middle school

micromanaging the homework like whoa

I will come right out and admit that I have not had to do this in the past. My oldest two kids handled their shit. Period. Once they started the sixth grade, I didn’t have to check on their homework or remind them to do it. They took responsibility for it and they knew that their grades were important for college so they did their best. My third kid was a little less enthused in middle school, but still kept her grades in the A-Cs and now that she is starting high school, she is all A/B and really working hard. Flash forward to my youngest kid and man, I am not enjoying the micromanaging that The GingerBeard Man and I are having to do in order to keep her on track.
I check the grades online daily. I email teachers about missing assignments and bad grades to ask for stuff she can work on at home to improve her knowledge of the subject matter. I am printing up and even creating worksheets for her to practice at home. I have subscribed to all of the classes Remind App notifications that are available. It’s ridiculous. Are other parents doing this? Is this normal? Like I am having to memorize where all the damn states are in order for her to? And the capitals? I don’t want to memorize the capitals again. Stahp.
And forget bribing this kid. Forget. It. Here’s the thing about my youngest daughter: she doesn’t care about losing privileges… she doesn’t care SO MUCH that it makes me think it might be related to the years of being in foster care and not having anything. Which then makes me feel terrible. But you can tell this girl that she will lose her electronics, her free time, her time with friends, sleepovers, fun trips places… she doesn’t care. She will hand it all over and dig her heels in. The look in her eyes is like two birds in your face. It’s super frustrating.
She is also Queen of The Excuses. My teacher didn’t show me that. I actually don’t have to do that homework. It’s not due until next week. Nevermind that I am showing her the email from her teacher that says something to the effect of ‘we covered this in class today, here is the homework for it, it’s due tomorrow.’ Her newest excuse is that she shouldn’t even be in middle school because she didn’t pass one of her standardized tests last year. Forget that the one she didn’t pass was math, which she has a 96 in right now and we are talking about science.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I feel her pain. Homework is absolute balls. But is also has to be done and I am not going to sit by while she flunks the sixth grade because she just doesn’t feel like doing anything. I just wish so much that she cared. Like I can get past the needing endless help if she actually cared about learning. Or cared about making good grades. She doesn’t care at all. She is just trying to check the box next to completed so she can move on with her day. Making good grades is just not important to her. It’s so effing frustrating.
I seriously sometimes have a little fantasy daydream that she is standing tall and poised on a stage as a young adult, wearing her cap and gown thanking her father and I for pushing her to do well in school. And I sit back in my seat and dab my eyes and think “it was all worth it.”

And we’re back to school….

Yesterday was the first day back to school. My youngest kiddo has been super nauseous lately, so much so that she has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to find out what the heck is going on… that plus knowing that both of the girls were starting new schools where they don’t know their way around had me pretty nervous most of the day. Lots of fretting about stuff I can’t do anything about. I finally broke down and called the nurse at lunch to make sure my youngest wasn’t barfing in the hallways.
And of course, as it is when you trust life to just be life, everything was fine.
Despite having forgotten her schedule and being nauseated and not knowing where anything was, she made it through the day just fine. She has always been so brave and that really showed yesterday when she sucked up the fact that she felt terrible and marched into a school she’s never attended and made it through the whole day. When I asked her on the way to school if she was nervous, she said she was excited. That kid loves her some right of passage. 6th grade? CHECK. Now she can start checking off the days until her age ends in “teen” and she can claim that one.
My little freshman said she gave her first day of school a solid 6.5/10. Looking back at the kid she once was, the kid who has so much anxiety about going to school at all, I am so proud of her. She was super confident walking into the hallways of high school and so brave signing up for Academic Decathlon and Debate. She also was one of the few freshmen to qualify for Varsity Choir. She says her goal is to graduate in the top ten percent of her grade. I love that attitude.
It was so strange taking the first of school photo with only two kids in it and knowing that it won’t be long before it’s only one kid and then none. It’s good. It’s a job well done. But it’s surreal and a little sad too.