Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dylan's D's

All photos of Dylan in this post are graciously donated by the Charitable Micah H.S. Foundation, supporting five-year-olds who are aspiring photographers.  Also, the Charitable Micah Worships Dylan Foundation, supporting five-year-olds who have a Hero Worship Thing of their older brothers named Dylan.

Can you tell I listen to NPR a lot?
Ohhhhh.  This is  a punch in the gut to me.  I miss my pumpkin walls.  I really think the grey color on our walls is pretty, but I've been kind of...homesick...for my bright colors.  Ughhhhhh.  Ooouuuughhh.

Kay.  So Dylan brought home a little progress report yesterday.  Four A-pluses. 

AND TWO D's.  Not just D's, my friends.  D MINUSES.

I was like, Jigga WHAT??

After lots of whining and excuses, I got down to bare bones.  He got his D's in Reading and Math, of all things.  For reading, they read fifth-grade-level novels, then they have to write a five-sentence summary of the chapter and do one "job" per chapter - defining a vocabulary word and using it in a sentence, etc.  He just flat out didn't do two days' work.  And they do this work in class.

And they never, ever have math homework.  They do it all in class. 

See the common denominator there?  In-class work.  I think he's having a hard time focusing.  Which will beg the question of whether his meds are doing the trick or what the HECKFIRE is happening in there. 

I'm trying to be a good Love and Logic mommy.  He is in charge of his grades.  If he gets bad grades, he suffers the consequences.  He has to do summer school.  Or he doesn't get to do his classroom Good Grades Party.  Or he has to stay in at recess and do his work.  Whatever his teacher has decided are the consequences.

That's what I'm supposed to do.

What I really did was ground him from playing any type of computer games until I get his next report card, showing that he has brought those grades up.  I refuse to be like, "You have to get A-pluses or you are NOTHING TO ME!"  But Dylan is so smart, you guys.  Literally the smartest kid I've ever known.  Okay, not really, because most of the kids in my graduating class were complete and total geniuses and I'm not even kidding.  That was a hard class to compete in...

But I digress.  When Dylan was 18 months, he could count to 11.  AND.  And!  He could count using every other number.  Ben would say, "one."  And Dylan would say, "two."  Ben would say "three," etc.  This is how smart he is.  When he was five years old (Micah's age), he completely assembled all of Micah's newborn gadgets for me.  Bouncy thing.  An entire bassinet.  Johnny Jump-Up.  All of the baby gadgets.  The kid is SMART.  So for him to be bringing home D's....

Another thing I did, which I shouldn't do, according to Love and Logic, was write a letter to his teacher, asking if Dyl is having trouble concentrating in class.  But I was really good and didn't say what 90% of the parents of kids I taught said:  "What can Dylan do in extra credit to make up for every single thing he hasn't done?"  Dylan needs to learn consequences.  But if he's struggling in class, I need to know so we can address whether his meds are effective enough or if he needs a seating change, etc.

So I'm trying to be hands-off enough so that he learns from natural consequences, but I also think I have a right to have grounded him from computer games.  This will be the motivator for him to figure out what he's doing wrong and what he can do to fix it himself.  That's okay, right?

He keeps saying that it's the dividing of decimals in math that is making him have his D.  It's so weird to me that he doesn't bring math homework home, because I did that from a very early age.  I had math homework every night.  And it took me like four hours per night to do, because math was so hard for me.  I don't know; if Dylan had been bringing it home and was struggling, I could have helped him.  I do remember how to divide decimals.  I remember how to multiply decimals, but I would have looked up how to divide decimals, because I seriously can't remember that crap. 

This morning, Dyl and I were continuing to discuss his grades and his subsequent grounding from computer games (Last night when we told him that was his consequence, I think he literally had a nervous breakdown.  Screaming and running through the house.  Panting.  Wailing.  I had to put him in the tub to calm him down) - and he has calmed down about it since last night - and he said, "Mom, it's those decimals that are killing me.  Dividing decimals.  It's like dividing decimals is the boiling water and I'm the witch."

I laughed and laughed.  Good figurative language, buddy. 

I may have an English-ey kid after all.


Kathleen said...

You know your kid best. You do what you feel is right in each circumstance. I agree that he has to learn the consequences from his actions. If he doesn't learn that now, he will become an adult who thinks the world should support him. I also would have grounded him from something he loves and make him do what his teacher decided too. In fact, I have a time or two.

Dividing decimals? Maybe Ben can help with that. He works with that kind of junk every day.

Kathleen said...

I commented on this yesterday, but I wanted to tell you, You have been officially nominated for the Liebster Award! Congratulations! To accept your award and find instructions, please follow this link! I'm looking forward to hearing from you. http://fearlesslycreativemammas.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-liebster-award.html

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