Tuesday, August 31, 2010

4th Grade...

I remember the 4th grade. I remember it well. I had "Mrs. C" (I will abbreviate her name to protect her identity) of whom I was not a huge fan, and whom happened herself to be a HUGE fan of homework. In fact, that was the reputation that preceeded Mrs. C in our tiny little private school. She was known for the amount of homework she issued. That's a pretty big deal to a 4th grader... it cuts into your play time outside when you get home, TV at night. We had homework every day in the 4th grade, sometimes in multiple subjects. I have vivid memories of sitting down at the coffee table in our den in the afternoon when I got home from school and working on my homework. Vocabulary words, spelling words, Alabama History, math. Seems like once a week we had to draw something, and I hated to draw. Had zero artistic ability when it came to drawing - still have none - and I absolutely hated the fact that Mrs. C would display our things on the wall.

Anywho - I am getting to a point here, I promise.

David is in the 4th grade. He has struggled since 2nd grade with his organization and forgetfulness. This is something I understand well as he clearly gets these two problems from me - I still struggle with organization and forgetfulness today. But I have always been responsible. Always. I always made sure my assignments were done in school, have always paid my bills on time (as long as I had the money to do so... ), have always done what I said I would do. From an early age, I took charge of my own responsibilities - whether it be homework or studying for a test or completing a project. So this is why I have a hard time understanding my son's lack of responsibility.

Yesterday, I checked David's agenda. This agenda is an overpriced calendar with room to write daily assignments. Back when I was his age, we had a little pocket-sized notepad. We wrote the date at the top of the page and the assignments for the day. Now, we parents have to pay $12 for a spiral bound book notebook sized calendar for our student to keep track of their assignments, events and tests. Problem in this household is that David sometimes writes in his, sometimes does not. Yesterday, he miraculously decided to write in his that he had a history test today. It said, "Study for history test."

Did David bring anything home to look over? NO.

Here's the conversation that followed with David...

"So, you have a history test tomorrow?"


"Did you bring home your information to study it?"

"No, I did it at school."

"You studied at school?"

"Uh huh."

"So you already knew it all before you left school? That's great!! I guess I can expect you to make 100 on the test then!!"

That was just one of many conversations he had to endure about how he should have brought his stuff home to study, about how he's getting older and things will start to change with school and more will be required, about how I expect him to take school seriously and do well and give his best effort.

David has sort of breezed through school so far. He's sharp, but not necessarily smart. He's had a good run of teachers who adore him and have considered him such a delight that he hasn't been pushed to be better. All that is about to some to a halt as more will be expected of him academically. Just because you are charming and witty and have good manners doesn't mean you will do well on your history vocabulary test.

The funniest part of the day was when Scott went back up to David's room around 9:00 last night to make sure his light was off. David was sitting up in his bed with his dictionary trying to find the definition of "political map." It wasn't in the dictionary, and I honestly couldn't remember what it meant. But I did tell him to look over the words when he got to school today.

I guess growing up is hard. But it will be even harder for David if he doesn't do well on this test today...


Rebecca said...

When I started reading your post, I let out an auditory groan. I was a yellow dot! Do you remember what color group you were in? Also, Debra J. (do you remember her?) was in my dot group, so I was always sitting next to her. She was so organized that I tried to do everything just like her, including stacking my books the same. She probably thought I was nuts. I could write a book about fourth grade. I have heard that fourth grade is pretty hard wherever you go, so maybe it wasn't just us.

carrie said...

Growing up is hard! 3rd grade has been bad enough. At our school 3rd grade moves from "little kids that we protect" to "you are responsible for your won stuff and we are going to time you while you do it". Don't tell me 4th grade is even worse!! I hope he did well!