Sunday, March 11, 2007

What A Long Strange Trip...

Ok, I didn't really go anywhere. But life has been a whirlwind and I am feeling rather overwhelmed and underwhelmed by it all. I know. Oxymoron. Or something.

Currently, The Dragon is sick. I think I'll have to take her to the doctor tomorrow. Strep throat? Maybe.

Two weeks ago? One week ago? I really don't know, I've lost track of time. Anyway, The Princess was sick. She came home from school on a Friday with a fever of about 102. The next day it was up to 104. And stayed there until early Wednesday afternoon. I took her to the doctor on the Sunday that was in the middle of all these fevers, and they did a rapid strep test that came back negative. So they gave her antibiotics anyway with the warning that a) it will do nothing (meaning it's a virus), b) it will solve the problem (it's probably strep), or choice c), the antibiotics will cause a rash which means that she has mono. In the meantime, they sent her throat culture to the lab for further observation. The lab lost her culture. Lovely.

In the meantime, I get an email from her teacher stating that the end of the term is Friday, and ALL homework has to be turned in. I make a trip to the school to get her assignments that she has missed (two days of school so far), and The Princess works hard to get her homework done. When she is sent back to school on Thursday, she receives the homework for Wednesday, and works hard correcting other assignments and finishing these assignments. On Friday, The Princess forgets to turn in all assignments, and comes home from school to tell me that "all the papers in my folder are the same - I must've forgotten to turn them in." I freak out, call her teacher, and her teacher says "I'm way beyond that, it won't affect her grade that much." OK, the conversation was longer than that, but that was the end result. One of grades that "wasn't affected that much" dropped over 20 percent because of these three days of absences. HELLO? Just the week before, we had parent/teacher conferences (SEP's) and she had 104% in this subject area. Nice.

So grades came out last Wednesday. I was deciding whether or not I would fight the grades. I had decided this was a fight I was willing to make, but wanted to view the grades first. In a surprise move from the teacher, she decided to count one of the assignments (the one that caused the huge drop), and her grades were basically the same from last quarter. That, I can live with. There was a small drop in math, but that is a difficult subject for her, and I think it would be hard to prove whether or not these few assignments really made much of a difference. At any rate, I decided there was no need for further action. All is well.

The King felt that this was a good lesson for The Princess. And normally I would agree - particularly if this was an older student. But The Princess is in First Grade and really doesn't understand grades or percentages at all. Telling her that "you didn't get very good grades because you didn't turn in your homework" just doesn't sink in with her. She doesn't get it. Also, this isn't typical behavior for her - she may have missed turning in her homework one other day all year. I'm guessing she was still just a little bit out of the routine due to her recent illness. Also, the other argument I've heard a lot is "It's just first grade! It's not a big deal." This is also true.

I was frustrated because I didn't understand why the teacher didn't give a general reminder to the class, ie. "Make sure you turn in your homework folders" or specifically ask The Princess why her homework wasn't turned in being that she knew I was concerned about getting the assignments done, and knowing that she was absent for three days that week. I'm all for teaching kids responsibility, but again, this is FIRST GRADE.

At any rate, all's well that ends well, and we'll continue onward. While The Princess certainly didn't understand the consequences of not turning in her homework, I think she did catch on to the fact that Mom and Dad weren't very happy (particularly Mom). So maybe a lesson was learned after all.

The party planning is continuing. I broke the budget and am looking for ways to remedy that. I got carried away with the decorations, but most of the stuff I have purchased for that can be returned, so I just need to decide which things I'm going to use, and return the rest. Problem solved.

My house is a mess. I don't like it.


Blogger dubby said...

Given her personality, you can do a contract with the Princess on her grades. This many A's means this, and so on down the line. Then she can see the consequences of not turning in her homework. Let her fail - then say "It looks like this C is because you forgot to turn in the homework. What a shame, particularly since you did it. Well, I guess you get the lower prize." It IS only first grade. I would gladly go back and trade lessons for a couple of C's rather than expect the teacher to change it.

8:36 PM  
Blogger King Isepik said...

I don't like the mess either. How can I help? I'm serious, but don't go off on me if I don't put things where you want them and don't take me for granted either. Just talk to me about it.

12:53 AM  
Anonymous gorillabuns said...

we have strep throat here too. and yes, our house looks like a bomb went off in it. i really don't care and i dare my husband to say something about it.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Cooks on the Coast said...

I have a first grader, too, and it really does seem more intense than when I was in first grade. What's up with that?

8:40 PM  

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