Monday, March 14, 2011

Sticking to It

I cannot believe how quickly this school year is going by.  This week is the end of the third quarter.  Only one left before summer vacation.  This has been a rough quarter for Grace, grade wise.  She really isn't struggling with the coursework but with a lack of effort and organization.  I'm sure I could come up with a million reasons why her focus isn't where it should be (the move, a thousand snow days, PMS, lack of structure, just not caring), but we aren't making excuses.  There is no excuse for not doing homework.  Or doing her homework and then not turning it in.  I ask her every night what she has for homework.  Then ask her how it's going, if it's complete, and if its all ready for school tomorrow.  Her replies always indicates that it is done thoroughly and completely.  Her grades are reflecting another story. 

After several zero's in Math class and a few in Social Studies and English, things got ugly. She was grounded.  No phone, no ipod, no TV, no sleepovers.  Yet, the zero's kept coming.  I was at my wits end.  She wasn't responding to me.  I emailed her teacher in hopes of clarification, but to no avail.  She was just as baffled by her lack of effort as we were.

My sister (who is a teacher and used to teach fifth grade) offered to work with Grace after school everyday.  I was astounded by her offer.  We had talked on numerous occasions about Grace's slipping grades and missing assignments.  She knew I didn't know what else to do.  Our hope was maybe she would respond to someone else.

It seems to be working.  Her grades are slowly increasing.  She has not missed an assignment since she has been doing her homework with her aunt.  Her attitude has improved.  She is more respectful to me and her siblings.  And we have a whole lot less drama in the after school hours now than before.

Unfortunately, Grace will not be going with us to the St. Patrick's Day parade this year.  This was a deal we made back in January when her first missing assignments started to show up.  She needed to have all A's and B's to go...and she's just not there yet.  Close...but she can't afford to miss any classwork and still make the grade.

I think not taking her on Thursday is going to hurt me more than it hurts her.  But a deal is a deal and school is her top priority.  Her only job right now is to be a student and she needs to be the best one she can be.

Fingers crossed she pulls it off in the end and learns a lesson along the way.