Friday, February 18, 2011

Fighting. Again. And tests.

Writing words with blocks.

I thought we were doing well. I spent some money I really didn't want to so I could keep the little ones occupied while I was doing school with the big ones. I had given some free and alternative days to break up the monotony of writing work. And now we're back to having bad days.

I get distracted. They slink out of work.

I try and work with them they start crying and whining about how hard it is.

Then we get into a power struggle. Right now Olivia and I are butting heads. We were doing fine (doing the science work from yesterday that somehow we didn't get around to) and she started falling behind, so Cordi and I went ahead and I said (since the part of the work was a little difficult for them to grasp -reorganizing mixed up words to make a 8-10 word sentence) I said Olivia can just copy the sentences.

It's been an hour and fifteen minutes and she's still complaining around a flow of tears.

Everything is distracting her. It's too hard. She wants to write her own sentences (which would be wrong.) Her pencil fell. It's too hard. She can't do it.

Now, she wants me to take her to school.

She got all her work done. This is for fun.

So, I looked it up. Fine by me really, if she wants to see how they push them in schools and what the consequence of this kind of behaivor there would be then be my guest. Writing three sentences by copying is going to be the least of her problems as the school website's main focus is the Testing Schedule.

The kids in the school down the street get tested seven times a school year. Six tests are administered  practicaly monthly and the last (either the FCAT for 3rd and up or the SAT 10 for 1st and 2nd) are week long after a week of test prepping. They even test the kindergarteners multiple times a year. Schools last 10 months (roughly) and the kids are given 7 test through the course of 180 days. Between holidays, days off, half days and all the prepping and actual testing days, when is the learning being done? How can anything be learned in depth? What is retained if shortly after a lesson learning is stopped to work on how to take a test?

I wouldn't push her to write these simple things except that is how things get pushed aside here. They learn (they're smart kids) that if they complain long enough or just flat out silently refuse to do the work mommy will get distracted with something else -be it a baby or a phone call or making food- and forget they're supposed to do it. They move on in their day getting to do what they want to do instead of what they need to do. If I change what we're doing because they protest they'll use it every time to get me to change what they don't like to do. If I say to her now "Ok, lets take a break and go outside" the next day something will be just as hard and she'll look for that break every day. I know my kids, trust me on this.

How do I instill a sense of responsibility in them? I'm so weary of all the fighting.

1 comment:

Kitschy Coo said...

I'm sorry I don't have any advice to give you, but I just wanted to let you know I read this. I agree with you, we all know our children and what amount of slack we can give them without undermining the bigger picture. I'm sure a lot of people don't understand why I stick to my guns over something that's 'not a big deal' but like you, I know that (for Jamie in particular), giving him an inch will make him more resistant to everything. You're doing a great job. x