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Author: jiml8 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1948  
Subject: Re: Homework disconnect Date: 3/4/2004 9:37 PM
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There might be another way...just depends.

Six Fs sure ain't nuthin to sneeze at - you can't ignore it. Further, the guidance counselor should be sent bobbing for apples. In the middle of the ocean. Without a life preserver. And with no boat in sight.

This "alternate school" - as you describe your daughter - would probably be about the worst of all possible things.

So, I think what I would do is sit down with her teacher(s) and discuss the problem. It could be that the teacher will quickly agree with your position that the homework is busywork, and might be persuaded to give your daughter more challenging material. Or maybe not. But it would be worth a try. It is also very possible that you will gain more insight into the problem by discussing it in detail with the teacher.

If the teacher is cooperative, then that part of the problem is solved. If not, then you may find it necessary to supplement the homework on your own so that it isn't such nonsense or busywork.

Then, I would sit dear daughter down: "You are officially and completely grounded. For how long? For so long as you have even one F in your grades. You WILL do your homework. You WILL - every day - bring to me a list of what your homework is. I will review your homework after you do it - every day. You WILL do it right.

"While you are grounded, there will be NO entertainment reading. You may read the encyclopedia as much as you wish. You may read any textbook as much as you wish. You may read history, or current events (political and social, not MTV or entertainment) as much as you wish. No fiction. No entertainment magazines.

"You may not have dinner any evening until ALL your homework is done. Completely and correctly. You will not watch TV, or visit your friends, or use the computer for play, or (fill in her other or preferred activities) AT ALL until ALL Fs are gone from this period's report, and henceforth you will maintain straight As (adjust to daughter's capabilities) in ALL classes at ALL times or you WILL be grounded.

"There are no exceptions. There are no excuses. You WILL comply.

If I decide that you are right, and your homework is total crap, then I will give you supplemental work of my choosing

All of this is said, of course, with absolutely no histrionics and no display of temper. It is accompanied by an absolutely stern and totally unyielding attitude. You then must carry forth with it absolutely and with no relaxation or relenting.

Kids are kids. Bright kids are easily bored. It is one of the greatest crosses they must bear. As much as anything, they must bear it because - regardless of their boredom - they still have to perform.

When I was that age, I was the brightest kid I knew. I was the brightest kid that anyone who knew me knew. I was bored. I didn't perform at all, though I got straight As and Bs. No one made me do it.

Then I hit college. I almost flunked out; I had no idea how to study or what to do. The pace was so fast, and the crowd was so fast that, lacking basic skills and the necessary discipline, I nearly didn't make it.

Now my eldest is 14 and in 9th grade. She is very bright - almost as bright as me. She is used to the fact that my wife and I demand that she perform, and we don't accept her excuses.

In her first full semester of high school, she ranked 3rd out of 399 freshmen. The two that beat her are young men that I have worked with extensively in Science Olympiad, and admire greatly. We're all buddies, and I'm very pleased with all of them. My daughter came in third, but it is early yet. She may finish first, and she may not. But she'll be in the very top group, which is where she belongs. And when she hits college, she'll be ready - bored or not.

You do a bright kid no favor by not pushing, and pushing hard.
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