Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Am SO TIRED of Homework

“Homework, I have discovered, involves a sharp pencil and thick books and long sighs.”
― Katherine Applegate

I put in my time at school.  I attended the mandatory elementary, middle and high schools and then managed to make it through a bachelor's degree.  I did what I had to do.  I was a good student (because I find it very easy to memorize things quickly...not because I'm all that super-genius smart) and did what I was supposed to do without any prodding from my mother.

I just DID it.

Things 1 and 2 on the roller coaster of life.
Things 1 and 2 are on some sort of different program.  Perhaps it's because they're boys.  Perhaps it's because I'm too "involved."  Perhaps it's because they just don't GIVE a rat's ass.  But they are content with muddling by with A's, B's and C's.  Every now and again a D or an F (God forbid) creeps in.  This is NOT because they're not super-genius smart...they are (and I know I'm their mother...but they really ARE smart kids)...but it's because they put forth about...oh....ZERO EFFORT.

I'm talking an AMAZING lack of effort.  They DO homework but they don't actually turn it in.  They forget to write down homework assignments or they write down partial assignments or they write down assignments on random scraps of paper and lose them.  WHEN did the homework process get so HARD? I take the stress that they SHOULD have and I burden myself with it.  And, about this time of year, I am so sick and tired of the whole process that I simply give up and let them steer the ship.  Fourth quarter grades are almost ALWAYS worse because I just am too exhausted to stay on top of THEIR responsibilities AND my responsibilities.   

Our evenings go something like this:

Me:  Have you done your homework?

Them: Yes, mother.

Me:  What did you have?

Them: Just a little bit.

Me: Do I need to check the Web site?

Them: No.

Me: Am I going to get another note from your teachers?

Them: No.  Can we play on the computer?

Me: Have you done your homework?

Them: Yes.

Me:  Have you REALLY done your homework?

Them: Yes.

Me: Where is it?

Them:  (vague hand motions toward the living room accompanied by mumbling)

Me: Is it in your bag?

Them: (more mumbling)

These conversations happen EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  And, in spite of the daily Homework Interrogation,  I inevitably get e-mails from teachers stating that Thing 1 didn't turn THIS project in and Thing 2 didn't turn THAT homework assignment in.  Usually they stack up before I get an e-mail so, by the time I hear, both children are earning 3 letter grades lower than their test grades because of missed work.

And it's not like they're staying home sick.  These kids go to school EVERY DAY.  They are, unless Thing 2 is spending time in In-School Suspension, tucked into their desks in their classrooms.   I am assuming they spend the majority of their time daydreaming or, in the case of Thing 1, reading.  For goodness sake, that child has had books taken away by his LANGUAGE ARTS teachers.  This is the level of inattention they are giving their education.

I am at my wits' end.  How do I get these kids to care about their grades?  How do I make them understand that their very FUTURES are at stake?  We've played the "How do you live on minimum wage?" game.  We've discussed the requirements for colleges.  I've talked and talked and talked.

And I'm tired of talking.  How, as a parent, do I just let them SLIDE BY?  Isn't it my job to help them understand that putting forth their best effort is in THEIR best interests?  And I'm tired of following up.  This is THEIR job.  They should be responsible for their homework.  BUT. THEY. DON'T. CARE.

I give up.

They're going to live with me forever.  I'll start looking for a house with a basement.


I NEED HELP!  Parenting advice is always appreciated.  Or disregarded.  Whichever.

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