly for me. Since school started in September I have asked the kids every afternoon, “Do you have homework?” and every afternoon, without fail, they would both reply, “No, I finished it at school.” I know for many of you the flags are going up, the sirens are blaring and there’s a voice in your head saying, “yeah, right”. I
stupidly naively chose to believe my offspring. Ahhhhh, foolish me.
Report cards came home last week (it’s taken me this long to calm down enough to write about it). Despite Alexi’s report card indicating that he is “Progressing Well” in every subject I learned from his teacher that he is failing math (short rant – what’s the point of the progress report if it’s not true??). It’s not that he isn’t capable of doing the math. He had a tutor last year who assured me Alexi comprehended the math with no difficulty. The problem is – he doesn’t take his time (parents and professionals alike are all nodding their heads thinking “typical ADHD”) and refuses to do the homework.
When I confronted him about lying to me for the last 2 months I was verbally assaulted with a plethora of excuses ranging from “I didn’t know I was supposed to bring it home” to “I just wanted to be free after school so I said I didn’t have homework” (probably the most honest thing he had to say about this situation).
Alexi wasn’t the only one with academic failings. Rian, who has been tested and was found to have University-level language skills (the testing was done when she was in grade 7) is failing Grade 9 English. I spoke with her English teacher, Ms. C., and she explained that Rian has failed to hand in at least 2 major assignments and is often playing on her iPod in class instead of doing class work (no surprise there). Ms. C. has agreed to accept Rian’s assignments late (I assume there will be a penalty for them being late, but better to lose 10% off the top than to have no grade at all).
Rian’s reasoning for lying to me and not doing her homework? “I thought I was too smart to do the work”. Ummmm, ok. She also told her English teacher that she didn’t need to do the Greek myths because she knew them all (yup, not the smartest thing she’s ever done). Apparently logic and common sense is lacking in the Madhouse (totally dropped the ball on that one).
I admit to completely losing it. My kids are bright. They are capable. This was just laziness. And that upset me greatly, but what really upset me was that they lied to me. They lied and they took advantage of my trusting nature. That really hurt me. I was devastated. I’m still hurt and very disappointed, but am trying to focus on staying firm and consistent while they catch up on their school work. Wish me luck because it’s just as much torture for me as it is for them.
Ironically, a number of the daily comic strips I read have run some homework-themed funnies recently and I thought I’d share.
And a special note for my American friends…