Thursday, May 06, 2010

Kindergarten Consequences

When I get home from work in the evenings, one of the first things I do after hugging and kissing everyone hello is to go through Caroline's backpack and folders.  I check for any materials sent home by the school, for her behavior chart, and then to give her homework a once over.  (She usually does it before I get home under the supervision of my MIL, mom, or Jason.)  On Tuesday evening, I pulled it out and was NOT happy.  Caroline had decided to do her homework using her 4 color ink pen and when my MIL expressed concern about it, she got mad and then did this weird scribble writing where the words she was writing were really messy, thick, and ugly.  WTH is this?  (I've told my MIL it is not her responsibility to make sure Caroline does it right but just to be there to make sure she's doing it and to answer any questions.)  I told Jason I was planning on taking a clean sheet of paper and making her do it over.  However, then we had the Piper tooth chipping incident and all plans for the evening were changed. I didn't get home until later with Piper and by the time it quieted down, it was almost 9pm and there was no way I was going to make Caroline do her homework given how tired she was.

So I did the next best thing, I wrote a note to the teacher explaining that this was not acceptable and that I would be okay with Ms. R expressing to Caroline how she felt about it.  When Caroline walked into school that morning my mom was with her and Caroline told Ms. R all about the events of the night before and my mom mentioned that I had stuck a note in Caroline's homework folder and that had things been quieter, Caroline would have already redone her homework. 

When my mom picked Caroline up later that day, it turns out Ms. R had talked to Caroline and in her homework folder were the same 2 assignments from the night before that Ms. R was asking Caroline to do over again.  Ms. R told my mom that she confronted Caroline about the extremely sloppy work and Caroline kind of balked.  Then Ms. R told her she wanted her to do them over (in addition to that night's work) and Caroline gave her a little attitude.  Ms. R then told her that she had 2 nights to do them and if she didn't do them, "there would be consequences."  BINGO!  Ms. R said that Caroline instantly snapped out of her mood and said she would do them both that night.  By the time I got home, Caroline had completed both that night and the previous night's homework dittos very neatly and in pencil, just as she knows she is supposed to do.  Ms. R had also written a note on one just updating me on what she had asked Caroline to do and I wrote back a thank you for her assistance in this.

I realize that her homework was technically done and that there are probably some parents who wouldn't have even cared, but Jason and I certainly did.  And while we expressed our disappointment in her work that night, I think the fact that it came from her teacher helped her realize that we were all serious and she needs to continue trying her best.  Jason and I also liked the fact that this will remind Caroline that she is not above consequences and even though she is one of better behaved/attentive children in the class, that she too can make mistakes and learn from them.

I'm hoping this solves Caroline's homework problems for a while. 


Heather said...

Wow. I am sure Caroline learned a valuable lesson that won't be soon forgotten.

BJ said...

It is great when you can have a good teacher that works with you as your child learns in life.

Erin said...

I have done this w/ Ben and his teacher as well and Ben can never figure out how we're both on the same page. ;) Yay for parent/teacher teamwork!!!