Yet again I have received email about my son being highly intelligent but very irresponsible when it comes to class work, homework and testing. This is nothing new, I’ve been battling it my son’s entire school career. Here its called a 504 plan, up north its an IEP… there’s a reason my son has one, folks.
I can’t make him do anything while he is at school. I can’t tell him to get busy on that work, I can’t remind him at the end of the day to make sure he has his homework in his bag before he gets on the bus and I can’t control what he does with the electronic device that the school requires him to have for certain classes… once my son is out the door I have no control over his behavior or his attitude or his actions. The only thing I can do is control the home environment.
Every day I ask, “Do you have homework?” And most days its a no or the answer is Algebra or that it was a test day or that they are getting ready for the STARR tests (ITBS in Iowa). I have no way of knowing if he is telling the truth until teachers send me an email like the one I recently got, or I get emails from the school about missing assignments and failing grades updates as I requested at the beginning of the year.
Yes, he is held accountable for failing. There’s only so much you can take from a kid. He doesn’t have books, his keyboard, any of his electronics etc in his room and hasn’t for quite some time. He isn’t allowed to watch tv or play his xbox games or be on his computer during the week, and not on the weekends again, because of failing grades. I have even made him earn his things back by doing certain chores worth a certain amount and a set amount he needs to earn to get ungrounded.
Honestly I don’t know what else to do. This morning I told him that if he fails any classes this year and they want him to take summer school, they can forget it. We can’t afford the gas to drive into town and back twice a day and they don’t provide transportation, so he will just have to repeat the grade next year… which means another year added to what he needs to graduate.
And yes, the emails I get from his teachers make me feel like they expect me to fix everything. I don’t have a magic wand I can wave, and my child isn’t broken. He’s an almost 15 year old boy who gets bored with structured work and if it doesn’t interest him he doesn’t care about the quality of the work he has done. He has never tested well which is why he has a special set up small group for the big tests… or at least he is supposed to. This boy is motivated by electronics- computers, phones, etc and lucky him he is required to have something he can access certain websites on for at least one of his classes… so I can’t tell him not to take that device to school because its required for the work done in Spanish and who knows what else. I can talk and talk and talk and talk… over and over, every 3 weeks whether its progress reports or the actual report card… it doesn’t do any good. Grounding doesn’t do any good, forced labor to earn things back didn’t work and he is well beyond the age appropriate for corporal punishment which is allowed down here in the south.
I mean really, what is expected of me beyond what I’ve already done? Do I have to go to the school and teach my child myself? Do I have to follow him to every class and stand over his shoulder with a whip, cracking it when he shows the slightest disinterest in the class the teacher isn’t really teaching? Handing out classwork and saying get to it its in the book, and then an entire class has to share two textbooks… that’s not teaching. Yes, I get it that most teachers actually like their job and understand that not all kids are perfect angels who do everything just right when they are told to. But honestly, there is a lot to be desired when it comes to the education of students in this area.
And the whole ignoring the fact that my child has a physical limitation/ disability that is well documented and proven and listed in his 504 plan… ignoring that and requiring that he run 5 laps around the football field’s track when he can’t run well at all is cruel and inviting bullying. He was told that if he didn’t run at least two of those laps and jog walk the rest he would fail that portion of the physical tests and be held after class. Really? REALLY??? Am I seriously going to have to go to another school and get my momma bear out until they realize this is not a joke?
He’s not lazy, the boy is working out 6 days a week with my boyfriend and doing really well for it only being his second week in. He just can’t run. Legg-Calve Perthes Disease is not a joke. There really is no treatment for it until he needs a hip replacement, other than what we are doing at home. My son, Rev and I are doing Power 90 Boot Camp, then moving on to P90X when boot camp is done, just to help him and I lose some of the weight we have gained over the years… His from the medication he was on to suppress his REM sleep cycle in an effort to control the night terrors he used to suffer from… mine from thyroid disease… and both of us are addicted to soda and sweets. We both are down to one soda a day… I sometimes have two but never more than that. He takes naproxin sodium for pain in his hips and uses icy hot when needed. We are limiting his food intake but not by a shit ton. He no longer eats bedtime snacks and at dinner he gets one serving of each thing we are having on his plate, that’s it. (I do my exercise for the day in the mornings, Rev and Ry work out in the evenings when they are both home, just FYI)
Again I ask… what more can I do? I am not a miracle worker, I’m not a magician… I can’t fix what they perceive as broken… but if anyone has suggestions, please share!