Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Big Talk, Less Followthrough

Mark's teacher sent home a goal-setting sheet for the second quarter. There was one the first quarter, too. The student had to list his/her specific educational goals, and then list what actions he/she would be taking to attain those goals. Then there is a spot for parents to list how they are going to help their child with the goals. Lastly, the teacher lists specifically how he will help the student with their goals. Everyone signs it and we're all happy.

Mark's goals for the quarter are excellent...on paper. He wants to:
1. Make high honors this quarter and other quarters
2. Use my time wisely on big projects
3. Work harder in Social Studies and Language Arts
4. Read bigger, longer, harder books

His "Student Commitment" says: "For my goals, I'm going to put forth my best effort in my work and will pay more attention in L.A. and S.S., and will use my free time to work on my projects and reading."

Wonderful, you say. What a great kid, really interested in pouring himself into his scholastics.


We are in day two of the second quarter, and Mark has already missed a current event that was due Monday (that he is working on now). He also had an opportunity to correct a math quiz that he got a 'D' on, and the average between the old grade and the corrected score would be his new grade. (That 'D' nearly cost him his A in Pre-Algebra) Still hasn't done it. It's due by tomorrow. He's grumbled and groaned his way through the whole evening.

And this is what I'm AWARE of. I didn't know there was a current event due. Mark is very bad at writing in his assignments in his planner, even though there is time set aside for this exact purpose.

I don't know if this is all just a part of the (non-diagnosed) ADD, or if he really just doesn't care all that much and makes all the right noises to impress people, but just doesn't want to bother with the followup efforts. It's incredibly frustrating for me.

I also worry that he sees my lack of consistency (due to my own mental illnesses) and thinks that this is an okay way to be. I worry about that a LOT. Also, I can't always keep on top of him (or Kira) with checking up and making sure they're doing everything they need to. I end up, from necessity, having to trust that they are getting it done. But with Mark, he doesn't. If you don't stay on top of him for this stuff, he lets it go until the last possible second, and then he slaps it all together in a piss-poor job, and blames everything else in the world except himself.

He's horrible with taking responsibility for his actions (or lack thereof). It's a fault that his father has as well, and I wonder if this is a learned thing or if it's hereditary. Am I fighting a losing battle in trying to establish better habits in him? (Not that I'm going to stop, but....)

Anyway. I'm trying as hard as I can to help him establish these basic tools in his organizational repertoire. (While I'm at it, I should do it for me, too....physician, heal thyself.)


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