Tuesday, November 24, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Jenn: A+

Yesterday the big kids got their report cards. For Mae, being new to the Middle School, it was the first time she got "real" grades - actual numbers and an average. The past two years we have had 1 - 4 grades and before that P's and S's. She was excited to get her report card. In our house if you get all A's, you earn a $100. I have friends who disagree with this or think I am crazy but my husband and I decided early on that school was a job. Just like Daddy goes to work at an office everyday and Mommy works at home everyday, the kids go to school to learn and that is their job. If you do a good job, you get rewarded. If you don't do a good job, you don't get paid.

Since 4th grade, Sam has earned his $100 each and every semester. This semester, his first in the 8th grade, he is not going to earn his $100. It is only math that is keeping him from his $100 but our reward is an all or nothing deal. His grades are really good - by anyone else's standards, but as I told him today, he isn't anyone else. His father and I expect him to go above and beyond and to work to his potential. He didn't work very hard this semester.

It is hard not to compare your children. For Mae, her goal since entering 6th grade was to get better grades than her brother. She succeeded. Competition is good sometimes - this being one of those times. School comes easy for her, her brother has to work just a bit harder. My littlest one jumps up and down when she gets a "4" - she averages a 3+ - this is such a strange concept to me but I am getting used to it. She thinks its completely normal and got off the bus last week screaming about getting a "4" on her "assessment" Her teacher does not call them tests. She is also learning to text in 2nd grade - yep text. Her classroom is state of the art technology - something her brother and sister never had. All her tests are taken on the "smart board." All answers are now "texted" to the "smart board." I am not sure how I feel about this - although there is plenty of writing in her classroom too, I am not yet comfortable with texting idea.

If I look back at all my kids at the age of 7, my youngest is by far, the most technologically advanced of the three. She is leaps and bounds ahead reading wise where the other two were at this age. Is that because she strives to be like her brother and sister? Is it because, in just a few years technology has invaded the schools? Is it because she is just simply smarter? I will have to wait for her to get to 6th grade so I can compare report cards apples - apples. By then her brother will be a senior and her sister a sophomore in HS - yikes! I hope it takes a long time getting here.


Beth P. said...

Wow! Texting?! Thats interesting. I am glad she is doing well and has been very successful using that technology, but I can't help but wonder if it is going beyond a limit that needs to be in place.

I think incentives for hard work is a great idea. There is a difference between bribing and motivating, and having your method be all or nothing is a great form of motivation. I would want my kids to know that just because they didn't get all A's doesn't mean they didn't do a good job, but holding them accountable to perform to their abilities? Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

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